It’s OK to walk out of a bad job interview!
Five Good Reasons To Walk Out Of A Job Interview
I don’t know if you have ever gone on a date with a psychopath, but I certainly have. You can tell when the energy is bad in an interaction with another person. Every hair on the back of your neck stands up. Your body screams at you: “Get out of here!”
It can happen in a job interview. We hear horror stories from our clients every day. Here are some of the stories we’ve heard recently:
“I went on a job interview and the first thing the interviewer said to me was ‘I’m not even sure I’m going to hire anyone. The quality of candidates these days is so low!’ That’s how he started our conversation.”
“I got an invitation to go on a job interview at the company’s location downtown. I know the building — it’s where my tax guy is, so I’ve been in the building many times. Two hours before the interview the recruiter calls me and says ‘The manager wants to meet you at Starbucks on the corner, instead.’ That’s no problem — I met the manager, Bruce, at Starbucks. He said to me ‘I’m thinking that I might hire you and fire Jennifer, my Office Manager, so I didn’t want to meet you in the office.’ I had the presence of mind to ask him ‘Does Jennifer know you’re unhappy with her?’ He said ‘No — why tell her, if I’m going to fire her?’”
“I was on a panel interview with five panelists firing questions at me. I could hardly answer them, they were coming so fast. It seemed like the interviewers were competing with one another to see who could ask me the stupidest question. One of them wanted to know my favorite movie. Another one asked me how far in advance I decide what I’m having for dinner. I couldn’t wait to get out of there!”
You don’t have to wait for a job interview to end before leaving. There will be times when the best thing you can do is to reclaim your self-esteem, stand up and leave the room and the building. You are not getting paid for your time in a job interview. There is no reason to stick around when you’re being insulted, talked down to or mistreated.
Some people will interview you just to steal your ideas. Some people just like to feel powerful, and that’s how they feel when they are interrogating job-seekers on a job interview. You have no way to know whether there really is a job opening, whether there’s a budget to pay a new hire, or whether the person you’re talking to will even be working for the company a month from now. If your gut tells you “Run!” listen to it!
Here are five good reasons to leave a job interview before it’s over:
- You feel intimidated
- You feel that the person or people you’re talking with are unethical or dishonest
- You are insulted
- You can tell that you wouldn’t take the job if it were offered to you
- Your gut tells you to go — that’s a good enough reason!
You may feel intimidated if your interviewer cuts you off in the middle of every answer you give. Some interviewers like to get job applicants off guard by throwing rapid-fire questions at them, or by asking questions and ignoring the answers.
Some interviewers will tell you “I’m asking the questions — not you!” That is the perfect exit line. You can simply smile, stand up, extend your hand for a handshake and say “Thanks so much for your time today. I can see that it’s not a great match, so I’ll be going now and I’ll let you get back to your busy schedule.”
Do it! It’s a great mojo-booster to leave a job interview. It’s your body. It’s your time, and it’s your life. These people don’t control you — you control yourself.
You may get the sense that the folks you’re meeting in the interview are unethical, like the guy who wouldn’t tell Jennifer he was unhappy with her because he figured he’d just fire her instead. Our client left that interview at Starbucks within ten minutes of arriving.
She told the guy “I don’t know Jennifer, and I don’t know you at all, but you’ve just told me, a complete stranger, that you plan to terminate an employee without even letting her know your concerns. How could I work for you?” She got up and left. She stopped at the Starbucks counter and got a scone for the ride home. Rock on! Her muscles grew that day.
Sometimes interviewers will outright insult you. That happened to me on a job interview. The interviewer said “I’m not impressed by your knowledge of HR laws.” I was sincerely puzzled, since I’d been an HR person for four years and my resume didn’t say Word One about my knowledge of HR laws.
“What makes you say that?” I asked him. “My resume doesn’t say anything about my knowledge of HR laws.”
The poor thing figured that if I knew HR laws, my resume should say so. “You don’t seem to be up to date on current HR regulations, based on your resume,” he said. I was in my twenties. It never occurred to me that I had permission to leave.
I stuck around for a few more minutes, but when the interviewer said “Well, you’re here, so if you can wait about forty-five minutes, I’ll find our HR Director and she can talk to you” I saw my escape route open up.
“I’m so sorry, I can’t wait,” I said, and got the hell out of there. If they insult you on the job interview, how could the job itself possibly be any better?
Sometimes you can tell in the interview that you don’t want the job. It’s perfectly polite to say “You’re so kind to make time for me today, but I can see that I’m not the right person for this assignment.” Interviewers get delusional very easily. They can start to think they’re doing you a favor by wasting your time. Just get up and go! There is most likely a gelato place nearby in the neighborhood. A nice gelato is the perfect thing to remind you that you don’t need to spend time with fools and bullies.
Listen to your instinct. We are an old species. Listen to your gut and do what it tells you to do. It’s a new day — the Human Workplace is already here. Get up and leave a bad job interview and signal the universe “I deserve better!” Remember that only the person who get you, deserve you, and watch your muscles grow!
This article was written by Liz Ryan from Forbes and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.