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Friday I had what may be the strangest interview I ever had.

This company has been actively recruiting me for some time. They called me directly, headhunters called me, and they took me out for several dinners trying to convince me to come on.

My biggest reluctance was that I'm pretty much in charge of my department now and I was hesitant to come on as the #4 person in a department.

Now, the head of that department has left and I took for first proper interview with the company.... or so I thought.

I have to be honest, I was not really expecting to take the job, but I was open to the possibility, even if not now, maybe in the future.

I came in, dressed as the Premium Content suggests, charcoal suit, white Joseph & Feiss queen's cotton shirt and a subdued maroon tie. (the interviewers first words to me were "Good morning, Tom. Nice suit!"). He took me down to HR, had me get an application, then took me back to his office to chat while I filled it out.

I saw that one of the early questions was "salary requirements". I hesitated, not wanted to commit in writing so early. I asked about it, and the interviewer said "you can put either a minimum or a range." I thought that was fair.

I spent a total of 5 hours at the company, including lunch with the interviewer and the people who would be my direct reports. Most of that time was a company tour, showing me around, introducing me to people, asking my opinion of different matters.

At the end, we went back to the interviewers office and he asked me what I thought. I realized the interview was coming to an end, so I closed him. (I'd like an offer from you. Here's why....)

He told me he would get back to me with an offer by Wednesday of this week.

I was stunned. This is the highest level position I've ever interviewed for (and is a promotion over where I'm at now), and it was not even a real interview. I asked a little about that (feeling like I was looking a gift horse in the mouth). He said that my reputation preceded me. He already knew what results I had gotten in my current company and the name I had made for myself. He was mostly interested in showing me what he had to offer.

I had totally prepped for this, practicing my interview answers with my girlfriend all week, getting her to throw curve balls at me... and I didn't get to use any of it! It really seemed like the interviewer knew he wanted me in the position from the beginning.

Is that the strangest thing or what?

juliahhavener's picture

Congratulations, Tom! Based on that, I would say your reputation has definitely preceeded you - and to great effect. Good luck (I would still follow up with the thank you note).

WillDuke's picture

Congrats Tom!

I wouldn't say it's that strange. It sounds like they've been feeling you out for a while. Haven't they already interviewed you. Perhaps not formally, but several dinners sounds like more than feeling you out.

Finally, it sounds like they've known the manager was leaving, so that's the missing info for you. I would bet that they planned this position for you all along. Isn't it great to be wooed?

Now you get to make a decision! 8)

wendii's picture

Tom

The more senior the role, the less like an interview an interview will be...at least in my experience. They know you can do the job, it's just about whether or not you fit.

Congratulations!

Wendii

tomw's picture

[quote="juliahdoyle"] (I would still follow up with the thank you note).[/quote]

I dropped it in the mail on my way home from the interview :-)

RichRuh's picture

Mark has said in a few of his podcasts that every good manager has a few folks lined up before a job is posted. Looks like you were on the receiving end of that kind of thinking.

Congrats!

--Rich

asteriskrntt1's picture

Very cool story Tom

I prepared my butt off for a couple of interviews lately and then they did not go as planned. Now I see they were along the lines of what you went through, so maybe I did not do as badly as I thought.

Well done and we look forward to hearing lots of interesting things from your new role.

*RNTT

RichRuh's picture

Oops... [b]all[/b] of us, myself included, have forgotten about Mark's First Law of Interviewing:

[quote]He told me he would get back to me with an offer by Wednesday of this week.[/quote]

To quote Mark, "YOU GOT NOTHING."

I'm not trying to rain on your parade, Tom, but [b]don't[/b] take your eye off the ball and don't relax. Stay focused! You don't have an offer yet.

--Rich

(My first post got eaten somewhere. If it reappears, this will be a duplicate. Sorry.)

tomw's picture

[quote="RichRuh"]Oops... [b]all[/b] of us, myself included, have forgotten about Mark's First Law of Interviewing:

[quote]He told me he would get back to me with an offer by Wednesday of this week.[/quote]

To quote Mark, "YOU GOT NOTHING."

I'm not trying to rain on your parade, Tom, but [b]don't[/b] take your eye off the ball and don't relax. Stay focused! You don't have an offer yet.)[/quote]

Oh, I know. Believe me, I've been restraining my gushing a lot. I know it's dumb, but I'm afraid to jinx it! I even got an email from the interviewer (thanking me for my thank-you card) telling me he was presenting a package to the CEO for approval and that he would get back to me by Wednesday.

Time is dragging!!!!
Tick........................................ Tock...................................................
Tick........................................ Tock...................................................

CJ's picture

So it's Wednesday here in Australia now! How did you go Tom?

tomw's picture

[quote="CJ"]So it's Wednesday here in Australia now! How did you go Tom?[/quote]

It's only 9 AM here.... and I'm DYING for that phone to ring!

