Author Topic: How To Respond to Classmate Usurping My Interview? GOOD UPDATE! Post 10  (Read 6366 times)

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Enkidu

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I am in a pre-professional graduate program and my classmates and I are currently interviewing at various potential placements for a required, 500 hour internship for the spring. This morning I was scheduled to interview at a potential placement. I know 3 others of my classmates were also setting up interviews there, because the interviewer cc'd us all on the same email about available time slots. I replied immediately and she set me up for the first interview of the day, at 10:00 a.m.

This morning, I arrived for my interview promptly at 9:55, only to find that one of my classmates, "Becky," had apparently  come really, REALLY early for her interview, and was already in the interviewer's office, chatting with her! My reaction was  :o :( >:(

I snapped my face back into a neutral expression/smile as quick as  I could and greeted the interviewer and my classmate. Interviewer ended up taking us both on the facility tour together, then asked her to wait outside so she could meet with us individually, as had been planned.

So, my questions are:

1. Is this as off as it seems to me? My upset reaction may be colored by the fact that I have a "history" with Becky. She's in two of my group projects and we've butted heads. Also, we (and another classmate, who was also interviewing at this place) carpooled together up until last week, when I made a diplomatic excuse to start driving myself. The real reason is, to be frank, I don't like her. She interrupts constantly and is very judgemental.

2. If you were the interviewer, how would you feel about Becky showing up so early? Is it a positive, negative, or neutral? Becky made no secret that she was really interested in this placement, so I think in her eyes she saw it as being "extra enthusiastic." From my perspective, it was a jerk move, but I'm interested in others' perspectives.

3. How do I respond? My first inclination is just to ignore her and pretend it doesn't bother me at all. I'm certainly not going to bring it up? However, we have class together later today, and I'm wondering how I should respond if she says something?

Thanks for your thoughts and suggestions! I want to handle this in the best way possible.
« Last Edit: October 25, 2012, 11:29:07 PM by Enkidu »

Deetee

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Re: How should I Respond to Classmate Usurping My Interview?
« Reply #1 on: October 25, 2012, 01:39:05 PM »
Ignore.

It really has very little to do with you. The interviewer decided how she wanted to handle it and you still had your individual interview. (There may have been a possibility that the tour would have been together anyhow-perhaps between your interviews-I've had that happen in interview situations). I don't see that she usurped anything. She showed up early. You still had your interview before hers.

I don't doubt that she is unpleasant, but I think your previous history is making this seem worse that it is.  All that I see from the events you told up is that she showed up early (30-40 minutes?, assuming you had a 30 minute interview planned) for an interview.


camlan

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Re: How should I Respond to Classmate Usurping My Interview?
« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2012, 01:41:06 PM »
Becky wouldn't have been chatting with the interviewer unless the interviewer wanted to chat. Arriving super early wouldn't impress me as an interviewer. It might, depending on how the rest of the interview went, raise some yellow flags. So either a negative or a neutral. Arriving way to early could be a sign of poor time management or that she didn't record the time of the interview properly. Arriving way too early and expecting me to interview her right away (I don't know if Becky did expect this), would be another negative. If Becky busted her way into the interviewer's office without an invitation, another negative. If someone had to get a ride to the interview and had to be dropped off very early, I'd expect them to wait inconspicuously until their interview time.*

However, I suppose some people might interpret this as eagerness and like it.

I don't blame you for being a little upset with Becky, but I wouldn't let it show. Just don't mention the interview. If she brings it up, you can always ask her why she was so early.

*Once, a young man had a scheduled 2 pm interview. He was going to be interviewed by three people, but he didn't know that. He showed up at 10 am and asked the receptionist if he could be interviewed then. While the other two people were running around trying to reschedule meetings to accommodate him, I just said no. Four hours early? and with no explanation? I went out the front of the office and told him to come back at 2. He didn't impress anyone and wasn't even a consideration for the job. I really think he wanted an earlier interview time because it would have been more convenient for him and no other reason. Had he called and asked for a time change, we might have accommodated him, but as it was, he left a very negative impression behind him.

« Last Edit: October 25, 2012, 01:54:30 PM by camlan »
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gramma dishes

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Re: How should I Respond to Classmate Usurping My Interview?
« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2012, 01:43:53 PM »
No question that her goal was to try to nudge her way in there in front of you, elbowing you 'out of line' so to speak.   >:(

But if I were the interviewer, I would not be impressed by this.  I would, however, be impressed by the way you recovered from the "surprise" of seeing her there ahead of you.

As to how to handle her this afternoon?  I'd just stay as far away from her as possible, but without in any way being rude about it.  I'd smile at her, perhaps say "Hi" and then move on to another friend or group of friends.  In other words, exactly what you said.  "My first inclination is just to ignore her and pretend it doesn't bother me at all." 

If she brings the subject up I have absolute confidence that you will handle it appropriately based on how you've handled her so far.   :)

Zilla

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Re: How should I Respond to Classmate Usurping My Interview?
« Reply #4 on: October 25, 2012, 01:51:14 PM »
I too would ignore.  And actually it was a great way to show the interviewer that you are a team player, can adapt to suprises and even though she may not know the history of you two, you unknowingly showed that you can be professional even with someone you dislike.  So I wouldn't address it at all.  And regardless who was in the first time slot, it sounds like she was planning on showing up anyhow.  Hope you get the position.
As for what the interviewer thought, I would think he or she was fine with it or perhaps slightly impressed since Becky was invited along on the tour.  However it was a huge gamble on Becky's part.  I wouldn't suggest it for future interviews.
« Last Edit: October 25, 2012, 01:53:34 PM by Zilla »

Hmmmmm

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Re: How should I Respond to Classmate Usurping My Interview?
« Reply #5 on: October 25, 2012, 01:54:35 PM »
I'd ignore.  It could be that her ride to the interview had to drop her off early.

