weird coworkers, weird interviewers, name-dropping, and more

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It’s seven short answers to seven short questions, most of them about weird behavior of one form or another. Here we go…

1. Manager offered the job to someone else while we were still negotiating salary

I was offered a position after conducting two interviews and was told by the hiring manager I was the best fit for the job. I was told my salary and I informed the manager I would need a day to decide on her offer. The following day, I called back to confirm I would accept the position but also wanted to negotiate the pay. The manager agreed to look into my salary request over the next couple of days and have an answer for me by the following Monday.

By Monday, the manager had not responded, so I sent an email reminding her of our discussion. The following day, the manager called and said, “Unfortunately we cannot provide you with your desired salary.” I thanked her for considering it and said I would accept the position regardless. She then said she had since offered the position to someone else because she thought I had declined her initial offer and thought I said I would not want the job if I couldn’t get my desired salary. I am so enraged because I clearly communicated that I had accepted. Is this normal?

No. The manager mishandled this.

That said, it’s also not normal to accept a position but say you still want to negotiate the salary (largely because at that point, you’ve forfeited your negotiating power; they already know that you’ll accept it at the first number they offered — and if that’s not true, then you haven’t really accepted it; you’re still negotiating). So that was weird — but not as bad as what the manager did.

2. Interviewer asked me to guess at the weaknesses of the other employees I’d met

I recently went on an all-day interview, and the last woman I interviewed with, the woman to whom this position would report, asked me (1) for my opinion on the employees I had met with before her and (2) what each of their weaknesses were. I replied that I didn’t have enough information to know, but she encouraged me to take a guess. She said she wanted to see how I well I could read people. Would this strike you as a red flag?

It would strike me as pretty damn weird, yes. It doesn’t mean that you should run in the opposite direction, necessarily, but it does mean that this woman might have some boundary issues and that she definitely has a misunderstanding of what’s appropriate to ask job candidates, and that you’d want to probe a lot more into what she’s like and how else this weirdness might manifest before accepting a job working for her.

3. Should you update an interviewer on achievements you learn about after your interview?

For the last year, I have been volunteering as a grant writer for my friend’s nonprofit arts organization because I wanted to begin a career in the nonprofit world and I figured that this would be a good way to develop fundraising skills and obtain quantifiable achievements for my resume. The plan seems to be working: last week I landed an interview for a development associate position based largely on the strength of my volunteer work. The interview went well — they seemed impressed that I took the initiative to teach myself a new skill and get results with it — and I haven’t heard from them since the interview (which I recognize is normal and no reason to draw conclusions either way).

Today I just found out that two proposals I had written for my friend’s organization have been approved. This greatly improves my fundraising total — doubles it, in fact, and establishes a proposal writing success rate of 100%. I am of course thrilled but I really wish I had this information when I was interviewing. Would it be appropriate to drop my interviewer an email and mention this new achievement, or is this something I just need to sit on for the next position that I apply for?

Yes, I think you can do that! To be clear, I wouldn’t do this every time you have an achievement — I don’t want anyone to extrapolate from this to think that they should email a prospective employer to announce they just won a new account or fixed a major network server issue. But in this case, you’re entering a new field and you’re still untested — so it’s useful and reasonable to say, “Hey, I just wanted to let you know that I’m starting to get results in from this work — both of my first two proposals have been funded, and I’d love to talk more about what I might do for XYZ organization along those lines.”

4. My coworker showed me the warning our boss sent him

I’m trying to figure out what to do with an odd situation at work. I am thinking of ignoring it, but I’m wondering if I should make my boss aware. We have a new team member who is not coming up to speed as fast as would be desired (this is an understatement, and it is obvious to me and I presume all experienced members of the team). Our boss put him on notice for specific items he needs to improve on. I know this because the coworker who was put on notice showed me the email he was sent documenting the notice and details. I read the subject line and first paragraph and then said I didn’t think I should be reading it (as I realized what it was!). He said he didn’t mind.

