Forums

So I am applying for this new job. I did the first interview with the head recruiter and it went very well. She set up another interview with the Director of Marketing.
This interview didn't go as well. I didn't have any connection with this person and they didn't seem to be interested in what I had to say.
Is there any way for me to salvage this? Or should I just chalk it up as experience.

TomW's picture

To dial this in a little:

What made you think the person was not interested?
What did she say or how did she say it that made you think that?
Did the other person seem interested in the beginning then change?

cbarlow's picture

Q What made you think the person was not interested?
A I guess it would just be the tone of her voice. She just seemed real distracted and not interested.

Q What did she say or how did she say it that made you think that?
A She didn't say anything specific just a feeling i had.

Q Did the other person seem interested in the beginning then change?
A No her tone didn't really change they just seemed to not be interested.

I know what your going to say. "how do you know you bombed maybe your just reading into this to much"
But if I really think i did bomb. Is there any way to salvage it?

asteriskrntt1's picture

HI C

Sorry to hear about your experience. This won't be what you want to hear but it is generally pretty hard to recover if what you said is accurate.
And the manager's seeming disinterest may have absolutely zero to do with you - Her kids might have been sick, she might be sick, a million things may be going on... or she might just suck at interviewing.

I don't know if you have accessed the MM interview series material yet, but that would be my first suggestion.

The other thing I suggest is stay professional. Send both the recruiter and the Director of Marketing a thank you card (as well as a quick thank you email). It will differentiate you from almost everything else. While it probably won't help this situation, it might set you up for the next opening they have.

And don't give up on this until you get an actual "NO" from them. As I said in the PM, if she interviewed everyone like she interviewed you, you might have rocked her world and don't even know it.

*RNTT

*RNTT

US41's picture

I have had some negative phone interviews recently (people applying for a job with me). I'll share what went wrong from my end.

* Called from car - instant turn-off. Be in a room on a landline
* Called from a cell - same thing. Static/bad connection = you're done
* Called late - Five minutes later I have changed my schedule and you are finished. Call right exactly on time
* Talked about systems - don't describe all of the systems and people where you work. Tell me what you accomplished.
* Called on speakerphone = Forget it - don't want you when you echo and sound imperious. Plus you can't hear me interrupting you. ;-)

You probably didn't do any of that. Consider other possibilities that may be beyond your control. Often, managers in big companies must post jobs that they already have someone picked out for publicly before they can hire. It's a goofy HR way of trying to ensure that the most qualified person is hired. In reality, it just makes people interview for jobs that are not really available and prevents managers from telling them, "I really already have someone picked and did before this ad went out."

They could have been going through the motions to satisfy HR.

There is also the possibility that they are totally distracted and you were just unlucky to reach them at that time. Consider the possibility that they act like this a lot, and that you are lucky to not have to work for them and learn about this "feature" of their behavior after you are working there.

Keep your chin up! Numbers = sales, no matter how well you do it.

WillDuke's picture

I was going to say what US41 did. My "hunch" is that the director already decided who was getting the job. In big companies I always felt like I had to interview twice for the job I wanted. The first interview was just to get in line.

adragnes's picture

[quote="US41"]I have had some negative phone interviews recently (people applying for a job with me). I'll share what went wrong from my end.

* Called from car - instant turn-off. Be in a room on a landline
* Called from a cell - same thing. Static/bad connection = you're done
[/quote]

I would dismiss anyone calling from a mobile phone. Landlines are disappearing. At least here in Norway most young people do not have landlines anymore, and neither do most companies with modern offices. It is all mobile, laptops and Wi-Fi. As long as you are somewhere with good coverage there is no difference in the connection.

--
Aleksander Dragnes

US41's picture

[quote="adragnes"][quote="US41"]I have had some negative phone interviews recently (people applying for a job with me). I'll share what went wrong from my end.

* Called from car - instant turn-off. Be in a room on a landline
* Called from a cell - same thing. Static/bad connection = you're done
[/quote]

I would dismiss anyone calling from a mobile phone. Landlines are disappearing. At least here in Norway most young people do not have landlines anymore, and neither do most companies with modern offices. It is all mobile, laptops and Wi-Fi. As long as you are somewhere with good coverage there is no difference in the connection.

--
Aleksander Dragnes[/quote]

Ah yes, the international factor. Feedback received. Then allow me to clarify - if you call and there is a lot of background noise, you are difficult to understand, and I have to repeat myself or ask you to repeat yourself continuously, the interview is pretty much over. The cause really isn't important - the result is.

The problem is that any manager trying to do really good hiring is going to interview a whole lot of people. It is incredibly time consuming, and as a result, interviews are pretty painful to arrange and hold. If one goes bad, you've lost your time slot. Usually when I am interviewing I am so booked up that your interview is almost impossible to reschedule in the next two weeks. If the interview goes sour for some reason, you're done.

