So, I haven't posted in about a month and wanted to share a new and disheartening interviewing experience that I am seeing trending.
I have had 3 interviews in the past 4-6 weeks; ranging from VP of Technology to CIO, and then most recently last week, CTO.
I was told that only a handful (less than 5) candidates were selected to interview with only (1) being an internal candidate, for each role. This would be a compliment, if there was actually one there. You see, I was brought in as what I call, "the one of 3". What is this you ask?
I was brought in to be competitive against the internal candidate; not others. This means that they either weren't sure the internal candidate was right for the role; wasn't experienced enough; OR they didn't want to invest time and money training a new person on their staff.
In one interview, I was told that I was the perfect candidate and most experienced BUT they offered the job to an 11 year employee. When I asked for feedback, they said I was perfect for the position but opted to give it to the internal staff member. In the 2nd interview, I was told I was overqualified. This was during a 4 person panel interview with an all male audience. Overqualified translated to something obviously else.
Lastly, the most recent interview went to an internal candidate as well. When I asked for feedback, the HR representative stumbled upon her words and said that they went with the internal candidate because "he was already familiar with the team."
So, there is the trend...three roles as a female in IT at the executive level. All went to men; all internal candidates. This is very disturbing to me. In the third series of interviews, I was questioned by a panel of 4 (HR, IT, Operations, and Legal). It was an 1.5 hour appointment, in person, an hour away.
All I have to say to hiring folks, now, that the pandemic is magically disappearing as it has no political credence anymore is this...don't bring me in unless you really want me for the role. It is quite expensive to invest in gas, travel, clothing, and time to only be presented just to "Check the box!" so that you can promote from within.
While I find it a good idea to promote internally, I do not find it legitimate to do so because you have doubts. If the person is really qualified, interviewing others isn't necessary. The truly experienced individual should be promoted without competing with others.
Yes, I know that some companies require interviewing three individuals for roles. Just be transparent in the interviewing process, please. Also, the expectations haven't changed. If I am interviewing for an executive level role, I will dress and prepare for the conversation. You should be too. For the CIO role, all 4 men were dressed in polo shirts instead of proper attire for interviewing at that level.
I am tired of interviewing. I am more than upset with rejection. It has been a full year. I know I am worthy of a role as I have been interviewed for them. In my opinion, I am being told I am "overqualified" as a means to say that I am either too old or the wrong gender.
I have had folks tell me here that I must be doing something wrong in my interviews and it's my fault for not getting the roles. I can appreciate your opinions but that isn't the case. I ask for feedback every time and am told that there wasn't anything wrong. In one of the interviews, I was told that I had the best discussion and answered the most intelligently! So, I know it isn't me.
I try to always have an upbeat and positive thought process to the whole painful experience of interviewing. I will tell you, that there have been more down days for me lately than up. Earlier this week, I didn't want to get out of bed and do the "rinse and repeat" of getting everyone off to school and work and then beating my keyboard for roles either on portals like here and LinkedIn or through my network.
I know many of you are experiencing the same thing. I am just really tired of spending so much time, money, and effort into discussions that never pan out. I am also tired of being overlooked because of discrimination in some fashion.
If anyone is looking for a hard working, extremely bright, IT executive, give me a holler! As for those looking for employment, I feel for you and wish you lots of luck and hopefully, great success in your mission.
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