Thursday, October 28, 2010


I had a job interview at a small New Hampshire College. It was the first interview I've had since April, when I got passed over for a job that I was perfectly qualified for because I don't have a Master's Degree in design, or anything else for that matter.

There were four people interviewing me. The CIO of the college, and department heads in the IT group. I felt relaxed, confident, positive that I was perfect for this job. They cracked jokes, I laughed; I made a funny, they laughed. One of the department heads seemed to really like me. The MIS director seemed unimpressed. The guy that would be my boss seemed engaged and interested in what I had to say. I felt like I owned that room. I was convinced I made a great impression.

The following day, I got a call from the placement agency that arranged the job interview. He said that they thought I was a good candidate, but that I was "too casual and relaxed" and that I didn't have enough experience with the software that I'd be teaching faculty to use. I'm still in the running, but I'm not "the" candidate.

I'm really not sure what I could have differently. They set me at ease, I felt comfortable with them. Did they expect me to be stone faced and serious when they jested about their faculty? And I'm an overtly convivial person, friendly, and open. So I was me.

Sounds to me that I don't want to work there. If the me that I am isn't the me that they want.


  1. Were you dressed significantly differently than they were, eg much more casually? Maybe that's what they meant (but they're not allowed to say that). Because not liking a candidate because they're relaxed and joking doesn't seem to hold water. I just heard that you're not even supposed to think of an interview as anything more than a very preliminary part of the process, because now employers are doing 3 or 4 interviews before they make decisions. Blows.

  2. no -- i was dressed far better than all of them. blue blouse, black pants, dress shoes. the one person had on a sweatshirt and jeans. the MIS director had on a golf shirt with the school logo. the guy who would be my boss had on a tweed jacket and a dress shirt but no tie, real collegiate looking.

    the placement agency i worked with on this one said they're still interviewing, and that i'm still a top candidate. i'm having lunch with the head hunter and the placement agency head on thursday. they both want to meet me. i think they're going to interview me in person too...

  3. I guess you were supposed to be formal and nervous.

    Be yourself -- can't go wrong.