I’m coming to you all to tell my story and humbly ask for advice. I’ve never been attacked on a personal level in an interview I was recruited into before and I’m not sure what to do from here.
A little over a month ago I applied for a business representative role B2B for a tech accessory company. I went through five different interviews. My first was an initial screening with a recruiter. The second an interview with HR. My third was an interview with the VP of revenue and operations. My fourth interview had the same VP another VP of enterprise as well as the strategic account manager. The fifth interview I got a tour of the building got to meet all of my peers and talk about the business plans for the future. The company is a conglomerate of four brands that supply things to schools and businesses.
A week goes by and I get a call from HR saying that she has some exciting news for me. I was loved by everyone I interviewed with and they saw a promising future for me with the company so much so that they thought I was overqualified for the role I was applying for and that they were creating a new elevated role within the company they thought I would be perfect for. I just needed to wait for the formal job description to finalize and I would need to interview with two more people.
Today was the day of my interview and I never had a chance. I have no idea what was wrong but I’ll describe to you the interview with the east coast territory sales manager.
I started off thanking the man for being here today and taking the time to meet with me. I was excited and looking forward to working with and learning from someone who had over 20 years in the technology sales industry and I had really been looking forward to today.
His response was “oh you think you know about me i only heard about you two days ago.”
Definitely not off to a good start. He asked me to tell him about myself and he was shaking his Head at me In disappointment the entire time.
He asks “Why are you here? What makes you want this job and don’t give me some cookie cutter answer I’ll know.”
I start to talk about how inspired I was when touring the facility and how all I’ve been thinking about is being apart of the projects that they had in the works and the impact I could make and my vision and dreams to be apart of the business projects and he cut me off-
“Im going to stop you right there you. Im going to apologize for everyone because you obviously have no idea what you are applying for. I don’t think they took the time they needed to prepare you for this because this is only for the k-12 department. I get your resume in my email saying how great of a fit you are and how everyone loves you and you don’t know anything. I guess this is the result when you get VPS over the hiring for sales roles.”
I’m keeping my cool mostly in shock halfway wondering if this is some sort of test to see how I handle rejection. I’m trying to explain my past job experience and how my experience related but there was no recovering control im just on the defense at this point treading water.
He rolls his eyes and is like “well I don’t have much else to say do you have any questions for me?”
I asked him “What part of my experience exactly do you have hesitations about?”
He starts shaking his head again and angrily says “Experience? You don’t have any experience. All you have going for you is you are a young woman with a lot of enthusiasm. I might potentially consider you from an entry level position but not this. I’m the one that has to take the time to teach someone and I have to think about what’s best for my team and this company. Yeah you have some sales experience but all you’ve done is retail. You are in no way ready to do this job it’s completely different. I really hope you still have your other job, you haven’t left it yet have you?”
I don’t have any large scale b2b experience but I have over 7 years of Sales experience & 4 years of sales management experience. I’m highly decorated in my field as a consistent top performer with a ton of awards. I’ve been highly successful in outside sales roles working in Trade shows and I have a little experience selling to small businesses like private practices.
I have never in my life been treated with such disrespect by someone my senior. I was literally eating shit for an entire hour by this man. Im still in disbelief.
I’m so disappointed because I was so inspired and excited by the positive culture in the office I would have been working in. I was truly looking forward to working under the people there. The last person who interviewed me has never even been in the office before.
Where do I go from here? I can’t imagine anyone else I’d met in the company thus far would approve of his behavior but I’m wondering should I just cut my losses and keep it moving or if I should reach out to one of the VP’s or HR about their east coast territory sales manager’s unprofessional behavior? Would I just look like a bad sport or is it the right thing to do? I know I don’t have a future there and after that interaction regardless nor would I care to work with someone like that.
Second Edit & update——-
I sent an email to all the vps and the the one hr person.
Subject: Concerns about recent interview experience
Dear [HR’s Name] and [VP’s Name],
I hope this email finds you well. I recently had the opportunity to interview for the Inside Account Representation role and I wanted to bring to your attention an unfortunate experience I had during my 5th interview session. I believe it’s important to address this matter as it greatly impacted my perception of the company and the potential role I was excited about.
During my interview with (name) the East Coast Territory Sales Manager, I encountered behavior that left me deeply unsettled and disheartened. I was met with disrespect, dismissiveness, and belittling comments that I found to be unprofessional and incongruent with the positive and inclusive culture that I had previously encountered throughout the interview process.
I want to emphasize that I hold the utmost respect for (company) and the values it upholds. My intention in sharing this experience is to ensure that the company’s commitment to fostering a respectful and inclusive environment continues to be upheld, even in challenging situations.
I understand that interactions can sometimes be misinterpreted, and I did take into consideration that this could potentially be a potential hazing to see how I performed under pressure but I don’t believe that berating a possible candidate over the course of an hour is a ethical practice. However, I strongly believe that open communication is key to addressing such concerns. I would appreciate the opportunity to discuss this matter further and provide more context.
My aim is not to escalate the situation unnecessarily but rather to contribute positively to the betterment of the company’s interview process. I believe that addressing this issue transparently will help maintain the strong reputation that (company) holds within the industry.
Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to any insights or guidance you may offer regarding this situation.
I really respected and appreciated everyone else I encountered and I would like to give them a chance to say something to me before I consider scorching the earth on Glassdoor like the others were suggesting.