Once you’ve had the second interview with a prospective employer, it’s natural that your confidence will soar. If both interviews have gone very well, you’re probably starting to think about what you’ll say to your current boss.
But no matter how promising it looks, it’s not a good idea to get overconfident. Things can sometimes turn on a dime, and you’ll be left in an embarrassing situation—and possibly without a job.
Here’s a hypothetical example you will want to avoid:
Jumping the gun.
You’ve had three face-to-face interviews with several people involved in each one. In the third interview, the hiring manager talked about the things you would be working on in your first few weeks with the company. Once you heard that, you took it as a sign that you had the job.
There was one final interview scheduled, nothing more than a formality, at which you were confident there would be an offer. You celebrated with champagne that evening as you drafted your letter of resignation.
The first thing the next morning, you handed the letter to your manager and said all the right things about how much you enjoyed working for the organization. You got so caught up in your new opportunity that it never crossed your mind that you hadn’t been officially hired yet.
Three days later, you completed your final interview with flying colors, only to be told they had given the position to someone else. Someone in the C-suite had a niece who needed a job.
What an embarrassing position you have put yourself in by giving your notice prematurely. Maybe you can withdraw your resignation, and your boss will allow you to keep your job. But your relationship with him or her has likely been changed irretrievably. The trust that your boss placed in you is gone and probably will be lost forever.
Play it close to the vest.
Your boss knows it’s always possible you might be looking for another job. But it’s quite a different thing if they know for sure that you are job hunting. So, when you do start your search, keep it to yourself. Even telling a “trusted” co-worker could be a mistake.
Don’t hand in your resignation just because things look promising. Make sure you have an offer in writing before you take that big step. As in the example above, the company might decide on some other candidate at the last minute. It could even be that you’ll see something in the offer that you hadn’t thought of earlier, which could cause you to change your mind about accepting it.
Above all, handle your search and departure with discretion and respect, and you’ll maintain your good reputation.
Do you need help starting your job search?
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