what do I do when I cannot imagine working for the manager who was interviewing me to be part of his team, but I really like the position? Should I interview for the next round?

I work for a support function in a major corporation and was interviewing internally for a team lead position in a business team . I prepared according to the excellent interview series and especially worked on the significant  accomplishments and how to deliver the answer.

  What happened was that the manager that was interviewing me behaved  very unprofessionally:

1. He was late for the interview  and did not have any documentation on my (e.g. no resume).

2. He took a call during the interview and noticed that we had less time than planned.

3. He told me that he decided to change the position during the interview, not knowing that our board had decided otherwise (I did not tell him at that moment).

4. Half way through the interview, he stopped and said that there are two types of people (basically the creative ones and the structured ones). I was far too organized for that position, the whole unit which my team would support would consist of unorganized people (which in my opinion is not true. Neither am I not creative, nor is the whole unit unorganized). It seems to me that being prepared was a minus here.

I pushed back politely, highlighting that I can adopt to different styles and that maybe being structured is a plus in that situation. He did not listen but said, ok you will come to the next round.

What should I do? - I really like the position, but I cannot imagine working for him. Is it unethical to go to the next interview round, knowing that I would turn down working for that manager?







DaveAno's picture

 Hi Jochen,

Though I'm not an ethicist, I don't think that it's unethical for you to continue to the next round. You're currently working with a limited amount of data regarding the position, and possibly making assumptions that are colored by an emotional response to how you felt treated in the first interview. It's very possible that by further exploring the opportunity, some hard data will emerge about the position that will change your mind. You just don't know yet, and also, you don't have an offer yet. Sounds like a win/win to me - you don't get an offer, you honed your interview and presentation skills in a real-world scenario, prepping you for the next one. On the other hand, if you do get an offer, you might find that your perception of your hiring manager's attitude has changed because in that scenario you have something that he wants. If that occurs, reach out again in this forum and share your thoughts.  

~ Dave

pucciot's picture
Licensee BadgeTraining Badge



Remember all interviews go both ways.  There may be something to gain by going to the second round for both of you.

Does the second round involve meeting more people ? Learning more about the job and the company ?

More information, more networking.

What happens if another position in that company opens up next week - but not for that manager ?  You may already have started relationships with some of the key players.

They may already have you in mind for something else and have called you back because they have already opened the interview system to you.

I have done this before. Used a first interview as a prelude to an interview for an unannounced position.

Additionally, you may be surprised and learn something in the second round you they didn't tell you. It is my experience that in the second round some of the players let their guard down a little.

Just imagine what you might feel when during the second round that manager lets slip that he is changing positions soon in the company or leaving.

Furthermore, they know what they are getting into.  They may have already identified that they won't be hiring you.  Yet, they have a mandate from the head office to complete 3 interviews.  So you may be helping satisfy a need of theirs.

** AND - here is the other side to consider and keep in mind so you don't lose you wits.

Remember that no position is exactly as it appears in the ad, job description, or during the interview.  You cannot like the position if you cannot stand working for the manager.    You may like the "work" or the "tasks", but not the position.

The position IS being a Direct in that Manager's org.

* I appreciate your concern for the Ethics of the situation :

You can consider a few factors to help you decide.

1 - Am I absolutely sure that I will _not_ take this job no matter what they say in the second round ?

2 - How much in resources are they spending on me in this second round ?  Airplane ride ? Hotel overnight stay ?  Breakfast lunch & Dinner ?

If there is any glimmer of hope for you in this position and they are not spending a great deal on you, then you may feel safer from ethical hazard.

Conversely - I would consider it unethical if you are sure that you won't take the job and they are flying you in and putting you up for the night at a hotel . 

Your situation will fall somewhere in between these two scenarios.

Good Luck and keep us informed.