Today I went for a job interview for a company about 35 miles West of where I live. The interview was scheduled for 10am and I was to meet the recruiter outside the building 15 minutes before the scheduled 2 hour ordeal. It took me about 30 minutes to get there and for the next 15 minutes the sales rep gave me a pep talk about the company and position.
The first person to interview me was the company’s Lead Project Manager who spend the next 30 minutes asking me questions about hypothetical situations where I was the project manager and had to deal with certain situations. Now mind you I have never actually managed anyone in my life besides a small stint where I had to work with a temp and pretty much spoon feed him the information he needed in order to help me with my project. At the end of those 30 minutes I felt a bit drained (for all of my answers were based on what I thought would be the right answer and not real experience) but confident I had made a good impression.
I was then interviewed by another guy, who was supposed to ask me the “technical stuff.” I actually did most of the talking, primarely telling him about my previous jobs and my involvement with Linux. I thought it went pretty well and soon he was up and out of the office. Right before the next interviewer walked into the room, I heard the previous guy talking to someone, as if he was already giving his feedback on the interview to someone over the phone. I wasn’t able to pick up every word he said but it went roughly like this: “Yeah… [inaudible] has some VB, Oracle, [inaudible] Linux… but [inaudible] not [inaudible] senior material… [inaudible]”… and in comes the next interviewer.
That got me thinking and I realized I didn’t really know what position I was being interviewed for and only had a list of requirements. As soon as the next interviewer introduced himself as “the boss” I decided to cut to the chase and ask him about the position before he could even ask me any questions. It turns out the position was for a Senior Level Project Manager with LOTS of experience doing software engineering, etc. I immediately realized I was interviewing for a position I was 100% not qualified for and decided that it would be best if I came out and told “the boss” about it. “I am not qualified for this position and I think I’ve been sent to the wrong interview,” I told him. He was dumbstruck! “I have NEVER met someone as honest as you are!” he told me. “I wish more people were as honest as you are! If I had a Junior Level openning available I’d hire you RIGHT NOW!” He seemed to be genuine when he said that. I thanked him for his time and he profusely apologized for not being able to offer me a position.
I walked back to my car and drove another 2.5 hours back to work so I could register 3 hours worked on my timesheet!