I had an interview today for a job at a different company.

It's the first round of interviewing, I have yet to actually meet the hiring manager, but I will have 5 interviews with individuals that are part of his team.

I had 3 of those interviews today. Two of which went well, but the third, not so much as it was very different: the questions were very theoretical and the interview generally felt much more aggressive.

I have now realized that the third interviewer was someone who had applied for a role in our company before and didn't get the job. I was the hiring manager for that role and directly intereviewed him. While I can't confirm 100% if he was biased because of that, I think there's a decent chance i.e. maybe he doesn't want me joining and people finding out he was looking elsewhere, or maybe he just wasn't happy with how he didn't get the job.

Do you guys have any advice on how I could proceed in a situation like this? Could it be a conflict of interest type situation?

If so do you think I should mention in the next interview that I had previously interviewed one of the candidates or mention it to the hiring manager over email or mention it to the person who referred me to the job and knows the hiring manager or should I just leave it and do nothing for now?

  • 1
    How long ago was that this person approached your company? – DarkCygnus Oct 13 '17 at 6:27
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    Take a look at his Linkedin profile or at his bio, to see if it jogs your memory. Or perhaps contact friends at your former employer. If you can't be sure 100%, then you should do absolutely nothing. It could also be that you've met that person at an event or something. – Stephan Branczyk Oct 13 '17 at 8:10
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    Maybe he didn't get the job at your old place because of his attitude, not the other way around. – JeffUK Oct 13 '17 at 12:00

could it be a conflict of interest type situation? or is there not much that I can do? 

Well, it is possible that it may be a conflict of interest of some kind (or even some sort of vendetta), given that the person had access to your information. You can even say this could be related to the concept of Work Karma and one of its funny curious manifestations.

However, I think that it is not so useful to try find why he may be doing that, and there isn't much you can do to change that anyways.

You can now be aware of that person in future steps of the recruitment process and be extra careful and professional when being evaluated by him.

If you are a good candidate and demonstrate great skills then that should be enough to make you the right choice for the job, and if that person is a decent professional he will not let something like a past rejection bias his evaluation of you.

If he does, then that is unprofessional from their part, and it would be something to consider. A place with such work environment is probably no good place to be, and you more likely be better seeking elsewhere. Hope this helps you.

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    +1: Yes, if the person you didn't hire is vindictive enough to try and sabotage your interview process, then you probably don't want to work there anyway. – Binary Worrier Oct 13 '17 at 12:04
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    I don't see how an interviewer being unprofessional that way should lead you to think "such work environment is probably no good place to be". Why would you blame the company for a potential biased employee? – Pierre Arlaud Oct 13 '17 at 13:18
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    @PierreArlaud, because if he is unprofessional enough to try to sink your interview, he will be mad that others pushed for you and you got hired. He will 100% take that out on you as he has already demonstrated he is that type of person. – HLGEM Oct 13 '17 at 13:32
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    If OP is qualified, and everyone but the biased interviewer likes him, odds are the other interviewers will ultimately discount the biased interviewer's opinion. – SethWhite Oct 13 '17 at 14:17
  • @PierreArland as HLGEM said, that person may use this chance to take even mpre actions against the OP. If what OP suspects is true, then this is some place that he would probably be better avoiding, so it is a valid thing to consider. Coworkers are part of the company and its environment – DarkCygnus Oct 13 '17 at 14:26

There isn't really much you can do.

There is no way to know how much they'll take his opinion into consideration. If 4/5 of the team think you're great, and the hiring manager does too, then there is no way to know if they'll reject you based on one opinion. You also don't know if this person has told anyone about this. All you can do is continue with the interview process as usual.

If you do get a job offer from this company, you'll need to decide if this person is reason enough to not take the job. If you decide to take it, all you can do is remain professional and do your best. I recommend treating them exactly in the same way as everyone else on the team. There shouldn't be any need to bring it up or make any issue about it.

  • Yep, the only option is to nail all the others. Typically one voice in five won't kill your chances. – Mister Positive Oct 13 '17 at 11:44
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    100% correct answer. Also, if the OP does end up getting the job, he can probably have a side convo with this other guy to bury the hatchet. They might even end up becoming great friends! ("Hey, listen, no hard feelings about the other interview, right? I'm sure you know it wasn't personal, we just decided to go with someone else back then. Can I buy you a beer?") Just because the guy is sore right now doesn't mean he'll be an unforgiving enemy forever. – Steve-O Oct 13 '17 at 13:44

Just soldier on professionally. There isn't much you can do, and if he/she took it personally, they will hold it against you. Even if they didn't take it personally they may think you have bad judgement and devalue your application.

I have been on the other side several times interviewing people who I had been interviewed by years before. I invariably put their application at the bottom of the pile since they had demonstrated bad judgement. It put them at a disadvantage, but I still considered the rest of their application unless it was a role that required that skill.

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