As a candidate, there are many external factors that remain out of your control during the hiring process. You can lack transparency into how many other candidates are also interviewing for the same job, or how many people are coming through the prospective-employer’s pipeline or internal network.
With a lack of transparency around who else is in process, all of these unknowns can make it tempting to commit to a (potential) job as soon as the interview goes well. In fact, we often partner with candidates who make the decision to put their job search on hold while they await news from one company they liked or felt was the most promising.
I strongly urge candidates against this mindset and encourage candidates to continue with their job search even as they are moving through the hiring process in a more desirable company. Refrain from developing tunnel vision or premature loyalty to a company before you have an offer in hand.
If you want to make the best possible move for your career, here are several reasons not to stop your job search until it’s a done deal.
The Hiring Process Contains So Many Unknowns
Regardless of how far along you feel you are in the interview process, the hard truth is there is always the possibility that you may not get the job. You never know you have the job until you actually have the job. Also, don’t forget that you may get an offer, but that offer may not be what you thought it would be.
The worst-case scenario is a candidate turning down several potential leads while they await a decision from one particular company. If the candidate unfortunately does not receive the offer, and has put everything else on hold for a week or two (or more), they’re back to square one.
“Regardless of how far along you feel you are in the interview process, the hard truth is there is always the possibility that you may not get the job.”
Chances are the opportunities that were available before are no longer available. It is always better to have a back-up plan. In a brisk job market, you need to keep your name out and your options open.
Interviewing for Multiple Positions Doesn’t Equal Bad Etiquette
When asked by a candidate if it’s a good idea to consider a new opportunity that was just brought to their attention, even though they are interviewing elsewhere, the answer is always a resounding YES. Talking to multiple companies at one time isn’t bad etiquette — in fact, it is expected!
Any company with an open position is going to interview multiple candidates for that position. There’s no reason why a candidate shouldn’t also interview for multiple opportunities at a time. Doing so won’t affect your chances with one particular company.
Interviewing Is Great Research
It’s common knowledge that interviewing may not always be comfortable. However, it’s important for all job seekers to acknowledge that interviewing is good practice and always valuable.
You can learn a lot — about the company you’re interviewing with, about their culture, and about what is expected from different positions. You also get a better feel for what’s available. (If you are insecure about your interviewing skills, before the interview, research the company and think about questions to ask your interviewer.)
During the interview, it’s essential to keep the big picture in mind:
– Does the company’s mission align with my own?
– Who am I going to be partnering with in the position?
– Is there strong leadership present within the organization?
– Am I going to learn from my manager?
– How do they mentor and coach their teams?
– Is it going to help me to propel my career to work under this type of leadership?
It is not uncommon for candidates to go into an interview process lukewarm. Having the opportunity to meet with the team and learn more about the opportunities within the organization is often a game-changer. In much the same way that your résumé is just a small distillation of who you are as an employee, a job description is just the tip of the iceberg.
“Any company with an open position is going to interview multiple candidates for that position. There’s no reason why a candidate shouldn’t also interview for multiple opportunities at a time.”
You may not be super enthusiastic about the way a job sounds on paper, but you may go into the interview and really connect with the team. An interview gives both the candidate and the employer so much more information about the person on the other side of the table.
Be Open to Opportunities
If you have a promising job interview where you feel you connected with a team, or if you love a company’s mission, you may be tempted to pin your hopes on that position. But keep an open mind, and keep exploring your options.
Positions that might not grab your interest at the very beginning can turn out to offer more than you initially expected. Interviewing always teaches you something, and it helps you put your talents and the opportunities available to you into the larger context of the job market. It can give you the knowledge to make the best decision for you and your career growth.