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EP 1093 Sometimes, you will go on an interview that seems doomed from the outset. What happened? I explain what is going on.

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The story I'm going to tell you today applies to non-executives as well as executives. I was reminded of it last night when I was coaching someone who Was up for the presidency of the firm in Asia. The firm itself is a joint venture between 3 different major corporations. He was recruited by the Executive HR person for 1 of the minority partners and put forward by that firm as a contender for the presidency.

He met with the lead Person for the majority investor (I don't want to mention the title because it's a unique one) where she seemed to have a perfunctory one hour interview. They zeroed in on aspects of his background that were minimized by the minority partner, but maximized by the majority stakeholder. There was a point in the conversation where he was asked, "By the way, when did you get your degree?" Which was the way to determine his age (Being outside of the United States, there are different laws that were involved). 2 weeks later, he hasn't heard anything.

I tell this story for a simple reason. No matter where in an organizational chart you are, whether you are at a high level or a staff level individual, Sometimes you going to interview for jobs and be put forward by someone who doesn't have the clout OR (This isn't about recruiters;; I want to be clear about that), You may interview with someone who loves you but doesn't have the clout to get you hired. They put you through to someone who does and you receive a cursory interview or A fairly superficial one with someone who is interviewing you and it feels like you're interviewing with a wall. They are not giving you anything to attach to. I want to be clear, it's not a rock climbing wall that you can grab things. It feels like grabbing at a flat wall. You walk out of the interview, wondering, "What was that?" The answer is they were getting back at the other individual and you wind up being the person who wound up being the victim of this.

Whether you are an executive or staff level individual, Sometimes there are circumstances that are going on behind the scenes that are outside of your knowledge and outside of your control.

For example, in the situation that is the basis for our conversation today, I was concerned about this from day one because it seemed clear to me that because it is being put forward by 1 of the joint venture partners, rather than the primary firm, might come back to bite him in the butt. Did he execute perfectly? I wasn't in the room to observe so I can't comment on. However, he was dealing with someone who was very "flat."

They came in 20 minutes late without any apology or acknowledgment of the lateness. If they were a job applicant, you would expect them to say, "Hey, sorry I'm late."Nothing. Walked in. Dove right in.Finishes last question which was, "By the way, when did you get your degree?"Then walked out without saying goodbye..

Tell me about how this is supposed to work for anyone!

Just as a reminder, if situations like this present themselves to you where you feel like you're being presented with a no-win situation, don't beat yourself up about it. It's on them. It is up to you.


Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. His work involves career coaching, all as well as executive job search coaching and life coaching. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 1000 episodes,“ Job Search Radio,” “and his newest show, “No BS Coaching Advice” and is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council.

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