I did a rather impromptu phone interview yesterday afternoon.  I wasn't as prepared as I could have been and I know that.  The interview came up rather quickly (requested at about 10:30 am & conducted at 4:00 pm) and I had obscene amounts of work in between that prevented me from devoting as much time to preparation as I would have liked.

Q1 - Thank You Note to HomeShored Interviewer

There were two people interviewing - the hiring manager (ML) and her counterpart (AE).  L works from a home office but E works in a company office location.

When sending my thank you note, I have no problem sending AE a hand-written note addressed to the office in AZ. I don't have ML's home address.  Should I send an email note to ML in lieu of sending a hand-written one?  Or do I simply address the envelope to ML's name and put it in the Inter-Office mail system & hope for the best?

Q2 - Thank You Note / Flubbed Question / Adding Something

I definitely could have done a better job i the interview. Should I take Mark's advice (which was intended for the live interview) and include a bit of "I blew that one answer, let me add something ..." in that thank you?  

Q3 - Report of Interview to Current Manager

My manager wants me to keep her informed of how things went. Right now, I'm a bit dejected and feeling as though the "thanks but no thanks" is looming overhead already (but won't arrive for another month according to their timeline.)  Do I tell her "I'm sure I could have done better but overall it went well"?  Or do I tell her "I think I messed up in a couple of places and I felt underprepared though I had good energy, didn't ramble and answered all of their questions"?  (Both of which are true, by the way.)

Q4 - Name-Dropping in Thank You / Follow-Up Email

The position I interviewed for already has 31 people in the role, spread across three managers.  The most senior of the 31 report to the VP. If I've made it through yesterday's interview, I would next interview with the VP (AB).

I checked with 10 of those 31 people and got their okay to invoke their name (if the opportunity presented itself. None of the 16 questions ML or AE asked me presented much of an opportunity to provide specific names.  I did refer to two of them in some of my examples.  I'm wondering if it's too late at this point to share some of the comments I got from those folks?  And if it's allowable, how & in what format would be best?  

Q5 - Report of Interview to Staunch Supporter

One of the 31 folks (CM) is on the senior team and reports directly to the VP and CM is a staunch supporter of mine - she just seems to really like me.  She is well thought of and is interviewing for (and may have been offered) a much more pretigious job. 

I told CM about 2 hrs before the interview that I would be having it that afternoon.  She told me she had already reached out to the hiring manager (ML) but had not yet had a chance to talk with her / to sing my praises.  CM decided she would instead go directly to the VP on my behalf (it's a direct-reporting relationship and I didn't ask her to do that for me at all.)

I feel like I didn't present well-enough in the interview and I'm torn between wanting her to speak to the VP to perhaps force my name into the next round and wanting her to hold-off since there will be other opportunities for the position later and I would probably interview better next time.

I got evasion at the close ("Well you could certainly do the job but we have more candidates to interview over the next two weeks and at that point, we'll look across the entire applicant pool to see which candidate stands out the best and would be the best fit for the role & the team.")

Basically, do I stay positive or be realistic in my follow-up to this supporter?  I wouldn't want her to damage her own reputation sticking her neck out for me.  (If she says "Ash is great!" to the VP who then checks with AE and ML who say "No, Ash was pretty lame in the interview" I don't want CM to look like a nimrod to the VP, ya know?)

ashdenver's picture

If I were a betting person, I would suspect the answers ya'll provide will be along the lines of:

Q1 - hand-written to both, put the one in the inter-office mail system & hope for the best. (Surely other things make it to her from other locations/people.)

Q2 - leave the "let me add something" out, prepare better for the next round & obliquely address it there/then (don't mention "I flubbed two weeks ago" - just give a better answer that smooths over the flub.)

Q3 - keep it positive to my current manager  - either "I'm sure I could have done better but overall it went well" or just the plain "Overall, it went well I think."  (My current manager is also a VP and the other VP's colleague - probably not a good idea to point out my flaws, others do that readily enough for me!) 

Q4 - leave the name-dropping out of the Thank You note - that should be just to thank them for their time. In a follow-up email next week, mention some of the positive comments as part of my "I'm really thrilled at the prospect of working with these great people" blurb.

Q5 - keep it positive to the staunch supporter. Allow her to do her thing - whatever she ends up saying, whoever she ends up talking to - and hope that her support will sway the interviewers into handing me off to the VP for the next round where I can be über-prepared & shine like the star I am. (Heh.)

Sometimes I just appreciate the space to work through my own mental gymnastics in a place filled with wise people, sound advice and that is dedicated to professional betterment.  Thanks for the screen space, M&M!

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robin_s's picture
Training Badge

It seems that most of your questions are based on your assumption that you blew the interview.    I've felt that way coming out of just about every interview I've had.  So, I'm not answering your specific questions so much as challenging that assumption.  I just wanted to say that you are probably your harshest critic, and you may have done much better than you think you did.

flexiblefine's picture

I think your "predictions" are pretty good answers. I might change your report to your current manager just a little.

Something like "I wish I'd had more time to prepare, but I think it went pretty well overall."

Was this truly an out-of-the-blue request, or did you know this interview might be coming and you just didn't get much notice?

Lastly, good luck! :)

Houston, Texas, USA
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