Should I try to pursue this job further?
March 21, 2013 11:09 AM   Subscribe

I had a great technical phone screen, then told they were passing because I don't have experience we didn't even really touch on in the interview. Is there anything I can say/do to get them to take a second look?

A couple of weeks ago I responded to a job ad for an IT position I am very interested in. Several days later an internal recruiter contacted me, we had a brief phone screen, and was told I would have a phone screen scheduled. A day or two later I received an email with details on the interview.

The interview was a technical phone screen, which I felt I did well on. The specific tech I would be working on is in an area that I have extensive experience in, and I think would be an excellent match for my background. The position is also a management/leadership position, and I would be running a department. During the technical screen the individual briefly touched on my management/supervisory background. I also have 10-15 years experience leading teams in this area, which my resume clearly covers. I shared that experience with the interviewer, but it wasn't a very significant part of the interview.

The next day I received an email back from the recruiter who stated they didn't think I was a good match and that they would not be proceeding further. I asked for feedback on what led to that decision, and was told they were looking for someone with more leadership experience.

I am completely thrown. The interview was 99% a technical screen, which I did well on. My management background was barely even touched. The interviewer was just an engineer as far as I understand.

I really wanted this one. It's for a great company, and is an excellent opportunity. Is there anything I could say to the recruiter to get them to take another look, or should I just let this go and move on?
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (5 answers total)
Given that they gave you their reasoning only after you asked for it, I highly doubt this is something you can talk your way out of. It sounds more likely that they weren't interested, for whatever reason, and gave a generic-sounding reason for why. Maybe that's because they already have an inside candidate in mind and are interviewing merely to comply with bureaucratic or immigration requirements; maybe it's something else about you; maybe they just found the candidate of their dreams. Anyway, you should let it go.
posted by willbaude at 11:19 AM on March 21, 2013 [6 favorites]

It sounds like they already have a candidate in house and your interview was perfunctory.
posted by These Birds of a Feather at 11:23 AM on March 21, 2013 [1 favorite]

Whether you should or not depends on what you think you have to lose.

I was in a similar situation about 6 months ago, although I had actually done an extensive set of face-to-face interviews. When they passed, I was crushed. I got a little more specific feedback than you did, and after thinking about it and spending three intense days drafting it, I sent an email to the hiring manager about why I thought they should reconsider. In my case, the entire team agreed to a second round of interviews with me.

Whether you'll get them to reconsider or not is based on a few things. First, can you tell a really compelling story? I mean, they've made a decision, and you're saying their decision is wrong. Why is that? Why are you such a good fit? What is their to say about your leadership that didn't come out during the interview? And you have to be compelling in a short amount of space, because most recruiters/interviewers aren't going to spend a lot of time reading details.

Second, are they open to this kind of thing? It takes a special individual to take in the kind of information you're going to provide, and internalize it enough to say "you know, let's give him another shot".

Third, how's the timing? Did they reject you because they already have another candidate in mind?

Unfortunately, the only thing you have control over is the first.

My opinion, what matters most is how much you actually want it. It is possible to get companies to re-consider, and if you really want it, you should try. But it's going to rest on the strength of your appeal, and some things that you have no control over.

The only thing you lose is time and effort, and you should spend that on things you really want.
posted by Gorgik at 11:25 AM on March 21, 2013 [2 favorites]

If this were my company, it would really just mean that the number of years of management experience reflected on the resume was less than we wanted, and less than other candidates were bringing to the table. Hiring manager sometimes change their mind -- they might have put "min 2 years" in the job description but then realized that they need someone with more.

It's fine to write back and say thank you for the conversation and I hope that we can talk again when other roles open in the future; but to argue "your assessment was incorrect" would not be a winning strategy.
posted by fingersandtoes at 1:08 PM on March 21, 2013

Yeah it sounds like they like someone else better or maybe they just didn't click with you and are giving you a generic reason so you'll go away and stop asking.

They might reconsider you, but I think it is much more likely that that isn't actually the reason and they will just think you didn't get the "hint"
posted by magnetsphere at 2:36 PM on March 21, 2013

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