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I know it might sound not professional but I've been reading this book on Soft Skills where it says it's a good practice to take interviews just for practicing, without a real intent of working there.

Is this professional? And what could you do if the interview is successful but you don't really want to work there?

  • 2
    You might not be at your best in the interview if your intention is not to work there. – user48138 May 12 '16 at 13:01
  • Here in the UK it's common for university careers' departments to provide practise interviews, usually free of charge, to their alumni. If that's a service available to you I'd recommend it! – A E May 12 '16 at 13:06
  • I clarified your question slightly to make it a bit more on topic. – enderland May 12 '16 at 13:08
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    @AlexandreVaillancourt or you might be at your best because there is no pressure. I've actually gotten offers for interviews that I went into not intending to take the job. One turned out that by the end of the interview I wanted it, and took it. – Richard Says Reinstate Monica May 12 '16 at 13:11
  • @gnat I don't see that as a duplicate at all. The one you linked is focusing specifically on "will this make me less get hired in the future" and this is more on how to handle getting an offer if you get one and the idea to begin with. – enderland May 12 '16 at 14:50
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I would never interview for a job I knew I did not want. However, if I do not have enough information to know if I am interested? Very different situation.

It really is not professional to deliberately interview knowing 100% you will not accept the job (excepting when the other party knows this, ie practice interviews). Because you are intentionally wasting time, money, and effort.

An interview is for both the company and the interviewee to learn more about each other. It helps both decide "yes" vs "no." If one party has already decided it seems a waste of time to interview.

So, if you are potentially interested? Sure, go for it. If it doesn't work out then just say "thanks for the opportunity, but I unfortunately have to decline at this time" and leave it at that.

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    I think that you made an important distinction between "do not want" and "will not take". The former can change, the latter likely will not. – Richard Says Reinstate Monica May 12 '16 at 13:13
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    @RichardU yep. Interviewing is for both the candidate and company -- it's far too easy to think it is only for the company. – enderland May 12 '16 at 13:14
  • This. I have gone to interviews where I didn't think I was interested in the job, but as a result of the interview, I ended up changing my mind and taking the job. Similarly, I have interviewed candidates that I didn't think were right for the job (based on the CV), but they impressed me in the interview, so I hired them. If you know you won't take the job, don't waste anyone's time. But if you're open to the possibility of taking the job, then go to the interview. – mhwombat May 14 '16 at 16:33
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I can see two things wrong with this approach:

  1. I see it is unprofessional to waste someones time like this.

  2. If you go into an interview knowing that you have no intention of following through, then you are not giving 100% to the interview process. As such you are training yourself to hold back[1], which will affect you in a real interview process.

[1] This comes from wisdom from a judo sensei I once had. If you do not train for the real situation then when that real situation occurs your actions will be inhibited.

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