The Pros and Cons of Interviewing with your Friends

As you progress in college and filter through the “weed-out” courses, you form a group of people who are as passionate about your major as you are and who are most likely going into the same field as you. As your classes get smaller and more focused, you form connections with your classmates and — more often than not — become friends. Once you get towards the end of your college career and start looking for jobs, the likelihood of you and your friends looking at the same jobs increases significantly. Interviewing “against” or “with” your friends comes with pros and cons.

Cons 

The obvious cons of interviewing “against” your friends for jobs is the nature of competition itself. There is a winner and a loser of sorts. Sometimes you may luck out and both of you are not selected to progress further in the interviewing process, which avoids any potential awkwardness. However, often either you or your friend may make it a round or step farther in the process than the other, or one of you may even receive a job offer while the other does not. 

In this situation, it is natural to feel some jealousy or sadness, and it is okay to feel disappointed about not being selected by a company. However, if the person you interviewed “against” is truly your friend, then try to focus on the positive aspects of your friend and be happy for them and their success. If you truly value the friendship, you won’t let something as little as an interview or a job offer come between you. You may not immediately get over your disappointment, but trust that the right job will come for you at the right time. 

Pros 

The pros of interviewing “with” your friends is that you have a guaranteed hype squad that won't let you doubt yourself and will remind you of how awesome you are right up until the minute you go in the interview room. 

Another pro of interviewing with a friend is that you have someone to share the interview and job-hunting experience with. You can talk about how nervous or excited you are, coordinate travel plans together and relish the good and bad moments in your interviews together after it’s all over. You can even compare notes and impressions of the company. Perhaps your friend asked an important question that you forgot to bring up in your interview — now you both can have that information. It’s like having a teammate in your interview. 

Interviewing for the same job as a friend can be a tricky situation. However, you are in charge of what you want your experience to be. You can choose to make it a highly competitive and adversarial environment, or you can be supporters for each other and celebrate both of your achievements.