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Interviewing for a job I don't want?

Asked by livelaughlove21 (13667 points ) December 10th, 2013 from iPhone

I have my résumé in with two staffing agencies that cater to law firms. I had an interview for a Legal Secretary position at a mid-size law firm and I really want the job. Since the interview last week, I’ve been asked to complete their official application and did “very well” (her words) on their skills assessment. She is now trying to schedule a second interview with the shareholders, so I’m waiting to hear back. The only negative is that she told the staffing agency that, though she really liked me, she feels as if I held back in the interview and she wants to make sure the attorneys know I’m outgoing and confident. I plan on showing them I am when I meet with them.

I also got a temp job for a week coming up if I don’t get an offer with the aforementioned firm by then, and it’s for a receptionist position. I agreed to it because I could really use the money while I wait on the other job.

Today I got a call to set up an interview with a small law firm, but it’s for a receptionist job. The staffing agency said it’s a temp-to-hire position and I’m pretty sure the pay won’t meet the $28–30K I need. I said I’d go on the interview Thursday anyway. They need to fill the position by December 23, so it’ll be a quick hiring process. I was getting paid $11/hr as a bank teller before I got my college degree. This job may pay less than that.

I recently asked a similar question about what I should do in this situation if it came up, and I was told to take whatever job I’m offered first. Now that the situation has arisen, I really don’t know about settling for a receptionist job when I have the possibility of getting in with this bigger firm, where I’ll actually be working with a lawyer and even doing paralegal duties, with better pay! Then again, I may not get that job.

Should I go to the interview anyway? What should I say if offered the position at a pay rate lower than my low-end expectation? I just don’t know what the smart thing to do is. I can be jobless until the end of January before it gets really serious.

What would YOU do? No cliche responses that don’t take my situation into account, please.

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