The other major factor is that I'm looking for a reason to not hire you, so you badly planning and managing your time and being thoughtless about how irritating the call would be for me just tips me off that you will be thoughtless and irritating to have as an employee.

Find a quiet room, close the door. Put the dog outside. Put the toddlers down for a nap. Check your connection quality (US residents - use your landline). Arrange for no spouses to burst into the room cursing at you or about the neighbors. Ensure the TV is not blasting in the next room, that music is not playing in the background.

If you have to, rent office space somewhere to handle your interviews.

Just don't call into a phone interview and have the wind roaring on the phone as you explain that you had to go pick up your niece from cheerleading practice. My response will be, "I see. OK, well, you have a nice day," and I just got back 30 minutes of my life.

WillDuke's picture

US41 is starting to sound a lot like Mark? Is this really a covert account? :)

asteriskrntt1's picture

Yeah really...

Rant away people.

How is any of this helpful to Cbarlow? Focus please!

US41's picture

[quote="asteriskrntt1"]Yeah really...

Rant away people.

How is any of this helpful to Cbarlow? Focus please![/quote]

I don't think anyone is ranting. I think we're trying to help. It's not easy to diagnose what went wrong with his phone interview. We weren't there. We didn't hear it. We don't know what went wrong. We can only guess. Cbarlow didn't exactly reveal a lot of detail about what might have gone wrong.

My strategy was therefore two-fold:

* Shore up his feelings by admitting that some of us hiring managers are forced to interview everyone even though it is a targeted posting so that he can build a bridge and get on with his life.

* Brainstorm any possible thing that can go wrong with a phone interview just in case he did any of it so that his next one will go better.

Having said that, can you tell me what specific behavior it is that leads you to the conclusion that anyone here is ranting rather than helping? What specific behavior would you like to see that would lead to to conclude we are focusing and being more helpful?

"Rant away people... How is any of this helpful?... Focus please!" does not describe anything actionable that I or anyone else can do anything about.

asteriskrntt1's picture

My apologies. I retract my statement. I should not have said anything in a public forum. Again, please accept my apologies.

*RNTT

cbarlow's picture

Its ok, You all helped. Now rant away its fun to listen to.

TomW's picture

[quote="US41"]Rant away people... How is any of this helpful?... Focus please!" does not describe anything actionable that I or anyone else can do anything about.[/quote]

I took *'s point to be that we were getting away from the original question: once someone feels they bombed an interview (phone or otherwise), is there any way to recover from it?

I've been mulling that over and don't have an answer either. I was kind of hoping to hear more on that one myself.

regas14's picture

There is no recovering.

Interviews, done correctly are conducted with the purpose of finding a reason to say no. This bias protects against the ultimate evil in a hiring decision - the false positive which results in hiring a person who is not a good fit for the position. The rist of false positives is great enough, but if an interviewer finds a reason to say no and then reverses that reason the risk increases very quickly.

Because this hiring manager is not likely to focus on themselves as being a part of what created the negative, it is not likely that they will identify this as a false negative. The risk-reward proposition to this individual and the organization is too great.

I would not reverse a decision and neither will this person. So, what can you learn from this situation?

An interview is not a one-way street and phone interviews probably make you feel even more isolated.

Energy is very important. The only way I can see combating the behavior you outlined. It might not have worked, but I don't know what else you can do.

Don't exhibit the behavior you mentioned when you are on the other side of the table. You could miss out on some good people.

asteriskrntt1's picture

Thanks TomW

That was my point exactly. And I agree with Regas14.

M&M say that until you get a flat out "NO", keep fighting and following up. I thought the recruiter today had zero interest in me and was blowing me off.

The scene - I had an interview this morning with a well-regarded recruiter who had contacted me. I went in so high energy that I thought I would burst. Let me tell you, this was no MT trained recruiter and I was out of there in 17 minutes. He was a total black hole and about as dull a person as I have ever met. No behavioural questions, no clear questions, did not ask if I had any questions.

Despite that, when I closed, he smiled and laughed, and said it wasn't up to him. I replied "Of course not. I just wanted to let you know how interested I am in this position".

When I got home, I had a voicemail saying he was recommending his client meet with me. Blowing smoke? Maybe but I am going to keep following up.

Mark's picture

CBarlow -

I apologize that this has taken me so long.

There absolutely ARE ways of recovering! It's probably too late now, but if an interview goes poorly, I recommend folks not only send a thank you note but follow up with a phone call. Tell them you feel like you weren't at your best, and you'd love another chance, and/or that you're still very interested.

Again, my regrets.

Mark