1 PM update: I got a call from the interviewer. He is preparing to make me an offer, but must get the CEOs approval first. They meet at 1:30 EST....

juliahhavener's picture

It's 2:30 on the east coast...

/twitch

tomw's picture

I got the offer. It was for a little less than I had hoped, but it was still a substantial raise with a lot of room to grow and a healthy signing bonus.

Thanks to Mike and Mark who helped make it happen! Thanks to all of you for your support and advice!

asteriskrntt1's picture

Awesome new Tom. Well played!

*RNTT

jhack's picture

That's great - and we can look forward to updates on transitioning out of the old, and into the new...

John

Peter.westley's picture

Congratulations Tom well done! despite the 'odd' interviews, your planning, rehearsals and closing paid off!

WillDuke's picture

[quote]I got the offer. It was for a little less than I had hoped, but it was still a substantial raise with a lot of room to grow and a healthy signing bonus.[/quote]
Way to go Tom! As M&M say, if it was at the upper end you might not get that raise to show how well you do. So, it's just another good thing. :)

I was looking over the thread. I saw how many people were supporting you, rooting for you, and concerned for how it worked out. It's amazing that a person gets so much support from a group of people they've never actually met? Wondrous.

Anyway, congratulations. You learned the tools. You worked the tools. You got the job. And I'm sure you'll do the job well.

tomw's picture

Yeah, now I just have to do well in the job. That's the hard part!

juliahhavener's picture

Congratulations, Tom! I look forward to seeing your continued success and learning from your new challenges.

tomw's picture

well, notice has been given: 4 weeks, as recommended. The announcement email goes out in the morning.

I'm actually sad to be leaving at the same time I'm excited about the new position!

tonys's picture

Just found and read the whole thread.

Wonderful job. Congrat!!!

tomw's picture

My boss asked me to send an email announcing my departure. I've gotten a lot of positive feedback from my staff and upper management, so I thought I'd share:

[quote]In our journey of life, we walk many paths. We meet other people along the way, walk with them for a time, and sooner or later go separate ways. The most painful partings are the ones where you are perfectly happy with your current companions and want to keep walking with them for as long as you can.

I'm afraid it's time for my path to diverge from yours. A path that is so challenging and so virtually impossible to walk has appeared, and I cannot allow myself to walk by it.

I'll be walking with all of you until September 21. After that, my friends, you will be continuing on your journey without me. This has been among the most difficult decisions in my life and I will miss you all dearly.

I am already taking steps to make sure that you are all taken care of, getting the training and support you need as you forge ahead. [/quote]

terrih's picture

Wow.

juliahhavener's picture

Awesome, Tom.

No wonder you've heard good things about it.

stewartlogan's picture

Tom-

I just read through the thread. Congrats on the offer and new position. Good luck with the jump!

FlatFeeKing's picture

I think it is almost impossible to tell if someone is a really good worker in an interview, so the next most important thing is whether or not you will get along with the other employees and fit in with the culture there.

James Gutherson's picture

[quote="TomW"]My boss asked me to send an email announcing my departure. I've gotten a lot of positive feedback from my staff and upper management, so I thought I'd share:

[quote]In our journey of life, we walk many paths. We meet other people along the way, walk with them for a time, and sooner or later go separate ways. The most painful partings are the ones where you are perfectly happy with your current companions and want to keep walking with them for as long as you can.

I'm afraid it's time for my path to diverge from yours. A path that is so challenging and so virtually impossible to walk has appeared, and I cannot allow myself to walk by it.

I'll be walking with all of you until September 21. After that, my friends, you will be continuing on your journey without me. This has been among the most difficult decisions in my life and I will miss you all dearly.

I am already taking steps to make sure that you are all taken care of, getting the training and support you need as you forge ahead. [/quote][/quote]

Wow - that extra 2 i points makes a difference - I would have said "Leaving in 4 weeks - bye" (joking)

Well done Tom. (BTW I just rewatched Matrix Reloaded last night - I had ben wondering about your forum image and just couldn't place it)

Mark's picture

Sorry this reply is so delayed!

Congratulations! And what you went through isn't unusual at higher levels.

Mark

US101's picture

How come you bought the Joseph & Feiss shirt?

KS180's picture

Congratulations! A friend once told me when I left to take a new job that "nobody hires you to fire you".

Good luck and impress the heck out of them.

Kevin Sweeney

tomw's picture

[quote="jonp"]How come you bought the Joseph & Feiss shirt?[/quote]

It was the nicest looking white shirt in the place... not to mention as I was listening to the interview attire cast on the way home from buying it M&M mentioned it as a really good choice, which I couldn't help but laugh at.