Should I be flattered, or worried?
May 7, 2010 11:21 AM Subscribe
I thought I was about to get a job offer. When I went in for the final interview, the boss told me another boss at the company was interested in me, too. What happens now?
I had an interview last week. It was my third interview with the same company - I had already had one phone interview and one in-person interview; the latter interview was with the Head of HR and the person who would be my direct superior. It was a good interview; salary was discussed, everybody agreed I was a great fit for the position, laughing and smiling, etc.
After this interview, the HR guy called me a couple weeks later and gave me the spiel about how I had a bright future with the company, and that they wanted me to come back and meet the Big Boss (my direct superior’s boss). I assumed, or hoped, this was more a rubber-stamping kind of thing, like as long as I didn't come across as totally insane, they'd probably make an offer.
So I go in for the third interview. I chatted with Big Boss and we went through my work history and previous projects. We probably didn't talk for more than about 15 minutes in total. He seemed really busy; he was nice, but appeared distracted. After I'd quickly walked him through my previous work, he threw a curveball: "There's another Big Boss here, on another account, that has heard about you and wants to talk with you - if you're interested. I know we didn't mention it to you before, but he's really keen to talk to you." I was really taken aback, but of course I said I’d be happy to talk to Big Boss 2.
I ended up talking for a long time to Big Boss 2, who was far more enthusiastic and attentive than Boss 1. In fact we talked for about an hour. I was introduced to someone else who works with him and who shared more information with me about their particular account. My experience is perfectly aligned to what they need, almost to a scary degree. We had a great discussion, and Big Boss 2 went so far as to say he had total confidence in my ability to do the job, loved the work I’d previously done, and thought I’d be a great fit personality-wise with the rest of the team.
Sounds great, right? Well, I’m not so sure. Obviously Big Boss 1 told Big Boss 2 about me; I’m flattered at BB2’s interest, and would love to work for him, but I am also still interested in the possibility of working for BB1 (I mean, I went into the interview with BB1 thinking it was pretty likely I’d get an offer). During my conversations with BB2, I tried to express that I was interested in both teams, but am afraid to openly prefer one over the other (which I don’t anyway).
It would certainly seem almost definite that I'll get an offer from either one team or the other; if I didn't, after all this, I'd be heartbroken (not to mention kind of irritated... this has been dragging on for weeks now.) So I just want to tread as carefully as possible. Should I assume that if BB1 is so willing to pass me off to another team, he’s no longer interested in hiring me? I think there was possibly one other candidate they were interviewing, but I'm not sure - so maybe they intend to hire the other guy? Is this just some sort of internal political thing that the BBs are going to have to settle amongst themselves? How should I handle it if I’m asked again to choose between the two teams – might I be setting myself up for future problems/bad blood if I do end up working for the company? Any other insight into what might be going on here?