The Interview That Changed Everything

    January 19, 2016
    business meeting

    Most of you know that I really don’t like my job and have been casually looking for a new opportunity. A few months ago that opportunity popped up. It was like someone had taken my resume and used it to write a job description. On paper it seemed like the perfect job for me. I submitted my resume and was contacted the same day for an interview.

    Interviewing is something I struggle with. In fact, I was such a bad interview for my current position that I’m pretty sure my employer was convinced I would never leave because I couldn’t get through the interview process with another company. Knowing that and knowing that I need to find a new position, I have worked on my interview skills. I studied how to interview. I talked to recruiters. I took all the feedback I could get and put it to work.

    I successfully passed four interviews with seven different people. I was conversational. I talked about my strengths. I came across as a confident CFO. (Yes, it was for a CFO position!)

    Just one thing left, an analysis by their management team adviser. I took the online assessment. I interviewed with the adviser using everything I had learned and hoped for the best. The company contacted me and said that the adviser wanted to speak to my references (who had already given me awesome references). They said it was pretty common and not to worry. I warned my references that they would be getting another call about me and left for a business trip.

    It was a pretty brutal business trip. Probably one of the worst I have ever had. I came back feeling beaten down and frustrated. I really needed some time to unplug. All the confidence that I had built up during the interview process was gone.

    The adviser called me my first day back and wanted to meet that day to discuss my test results. This was new. I’ve taken these types of assessments before, but no one has ever shared the results with me. I really just wanted to stay home, call in sick for work and not talk to anyone, but I also really wanted this job so I agreed to meet later that day.

    I know that I am an introvert and expected that would be their concern about hiring me for an executive position. I practiced my argument about how introverts can be good leaders. I was prepared to list off several introverts who had revolutionized companies to support my argument.

    Then he showed me my test results. I was shocked. This was not your normal management assessment test.

    In a nutshell, my tests showed:

    1. I have no self confidence
    2. I have zero energy
    3. I’m rigid & unbending
    4. I can’t make decisions
    5. I can’t make conversation or basically function socially

    The adviser was very nice. He asked me if there was something happening in my personal or professional life because the scores could be affected by life events. He also said that one of my references hinted that my work situation may have been a cause of the scores and that the characteristics didn’t really represent me.

    What was I supposed to say? That my boss thinks managing me means yelling at me? That I’ve been yelled at every day for the last month because he was told to take a more active role as my manager? That I just spent a week being followed around the office and criticized by him?

    I spent two hours in that interview and I don’t really remember exactly what was said. I know that I did say some not very nice things about my current employer (which you should NEVER do). I also know that I was very angry and did not filter myself. The worst part is that the potential employer was sitting in this interview. I did not just make these comments to a consultant. I said them in front of the people I wanted to hire me.

    I was upset and frustrated going into that meeting. I came away extremely angry because I realized that I have been managed based on the expectation that I would never overcome my weaknesses. I would never be able to grow beyond my current position.

    So What Did I Do?

    The following Monday when my boss called to  yell at manage me I resigned.

    I did not have a job lined up and have not yet found a job. I do have some consulting work that will cover my expenses until I find a new position.

    I don’t regret it at all and I don’t think it was a rash decision. I know that the person I had become is not me and not the person I want to be.

    Energy is not something I normally lack. I looked over my Fitbit reports for the 30 days prior and realized that I had just stopped moving. I went from averaging 3 miles a day to barely making 2,000 steps.

    I may not have the most self-confidence, but I do know that I have managed the exponential growth of a highly complicated company and given my staff the opportunity to grow with the company. I have a great resume, great references and I am sure that I will find a great position.

    I do regret ruining that opportunity. It seemed like the perfect position for me to transition to the next level in my profession.

    P.S. I did write a follow up email to thank them for the feedback and apologize for my unprofessional behavior. Hopefully they don’t think I’m a raving lunatic :-) 

    *Part of Financially Savvy Saturdays on brokeGIRLrich, A Disease Called Debt and Saving Scotts*

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