It was being shown as a reason (excuse?) for something else important that got dropped because he had received the warning and was upset just then, but … should he really have shown me this? Is this just weird, or is it something our boss needs to know? For the moment I’m filing it under “just weird” but it’s so weird, I’m not sure my instincts of how to handle it are right.

I’d file it under “just weird” too. I don’t think your boss needs to hear about it because it’s not a major violation of anything … just something unusual for your to share, particularly since he did it in the context of “You should excuse me for messing up X because I’d just been told that I’m messing up lots of things.”

5. My coworker won’t stop badmouthing my soon-to-be new boss

Recently, after several years at the same job (where I was somewhat successful), I’ve decided to take an offer from a new company. It was heartbreaking as I cared very deeply for my old job and the people, but it’s a great career step.

However, I’m a little confused about the behavior of one of my current coworkers (in fact, she reports to me), or whether in fact her behavior is the issue at all. Here’s what’s happened: after I announced my resignation and discussed my new opportunity, my soon-to-be-ex team member has been loudly telling me about how her partner previously worked for this new company, in fact the same boss, and hated it. My team member has, several times a day, been sharing horror stories about my soon-to-be boss which are really unsettling me. I have asked her to stop, and she’s continued to quietly share these stories with colleagues, sometimes in my earshot.

Now, I’m not naive. Oftentimes, stories of horror coworkers and bosses are worth listening to, and I suppose I’m scared that my team member’s stories are correct. In fact, I’m sure that her partner isn’t lying about his experiences. So I suppose I have two questions: should I run from this new job (my current employer would gladly accept me back, and I have several weeks before the start date), and is my team member’s behavior well-meaning (as she claims) or some sort of acting out against me leaving?

I don’t know what’s motivating your employee, but I do know that this isn’t normal. If she had legitimate concerns about your impending new manager, this is not the appropriate way to handle them; talking to you discreetly would be. She’s displaying such bad judgment here that, to me at least, it calls into question how reliable her assessment of your new boss is.

Did you do due diligence on your new manager and new workplace before accepting the job? If so, I would not change your mind just because of questionable behavior from someone with questionable judgment. I would, however, talk to her privately and ask her what on earth is up.

6. Can I name-drop my friend in my cover letter to her organization?

Just had your site recommended to me by a friend, and I have now spent two hours agonizing over all my cover letter failings! The good news is that I can now happily retire phrases like “motivated self-starter” from my vocabulary (not sure why I needed someone to point out how cliche and overused that is).

Question, though. I am applying to a communications director job at a nonprofit. My friend, who currently works there, alerted me that the position would be opening and encouraged me to apply. Is it inappropriate to mention her name in my cover letter, as in “Jane Doe told me about this position” or does that come off as name dropping? My qualifications don’t exactly line up with what they’ve advertised (though I still think I’m a good match), so my cover letter really needs to grab their attention. I figure it can’t hurt that, on a small staff, one person can vouch that I am not a crazy person, though I suppose she will probably put in a good word whether I drop her name or not.

You should absolutely mention that she encouraged you to apply, and it’s not name-dropping — well, I mean, it technically is, but not in the inappropriate sense. It’s very normal, no one will bat an eye, and it might get you a second look.

7. Informational interviews after you’ve already applied for a job

I am currently working as an AmeriCorps member, which means I have a fixed, one-year term. Because of that, I have been applying to jobs or sending letters of interest to employers in my field. (My term of service ends August 2).

Today, a well-connected board member at the nonprofit where I’m placed approached me to get a copy of my resume. I have sent it to him previously, but he needed another copy because he had recently run into a friend who happens to work in my field. She was open to providing informational interviews. After I sent him my resume, he passed it along to the woman and CC’d me on the email so I could get in touch with her. As it turns out, she works for one of the organizations to which I’ve applied for a position.

