Interview flop

Heather Rosefsky
Heather Rosefsky Member Posts: 7 Contributor
First Anniversary Photogenic
edited August 2023 in CS Conversations
Hi all,
The other day, I submitted an application and heard back quickly with an invitation to interview. I was thrilled, and did hours of research on the company (they do AI). It was a great exercise in interview prep. I was surprised when the interviewer told me the position wasn't actually available. She then proceeded to interview me for the manager position that I am not nearly qualified for. Thus, it felt I was being set up to fail. Has this happened to anyone else and what would you have done?


  • Will Pagden
    Will Pagden Member Posts: 99 Expert
    edited November 2020
    This hasn't happened to me personally but I have interviewed candidates that have been through similar with other organisations. Its a really awful practice from the business, and in my opinion you have dodged a bullet.

    I feel you have 2 options, 1) Ride it out, let it be a learning curve and interview experience from yourself, or 2) terminate the interview on the pretense that it isn't what you applied for.

    I think you should look at it as a great opportunity to get some exposure to interview scenarios but quickly realize that the outcome wasn't something you particularly could impact and move on to the next opportunity.
  • Russell Bourne
    Russell Bourne Member Posts: 61 Expert
    GGR Blogger 2023 GGR Blogger 2021 First Anniversary
    edited November 2020
    @Heather Rosefsky that's a weird one.  The first thought I have is, the recruiter must have thought the interview would be of value to them; so, what do you think they wanted to get out of it?

    Is it possible you're selling yourself short and they thought you were qualified for the management role?

    One other possibility - I've accepted a few interviews that turned out to be consulting sessions in disguise.  Not an ideal situation, but in the long run, maybe it doesn't hurt to get to know someone new.  You never know, the interviewer may be someone you can work with later, and it may not have been their choice to conduct it that way.
  • Sunil Nair
    Sunil Nair Member Posts: 7 Contributor
    edited November 2020
    It's possible that the role wasn't well defined, or that their thinking had evolved internally. The recruiter should have reached out before the interview to tell you that had changed and gauged your interest in having a conversation anyway.

    On the other hand, startups are usually strapped for cash - which is why they're great places to stretch yourself. It's entirely possible they may have seen your potential to grow into that role. How did it pan out in the end?

    You don't always know what you want, but perhaps you've learned what you don't want?
  • Morgan Pottruff
    Morgan Pottruff Member Posts: 8 Contributor
    First Anniversary
    edited November 2020
    I suppose unfortunate as this is, it cuts both ways.

    Sometimes I see multiple roles at a company that I'm qualified for.

    Is a good idea to apply for all of them?

    No.  (At least according to my wife an HR exec it isn't, as it looks like you are spraying and praying and don't know what you want)

    Considering as job seekers we don't have transparency into whats going on behind the scenes, I would say its a GOOD thing if let's say, they decide to fill the role I'm applying for internally, (happens all the time) and then says "hey look this guy might also be fit over here for this position."   At least you got a swing at an opportunity.

    I had a great interview once where the recruiter said, to me"

    "hey were just going to have a little chat and see if we can do some business together"

    We had a free an easy conversation where he really just tried to get to know me, and see what my skill-set was.  He even suggested things I should add to my resume for the second round.  It didn't feel like an interrogation at all. 

    I think thats the right mindset for both the interviewer and the interviewee.
  • KellyD
    KellyD Member Posts: 3 Seeker
    First Anniversary Photogenic
    edited November 2020
    I actually had an interview the other day where the interviewer told me the position was going to be filled internally (this was always the plan) but that the company policy was all positions must be externally posted and external candidates had to be interviewed. I asked why this was the process and she stated it was a way for the company to create profiles and fill their "candidate bank" for when they had open positions that could not be filled internally.

    So I was never actually a consideration for the role, but I am now in their data bank should a position open for which I am a match and they have no internal candidate. While I was a bit frustrated in the moment, in retrospect, I agree I had the same reflection as you did with your interview - the prep time was good practice as was the interview.