Low-key meeting could still open the door, our weekly column from various Irish newspapers

Q: I couldn’t make the job interviews on the day they were convened. The company have kindly agreed to meet me on another date next week. However, instead of meeting the interview panel of three people, I will meet just one of them, and, from what I gather, he is the least important of the three. Should I bother going or it this just a token effort? (DR, email).

A: I will meet a question with another question: what’s there to lose?

Companies tend not to commit people and time to token efforts. Recruitment is a time-consuming process as it is, without lumping in another out-of-schedule meeting just to keep a random candidate happy.

I’d wager you are still very much in the running, and that’s why they are sending out one of their number to meet you – and this man is one of the original interviewing trio, let’s not forget.

So, yes, I feel you should go-, and, yes, I feel you should go secure in the knowledge that you’re still in the race. If you tick enough of the boxes, the company may be able to feed you into the schedule of second interviews, if such are planned, or, failing that, they can easily arrange an interview/meeting with somebody higher up the food chain.

A word of caution: by the way you have described the unfolding scenario, it would be easy for you to slip into a state of complacency and/or indifference. Tread warily. Remember that every engagement with the enemy, sorry employer, should be treated seriously.

Put on the good clobber. Get the hair done, if that’s your thing. Prepare for the meeting as if it’s a formal interview. Even if it’s taking place in the foyer of a hotel, it’s still part of the assessment process, and you should be ready to make a good impression.

Make a point of thanking them for accommodating you. The easy thing for them would have been to cast you to the breeze because you were causing them scheduling difficulties – the fact that they have gone out of their way to meet you indicates they have an interest in you.

It’s possible they haven’t found what they’re looking for in the first round of interviews. They may come to your meeting with high hopes that you’ll fit the bill. Try not to disappoint them.

This week’s top tip

A regular scenario we encounter is the person who leaps from the frying pan straight into the fire. The desire to change careers can be a very powerful one, and faraway hills have a tendency to appear green.

In a rush to exit one bad situation, they hurl themselves into another. If you’re at a career crossroads, take your time: weigh things up, look at what really gives you a buzz in life, and how you might follow that buzz to find the career that suits you.

This raises the prospect of an about-turn in your career. Friends tend to recommend you to stay at, or close to, the career area you have always been in. When contemplating your future, create some time and space for yourself to truly assess what might come next, rather than simply going from one downer to another.

Sli Nua Careers (www.SliNuaCareers.com) have offices in Galway, Dublin, Limerick, and Ballinrobe, Co. Mayo. Their services include CV preparation, interview training and career direction. For more details, visit www.slinuacareers.com/cv. If you would like their Job-searching Checklist, email getthatjob@slinuacareers.com with ‘Job-searching Checklist’ in the subject line.