There are a number of articles about this subject floating in cyberspace across a variety of blogs and interview advice forums. I wait with anticipation the article that I will read that tells of the flip side of this practice. Unfortunately to date, there is little I read that offers much more than the approval of the practice interview. The practice interview is defined as an interview in which someone applies for a role in which they are not interested, however qualified, in an attempt to get an interview with the employer for purposes of sharpening their interview skills.

Well let me start with this is a complete waste of time and one of the most annoying practices I am familiar with. To see someone openly displaying their intent to practice on an unwilling manager, entering the time with an alternative purpose and agenda is wrong. The manager is looking for someone, has screened countless resumes, and has selected yourself as a potential fit not knowing you will be wasting their time by simply cleaning up your interview game, thus getting the dust off in their office. I am certain that if the manager did not know, they would not have been open with their schedule to provide you the opportunity. Consider some of the negatives here:

*Obvious, wasting of the manager time
*Misleading, lying to the manager by submitting your resume thus showing interest in their role when there is none
*Competing against other candidates who might very well want or need the job more than yourself
*Jamming the process if you are the lead candidate, causing the company to spend untold time and effort to convince you to take the position when you could care less

These are some of the fundamental issues with this sort of practice. Look at the above and one would truly see where this can cause untold damage well after you leave the office. These issues can lead to more complicated ones, such as searching for a replica of yourself. They find the perfect candidate (you) and now begin looking for a replica thinking that person exists, and much less would be interested in the role. Time and money wasted. Then there is the character part that speaks more to oneself and internal than the others. You are entering in there, knowing full well there is no interest, only to waste their time. There is nothing that can be said to turn that around. Bottom line: WRONG.

Friends, current or former bosses, HR professionals and outside agencies can all be sources of interview practice and advice. With the number of professionals in the field, there are suitable options offering real life scenarios and practice to ensure your success when the real time comes. In addition, there are groups of job seekers that work together, having mock interviews and allowing for Q&A time - providing a more valued time than a single interview. These sessions show different styles, success and failure points, from a variety of perspectives. The experience equals 20 interviews.

Keep it real. Interview for the jobs you want and have interest in. Enough said.

Views: 55

Comment by Kristy on February 4, 2009 at 11:38am
I agree. It would be bad form to go on fake interviews and damage client relationships. I work at a staffing agency in Boston and offer my candidates the opportunity to practice their interview skills with our recruiters before going to the client.
Comment by Jason Monastra on February 4, 2009 at 2:50pm
I think that people do not experience the same level of emotion, therefore making their effectiveness different when meeting with a recruiter. I get the sense they want the real thing to ensure they are doing it right or get those jitters out before going in for the role they really want. Shaking the cob-webs on someone else's dollar seems off to me. Thanks for the comment and feedback.


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