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Apply for one position, receive interview for another

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Apply for one position, receive interview for another

Postby PJM » Mon Feb 20, 2017 7:59 pm

Hi All-

Long time listener, first time caller. I applied for a senior scientist position at a pretty well established company earlier this month. I was pretty ecstatic today when I received an email asking me to do a video interview (solo video by the way, questions are posted online and you answer via video, which is new to me). Upon further review of the email, it is for a different position than I applied for. Unfortunately, that position is at the associate level, with BS/MS listed as the qualifications, and no mention of the position level being commensurate with experience. A little background about myself: I have a PhD and am currently a postdoc. I've read enough around these parts that accepting a BS/MS position with a PhD is not very good for your career.

So, what is my next move? Email the talent aqcuisition contact, and see if it was a mistake? They obviously saw my CV and know I have a PhD. My wife thinks I should go ahead and do the video interview, and bring it up during a phone interview if it ever gets to that point, and feign my ignorance to the position. She thinks perhaps doing the interview will get my foot somewhat in the door.

Sorry if it is a silly question and thanks for any advice.
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Re: Apply for one position, receive interview for another

Postby PG » Tue Feb 21, 2017 3:38 am

Contacting the talent aqcuisition contact sounds like a good idea to me. I would advice to call them if that is possible instead of sending an e-mail. It might be that the position can be adjusted in content based on who the person that gets the offer is. We do that sometimes in our company ie both the title and the work duties may change depending on which applicants we get. That may not always be obvious from the text in the ad.

Going to an interview for a position that you already know that you dont want isnt necessarily a good idea since it is a waste of everybodys time. In that setting it is also difficult to talk about something else then the position you are being interviewed for. Since you do want to talk with the company and about yourself calling them is better then sending an e-mail. Take the opportunity not only to ask about the position but also to talk about yourself.

When talking with the company dont assume they made a mistake. A mistake is probably the least probable explanation. Either they are flexible on the content of the position (and maybe also the title) or they are trying to hire you as a PhD and postdoc for a position at a lower level in the company. try to get more information and also talk about yourself, your qualifications and experience etc.
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Re: Apply for one position, receive interview for another

Postby Dave Jensen » Tue Feb 21, 2017 2:46 pm

I would go for the interview and then after you've blown them away by how terrific you did, call the HR contact and let him or her know that you are only interested in the role if it can be upgraded to a PhD posting.

Dave
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Re: Apply for one position, receive interview for another

Postby Ana » Tue Feb 21, 2017 5:42 pm

I agree with Dave, never turn down a chance to make a good in person (or video) impression. I have interviewed for "wrong" positions in the past if that was the best way to get to meet HR or the hiring manager.
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Re: Apply for one position, receive interview for another

Postby Dick Woodward » Wed Feb 22, 2017 10:38 am

I would say that all of the answers that you received are right on target - go for the interview - if nothing else, it will be good practice, and will allow you to learn things about the company that you might otherwise not have learned.

I had an interview for a VP slot back in the day, and everything was going very well until the very last person - I think the VP of sales of the company that owned the one that I was interviewing for. He proceeded to tell me that it didn't matter what position I was interviewing for, since if they felt I could best serve the company by moving halfway across the country to be a sales rep, that was where I would go. After 30 minutes with this idiot, I said my goodbyes, drove home and called the recruiter to tell her that I had no interest in any position with a company that would have this fellow in a position of responsibility. She was a bit upset, since they had just called her and told her to offer me the VP position. The moral of the story? Always interview when given the chance - you'll never know what you can learn.

Good luck,

Dick
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Re: Apply for one position, receive interview for another

Postby PJM » Wed Feb 22, 2017 12:55 pm

Thanks everyone for the advice! Went ahead and did the interview, guess I was just a little confused about the difference in position offered versus what I applied for. What's the worst that happens, they offer me the job at the BS/MS level and refuse to budge on turning it into a PhD level job? Will just turn it down and move on. As said, it will all be just good experience anyways. One thing I've learned for sure is to always listen to my wife...and you guys of course. Will let you know how everything turns out.

Also, I found the solo digital interview much more difficult than actually talking (or videoing) with another person. Thankfully you were allowed unlimited takes for every question.
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Re: Apply for one position, receive interview for another

Postby Dave Jensen » Thu Feb 23, 2017 3:59 pm

PJM, let me know what platform the company was using, as these "solo video interviews" that can be done on one's own time is the new hot thing to do, and my company has been considering it. Seems a bit impersonal, though, and perhaps a bit standoffish to the candidate. But when you have too much on your plate, this might be the way to go.

Dave
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Re: Apply for one position, receive interview for another

Postby Dick Woodward » Thu Feb 23, 2017 5:07 pm

The solo video interview strikes me as a bit odd, as it prevents the interviewer from asking follow-up questions that can provide more information than the original question. Interestingly, I have found that the follow-up questions have often provided more information about a candidate's fitness (or lack thereof) for a position than the original, more-or-less "standard" question.

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Re: Apply for one position, receive interview for another

Postby Dave Jensen » Fri Feb 24, 2017 9:34 am

Dick Woodward wrote:The solo video interview strikes me as a bit odd, as it prevents the interviewer from asking follow-up questions that can provide more information than the original question. Interestingly, I have found that the follow-up questions have often provided more information about a candidate's fitness (or lack thereof) for a position than the original, more-or-less "standard" question.

Dick


I totally agree with you. I think that many companies, and some busy recruiting firms, are using this as a method to do the first pass screening. In other words, to go from a list of a dozen interesting CV's to a shorter list of four or five people for a regular video interview or an on-site.

Dave
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Re: Apply for one position, receive interview for another

Postby PJM » Fri Feb 24, 2017 12:26 pm

Dave Jensen wrote:PJM, let me know what platform the company was using, as these "solo video interviews" that can be done on one's own time is the new hot thing to do, and my company has been considering it. Seems a bit impersonal, though, and perhaps a bit standoffish to the candidate. But when you have too much on your plate, this might be the way to go.

Dave


They were using HireVue. Definitely was impersonal, and felt more like I was giving a speech than having an interview. They did give unlimited takes for each question, which was nice. I've had a few phone, video and in-person interviews, and felt like this was actually the most difficult. If multiple or unlimited takes are allowed, nothing really stops anybody from writing something down in Word and having it up on the screen just below the camera and reading off of it...which I would never do of course.

I can see how this is great for the company hiring, no one needs to take multiple hours out of their day to do phone or video interviews. Just need to come up with a few questions, and just watch the 10-15 minute videos when they're done.
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