Sometimes it happens. You show up for a job interview and find you aren’t suited for the position, either because of a poorly written job description, or a miscommunication between HR and the IT manager. At that point, you can collect your things, leave in a huff and log on to Dice Discussions to vent your frustrations
, or you can try to engineer a quick workaround and leverage the time you’ve invested to meet with the hiring manager.
First, collect yourself and shift gears by treating the meeting like an informational interview. Ask about other job openings or future needs that might be a better fit for your skills and experience. After all, experts claim that some 80 percent of job openings are unadvertised and you may uncover a hidden opportunity just by asking. Don't be shy, ask. The company was interested enough to invite you for an interview and you may find the manager may "let his hair down" once he’s no longer in the interview mode. If your initial probes prove unfruitful, ask the interviewer if he knows someone who could use your services, or if he has any tips or advice. This is the perfect time to ask for feedback on your resume and interviewing techniques, as the manager transcends from evaluator to coach.
Finally, ask to stay in-touch. You may be able to tap the manager's contacts by connecting with him on professional networking sites. Another potential benefit is you could be in a position to pounce on another opportunity at that company, if the hiring manager can’t fill the position and agrees to alter the job description or skill requirements. Of course, employers shouldn't waste job seekers' time by hunting for purple squirrels or knowingly asking unqualified candidates to interview. But you never know when an ill-fated outing may turn into the next big thing for your career. Tell us about your experiences with ill-fated interviews.