It doesn’t make the headlines, and it isn’t often talked about, but it may have happened to you; maybe you are going through it now. What if you’re just not that interested in a job you have been pursuing? It can happen. Maybe you read a job description that seemed to be exactly what you were looking for, but after talking to the recruiter, it didn’t seem like the career move you had be searching for. You landed an interview, maybe even two, and now, well, you just aren’t that into it. Perhaps the job isn’t what you thought it would be, or you didn’t end up likening your future boss. Maybe you just didn’t like the commute. Maybe you just aren’t ready to leave your current position, or perhaps it’s nothing specific at all.

All too often I have seen someone who, by all accounts, was really into an opportunity, then suddenly ghost the recruiter, no longer returning phone calls or emails. Leaving everyone perplexed and frustrated and feeling like they wasted their time. I get it, it’s a hard conversation to have. I’ve been there, on both sides of the conversation. The thing to remember, and why having the difficult conversation is important, is that while you may be interested at the start, it’s okay to change your mind. Your current situation could change suddenly and you may need to make a move sooner than expected, or maybe a different job opens at that company that better fits your career goals – so you would like to be considered for that one instead? That’s why having parted ways with the recruiter and hiring manager on good terms would be very helpful.

What is the right thing to do? Well, the first thing you must do is be honest. The sooner the better. Wherever you are in the process, reach out to the recruiter and let them know the situation. You don’t have to give a lot of detail, although you will probably be asked for a reason, just be clear on where you stand. Thank them for their consideration.  If you know someone who would be a good fit, refer them. If there is something you would prefer to be considered for, let them know that too. Try to keep the door open. If you stay in the same industry, there is a good chance you will cross paths with some of the same people over the years. Keeping those connections positive may help you later on in your career.