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Home > Blog: Interviews > Should You Take an Interview for Practice?

Should You Take an Interview for Practice?

There are times during your job search that you may want to take an interview simply to brush up on your interview skills, but don’t take an interview with the intentions of purposefully blowing it. If you haven’t been on an interview in some time, it may be a good idea to take a few interviews for jobs that you may not be interested in simply to practice your interview skills. If you decide to take this course of action, you should treat the interview as if it were for your dream job. You should take all of the same steps that you normally would for a job that you are interested in. The one thing you do not want to do is purposefully blow the interview.

One of our Web Developers once went on an interview for a position within his state. He had a very good initial phone screen and followed that up with an in person interview. The in person interview was with the hiring manager and two members of the development team. He had an excellent in person interview and was hoping he wouldn’t get a call for a final interview. He wasn’t thrilled with the work this particular company was doing and didn’t seem to click with the other two developers. However, he had already given them his salary requirements and was pretty sure they were going to meet or exceed them if they offered him the final interview.

Before he got home, he received a call for the final interview. He reluctantly accepted it when he should have simply turned it down. At this point, he knew he didn’t want to work there, and he didn’t need to practice his interview skills. He had been on 10 interviews over the last couple of weeks and should have simply turned it down.

Our Developer went on the final interview, and on his drive there, he decided he would purposefully blow the interview. Had he done well on the final interview, he was pretty confident they would have offered him the position. What he was trying to avoid was having the company make him an offer that would have been difficult to turn down. He was asked a couple of really basic programming questions and rather than answering them, he pretended that he had never heard of the concepts.

At the time, he thought this was a smart choice, but on his ride home, he realized what a big mistake he had made. What if this company started doing work that excited him someday down the road? Where would that leave him if he ever tried to interview with them again? He felt as though he had burned a bridge with this company and didn’t need to.

Rather than blowing the interview, he could have simply said he had accepted a position with another company. He didn’t want to say that he didn’t click with the other two developers, nor did he want to say that he felt the work they were doing was good if we were still in 2005. What he could have said, and what he actually did, is completely different, but he learned a valuable lesson from this experience. Taking an interview for practice is a smart decision. Blowing an interview on purpose and potentially burning bridges in the process is really dumb!

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