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Candidate Help & Advice

Pursuing Jobs Where You Are Not A Good Fit

Interview photo from ShutterstockPursuing jobs where you are not a good fit…

My client was approached about a job where she was not necessarily a good fit. She asked me if she should pursue the position.

My response was yes! They approached her. Talk is cheap. Plus, it was good practice on multiple levels.


This is a good time to customize your resume using keywords that you harvest from the perspective employer’s website.

Tailor the resume by using ARM (Action, Results, Metrics) phrases that match each responsibility and requirement in the job description.

Preparing for the Interview

Look at each responsibility and required skill in the job description and develop an example in which you demonstrate that you meet the requirement. Make sure you document the key points in the story so that you can use it again in future interviews.

The goal is to develop a library of stories that you can use over and over again.

Build a set of questions that you will ask during the interview. This should include questions on management style, work environment, and teamwork. You want to see if this is a good fit for you!

The Interview

Plan on probing for pain points very early in the interview. Ask probing question like:

  • Why the position is open
  • What is the problem they want to solve with this hire
  • What are the metrics that are motivating to hire someone for this position

Answer every question with a story. You should say “Let me tell you about when…”

Make sure you ask all of the questions that you developed to determine whether this is a good fit for you.


After walking out of the interview, make some mental notes on what you thought and whether it was a good fit.

Did the interviewer know what they were doing?

Did this seem like a place you would like to work?

After the interview, review the following:

  • Did they review your resume with you?
  • Did they make any comments about your resume?
  • Were you successful in probing for pain points? If so, what were they, and document them for future reference.
  • Were you able to answer every question with a story? If not, develop new stories based on the questions they asked.

Where you a good fit for the job?

If not, why weren’t you a good fit for the job?

Were you a good fit for the company and their culture?

If you will get into the habit of taking all of these steps, you will be able to determine what is a good fit for you. Even interviewing for a position that is not a good fit can be a great learning experience.

Marc MillerCareer Pivot

Check out my book Repurpose Your Career – A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers

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