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Not sure if I phrased the question strangely. Today I was exploring another opportunity at another company. It was more of a casual coffee chat but the "interviewer" did bring up a position and wanted to know if I was interested. We talked a bit and I asked my questions and he said he would follow up later with me. It was pretty casual.

Near the end when he was going to show me around, I got pinged from my current workplace who does not know I am there (I told them I had an appointment and I was supposed to come back soon). Unfortunately, it was a big deal so I had to attend to it. The interviewer mentioned he had a meeting he had to go to so he walked me out and said he would follow up with next steps.

Did I make a really bad impression? On one hand, we finished out interview and it was supposed to be a casual chat. On the other hand, I'm not sure if it makes it seem like I wasn't interested in the position?

closed as primarily opinion-based by gnat, HopelessN00b, Lilienthal, Chris E, IDrinkandIKnowThings Mar 14 '16 at 3:44

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • Did the interviewer know you were taking time of to make the interview? – Thorbjørn Ravn Andersen Mar 5 '16 at 7:26
  • This probably depends on what you said to cut the informal interview short. For example, if you said "actually, I'm supposed to be working right now. I've got to get back before my boss notices I'm not working", that might not have left a wholly positive impression. I doubt you said that but it was just an example of how your wording can come into play. – Brandin Mar 5 '16 at 19:00
  • Those are good questions. Yeah its strange because we definitely did "finish" our chat. We ended on a handshake and I asked all my questions so after we were all done he said he wanted to show me around. I asked if I could just quickly check on something for work and realized people were pinging me about something so I took the time to answer the pings and quickly figure out what was going on. It was then that he said he realized he had a meeting to go to and he said he could just walk me to the lobby where I could finish whatever I needed. – Kevin Xu Mar 6 '16 at 21:23
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If you were talking to him on company time, that could leave a bad impression.

If you were off duty but on call, and responded to that, the impression is that you take your responsibilities seriously, which is a good thing.

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Did I make a really bad impression?

There is no way of knowing with the individual, but responding to an urgent ping is fine. If you excused yourself properly and professionally then it won't create a negative impression and it may create a positive one.

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It's hard to answer your question without knowing more details about exactly how you handled it. I can imagine ways in which you could use this to your advantage and ways in which you could mismanage your way out of a job through this incident.

If you were open and honest about the fact that you were sneaking out of your current job to have that chat, and explained the seriousness of the incident that caused them to call you, then I can see it going to your advantage.

If you weren't clear about the circumstances of your visit, or gave no impression that the call was a serious issue that you needed to deal with urgently, then perhaps not.

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