Should You Turn Down a second Job Interview?

Editor’s Note: This post was originally for Brazeen Careerist, where I am lucky enough to be a guest blogger. If you haven’t checked out the site, I highly recommend it.

There are lots of articles about turning down job offers, like this excellent one from Penelope Trunk and this useful article from U.S. New’s Money section.

But what about the step before the job offer? Specifically, what about a second interview?

According to this guide for second interviews from Florida State University, if you are called back for a second interview you likely have a 50 percent chance of receiving an offer. However, there are several instances where it might be in your best interest not to go through with the second interview.

For example, here are some reasons you might want to decline a second interview:

  • You don’t think you would be a good fit for the position. Either because you’re not qualified or are over qualified and would be bored.
  • You don’t like the culture. The company might be too formal or too relaxed for you. If you know what kind of atmosphere you thrive best in, don’t try to force yourself into something different.
  • You have a bad feeling about your boss. As the U.S. News article points out, people leave bosses not jobs and if the manager is not someone you think you can work with, don’t fool yourself into thinking you could.
  • You research the cost of living n the area and aren’t willing to relocate.

But you should certainly consider going to the second interview if:

  • You glossed over or did not discuss salary in earlier interviews. Unless you’ve spoken about the specifics in the first interview, the salary range might be more than you originally thought.
  • You didn’t spend time reviewing the benefits, especially because they’re not always set in stone. Often things like title, training, conference attendance, work environment (example: ability to telecommute), paid time off, sign on bonus are more negotiable than salary. “Employers who want you might offer a ‘sign-on’ bonus that you can apply toward COBRA payments, college application fees or a nanny’s salary. Some bosses agree to waive the 90-day waiting period to put your name on the current health plan’s rolls,” Robert Kneip, president and CEO of employer staffing company The Oasis Group, told
  • You have another offer pending. What if the offer doesn’t come through? The old adage, “a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush,” applies.

Only you can decide if declining a second interview is in your best interest. But if you’re sitting on the fence, it is probably a good idea to go ahead and go through the second interview. You never know what might happen.

As career blogger/former recruiter Carl Mueller writes on his blog: “If there is even a remote chance that the company and job might interest you, it can be in your best interest to attend the interview anyways. I’ve seen cases where a person goes to interview for one job and then ends up getting hired for a different position. So if you don’t think you are really interested in the job after the first interview, you could attend the second one to see what transpires and to see if there are other options not yet presented to you.”