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I just had one of the funniest interviews I have ever had:

The "hiring manager" called me after a very professional phone screen that took place a few days earlier at a large well known rapidly growing company.

He called late and admitted it was due to dialing the wrong number multiple times. He had no good questions for me and he was fumbling trying to think of them. He never asked me for questions and the whole phone interview lasted 8 minutes. It was obvious he couldn't think of any more questions so he told me to expect a call from HR soon.

The best I could do at the time was to explain my experience in a nutshell without rambling on.

Is it possible to communicate my qualifications for the position when the interviewer is completely unprepared? Should I take control of the interview of myself by answering questions that he should have asked?

This last question would be speculation but do people really get hired from interviews like that?

  • "Do people really get hired from interviews like that?" Sometimes. I once hot hired after an interview that lasted 20 minutes (they did require me to take a separate test to demonstrate that I could program in the language they used). – GreenMatt May 19 '16 at 14:16
24

If this happens to you, you should:

  • Act as if the hiring manager just said, "Tell me why I should hire you."

In response, you should explain how your work experience and/or education uniquely qualify you for the job.

Every hiring manager is looking for candidates who can solve problems. So you should:

  • Prove to the hiring manager that you understand the problems which you will be expected to solve.
  • And demonstrate your ability to solve them.
14

Bunch of things you can try:

  1. "You sound awfully busy today, I'd more than happy to reschedule if that works better for you"
  2. "If you don't mind, there are a few questions about the role and the company, I'd like to ask you". Rattle down your pre-prepared list
  3. "I've carefully studied the requirements of the posting. I'd be happy to go through them one by one and explain how my skills and experiences match up." Rattle down your pre-prepared list that should have been part of your cover letter anyway.
  4. "Would you like me to explain why I think I'm a good fit for the job?"
  5. "Would you like me to explain why I'm so excited about this specific opportunity and why it's a great fit for me?"

If none of this elicits any usable response, I'd probably stop the call there.

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