Be courageous enough to leave if the interview feels wrong


Your resume is working. You are getting interviews. Some of them are for jobs you really want.

Others you just get the feeling from the first interview that it will be a bad fit. Should you ever leave if the interview feels wrong?

Signs the interview feels wrong

When you go to an interview, always dress the part, perhaps a suit and tie for men or a suit or business-like outfit or dress for women. However, the dress code at work with many companies is much more casual these days. If the team interviewing you looks disheveled, unclean, or totally inappropriately dressed, this could be the first sign that the job doesn’t fit.

If the interview continues with questions that indicate they never read your resume, you can say you would be happy to expand on it further. Often people are not well-trained in the art of interviewing so taking offense too easy may cost you the job. Expand on questions that seem to miss the mark.

When questions take on a personal tone that are inappropriate for a job interview, you can redirect. Illegal questions include:

  • Are you married?
  • What country are you from?
  • Have you been arrested?
  • What religious holidays do you practice?
  • Do you have children?
  • Is English your first language?

Did the interviewer take other calls, check Facebook, or work on other projects while interviewing you? Perhaps he is not totally invested in ensuring you are the best-qualified candidate. This could be a sign you should leave.

Should you ever leave if the interview feels wrong?

This is a bold move but if you assessed the situation and your gut is tells you it is a bad fit, yes.

If you know this will not work for you, don’t waste their time, it is ok to end the interview.  You must be absolutely sure before you do this, but it is OK to end the interview.

The interview is as much about whether the job (and the company) fits you as it is whether you fit the job. Keep it upbeat and positive and leave without insulting the interviewer.

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  1. Chris Carlson on March 13, 2015 at 4:35 pm

    Man, if they have to ask if English is my first language and they can’t tell. Wow.

    • Julie Walraven on March 13, 2015 at 6:30 pm

      You are thinking from your perspective as an English-speaking person, but the question is deemed illegal because it would create a bias. However, if the employer wants to know if you speak other languages, they can ask about proficiency or the ability to write, read, or speak fluently.

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