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A well-known, large software company has recently opened a development office in my hometown. I really like the company, and if I wanted to work for a large software company - this one would be my top choice. However, I am not really looking for a position like this at the moment - I am quite happy with my current work arrangement.

I received an email from a technical recruiter at the company inviting me to participate in a "recruiting event" for the company. From the email, I (mis)understood this to be something along the lines of an information session / meet-and-greet with the team, with multiple candidates present at once. They asked for my resume (which I provided), and then asked me to complete a coding question online (I thought this was a bit strange for screening people for a simple info-session, but I did complete it). I now got an invitation for a full interview loop, something that I definitely wasn't expecting.

I am torn whether I should take the interview or not. I am pretty sure I won't take the job now if offered (unless the offer is unreasonably good I suppose : ), but I definitely don't want to burn any bridges since, as I said, I really like this company and can definitely see myself wanting the job 6/12/24 months down the road. I am also concerned that I may not be able to dedicate the appropriate time to prepare for a tough technical interview given my current work commitments.

So: To maximize my chances with this company in the future, should I take the interview right now or politely decline? If decline, how should I phrase the reason for doing so? If I take the interview, get the offer and then decline it, how will it reflect on me if I'll seek employment with the same company (and specifically the same exact small group within the company) in the future?

NOTE: I found a similar question here, but it's not a duplicate. My main question is about how my different courses of actions (take interview/decline offer vs decline interview) will affect my future employability with the very same company (and the very same group within the company). The other question doesn't address this at all.

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    I still find that your question have the same way as this other – Nighthunter22 Apr 19 '16 at 18:00
  • I explained at the bottom of my question why I believe my question is different enough. – EigenCat Apr 19 '16 at 18:02
  • The main thing I'd like to know is how will the various courses of action (take interview/decline offer vs decline offer) reflect on my future employability with the very same group in the very same company. The other question doesn't address this. – EigenCat Apr 19 '16 at 18:06
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    Seems confusing that you don't think you want the job now, yet you might want it in 6 months. Can you elaborate as to what makes the timing different? – cdkMoose Apr 19 '16 at 19:56
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    Where are you located? Culture may be different in different parts of the world; having some idea where you are (no need to get down to specifics unless you specifically want to) may help shape answers. – a CVn Apr 19 '16 at 21:10
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I view this exactly opposite to Keshlam because you say unless the offer is unreasonably good I suppose. If there is chance you can be tempted away with an awesome offer, it's worthwhile seeing if what they are offering is awesome. If you get to the negotiation phase and they are not able to put together an offer that would tempt you away, then so be it. You are no different from any other person they are trying to hire except that you maybe have higher requirements from them.

In not ruining future chances with them there is one major risk. If you say/imply that they didn't have a chance at tempting you away then you have wasted everybody's time. Come at this from a "maybe the offer will be awesome" perspective and you can avoid this.

  • As long as you go in being clear with them that you are interested but aren't ready to jump immediately, I grant the point. That might even get them to make a slightly better offer to get you to commit. On the other hand, when they hear that they may move to the next candidate. I agree it's unlikely to hurt you long term, but I'm not sure 6-12 months is long term; there could be some "not serious" residue, and as others have said some companies mask that official by limiting how frequently you can apply. – keshlam Apr 20 '16 at 13:02
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A few thoughts:

1 - An interview is just a conversation. Most reasonable people won't get mad that you came an interviewed and then decided it wasn't for you. Particularly if you listen with an open mind and behave politely.

2 - Some companies (especially big ones) may have a "no reapplication for X months" policy - they don't want to waste time re-interviewing someone who wasn't interested in the past. Usually this isn't a perpetual black ball - the ban persists for maybe a year and then the applicant can reapply.

So, if you are absolutely doing this only because you want to take a picture of their famous coffee maker and you have no interest right now, at all, in any way of taking the offer seriously - don't waste their time.

But if you could be enticed, if you're legitimately curious - feel free to go.

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You should go to the interview, but also let them know that you are bound at your current job for a while.

This is not unusual in large projects and it shows a certain professionialism (is that a word?) from your side, so I don't think it will harm you.

You don't have to tell them the reasons why you are bound there, so if you just don't feel like working at a big company yet, keep it for yourself. ;-)

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