What exactly should I do? It has been a few weeks since I applied (I sent it out at the very beginning of the month), and I haven’t been contacted by the organization other than an automated “application received” email. I don’t want to come across as trying to get around the job application process, but I also don’t want to turn down making a connection, especially since this person is at a well-respected organization in my field and I’d love to work for them. I know you have expressed a disinterest for informational interviews in the past, but do you have any advice before I reach out to this woman?

Just be straightforward: “Hi Jane, I would love the opportunity to talk with you. I want to disclose, though, that I recently applied for the X position with ABC organization, and I don’t want you to think I’m trying to circumvent your application process. But if you’re wiling to talk with me about (fill in what you want to talk about — your field, career advice, whatever), I’d really love to pick your brain.”

{ 53 comments… read them below or add one }

  1. Jessa

    #5 – It really sounds like your coworker is trying to gaslight you a little. It just makes no sense to talk around you and not TO you except to get you nervous and make you not want the new job. This could also make you unsuitable for the current job as well. Because it kind of makes you look flakey. If your radar wasn’t set off about the new job take it. Don’t let this get you down.

    Reply
  2. PEBCAK

    #6: PLEASE let your friend know in advance that you are doing this. It sounds like you two already talked, and so it won’t come as a shock to her, but ask her permission anyway. You don’t want her to be on the spot when someone drops by her desk and asks about you or find out later that the particular hiring manager hates your friend.

    Reply
  3. Virgnia

    5: On of my first jobs was actually one a friend of mine had just left. She told me all kinds of horror stories about her boss (not in the same context as your coworker. My friend confided in me while she was working there so she wouldn’t go crazy.) I ended up applying when she quit not realizing it was the same job she had just left. I got the job and that boss turned out to be one of the best I ever had. Different people react to situations and people in interesting ways. What was horrible for your coworker’s partner might be perfectly fine for you. Especially if you hadn’t noticed anything odd about the boss, or workplace culture.

    Reply
    1. Newly Hired

      Yeah. I’m working at a place now that a friend of mine basically got me into (she alerted me when someone was quitting, and gave me the hiring manager’s contact info). My friend has had trouble getting along with the person who is now my manager, and their work styles do not mesh well in the slightest, so I dutifully listened to a lot of ranting before I ever thought I might be working here.

      But my professional and communication styles are very different than my friend’s and I’ve had pretty much no trouble with my manager at all. Granted, I feel that in order to be successful I need to do a very high amount of “managing up” as it were but the personality conflicts aren’t there so it’s easy. My friend, though, despite having a similar skill set to me, could never do this job for this boss without exploding. And that’s okay. We’re different people.

      Reply
      1. Felicia

        I had a similar situation…I got the job that my friend just left, mostly on her recommendation. She had hated the manager, but I ended up really liking him. We just were looking for different things in a manager…the manager wasn’t bad, just the opposite of her style. Though she loved the actual work, and I ended up hating the actual work, so just because someone hates OR loves something,, doesn’t mean you’ll feel the same way. It’s probably better to ask what specifically they dont like and figure out if you’ll feel the same way.

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        1. Jamie

          This is so important. I’ve worked very well and liked some managers others have described as nightmares. Rightfully so, because they were challenging personalities, but their management style didn’t trip any of my triggers and I’m good with challenging people…as long as I have the autonomy to do my job.

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        2. Chinook

          I think that realizing that different personalities react to each other differently is so important. What your coworker’s partner was like or how they were in the job may have triggered something in that manager or the manager may have rubbed the partner the wrong way. If there were no other red flags, I wouldn’t worry about it.

          As for how your coworker is dealing with it, it almost sounds like she is trying to undermine you in your current job by setting you up for failure in the eyes of your current coworkers so that, if you did come back, she could say “told you so.” It sounds veryqgueen bee like especially since you did the professional thing and asked her not to talk to you about it.

