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Community Question | Would You End A Job Interview Early If You Realized You Didn’t Want The Job?

A man walks behind a question mark printed on a store window.

We often talk about the importance of finding the right fit when looking for a job. In addition to analyzing the job duties, it’s important to assess whether the organization’s culture and values will allow you to grow and be successful.

However, what if you realize that you don’t want to work at an organization during a job interview? On The Workplace – StackExchange, a writer shares how a friend left a job interview once he realized it wouldn’t be a good fit:

"He knew half way through that he wasn’t going to fit in with the culture. It was an all day interview where everybody was given chances to grill him. He was criticized as being wrong for not following very dogmatic principles to the letter of the law. He was also concerned that nobody really seemed to care much about his relevant business experience and really only judged him intensely on his programming skills, which he felt was only one aspect of his software development experience. It was an open floor plan where everybody wore jeans, t-shirts and sandals. The vast majority were in their early 20’s with the oldest person and lead developer being 30. They expected him to be involved in side projects and code for fun when he wasn’t in the office.

At one point when he was asked to move to another conference room he decided he had enough and said that he was done with the interview and wanted to leave. The room was apparently shocked and dismayed. He politely asked where the elevator was, at which point somebody snapped the answer at him pretty harshly. He could feel sudden hostility from everybody in the room at the time…

I am confused by this because a while ago I had left an interview early as well when I was without a doubt certain that I wouldn’t fit well and the interviewers acted in much the same way as my friend described, incredulous and hostile.

Is this behavior considered inherently rude on the interviewee’s part?

If anything I would guess that you are doing them a favor by not wasting any more of their time than necessary but maybe I am wrong?"

Readers chimed in with various perspectives. Some said he was right for leaving the job interview if he knew he wouldn’t be happy there; others focused on whether his comments were professional and if he jumped to conclusions; and some noted that it’s simply rude to abruptly end an interview.

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