There are many things in this world that one can do to bring guilty feelings into their head. People can feel guilty for all sorts of reasons: running a red light, stealing, infidelity, saying something inappropriate… The list goes on and on.

These things, in our culture, are issues that one is expected to feel guilty over, but the unfortunate thing is that far too many people feel guilt over things that they should never feel guilty about. There are countless subjects to cover in such a short article, but some of the most common ones must be addressed.

Number One: Purchases. When dealing with sales people, it’s imperative that you don’t allow that person to pressure you, or intimidate you into buying anything. Their job is to be persuasive, honest, and informative, not pressuring, intimidating, and forceful. When you are confronted with a buying decision, don’t let the salesman make your choices for you, and don’t be afraid to say “no”. There is a term for people who make purchases under this condition and immediately regret it. It’s called “Buyer’s Remorse”, and it’s a direct result of making a buying decision under duress. Buyer’s Remorse often happens after major purchases such as cars, homes, or other large-ticket items.

Number Two: Jobs. As a recruiter, it is increasingly frustrating to speak with a potential candidate about a position, prepare them for an interview, prepare the client for the phone call, send over all the information, and then set up the actual meeting only to have the candidate do one of two/three things. 1) Not show up for the interview. 2) Not call and cancel, or tell me that they can’t make the interview, or that they are just not interested. 3) Make up some excuse or lie about why they didn’t make the interview.

Following many conversations with candidates after the fact, I’ve discovered that many of the people that do these sorts of things felt unwarranted pressure to accept the interview and move forward.

Whether this was implied by me, irrationally felt by the candidate, or the situation was just overwhelming, there is no reason why that candidate shouldn’t be able to pass on the opportunity. Part of the problem comes back around to Buyer’s Remorse. These people buy into what I’m telling them, and allow themselves to get emotionally involved in my presentation. Although that is a complement to my skills as a sales/recruiter, it is also frustrating to discover that I set up a client with a less-than-enthusiastic candidate. I know that not every candidate is a fit for every position, but sometimes, if all the pieces fit together, as a recruiter, I’m obligated to my clients to present them.

So, all those passive/active candidates out there don’t be afraid to pass on an opportunity, even if it’s at the eleventh hour. We would rather know that you don’t want it, and will pass on an interview than think you are excited about it, only to discover that you just didn’t do what you said you would do. Most importantly, you have to keep in mind that it’s okay not to have an interest in the opportunity no matter how well the recruiter sold it. In addition to that, it shows a great deal about your value as a trustworthy person and leaves the door open for future employment opportunities.