A few weeks ago I shared a story about how I narrowly missed out on a great job opportunity, coming up just short of a final round interviewing process, which included three finalists. That position went to another candidate, who ultimately didn't work out, yet I wasn't reconsidered. That was heartbreaking. Today I’m sharing a story in which I was once again a finalist for a position, but this time I was one of two candidates.
I performed well during a phone screen and then an initial face-to-face interview with a company I was interested in. Before I left that interview I’d asked my clutch final question, “What concerns do you have about my ability to perform this position?” The answer came back that they didn't see any concerns and that they thought I could do the job. Great! That allowed me to ask what the next step in the process was and who I’d be interviewing with next. I was informed that my interviewer would be recommending me to the Director of Operations for the next interview.
Within a couple of days I was contacted to come back the following week, a week after my first in office meeting, where I met with the Vice President of Human Resources. He then informed me that he was performing the final round of interviewing for the position and was straightforward and honest with me that I was one of two final candidates. I was the first person that he was meeting with, and the other candidate was scheduled for the next day.
The interview went great and I received great verbal and non-verbal feedback from the VP, and things went well until the very end of the conversation. You see, they hadn't qualified me financially prior to the interviewing process, as many recruiters do to make sure the employers' and candidates' salary expectations are at least within a reasonable proximity of each other. When he asked for my rate and I gave him a range, he indicated, “That is more than the President of the company makes.” Wow! We weren't even in the same ballpark. There was no room to negotiate and no room to recover from this egregious disparity of expectations from this employer and my experience.
I could tell that he wanted me the whole interview, but we both knew at that point that there was no way we could make it work. He said that he’d talk to the other interviewee and let me know, but I never even heard back from them. I know it was the salary discussion that blew the opportunity. I know that I wasn't being greedy in my expectations. I know what my salary history is and what comparable salary ranges are for this responsibility. They were just not accustomed to keeping their salaries competitive. What a shame.
Sometimes I hate it when within the first five minutes a recruiter is already trying to eliminate candidates by asking the salary question. In this case, I could have saved myself quite a bit of heartache by understanding that they weren't going to be able to come in competitively, and we’d have saved each other some time, as well.
Your comments at the bottom of the page are always welcome. You can also write to me at my email address below and I’ll get back to you. Best of luck to you on your search!
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