          Reply
    2. BCW

      I agree with that. Me and my boss at my last place couldn’t stand each other. I would never recommend someone else work for her. She didn’t hire me, so that could have something to do with it. I was very good at what I did, but me and her clashed all the time. With that said, some of my friends who worked there, that she did hire, got along great with her. So I think the stories are valid and you should probably listen and take them into consideration. With that said its hard to know if you will have the same issues.

      Reply
    3. Loose Seal

      Same thing happened to me. All during my notice period, I was told my soon-to-be boss was terrible, everyone hated her, she was mean to employees, you name it. But she turned out to be the best boss I’ve ever had. I’d still be working for her if I hadn’t moved too far away. And I wish that science would hurry up and develop a teleporting machine so I could work for her still.

      Reply
  4. Jessie

    #6: one thing I always wonder about: since good friends aren’t always good employees, is it worth the risk that you might be aligning yourself with someone the hiring manager doesn’t like or respect? It’s one thing if you’ve worked with your friend and are confident in the quality if their work, but what if its a friend you haven’t worked with? Any thoughts? Am I over-thinking it?

    Reply
    1. Parfait

      Definitely not overthinking it. I used a friend as as a referral to try to get a job at her place of work, and she turned out to be a horrendous unreliable flake at work. Dropping her name hurt me more than it helped.

      Reply
  5. Jazzy Red

    OP # 2
    “It doesn’t mean that you should run in the opposite direction…”

    Actually, it DOES mean you should flee from such a crazy person. She’s going to expect you to read her mind, their minds, and probably upper management’s minds. Then if you can’t give her what she wants, she’ll decide you’re not doing your job.

    Anytime you work for a crazy person, you will end up the loser (you and your employer should both be winners).

    Trust me, keep looking for a sane employer/manager. Your life will be much easier.

    Reply
    1. Forrest

      This is a little dramatic. I think the person’s thought process was “well, hopefully this person I’m interviewing asked questions that will help her figure out what areas we need support in and how she can fill that.”

      Reply
      1. Chinook

        I agree, Forrest, that I would give the interviewer the benefit of the doubt and was asking, in a ham-fisted way, ways the OP thinks she could help improve the company. And, sometimes, the employer doesn’t know what they need in a new employee, just that they need someone. I am currently in that type of a position (literally created a position where no ne existed and put it in as a contract so they could justify creating it permanently by showing results) where they knew many people were doing too much but were unsure if one person could take on such disparate duties and whether or not there was stuff being missed because they are so busy. Every day is a new adventure because we keep discovering new things that need to be done or I have to remind others that they can delegate the “grunt work” (usually filling out forms) to me so they can focus on the important details and still get paperwork done.

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        1. JC

          #2 I don’t know. Isnt it kinda weird that the interviewer was only interested in the people’s weaknesses? Not even the company’s weakensses, but the people?

          Reply
          1. Chinook

            By focusing on the people, that is where she is being ham-fisted. If that was her intention, it was very poorly worded. But, if I took that question at face value, I would just see the interviewer as a gossip looking for dirt.

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          2. tcookson

            That she was asking only about weaknesses sends a definite message to me. It reminds me of our dean’s assistant, who seems to take some sort of smug pleasure in cataloging everyone’s shortcomings to everyone else. She has badmouthed me to almost anyone who will listen, and she has badmouthed nearly everyone else in the company to me. It’s like she gets such a kick out of badmouthing people that she can’t help herself.

            She is the direct supervisor for our department’s front desk receptionist, and a couple of them have confided to me that for their daily “15-minute” morning training meetings with her, she would keep them in her office for nearly an hour “educating” them about nothing but everyone else’s weaknesses and faults. I trusted those two receptionists, because they were bothered enough by this to seek out someone else in the office to commiserate about it. The current receptionist, though, seems like she just relishes the “power” of knowing the so-called “dirt” about everybody (not that there’s anything to know, as most of us have quit telling Ms. Dean’s Assistant anything of consequence).

            So yeah, this interviewer’s comments would be way to close to my own personal reality for comfort!

