Is this the right job for me?

What if in the middle of an interview you wonder if it is the right job for me?

Your mojo is gone and you just can’t seem to get up any enthusiasm for the rest of the interview.

When is it right to follow those feelings and say, “NO, I don’t want the job?

Economic History Lesson

  • Never before in many people’s memory have we seen the recent level of unemployment and shortage of new jobs.
  • Economists differ on the start of the “Great Recession” but many point to December 2007 as the beginning. Read the following quote from

The National Bureau of Economic Research said Monday that the U.S. has been in a recession since December 2007, making official what most Americans have already believed about the state of the economy .

That being said, the same group, The National Bureau of Economic Research, is now saying this about the length of time of the recession:

CAMBRIDGE September 20, 2010 – The Business Cycle Dating Committee of the National Bureau of Economic Research met yesterday by conference call. At its meeting, the committee determined that a trough in business activity occurred in the U.S. economy in June 2009.

The trough marks the end of the recession that began in December 2007 and the beginning of an expansion. The recession lasted 18 months, which makes it the longest of any recession since World War II. Previously the longest postwar recessions were those of 1973-75 and 1981-82, both of which lasted 16 months.

What caused the recession and how do the experts think the recovery could look:

In determining that a trough occurred in June 2009, the committee did not conclude that economic conditions since that month have been favorable or that the economy has returned to operating at normal capacity. Rather, the committee determined only that the recession ended and a recovery began in that month.

A recession is a period of falling economic activity spread across the economy, lasting more than a few months, normally visible in real GDP, real income, employment, industrial production, and wholesale-retail sales.

The trough marks the end of the declining phase and the start of the rising phase of the business cycle. Economic activity is typically below normal in the early stages of an expansion, and it sometimes remains so well into the expansion.

Encouraging news. What does all this mean for you?

  • More than 10 of my clients landed new positions within the last two months.
  • In this group of successful clients, some had been unemployed and others transitioned from their former positions.
  • Three clients landed new management level banking roles, one is a new General Manager in the restaurant field, two Registered Nurses found new positions, one is an entry level Civil Engineering Technician, one is in marketing, another is a Purchasing Manager for a manufacturing firm, and one is now in a new position with a major insurance company.
  • Throughout this recession, my clients found new positions but the numbers of people inquiring for services and the number of employed clients seeking a move was less than in great economic conditions.
  • In the second half of 2010, I am seeing more of a desire to get the ball rolling with career changers.

But what if in the middle of the interview, you realize it is the WRONG job?

I was talking with a client’s wife recently about the interview process.

She shared an experience where she was being interviewed for a high-level leadership role but it was much more limited than some of the roles she had been targeting. Halfway through the interview, she realized that she didn’t want the job.

She continued the interview with a team that already knew her, but she wasn’t marketing herself anymore. Her answers to the questions were getting much vaguer. Her voice inflection was not her normal level of enthusiasm. She didn’t get the job.

Later, she interviewed for the position above that position and successfully landed the job. She knew the role she wanted to play.

Given this economic roller-coaster, should you ever ask “is this the right job for me?”

Definitely! The worst thing you can do is a sequence of short-term positions because you said yes when you were in panic mode. It hurts your resume and it hurts your career potential for the future.

Analyze and determine if the position is a good fit for your talent, for your personal style of work, and for your future goals. If something scores low on your decision-making tool, be gracious to the interview team, say thank you but say goodbye.

Have you ever felt in the interview that you were interviewing for the wrong position? Need help to be on the right track? Learn more.


  1. Karen Bice on October 8, 2010 at 4:41 pm

    I can so relate to the first paragraph. I’ve had one interview within the last 6 months. I knew within the first couple of minutes that the position wasn’t what I was looking for. It was in an industry I had worked in before but wasn’t crazy about. But being desperate in wanting to find a job and because there wasn’t much else available, I convinced myself it was in my best interest to interview. Basically, it was in my best interest. But, you can’t make yourself like an industry that you find intolerable. So, I made the decision to interview from then on only within other industries that I appreciate. Anyway, great article!

    • Julie Walraven on October 8, 2010 at 5:35 pm

      Interviewing is never bad but if you are just getting in the swing of interviewing, it should be for a job you would love, just in case it works out. You should love the work you do because it makes a huge difference in how you live your life and even how you do your work.

  2. Andrew Plath on July 4, 2012 at 3:52 pm

    I backed out of jobs in interviews when I was young. At the time that was a big mistake as the economy was in rough shape back then too and I was not getting too many opportunities. But I was young and nervous.

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