walk out on an interviewWalking out of a job interview may seem unorthodox or even career sabotage, however there are numerous reasons when ending a phone screen or getting up and leaving in the middle of an interview is not only appropriate, but recommended.

Since 2008, we’ve been careering in an employer’s market.  There are an insurmountable number of earnest job candidates are ‘hanging on to their jobs’ knowing that their number may be up at any given moment, based on poor company sales, mergers, incoming leadership brining their own team leaders, and many other mind boggling threats. These individuals are very passive candidates and don’t venture far form their day-to-day roles for fear of downsizing. Employees, at all levels, executives included are working under the radar and trying to make it through another day.

What happens over time with this ‘hiding in a bunker’ behavior is the individuals begin to fear everything, settle for anything, and become beaten down by the system. Every day, people from all backgrounds, positions, experiences, and educational levels are feeling the pressure to ‘do whatever it takes’ to hang on.

Fear-based leaders are popping up across the board. No level of leadership or position is exempt from this behavior. It begins to transcend 360 degrees, permeating upper management, peers, and subordinates. Even worse, it bleeds into personal situations adversely impacting families, relationships, and commitments.

On-the-other-hand, there are job candidates who move beyond the work place intimidation, march on with chests puffed, and decide to continue job seeking while employed.  They are courageous, trailblazing individuals who decide that they are not willing to settle for being a punching bag during an employers market.  They press on, taking the risk to seek new employment elsewhere, and ultimately score interviews.

In recent years, I’d become increasingly fascinated with the broken interview processes primarily through hearing my clients struggle to get through each round of interviewing.

What was once considered a two-way street of sharing information between potential employer and candidate, has for many companies become an ‘interview interrogation and in some cases a harassment process.’

10 Reasons to Walk out of an Interview:

  • The hiring leader makes an inappropriate remark about something you are wearing or your appearance
  • The job that you were told you’d be interviewing for has changed
  • The hiring leader keeps you waiting with no explanation
  • The hiring leader touches you inappropriately
  • You are asked personal questions
  • The hiring leader looks at you in a way that makes you feel uncomfortable
  • You notice inappropriate information scattered around the office or on the website screen that is in your plain view
  • The hiring leader appears to be disengaged and not actively listening
  • The interviewer appears to be intoxicated or under the influence of drugs
  • The interviewing continues to check his/her cell phone and/or continues to take phone calls

Your time and self-respect is too valuable to waste while scouting for your next opportunity.

Recommendations on removing yourself from the situation:

  • Excuse yourself, get up, leave
  • Bring the behavior or comment to the attention of the interviewer, excuse yourself, leave
  • Politely explain you aren’t feeling well and leave
  • Make notes while seated of the situation, then excuse yourself, leave, and contact the head of Human Resources or higher depending on the position your were interviewing *Companies welcome feedback and want to know if anyone is a liability including hearing from candidates having a poor experience.

While the majority of hiring leaders, recruiters, and even HR professionals operate with the law in mind, there are always individuals who ignore the laws, policies, procedures, and common respect.

For individuals who are charged with ensuring your hiring leaders are compliant and courteous, consider a Professional Interview Consultant to uncover who or what is causing your recruiters and/or hiring leaders to sabotage your system.

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