            Reply
      2. Vicki

        That’s a very… kind… assessment. But she didn’t ask about what areas we need support in. She’s asking you to guess your potential co-worker’s “weaknesses”.

        Does she like to play people against each other?

        I would also run.

        Reply
  6. LisaLyn

    OP1, all I can say is that I’m so sorry that happened to you. People don’t listen, I have learned, and maybe for whatever reason, the hiring manager thought you were saying that you needed to have x amount to take the job, decided that was more than they were willing to pay, and moved on. Still, totally on them. Good luck to you!

    Reply
    1. Chinook

      OP1, if it helps any, yours was the worst case scenario of negotiating anything and I hope it doesn’t stop you from doing it again. It is a skill we don’t use a lot in western culture (no haggling at the market anymore) and we forget that it is always possible for the other person to hear a counter offer as “not interested in what you are offering.” But, most employers understand that negotiating is a dance with give and take and that shouldn’t happen again.

      As a side note, I wonder if one of the reasons women are paid less in some industries is because we are less likely to negotiate because we are afraid of what happened to OP1? Ever since I accidentally negotiated a p/t job into a f/t job with a raise (I was hoenstly quitting due to hours and money but my boss thought it was an openign salvo. I accepted his counter offer and have since wondered if I could have gotten more), I have always tried to negotiate something, even if it is when my benefits kick in.

      Reply
      1. LisaLyn

        I think that is a contributing factor in women getting paid less. I think we’re also socially condition to doubt our worth in the workplace (we should just be glad we are allowed to have jobs like the boys, ha ha) and just in general to not push for things. That’s unladylike! I have to admit that I have been very guilty of this myself. I had never negotiated pay and was shocked when I heard coworkers talking about all of the back and forth they had gone through to come to an agreement at that particular job. That really opened my eyes.

        Reply
        1. AnotherAlison

          I think we’re also socially condition to doubt our worth in the workplace (we should just be glad we are allowed to have jobs like the boys, ha ha)

          After watching North Country again on HBO last night (it’s about female mine workers’ sexual harassment case, based on an actual case) and reading a Forbes article about “booth babes” at a solar energy tradeshow this morning, I’m starting to feel pretty crappy about my worth in the workplace today. This topic is just top of mind at the moment. Sometimes I feel like the expectation that women today should be as confident and as skilled at negotiating as our male counterparts is unrealistic. Believe me, I’m trying, but it often feels like we’re trying to catch up from generations of inequality in one.

          Reply
          1. LisaLyn

            I watched North Country once and I don’t think I’ll ever be able to do so again, it upset me so much. I mean, I KNOW that stuff happened/happens, but dear lord. And yeah, I have many moments like that, too, when I’m just feeling like I’m trying to dig out from under this mountain of institutionalized discrimination.

            Time for a drink yet?

            Reply
    2. Erin S.

      Don’t let this example scare anyone off from negotiating! Negotiating salary is important, especially as a woman who will earn 20-30% less than her male counterpart.

      An example of better phrasing for the job offer situation- “Thank you for the offer. I’m very excited to work for the company, but I’d like to discuss my salary before accepting.”

      Reply
      1. Vicki

        I don’t think this phrasing would have worked for OP #1. It’s just as easily to misinterpret as “I’m not accepting unless we can come to terms on the salary”. If the hiring manager thinks this is an either/or situation and not a negotiation (e.g. they offer X, I counter with X + 5000, we agree on X + 3000), you still lose.

        Reply
  7. Kat M

    OP #4:

    Listen a little more carefully to exactly what the person is saying, beyond just the negativity. One person’s “aggressive” can be another’s “straightforward and a clear communicator.”

    I’m someone who consistently LOVES managers that nobody else can stand. Over the years I’ve come to realize that it’s because I prefer working for workaholics. They bring the best out in me, and I take real pleasure in making their lives less stressful in unexpected ways. So when disgruntled employees say things like “slave driver” I perk right up, because what I hear is “hard-working with very high standards of excellence.” It’s almost certainly not the right environment for everyone, but it’s quite often perfect for me. You just have to learn to read between the lines.

