Monday, March 23, 2009

Good for now

I had a phone interview the other day. It's for a fairly large, well-respected company in my industry. This was my second interview with the department, specifically I was talking with who I presume would be my supervisor.

At the end of the interview, she wanted to assess my interest level in the job. This department and a sister department combined would basically described the job I've been doing the past several years. At this company, it's divided into two functional areas of expertise. Her assessment of my resume is that I look better as a candidate for the other department. She asked, "given a choice between the two departments which position would you be more interested in?"


There's a part of me that knows I should say what she wants to hear so that I can land a job. However, there's also the part of me that wants both sides to find the right fit for the job. In this case, I feel I'm a good short-term fit, but I can't say that I'd want to do this particular job for years to come. It's a little too specific and I prefer a bit more variety.

I caveated my answer and said, "If you were to ask me which I want to do for the next five years, I'd have to choose [the other department] job because I like being involved in product decisions. If the horizon is two years, I'd say I'm open to both. This job is very interesting to me because I like the opportunity to work with many other departments. I also think this is a good place to extend my skills and learn how to better predict future trends and how to strategize."

She seemed satisfied with my response and appreciated my honesty, but I couldn't help wonder if that means it's now back to start with HR finding me a position to interview for. Did I do the right thing?

If you were asked to choose between two job positions, how would you answer?

1 comment:

teahouse said...

I think you did the best you could have under the circumstances. It's also hard to gauge the purpose of the question..some people ask tough questions like that as a way of measuring how well a candidate deals with an unexpected question/thinking on their feet while taken by surprise, etc.

I think your answer was good. And it was honest! You definitely don't want to say something you think they want to hear, and then end up in a job that's not a good fit! Everything works out the way it's supposed to.