Post # 1
I’m looking for false hope. I bombed a third round interview yesterday and I’ve been lying around my apartment holding back tears since.
This job was basically my dream job, and I blew it. I was so caught off guard.
After a phone screen, I was brought in for a face to face with the manager and director of the department. It was one of the best interviews I’ve ever had. It was scheduled for 30 minutes and they talked to me for over an hour, our personalities seemed to mesh well, and they talked to me about salary and benefits. Third round interview was to be with HR. They called two days later and we scheduled it.
And I bombed. It was an hour interview and they cut it short after 20 minutes! This is my dream job. I knew the company inside out, I practiced behavioral questions up the wahzoo, I made multiple friends mock interview me and give me feedback. I had questions pepared for them. I knew what stories to tell based on the job description and none of it mattered. They didn’t talk to me about salary or benefits or any of it. They asked me why i wanted to work there and after I answered they kept asking “why else?” until I ran out of reasons – and they were well thought out reasons.
Then they said to forget about my experience and skills and tell them why they should hire me as a person. So I fumbled on my words for a couple minutes and they ended the interview. I did ask a couple questions but it couldn’t be salvaged. I feel like a moron. I’m disappointed. I’m discouraged. I feel like a loser. I almost felt like they already hired someone and they were just going through the motions.
Have you ever been hired after having an awful interview?
Post # 2
I don’t think they had already hired someone else, it sounds like they were trying to draw some personality out of you. By the third round of interviews all the candidates could be equally suitable so they are trying to figure out if everyone is competent why pick you? Why would they want to work with YOU every day etc
Im sure it didn’t go as bad as you’re imagining but either way just use it as something to learn from.
Post # 3
You may still have a shot – depends on who holds the power to make hiring decisions in the company. At my company, it’s all about what the hiring managers want to do. HR participates in the on-site interview process but as more of a formality. In rare situations when we haven’t agreed on a candidate, hiring manager makes the final decision.
Also, fwiw, salary and benefits are not discussed at my company until an offer is extended. I wouldn’t take that as a negative sign either.
Post # 4
Strange things happen. I interviewed for an internship for a job in Department A. The interviewer said she wanted the head of Department B to talk to me on another day, and this being my first ever real job interview, I thought she just meant this was a follow up interview about the job in Department A. Surprise, it was actually an interview for a job in Department B, and I had zero (and I mean zero) experience in that field. It was awful– he actually asked me “You know this is a job interview, right?” because I was so totally unprepared, and I was so embarrassed to say “Actually, no.” I thought it was over, but they actually offered me the job in Department B for some weird reason. Try to stay positive– it’s not over until it’s over, and hopefully if you don’t get this job after all, it’s because there’s a better one out there.
Post # 5
Did you write a thank you note to the people you met with reaffirming your interest in the role? Make sure they know you are still very interested and enjoyed the conversation.
Post # 6
I do think my personality was showing when I answered the “why do you want to work here” questions. It just caught me off guard to answer “what do you bring to the team” without bringing up skills or experience. My answer was pretty lousy. I’m not sure who makes the final decision. This is the inverse of every interview I’ve ever had. Usually I’ve had to pass HR before getting to the manager. I do think the HR rep was supposed to be at my second interview based on the phone screen and the actual invite (which had HR person on it), couldn’t make, so they did another round. I was nervous, probably made way too many hand gestures, and just have a gut feeling I’m out of the running.
Your response made me laugh for the first time since Tuesday so thank you. Trying to stay positive.
Post # 7
the good news is you did really well at the hard stuff that actually related to your job. You prepared really well, you excelled. You should be proud of that and know that with those skills, you will find the right job.
Post # 8
- Wedding: October 2019 - Chateau Lake Louise
I think it’s probably the case they had already considered the “practical” side of your experience, and were looking more for a cultural fit. By the 3rd interview, they’re pretty sure you can do the job, they’re checking to see if you’re a good fit for the team.