Judah

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Re: How should I Respond to Classmate Usurping My Interview?
« Reply #6 on: October 25, 2012, 01:56:07 PM »
Is it at all possible that the interviewer told Becky to come early so that she didn't have to repeat the tour? Either way, I would ignore.
Ask for what you want. Let's be clear on this one:
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Just say it!

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WillyNilly

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Re: How should I Respond to Classmate Usurping My Interview?
« Reply #7 on: October 25, 2012, 02:03:41 PM »
Definitely ignore.  Interviewers are regular people too and they will see someone trying to kiss up and weasel in.  You were on time, you were gracious, you were professional.  let your own merits shine.  Don't you worry about Becky.

The only thing I'd say, is if she brings up her being there, you can reply "yeah that was a bit weird, I hope they don't think you didn't know your own interview time or anything!" in a kind of flippant way, just to get under her skin by planting a seed of doubt.

I was an admin assistant for years for a VP and worked with plenty of other admins for VPs and let me tell you none of them appreciated early interviewees, not one. 

Enkidu

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Re: How should I Respond to Classmate Usurping My Interview?
« Reply #8 on: October 25, 2012, 02:09:27 PM »
Thanks for the replies! I really appreciate the perspective. I will continue to take the high road. You all are right that it has very little to do with me. Thank you for reminding me of that.
 
I'm not sure if the interviewer quite realized what was going on, but it's a busy, go-with-the-flow kind of place, so she took it in stride. I did derive a tiny bit of pleasure that, while we were on the tour together, the interviewer twice accidentally called her "Betty." 

She's not going to be easy to avoid. She sits directly beside me, and both classes that we have today are the classes with the group projects, both of which have assignments due today.

I will update if she brings it up Becky brings it up, or I hear back from the interviewer.. If she does, I was thinking I would respond deliberately very neutrally with, "Yeah, that was a surprise." And immediately beandip. How does that sound?

Kaypeep

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Re: How should I Respond to Classmate Usurping My Interview?
« Reply #9 on: October 25, 2012, 03:40:25 PM »
I'd ignore.  It could be that her ride to the interview had to drop her off early.
This.  Or if she took public transit her choice was arrive early or very late, so she went early.  Or drove over early to anticipate traffic or the building complex, or to fill out paperwork.  I don't think half an hour early is a grievous thing.  I think your opinion of her is clouding your judgment here.  If I were the interviewer I'd be happy if I could give one tour for 2 people than two tours.  It would save me a lot of time.  You might have had the tour together anyway.  They could have taken you after your interview, along with her, before her interview.

Enkidu

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Re: How should I Respond to Classmate Usurping My Interview?
« Reply #10 on: October 25, 2012, 11:27:55 PM »
Regarding those who suggested it might have been a transportation issue that caused her to arrive at least 40 minutes early (she was already there when I got there 5 minutes before my interview) - Nope. She drove herself, and the facility is only 20 minutes away from where we both live.

Becky announced early on (while we were all still carpooling) that this place was her number one choice, and acted quite put out when I mentioned our faculty advisor (we were assigned the same one) had also arranged for me to interview there. And the third member of our carpool (who was also interviewing at this same facility) had told us both about a previous placement interview he had scheduled. He arrived only to find that another classmate, whose interview had been scheduled first, had already been promised the internship. So I think there was probably some intent in her mind to "be the early worm and snag the job."

It will be interesting to see if she does! I took all your good advice, and took the high road. When I saw her in class I smiled and was pleasant. I didn't mention the interview and neither did she.

It definitely made it easier when, halfway through our first class, I got an email from my number one choice, a place I interviewed with on Tuesday saying I got the internship!

So, I just posted a facebook status happily announcing that I got my number one internship choice! But I didn't exactly say where that was, and Becky doesn't know I've interviewed anywhere else. I won't lie; I'm  hoping she sees the status and sweats it.

But, even if she doesn't, I landed a great internship that I'm very excited about!

Lindee

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Re: How To Respond to Classmate Usurping My Interview? GOOD UPDATE! Post 10
« Reply #11 on: October 25, 2012, 11:42:50 PM »
Congratulations!  I think you have handled this very well and I hope the internship is a great success for you.

WillyNilly

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Re: How should I Respond to Classmate Usurping My Interview?
« Reply #12 on: October 26, 2012, 12:15:54 AM »

So, I just posted a facebook status happily announcing that I got my number one internship choice! But I didn't exactly say where that was, and Becky doesn't know I've interviewed anywhere else. I won't lie; I'm  hoping she sees the status and sweats it.


Hahahahaha!  Awesome!  And congrats!

Zilla

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Re: How To Respond to Classmate Usurping My Interview? GOOD UPDATE! Post 10
« Reply #13 on: October 26, 2012, 10:03:43 AM »
Awesome!  Congrats.  I think the only thing that could top it if you also got offered the internship at this place too. <puts back evilZilla back in the box>

gramma dishes

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Re: How To Respond to Classmate Usurping My Interview? GOOD UPDATE! Post 10
« Reply #14 on: October 26, 2012, 11:20:37 AM »
Congratulations on getting your first choice.  Enjoy!