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I just had an interview for a role (career shift, really) and it felt good. But something the Hiring Manager said to me (it was just he and I in the interview) has stuck in my mind.

As an Interviewer I have to do two things: 1) is make sure you are a good fit for me and the role...I think you are. And 2) make sure I am a good fit for you, and honestly, I really don't know.

We then proceeded to have a very nice closing to the conversation, exchanged cards and I went on my way. However, his works are echoing in my mind. I have never had an interview like that before. As a result I am now wondering the following:

  1. Was number two, "...make sure I am a good fit for you..." double speak for something?
  2. Is this a red flag for the company or the opposite?
  3. I feel the interview went well, should I be worried about not getting the role?

This leads me to my question - does anyone have any insights into what he said, and hopefully why? (Bonus points if you can address those questions I listed above).

  • I think there is no need to worry about what they say. Perhaps you are thrilled by the new opportunity and maybe overthinking this a bit. – DarkCygnus Aug 9 '19 at 21:02
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    I interpret it as you have the necessary qualifications and skills for the job but maybe the job is not suited to your personality/experience/ambitions/blah, blah. Could it be used as a get out of jail free card? – Mari-Lou A Aug 9 '19 at 21:03
  • It seems you missed an opportunity in that conversation to ask him to elaborate. As you have exchanged cards, perhaps you can email him as a follow up and ask if anything in the interview gave him concern and if there is anything you can do to address those. – onnoweb Aug 12 '19 at 18:44
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This is a common issue.

1) means that the hiring manager has to be sure that you would be effective in the role, able to do the job. He seems to think you are.

2) means that he also wants to be sure that the job is going to give you what you want - will it be fulfilling for you, pay enough, challenge you, and have ethics and culture that you buy into. Generally speaking, will you be happy in the job. He thinks you might not be.

Why does he care about this? Because people who are not happy in their jobs tend to end up doing the minimum, becoming complainers, disrupting the workplace, or just quitting. All of these are bad for the company, and lots of hiring managers don't want to hire people who are not a good fit for the job.

You should pay him some attention. He knows what the job is like, and probably sees something in you that he thinks doesn't fit. That's not necessarily a bad thing for you - if you are a thoughtful, detail-oriented person and the job requires quick and dirty results then you might end up not liking it. Or maybe he thinks there isn't as much responsibility as you are used to and you would be bored. You should probably find out more about why he thinks there isn't a good fit.

If you really want the job, after what he says, then it's up to you to convince him that you would be happy. Maybe you really are looking for a less responsible job because you have other things going on in your life right now.

  • Thank you for your insights, I will do some introspection, and follow up with you about what I did. Honestly, his saying that just made me want to work for him because it to me makes it seem as though he has the capacity to manage a team and look out for their well-being at the same time. And a "well-maintained" team in my experience has less turn over and less down time. – Crosbonaught Aug 12 '19 at 14:53
  • Ask this hiring manager: call and ask him what he meant. No harm can come from it. Maybe you can reassure him. – O. Jones Aug 12 '19 at 20:53
  • I marked this answer as correct, because the Manager called me the other day and we had a long discussion (which resulted in a job offer). In this discussion he highlighted a lot of the points discussed above and I learned a lot from him. Unfortunately we couldn't come to an agreement as there was a scheduling issue that wouldn't make work (and the only solution would be a very large potential for issues with current staff). – Crosbonaught Aug 22 '19 at 17:28
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So I'd agree on DJClayworth's answer.

It's great you got this feedback as it shows where you need to work on your interviewing.

Basically, you showed the interviewer why your skills/knowledge/experience makes you the kind of person they want, but you didn't convince them of why they should hire you.

As the manager says, it's a two way thing, how you fit to them, and how they fit to you.

You need to show them in your answers that this job is what you actually want, how it's the natural move for you and how you can use it to grow.

A move sideways into a job where you are already comfortable will likely bore you long term.

A job that's not interesting similarly.

You need to show this is the move you want and have been waiting for, so you'll grab it with both hands. If you can't show that there is risk you'll leave/fail/coast and if the manager has just spent weeks getting money approved to bring this role on that's a worry.

So for your next interview, do your homework, and be ready to say why this is your opportunity of a lifetime.

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