I was recently interviewed by senior management and HR, which according to feedback from the agent went really well.
I was invited back to be interviewed by would be peers, managers. Feedback from agent was that this went well, and they were impressed.
Eventually I was asked to come in for an informal meeting with direct reports.
I treated it as an interview (until you have an offer, you have nothing).

It was an interview, they printed my resume and came with questions.
One of three attendees couldn't attend - family issue.
One of the two, was later to the meeting.

In the meeting they asked if I has seen the assessment scenario. No, I have not been given any material.
So they read a scenario - a pretty basic system outage and really this is not a difficult situation for me to deal with, I have been a major incident manager some years ago. OK, then some open question about the industry.
Then they basically read my resume and ask some questions. Nothing particularly probing. Nothing behavioral.

I get a sense they they feel under appreciated, over worked and generally a bit grumpy
In fact in the first interview, the senior manager alluded to some attitude issues, and I think I detect this in one of the directs (phrases, body language).

Anyway the meeting really loses any structure, and becomes an aimless conversation which I steer generally towards 'what challenges do you have', thinking I can give them a sense that I can help. The things they mention are not unusual and I share how I would approach improving them.

Eventually one of them looks at their watch and say they have to go. They leave (20 mins over), and the senior manager come to say thanks/goodbye.
We have a quick discussion and I share how I think I can add value, and how I recognize many of the challenges that were shared.
He seemed happy. I leave.

Next day the agent shares that the journey is over, and the reason is my management style is too controlling.
Agent seems utterly bemused and shared that the HR person was really amazed too.

I'm very disappointed, and frustrated, and I would like some sort of understanding about what went wrong.
The reports did not ever ask about my management style.

Being interviewed by reports seems to be a bit odd. Is this normal, or a trending occurrence?
Whats the best way to handle them?

Best regards


timrutter's picture

Matt, you may want to reframe the question in your mind. Do you want to work anywhere that runs such a shabby and ineffective recruitment process?

You can draw a lot of conclusions about how that company is run from your experience and most of them would not be positive.


pucciot's picture
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I've seen it before, in a slightly different format.

I think your Three Different Interviews and the 20 min aimless conversation was the poorly managed part here.


In my work environment I have witnessed, been subjected to, and conducted interviews where future directs do get to be part of the process.

Usually, in my field, there is a section of the day long interview where the candidate does a Presentation on a topic.

Everybody from the organization is invited to the presentation...

Yes - everybody is invited ... People from other departments, peers, supervisors, and frontline directs.


At the end of the presentation, the floor is open for questions about the presentation and about the candidate in general.

So, here is a chance for anyone in the whole org to take a crack at the candidate.

The search Committee listens to the answers and watches how the candidate handles the situation.

Folks from other departments and future Directs are only asked for their overall impression.

The selection Committee - of supervisors and peers -  makes the decision. 

I would remind you that this Presentation is only one part of the whole day process of the interview that includes Supervisors and Peers.

Although, key future directs may also be invited to the candidate lunch.

So - in short - it is not uncommon for future directs to be part of the process.   It just that in the situation you described above they were given too much leeway.

Good Luck