    Reply
    1. tcookson

      One person’s “aggressive” can be another’s “straightforward and a clear communicator.”

      So true. When my former boss left and we found out that one of the other professors would be named department head in his place, I got so much sympathy from other faculty and staff for how difficult he was going to be to work with, how much ego he was going to have, how he would drop things on me at the last minute and never consider how I was supposed to deal with that, etc., etc.

      And I have loved working with him. I like having a boss who gives all his feedback, good or bad, straight-up and immediately. I don’t have to guess what he’s thinking or where I stand. If he thinks something is great, he says it’s great; if he thinks it’s stupid, he says it’s stupid. He always runs late for every single meeting he ever has, so I’m always having to call people and say he’ll be there in 5 or 10 . . . if they’re frustrated or irritated, I know it’s not at me, so I don’t let it bother me.

      So, the things that everyone else thought were going to drive me crazy about him are the things that drive them crazy about him . . . not me.

      Reply
  8. SC in SC

    #5 Ignoring all of the other issues, the simple fact is that this person reports to you. Tell them that their behavior is no longer acceptable and it needs to be stopped. If they want to have a private conversation with you then perhaps but open discussion of someone who doesn’t even work for your company is a total waste of time as well as juvenile.

    Reply
  9. fposte

    On #5: Does the way she’s going about this suggest that her judgment of the other place is something you should respect? Because it doesn’t to me.

    Reply
  10. AmyNYC

    6 – Like using someone as a reference, be sure your friend KNOWS you’re going to name drop. Take the opportunity to ask them how they like working at X, this might personalize the cover letter a bit.

    Reply
  11. BCW

    #5 While she may not be going about it in the right way, if you don’t think she is lying or even exaggerating, you may want to heed her advice. She probably is coming from a place where she is trying to warn you about something. Maybe even ask talk to her partner to get their first hand account. If nothing else, you may get some tips to deal with a difficult manager.

    And you mentioned that the manager seemed fine to you. I think just like AAM said about how employees are on their best behavior during interviews, I think most managers are on their best behavior at that point too, so these stories could be very truel

    Reply
  12. PPK

    OP #2 — Ha! I was just thinking about one of my interviews with potential coworkers. If the manager had asked me about coworkers and my impressions, I would have had to dance around, “Scary beyond all reason” for one of them. I ended up working in that department and the scary person wasn’t at all scary in “real life”, she was doing some sort of tough-guy interviewing technique (for better or worse in itself).

    I wonder if the manager had just read up on some interviewing techniques or some random article that talked about reading people and decided to try it out on you.

    Reply
  13. Katie

    #5 Can you look up to company on Glassdoor.com to learn a little more or find a previous employee on LinkedIn to ask about the manager?

    Reply
  14. Angry Writer

    #5 — This happened to me, too, but I took the job anyway. A few months into the new job someone who knew this former coworker revealed that she’d actually been fired from the new place, which explained her badmouthing of my new boss, and that she was a total nightmare to work with there. So just keep in mind that not only might this coworker have a personal axe to grind, but unless she was in the exact same position you are taking I’d take it with a grain of salt. This badmouther was in an admin position and maybe it did suck, but my time at the new place was fine and I actually thought the new boss was one of the best I’d had (despite what she said about it). Good luck!

    Reply
  15. Elizabeth West

    #2–”I am not Madame Zoltan. I cannot expound on the weaknesses of people I have never worked with. You get NOTHING. Good DAY, sir!”

    Well, maybe not that first or last part. :)

    #5–badmouthing new boss

    If the coworker’s partner has run afoul of the boss, the stories she’s telling may be coming from him/her and be TOTALLY biased. I would not pay much attention to them at this point. In fact, I would pull her aside (since she reports to you) and tell her to cut it the hell out.

