CFA CFA General Drum Roll Please: I Thought we Ought to pursue other candidates

Drum Roll Please: I Thought we Ought to pursue other candidates

  • This topic has 7 replies, 5 voices, and was last updated May-17 by Sarah.
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    • Sarah
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      After writing the CFA exam and taking care of four months of personal affairs that had been ignored I was back to full time job hunting which explains my lack of presence here. But fear not I haven’t forgotten you guys and I still lurk around cleaning up spam.

      To be perfectly candid I am mostly frustrated with the job hunt process and constantly remind myself that winners never quit (Fall down seven stand up eight – Japanese proverb). But this blog post isn’t about venting of my interview failures. It is about the feedback that you receive after they have delivered the final verdict.

      Usually I consider myself lucky when feedback is given so I can correct and adjust my answers for my next interview. Assess what I did wrong and hopefully get it right the next time. Usually feedback isn’t given at all because of potential litigations or lack of political correctness or simply companies do not want to give away their hiring formula.

      I recently had an interview at one of the major banks in Canada, yea! And as luck would have it I made it to the final round interview.

      The interview format was different than what I was used to. The interview consisted of a group activity, an individual activity and an hour of questioning with 4 different managers – brutal! The interview was slightly longer than three hours and an interesting experience to say the least.

      The point of this blog is the feedback as I mentioned before and it warrants a blog post because it is the weirdest feedback ever received to date. I’ve gotten too talented or overqualified (though I don’t really trust the recruiter when they say that).

      I received a call at home because I didn’t pick up my cell phone and the recruiter in an nervous voice delivered that I wasn’t selected because in the managers own words I was “condescending”, “rigid” and, “the my way take the highway” type of person. I was floored because I generally avoid confrontations to a fault and generally very agreeable or so I like to think – it is what their personality test said about me. When I further inquired if I came across as rude she insisted I was perfectly polite but “guarded” which was ….

      Aren’t interviews suppose to be formal or was I suppose to be chummy and discuss with them the specifics of the job like I would my latest Korean drama over coffee with my best friend.

      Either way it has been the least helpful and most offensive feedback I have ever received to date, I figured it should be recorded somewhere. I am especially disappointed since it was a major Canadian bank and not some small corporation not caring about public image. This is clearly bothering me far too much because I haven’t been able to sleep and decided to start writing this 5:30 in the morning.

      Cheers and love to hear your opinions and comments!

    • mattyc
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      Wow, sorry to hear about your experience @Sarah. When you ‘inquired further’ was that with the recruiter or one of the interviewing managers? Based on the feedback you received, I’d say someone made their mind up about you very quickly. Since you interviewed with 4 different people, all it takes is one of them to have a personality conflict. You should also consider a scenario in which one of the managers had an agenda to try pushing ahead a different candidate and the best way to do that is to exaggerate or fabricate flaws in the other candidates.

      Either way, you should put this behind you and keep moving on. I am a firm believer that good things eventually happen to hard-working, talented people, and reading your blog posts over the past 8 monts I would defintely put you in that category. You’ll land something that is a good fit and remember the next job you take doesnt have to be your last, so consider using the next position as a stepping stone to something more desireable. Good luck!

    • Zee Tan
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      @sarah sorry to hear about your experience! Although HR in all companies like to represent the hiring process as a very ‘fair’ process etc, I still think it’s a bit like joining a small frat group – it really depends if you’re compatible with the team you’re joining.

      I’ve gone through a few similar interviewing experiences as well, and my thinking is that if the team didn’t think I was compatible with them, it’s probably just as well – if I had to work with a team that didn’t like me much (and vice versa) that would be quite a painful job.

    • Sarah
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      Ah thank guys you make my day.
      The call just made me cranky so I felt like venting. Thank for reading and cheering me up!

    • Sophie Macon
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      *hugs* @Sarah – never ever ever ever give up 😀

    • Zee Tan
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      @sarah that’s what we’re here for!

    • Arbitrageur
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      When interviewing it’s really important to gauge the person you’re talking to quickly and adjust your demeanor to theirs. You shouldn’t ever act contrary to your true personality, but if you’re talking to a laid back MD don’t treat him like a Drill Sergeant. The key is making your best guess as to the interviewer’s personality quickly, so you don’t appear to change your tone mid-interview, and having a reasonably consistent manner throughout all your interviews (no fat tails).

      Also – I have worked at both large and small firms, including a large U.S. IB, and have found that culture often has nothing to do with a firm’s size. In fact, that large IB was more like a raging frathouse than anywhere else I’ve worked.

      Finally – you’re absolutely right to not despair and take every rejection as a learning experience. We’re still in a bad job market (especially if you’re applying for VP-level positions) so the competition is stiff. Best of luck!

    • Sarah
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      Thanks @Arbitrageur.

      I actually have another interview tomorrow (I know right, people interview over the weekend) and another one after that on Tuesday.

      I don’t think it is the interviewer that I wasn’t able to gauge properly. Talking to my mentor he said that the position I applied to isn’t really my type of position. While I can perform really well in a customer service facing job I’d do much better in an analytic type job so it isn’t that surprising that I didn’t get the job. The part that put me off was their lack of professionalism in delivering their feedback (or should I just call it insults!).

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