I had an interview today that was much more challenging than I expected, with three interviewers, lasting over 2 hours total. Based on information from an insider, I was not expecting such a grueling process. Another lesson learned, I guess.
I got a few behavioral interview questions, which I think I handled reasonably well if not perfectly. I was asked to describe a situation that had not gone well, and how I resolved it. I told him about a printing fiasco that was solved by me spending a holiday weekend reading bluelines at the print shop. The delay was caused by feuding between two legal teams over the copy during a merger, and in retrospect, I should have realized earlier that this was a problem I could not solve on my own, and asked for help from higher management to help solve the feud.
I was also asked what the last book I read was, and to convince the interviewer to read it. I told him I’d just read The Tao of Twitter (which was actually true, believe it or not, although I’m not much of a believer in business books), but was not convinced that Twitter was a compelling marketing platform for their particular flavor of financial services, so I wasn’t sure I could honestly recommend it for him. Not sure if that was the “right” answer or not, but probably better than telling him I’d just read Fifty Shades of Gray.
The question that really threw me for a loop was this logic question:
- If you and I have $21 between us, and I have $20 more than you, how much do you have?
I did not have the answer on the spot, and figured it wasn’t appropriate to spend time puzzling it out during the interview, although I came up with answer almost as soon as I left the interview, and included in in my email thank you note to that interviewer. (Do I get partial credit for that?) I’ve always been the sort that has the perfect retort after the fact, not on the spot. I guess I’m out of the running if missing it was a deal-breaker. Do you know what the answer is? it is not $1.
I also learned they are interviewing more candidates than I had expected at this stage, (this came after two phone interviews). I think I probably have quite a few of the key attributes they are looking for in an ideal candidate. The question is not if I could do the job well, but if any of the other candidates is a perfect ‘10’ on their scale.
The silver lining of today’s experience? The last few days I’ve been less motivated to look for other opportunities since I thought I had a decent shot at this job. I’m much less confident now, and will be more motivated to network and search harder tomorrow.