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I’m Interviewing at a Company Where Someone I Didn’t Get Along With Works (VIDEO)

How do I handle this?


I received the question from someone that I thought was very useful. It describes a situation where a person (I'm not going to identify gender) was interviewing with the firm and had already met the president, but then discovered that someone that they fought with regularly, was employed at the firm in a senior sales role. And they handle it?

I'm sorry that this has occurred. Disagreements, sometimes political, sometimes in the course of selling, people butt heads with one another. That is sufficiently difficult for you indicates how vehement the differences were. Let me divide the scenarios into 2. One is big company environment. A few thousand people. This is a lead salesperson. I don't know the role that you're interviewing for. But, given that your writing, I will assume that is also a sales role, perhaps where you might even interact with this person regularly.

At a major corporation, I might let things roll. I might not really address the issue head-on. Again, I'm operating with a limited amount of information so I don't know whether this actually will be someone that you interact with daily or not. If you would interact with them daily. My advice might be more like the next piece of advice I would give. If this is with a big company, I might not call this person because (let me just pick the name of the bank and use it as an example). You are interviewing at Capital One-- there are tens of thousands of people who work for it. What is the likelihood that the president of this firm is going to contact the salesperson in that organization for permission to hire you? Pretty damn small.

So, in the monster firms I wouldn't bother unless you know for fact that this person would be interacting with you. If that were the case, the advice I would give would be also represents smaller companies. In smaller companies and in large firms where you would interact with the person, I would call this person up immediately.

"Hi! I just met with so-and-so. I know we had our differences for years. The fact is I am a different person than I was then. I've learned some things. I'm sure you are different person than you were then. I just wanted you to know that I'm interviewing with your company. I hope you can see that I am different that I was then."

This person may stand in your way. This person may say, "Yeah. It was a tough time then..." Whatever it is, they may say something more appealing in conciliatory, Just as you have said to them. I just believe it's better off to confront his head on with the person that you have the issue with. That's because if you believe they are going to be contacted, then you might as well get it done with so that in this way, if it is going to happen (or as a former colleague of mine once said, "You either blow it in or you blow it out."), It's either going to happen or it isn't. There is no gray here. This persons other than standing your way or they aren't.

If they aren't, great! If they are, get it done with by saying to this person, "I'm a different person than I was then; I hope you can put the past behind us. My goal is not to be rude. I just want to make a living. I hope you can put the past behind you." Then, let it go. That's because obviously there's enough history there that your concern, which suggests that there was a serious problem.

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. His work involves life coaching, as well as executive job search coaching and business life coaching. He is the host of “Job Search Radio,” “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” and his newest show, “No BS Coaching Advice.”

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