The job search can be long and arduous. Although you may have a specific idea in mind of what you type of position you “should” end up in, often you’ll send in resumes for jobs on either side of the spectrum of your employment expectations. You don’t really expect to hear back. But then you do. Now what? The temptation may be to decline or even ignore an email request to set up an interview.
But regardless of whether it seems like the perfect fit, there are excellent reasons why you should just say, “Yes.”
1. Learning opportunity
It might sound cliché, like something your mother would tell you, but it’s also the truth. For all the practice you can do in your bedroom, or in front of your roommate, a real world interview is invaluable experience. You get to take note of the types of questions they ask, what you feel prepared to answer, and areas that need work — this can come from both self-awareness and just asking for feedback if you get a rejection.
You’ll learn to push your strengths and improve your weaknesses, so you’re prepared for the job you really want when it comes along. Even if it goes badly, discovering how to keep a cool, professional manner means you’ll walk away with the confidence that you can shine in any situation.
2. Future prospects at the company
Maybe you’ve found the company you want to work for, but not necessarily the right job. Going in and meeting them in person, then leaving a good impression, will go a long way to getting you that “in” you need for your ideal job posting.
When you see a posting that’s more relevant to your experience and skills, you then have a direct contact and reference point when you email them about the next job. This is sure to make you stand out from the hundreds of other applicants: they already know and like you!
3. Chance to network
So it’s not the right job or company. But people who have been working in an industry for more than a few years are likely to be well connected. If you are a strong candidate in general, the person interviewing you may be inclined to put you in touch with an individual who’s looking for someone just like you.
4. The right fit
You never know. Sometimes, employers are looking more for the right cultural fit than the right skills fit. You could get in there, hit it off with the interviewers, become enamoured with the workplace, and know that’s where you belong. You may not have everything on their list, but you could have enough of the core — but more of the culture — to make an employer confident that you can learn the skills, given the right environment.