    Reply
  16. Jim

    Sorry to nitpick, but “network server issue” is a mild contradiction in terms. It’s similar to “a spelling grammar issue” in that it works with a slash, but not as a phrase. Otherwise, I enjoyed the post.

    Reply
    1. Anonymous

      Thanks for pointing this out! I know nothing about networks or servers and would never have noticed this, but if someone said “a spelling grammar issue”, it would drive me crazy!

      Reply
    2. Ask a Manager Post author

      Ah, I didn’t know that! I’d originally written “a server issue” and then thought it could be misunderstood to mean “an issue with your server staff in a restaurant.” I will not repeat this travesty again.

      Reply
      1. Jamie

        FWIW I thought you were referring to the server which hosts your network – in which case it would have been correct for a small company with one server. :)

        Reply
  17. Ruffingit

    #2 is just bizarre in so many ways. I’m excellent at reading people, but if I met 20 of them in one day, there’s no way I’m going to be able to tell you what their weaknesses are in an employment setting. There’s no way I could know that without spending more time on a daily basis with them.

    The only thing you could get out of quick meetings is a gut feeling about someone and/or some superficial things that may or may not mean anything in an employment setting. Those things would be people without a firm handshake or something. And as stated, that may not mean anything.

    I am curious as to what OP said in answer to that bizarre question.

    Reply
    1. tcookson

      I know, the only thing I might be able to come up with is if someone was dressed inappropriately in an over-the-top way or their hair was exceptionally greasy . . . something immediately discernible from just looking at them. Or if they said something wildly inappropriate — other than that, what can you tell about anyone from a brief, superficial meeting?

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    2. rlm

      I also think I would be really irritated if I found out that my manager (or anyone for that matter) was asking people I’d never met before what my shortcomings were.

      Reply
  18. Cassie

    #2: I had a similar situation, except that I was an internal candidate and the situation was that there were going to be two of us handling this project for a prof. The prof asked me if I thought the other person (also an internal candidate) was qualified. I should have been honest and told him that I didn’t know – I knew her boss didn’t like her much and yelled at her frequently, but I didn’t have any way to judge whether or not she was capable or good at her job.

    Instead, I said something about her possibly not having access to all the systems that I have (which was true) and he responded “you didn’t answer my question”. Well maybe if he hadn’t asked such a dumb question, I wouldn’t have had such a dumb answer.

    Reply
  19. Stephanie

    #1. Same thing happened to me once. I was offered a job and while I thought we were in negotiation over the salary, they thought that the disparity between what they offered and what I asked for was too much and that I wouldn’t ultimately accept their salary and so they offered the position to another candidate. When I called to say that even though they couldn’t meet the salary I had asked for, I would like to accept the job, she was mortified that they had already offered it to someone else who had accepted. Several months went by and she contacted me then with a position they had created with me in mind. I had other things going on personally and did not take that second offer, but I appreciated that she recognized the error they made in the first place and then that they had the budget and plan for a position suitable for me, they contacted me directly. I wish you well.

    Reply
  20. OP7

    I’m #7. Just wanted to thank AAM for the advice. I reached out to the lady with roughly the same message as recommended (I did this before seeing this was going to be posted). I haven’t heard back yet, but I did get another prospective person from the same company who reached out right after contacting him. Here’s to hoping I can land a job soon!

    Reply
  21. OP3

    OP3 here. Thanks for the advice. Alas, it ended up being a moot point since I received an email the following day informing me that they had chosen another candidate. But at least going forward I’ll have a slightly more impressive resume.

    Reply
  22. OP5

    Thank you everyone, and Alison of course. You’ve made me feel a lot better. I’m brushing up on my assertive skills just in case there were any truths in what I’ve been told – at the end of the day, it’s perhaps more about my own insecurity about my ability to handle the situation than the situation itself. So that’s what I’m focussing on.

    Thanks all :)

    Reply

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