Up until a few months ago, I would say “I never failed to get an offer after an interview for a job I wanted”. And it was true. If I was qualified enough to get called in for the interview, and if I liked the job and wanted it, it was always offered to me. That all changed this January.
I was working at my job (that I loved), I was there on the 4th or 5th extension of the original contract, but the work was ending, I had an end date and it was really going to happen. I mean sure, I could keep walking in there every day, but no one was going to pay me. It is a huge, global headquarters on a beautiful campus, and most of the job openings for my kind of work come from either that office, or two other ones in other areas of the country. In early January, I had a job alert for a new posting that I was qualified for, and I applied with my resume. I also had my boss email a recommendation, and sent the Hiring Manager a friendly email, letting him know I was on-site and could meet him any time if he wanted to see me.
Well, he answered and we set up a time for the next week. Actually, he had a secretary set up a time, but that even lends more credence to the appointment, or to the formality of the appointment. It wouldn’t just be a “drop in” kind of thing. Now, the job description was pretty thin, so I had plenty of questions, which boosted my confidence because sometimes in an interview there is uncomfortable silence when the interviewee doesn’t have questions to ask.
I find my way around the labyrinth, and see that someone is in his office, so I hung out by the filing cabinets, just out of view. I thought it would be uncomfortable for everyone involved to just have me standing there in front of the French doors just staring and waiting. Besides, of course I was 15 minutes early. And I was only 15 minutes early, not my usual half hour or more because I had a meeting set up for right before this, and I had to go from one end of campus to the other to get to the interview. So, 15 minutes was pretty good.
So, I wait, and I wait, and I wait some more. Finally, the co-worker (or perhaps underling) leaves the office and the guy I’m interviewing with spots me. He asks me to come in, and I said that I could give him a moment if he needs time. He gestures for me to sit down, and starts playing with his phone.
Okay. Whatever. This is not a formal interview, and I guess he’s a busy guy. When he started speaking I wasn’t sure he was talking to me, and not someone on the phone. We just really got off on the wrong foot. I was under the distinct impression that he didn’t like me on sight, and already decided this was a waste of his time.
He started off drilling me (and interrupting every time I opened my mouth) about my experience in the program they use, and then asked if I had any questions. Ummm, yeah. Yes, I have questions. I already know what I do, you haven’t said anything yet. We’ve only talked about what I could do and haven’t discussed the job at all. So, I asked what may day-to-day interactions would be and what the dynamics of the team were. I was still talking when he cut in: “Well, you’ll be working for me, and doing what I ask.” Umm.. no. This is a coordinator’s job, and, by definition that means working with a team. Then, he said “I’ve got a phone call I need to make, and I’ll call you with my decision, I have a couple of interviews left.” We shook hands, and I left. I walked down the hall and checked my watch. Wow, I was in there for 12 whole minutes!
My friends and family have all told me that he probably found someone he wanted to hire in the interim between contacting me and meeting me, and was just going through the motions so as not to be a jerk to a co-worker. That doesn’t make me feel any better. That job was perfect for me, and I didn’t even care that I would have to work for a “Class A” jerk, that’s nothing new to me. And, I’m really, really mad that my perfect record was ruined, and now I have some fear going into future interviews. I’m such a shy person, that I don’t need any other intimidation, thanks.