Knowing When Not to Accept An Interview Offer

For the experienced job seeker and employer, expectations increase for new jobs as careers progress. The employer looks to find job seekers with numerous achievements that reflect increases or improvements revenues and customer service. Employers look for advanced skills in management, leadership and communications as well as in-depth knowledge of the industry. Expectations are high before the interview ever takes place.


At this same time the job seekers are advancing in their career, they too have certain expectations for the positions they accept. Job seekers at this level are close to, if not already executive level and expect a particular range in salary, benefit packages, retirement plans, and leadership accountability. The higher the career level, the greater leverage job seekers also expect to have. Screening interviews can be very helpful at this level; they serve to eliminate wasted preparation time and effort for both employer and job seeker.


Screening interviews are often completed over the telephone and gives the employer or job seeker a chance to evaluate current or future work opportunities. Often initiated by employers the job seeker should understand they could just as easily originate the screening interview if they have reservations regarding the position. It is an efficient way to discover preliminary information that is critical to the accepting the position, doing so before the interview process begins saves both the employer and job seeker valuable time and money.


The screening interview occurs after the interview offer has been extended but before the offer has been accepted. If there are specific determining issues for either party, it is essential to complete the screening to decide if further pursuit for a formal interview is necessary.


Several issues may initiate a screening interview for employers such as travel or relocation expectations and starting date availability. Job seekers may feel criteria that must be met before proceeding to interviews such as benefits, hours worked per week, available corporate advancement, or retirement package availability must be available.


Honest and upfront expectations will let employers know the job seeker is serious about the job search, has specific determinants which must be in place before accepting the interview offer and is confident enough to discuss the issues before wasting precious interview time. It would be far more costly if the job had been accepted only to leave early on after realizing expectations didn’t meet reality.


Job seekers gain confidence as careers progress and therefore screening interviews are seen more often at higher levels in professional and executive career levels but should be considered at any level. The employee search is expensive and time consuming for companies and being upfront about personal expectations will save company time and give them a better impression of your goals and potential. Either way a winning outcome for both the job seeker and the employer.


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