I agree with MrsChatham :
– Write a thank you note. Reach out and re-affirm your desire to work there, and do so from a personal perspective. Talk about how you FEEL about the job and company as a whole. Sometimes that will matter more than practical experience. Having somone who wants to be there for more than just a paycheck matters a lot to many organizations. Even if you think you blew it, it’s always good to just send a salvo reiterating your interest. And, if you aren’t still under consideration, they might let you know at that point and end your suffering.
also makes a good point about pay & benefits. None of that typically comes up until it’s offer time. When I applied for my current position, I didn’t even know how much it paid till they gave me an offer. Then I had to do some back and forth with HR to nail down the details and discuss onboarding.
Try not to be too hard on yourself. You did everything you could to prepare and got caught off guard. Pushing past your disappointment to tell them how much you really want the position can demonstrate perseverence that many employers value. Don’t give up!
Post # 9
Aside from trying to suss out your personality and see how you might fit in with the culture, I’m guessing they wanted to see how you think on your feet. It’s obvious that you were uber-prepared for the “regular” interview stuff, but maybe they wanted to get a feel for how you react in situations where you can’t prepare ahead of time. Depending on the industry that could be really important.
If you get the job, great! And if you don’t, it gives you some insight into different ways that companies do interviews, and that could help you in the future. My advice (having just gotten a new job after a TON of interviewing) is to just ACT CONFIDENT. I mean seriously – whatever you need to learn you can learn on the job. No one expects you to hit the ground knowing everything about company practices on the first day. Play up the stuff they like, play down anything negative or lacking, and talk about how great you are. The more practice you have the easier it gets!
Post # 10
I think it’s really up to the person(s) you would be working for (manager or director of the department) to decide who they want to hire. After all, you would be working with them, not HR. The HR people are neutral parties that ask questions that weren’t asked by the people intending to hire you and don’t actually have the final say in the candidate selection, but are there to handle the business/hiring/administrative side of things. So if you did really well with the first two interviews, I definitely think you have a shot. Don’t put yourself out of the running yet. I have known about people who did really well in one part of the interview and totally bombed another part and still got the job because they showed enough competence, confidence, and knowledge to show that they were the ideal candidate. So don’t ever take yourself out of the running until someone tells you so!
Post # 11
I bombed an interview, and then was offered the job. I had just graduated and was desperate for work. Id gone on several interviews that went well, but had not been offered a position.
I went on the interview, and it went horribly. It went so badly that I drove about 10 minutes from the office building, and then pulled over to cry hysterically. I was sure I was unemployable.
I got offered the job two days later. I still can’t figure that one out.
Post # 12
- Wedding: January 2018 - Mexico
I’m in the fourth week of my dream job and I would have bet good money that they had passed me over after the 1st interview. It was a phone screening and I thought it went terribly only because he had zero reaction to anything I said (I’m in sales and always looking for a rise in people). But then I got a second interview… also felt like I barely detected a pulse from him. Then I got offered a THIRD interview… and I thought for sure it was over because he STILL didn’t seem impressed. But then lo and behold I got the job offer! Be confident, fingers crossed for you because you never know!!
Post # 13
Thank you all for your stories and encouragement. I made a list of things/questions to work on for next time.
I took public transit home, so I held back the tears. I let loose once I got home lol.
Congrats on the job! My interviewers were very expressionless. I couldn’t get a read on them. I figured they didn’t care for me as a candidate.
Of course I still hope my experience/availability/second interview outweigh my apparent inabaility to answer behavioral questions like a normal human. Hindsight is rough! I’ve been replaying how I should have answered questions.
Crossing my fingers, but not holding my breath. According to google, a short interview is the kiss of death for a candidate. In any case, I’ll know by Friday, and the job search continues!
Post # 14
As someone who interviews candidates to hire them, I never expect a perfect interview. Honestly, everyone is stressed and nervous and fumbling during an interview. I would be more concerned if someone came into my office all cocky than I would be if someone came in fumbling with sweaty palms. I expect that and look beyond it.
Take deep breaths. If it’s not meant to be, then it’s not meant to be. But don’t sell yourself short 🙂 I’m sure the interviewer saw the best of you and I’m sure that you remember the worse parts.