Have you ever finished an interview and ran for the door to get out? No matter how good the odds are that you will get a job offer, nothing you could imagine would ever see you accepting. It could be the job itself that has you unhinged, or maybe the prospects of working for the person you spent the last hour talking to.
While I have never personally experienced a time that I sprinted for the door, I have wondered how I was going to back out of the application process on the drive home. Sometimes our gut feelings take a while to digest what we just took in, and at other times we instantly realize that nothing was adding up.
I hate it when this awareness starts to occur to me during the interview. Nothing that I can quite put my finger on, but definitely a gnawing at my subconscious that something is wrong. Something is said that you know firsthand is incorrect, maybe even a lie, and yet the person sticks to their story. How about when you discover the job description is painting one picture and reality is a whole other work of art?
Culture is one of those discoveries that are often hard to figure out over the several telephone screening interviews, and yet once in the work environment you experience in person their working environment. I have walked into offices that are stuffy, distant and dreary. I’ve also walked into fun, team spirited and relaxing.
I can honestly say that when I have decided to stop an application process it has taken a lot of things to convince me, as I know there is not a perfect workplace or a perfect job. Yet at times I ignore my first reactions hoping that I am wrong, only to discover down the road I should have bolted for the door.
Most of the time I can say that I “discover” I don’t want to pursue the job I applied for, and that comes after I have investigated the company or manager. You have got to love the internet for learning about your future boss. LinkedIn will show you shared connections that you can call up and ask about what it was like working for someone. I did this recently, and to be honest it was to verify that my gut reaction to this potential manager was correct. Both people I reached out to told me that I would have difficulties working with this person. One told me that my ethics would conflict because this manager lacked any ethics. While I found that funny, it was the truth that I would struggle with that kind of person.
Now while it might not be necessary to knock the door down on your way out of an interview, I do want you to consider your needs as an employee over the company’s desire to hire you. It may shock them a little to be told you are taking a different path, but in the end it will be the right decision for both of you.