I recently went for two interviews for jobs I applied for. The first one had 77 people apply. I was told there were too many qualified candidates so there was going to be a pre-screening phone interview. As soon as I got the outlook invite for the phone call, I had a look at the Director’s calendar to discover she was calling 17 people for this pre-screening. I made it through that round and was one of four that was selected for the final interview. I thought I did rather well in that interview and discovered that she called all my references. That is until I got a two line email from her right before Christmas informing me that I did not get the job. In my mind, I think I dodged a bullet with that one. Just imagine what that Director is like to work with when she feels the need to personally take two days out of her schedule to conduct 17 pre-screening interviews. I bet I would be pulling my hair out by the end of the first week with that level of micro-managing.
The second interview I had was also right before Christmas. The interview itself was delayed as one of the panelist was really late showing up. So I had a very informal chat with the hiring manager. I learned that the incumbent did not apply for job. That was a BIG red flag for me. What is wrong with this manager or office environment where the incumbent doesn’t want to apply. Anyways, a few weeks later I got a voicemail from our HR regional office in North Bay asking me to call back regarding this job. I have never had this happen for a job, but immediately got the feeling that I did not get the job and the poor HR lady had to be the one to break the news to me. Sure enough when I called she told me I didn’t get the job but to hang in there and keep applying. That is like getting a friend to break up with your boyfriend for you. Again, what a bullet I dodged. This manager didn’t even have the common courtesy to tell me herself. I couldn’t imagine working for someone that I couldn’t feel I could talk to.
My takeaway after these experiences is to take the time to evaluate the hiring manager to make an informed decision about whether the job is a good fit for you or not. I don’t feel bad when I do not get a job I interview for. I still have a winning record, getting more offers than rejections but I am not really keeping score because what’s the point. I am grading the hiring manager as much as they are grading me on my responses during the interview to gauge whether the culture, practices, and attitude of a company would make it a great place to work.