I went through multiple interviews with a firm culminating in a final interview with the VP. It seemed like a final step to just seal the deal and I had a great conversation for 90+ minutes where we even discussed which team I could join. He said that he would discuss with the other managers who had interviewed me the next day and they would get back to me next week. The very first thing next morning I receive a rejection email so I was a little surprised and then later in the afternoon the VP replied to my thank you message on LinkedIn where he said that he was looking forward to speaking to me the next week. Should I respond to him?
Should I respond to him?
Yes, unless you did not like at all the interview process/the company.
From what you say, it seems that they are not going to consider you for the position, but the VP may be interested in offering you something else.
I would definitely go there - just consider it as another step in the interview process, and don't sell yourself too short if he makes you a different offer.
My current boss is very fond of telling a story about how he was in the middle of an interview with the VP and CFO of a company, and receiving an email(during the interview) that he'd been rejected. This was an automated response that he shouldn't have received.
That being said, if the VP is stating that he's looking forward to meeting with you still next week, there is nothing wrong with replying to him. There's two scenarios here. 1.) It was an automated response sent on accident, and you were in fact not meant to receive it. 2.) It was sent genuinely and the VP is unaware. The worst thing that can happen is that you were in fact rejected. The best thing is you could be on the receiving end of an offer.
Appreciating people for spending their time with you is just a basic courtesy. When a school teacher gives student a failure grade - he is just doing his job! So it is not the end of the world.
If VP has specifically asked you to meet - leave your baggage for the last interview aside and just go with an open mind just to listen to him. You might be there for a surprise or he might just want some other help.
We are typically in a hyper-networked-world. So while a person X may or may not be able to hire in a company Y, he may still carry a positive view about you when he is around in some other company or even same company different context.