Interview Vibes & Gut Feelings: How much attention should you pay to them?


This morning I spent a couple of hours with a client of mine that has hired me to recruit an Administrator for their offices. As a rule, whenever I am given a new vacancy to recruit for, I make it my priority to get straight over to the company to get a feel for the environment that I am recruiting into…

Now, as this is a client I have known for some time, we had LOTS to talk about; so as well as the vacancy I have been hired to recruit for, we discussed CV’s, interviews, gaps in employment, salary trends, eyelash extensions and sherry. Yep, sherry. Don’t ask.

We also got to discuss the importance of having the right ‘vibes’ between the interviewee and interviewer. We discovered that we thought along the same lines as each other in that you should always trust the vibe you get when you’re in an interview – whichever side of the table you are sitting.

It turned out that both of us had, in the past, been on interviews where ‘on paper’ the jobs were everything we thought that we wanted. On paper, these jobs ticked every box that we had on our ‘perfect job wish list’, i.e.:

  • Salary/Benefits
  • Location
  • Job content
  • Prospects

Yet, when we were in the interview discussing the vacancy with the Employer, something just didn’t stack up.

You know how sometimes it just flows and you can really see yourself working alongside that person; you almost feel like you know them?

And then sometimes, it just… doesn’t? Not to say that it’s a ‘bad’ connection, just that you’re not feeling it in the way you’d imagined when you’d gone through the interview in your head, in the days leading up to it. There’s some weird instinct thing going on, telling you to run for the hills. Yet you have no idea why. You’re feeling a bit deflated about it all, a bit – cheated…

Why is this happening?! On paper, this was everything I wanted! THE PAPER LIED!

Anyway, as we were sharing our experiences of this, we admitted that we had both gone against that ‘weird instinct thing’ and when we were offered the positions, we took them. We pushed the unsettled feeling to one side, told ourselves to stop being so silly and we accepted the jobs, because ‘on paper’ they were everything we wanted.

HA! In your face, stupid sixth sense. In your FACE.

Only, it was in fact in our faces. RIGHT in our faces. When it became apparent, very quickly, that these jobs were only ever right for us on paper. We muddled through in these jobs, extremely unhappily, going through the motions; one of us (the sensible one) for 3 weeks, one of us for 7 months – of misery – before we managed to find ourselves positions that were actually right for us.

Roles that were aligned with our own values, with people that we wanted to work with, similar people all working towards the same goals in individual ways; roles that we might have had to negotiate on slightly with the other factors mentioned above, but roles that felt RIGHT to be in. And this made our lives much happier. The end. Well, the end of that chapter, anyway.

Has this ever happened to you?

Have you ever been offered a role following an interview that was a bit ‘anyhow’? Did you take it? Did you kick that annoying, nonsensical gut-feeling away and accept the role because it was the job of your dreams – on paper? How did it pan out for you? Maybe you powered through and MADE it work? How did you turn this around? Or did you, like us, realise that your instinct was right all along and jump ship as soon as you could??!

Maybe you trusted your inner voice / sixth sense (call it what you will) enough to listen to it and trust that this was the wrong path to follow? Amazing if you did, tell me about it, please!

Perhaps you think the inner voice / sixth sense / weird instinct thing is a load of tosh? Tell me!

Whatever your experience, I’d love to hear from you. Even if it’s just to hear your thoughts on sherry. My view? It’s not just for Christmas. Hic.

Danielle  x

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