I may have mentioned to you before that I get a ton of inbound recruiter emails. I answer 90% of the messages I receive (the 10% I don't because someone was being rude). Many years back I used to freelance as a Digital Marketeer specialising in SEO. So when I started working, I optimised my LinkedIn profile to help recruiters find me, so that I am always top of mind if someone is wondering,"Does a person with Strategy and Data Science skills exist?" or "Is there someone who understands the nuances of both banking and data?"
See what am doing here? I am getting the market to me rather than going out and actively looking for roles. Now, most people would consider this silly and a waste of time and energy. But here's why I think that's not the case:
Interviews are excellent networking opportunities; and anyone who tells you otherwise isn't very fond of people. Every time I interview, I add the interviewer before or after the interview on LinkedIn. Sometimes we exchange messages. Think it's creepy? No way! If you'd be working with them, you'd rather get to know them out of the "interview'ish" context. And you never know when a friend or an ex-colleague might be able to do a favour for your interviewer, or vice versa.
Interviews tell you more about a target company; they're interviewing you and you, them. Repeat that after me - an interview is a two way street. There have been so many times I've said no further interviews after the first chat. Or yes, even when I was unsure at first. In fact, that's how I landed my current job, and I am so glad I did!
You're always prepared for the next job; in case of a redundancy or when you're passed on for promotion. While I don't advocate holding your employer to ransom, I witnessed a ton of people including one of my senior partners being handed redundancy packages. That's when I decided, I am always casually going to keep looking.
They teach you about people, including yourself. This gets missed so very often! Interviews to me are really conversations about what you like and what the market values. Every so often you get asked something by an interviewer that makes you think about the direction of your career and life.
They can open up opportunities that you didn't even know existed. This is how I landed at Strategy& in PwC. I had only applied for the Management Consulting team in Financial Services. After a series of interviews, and the final Partner round, I got a call from the PwC recruitment team saying, "regret to inform we'll not take you forward," and he didn't end there... He said, "The Partner loved you, but thinks you're a better fit for the Strategy team." So I ended up in the Strategy team in PwC. I had NO idea that they were looking to hire but I landed the job just because I happened to show up.
How often do you interview? Let me know!