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Bait-and-switch final interview

  • Last Updated:
  • Dec 8th, 2017 2:09 am
[OP]
Newbie
Aug 11, 2013
18 posts
Vancouver

Bait-and-switch final interview

About a month ago, I applied for a role called 'Manager of Business Process'. I made fist-round interview and written test. So, I attended final interview. Although I did not expect much I experienced what it seemed to be bait-and-switch tactic.

There were 3 interviewers - HR rep, Senior Manager of Business Process (I had met her before in the first interview), and surprisingly Senior Manager of IT Support. I thought it was weird at first but I have been in interviews with managers from other teams because I might be working closely with that team. Sadly, this was not the case.

HR rep started by talking about how the firm was growing etc and there was a role called 'Senior Business Analyst' (this falls under IT support). He asked me if I was interested. I knew that something was off right away. Well, I did not even apply for that job. Plus, I have held that role before so I had zero interest and thought it was a slap in the face. Since I did not want to be rude (Senior Manager of that team was there) I said yes. So the manager started talking 'Senior Business Analyst' role etc. I could not care less of course.

After the interview, I expressed my honest thought. I said I was confused and was not sure which role I was being considered. HR rep said I was being considered for BOTH roles. Of course, I did not believe that statement. After the interview, I did not feel good. It was obvious that I did not make it, which was find but I wish HR just had some decency to tell me that and asked me if I would be interested in another role before the interview so that I would not waste my time. Plus, I had to take a day off for this too.

I know that so many things could go wrong during hiring process. I thought I have experienced my fair share of sucky interviews. But honestly, I did not see this coming. Thanks for listening to my rant and sincerely hope this does not happen to others. Wish you guys the best.
26 replies
Deal Addict
User avatar
Dec 8, 2007
4478 posts
760 upvotes
They thought they were doing you a favour by increasing your probability of joining their company. If one role was a manager, and the other was an analyst, and they’re shuffling you towards the analyst role ... writing is on the wall = “we like you / think you’re capable, just not for the manager role”.
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Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Mar 31, 2008
9629 posts
1281 upvotes
Toronto
OP, HR often follows direction from the actual team that doesn't tell them all the specifics, what they're thinking, etc. Just think about that, and you'll feel better.
Deal Addict
Oct 16, 2013
1832 posts
415 upvotes
Toronto
Had that happened to me a few times. Its annoying.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Dec 3, 2009
4793 posts
478 upvotes
Toronto
There's a difference between being rude and being firm. The more candidates are firm on their roles they're being interviewed for, the less HR will try to fill the other roles in this manner for roles they're having trouble screening for.
Remember to be an RFD-er and NOT a degenerate.
Deal Addict
Aug 12, 2004
3842 posts
1100 upvotes
Calgary
They see you qualified for one role, while the other may have other candidate stronger than you. It's not a slap in the face. I got one of my first jobs that way.

you can always just refuse the 2nd role if it is not what you are looking for.
Newbie
Jul 1, 2017
97 posts
48 upvotes
I think you read into this wrong.

If you were being interviewed for two roles, your objective is to demonstrate why you're the right fit for one and not the other.

This is when you show how far you've grown since being a Senior Business Analyst - and not how you may have gone full circle and, would therefore, only be competitive for a Senior Business Analyst. Take these situations as opportunities to show why you are a manager and not an analyst without being entitled and/or disrespectful.

A core management strength is being humble and establishing credibility in a very short period of time. I suppose you can argue they did a bait-and-switch while sitting in the hot seat; but from the company's perspective, if they have two vacancies to fill, it makes sense to try and find good candidates for other opportunities if the competition is stiff (i.e. you're not competitive for the original posting). That being said, BPM involves a lot of communication with infrastructure (IT) support/managers; they likely had that manger in their to assess your competence in light of how many people lie this day-in-age.
Jr. Member
Feb 19, 2017
151 posts
66 upvotes
How is this a bait and switch. A company is often considering multiple people for multiple roles. It's likely that they like you and want to bring you on, but have a stronger candidate for the manager role so they're giving you an alternative. That's not to say you couldn't have done better on your final interview than the other candidate and taken the manager role anyway.
Jr. Member
Dec 15, 2015
144 posts
59 upvotes
Toronto
I think it would have worked in your favour being honest from the get go and saying no you were not interested in that role and then gone on to explain why and why you'd be best in the position you originally applied for. As a manager you have to be able to say no, maybe it's an internal 'test' they do?
Deal Addict
Oct 18, 2014
1163 posts
349 upvotes
New York City
Is this a Consulting firm? Once confirmed, I can provide more details..
Deal Addict
User avatar
Feb 28, 2005
2226 posts
405 upvotes
Montreal
yeah it sucks OP. You can add that employer to your list of "average employers".

It is these tactics that make employers looks bad. If anything, you should really post a glassdoor review!

That being said, as others have said, you need to stand firm.
Walch1102 wrote:
Nov 30th, 2017 4:53 pm
How is this a bait and switch.
This is bait and switch in the sense that the employer did not properly present/ask before the interview if the candidate is interested in the other position.
Koodo & Tangerine customer since 2006
Jr. Member
Feb 19, 2017
151 posts
66 upvotes
marc_t wrote:
Dec 1st, 2017 9:53 am
yeah it sucks OP. You can add that employer to your list of "average employers".

It is these tactics that make employers looks bad. If anything, you should really post a glassdoor review!

That being said, as others have said, you need to stand firm.


This is bait and switch in the sense that the employer did not properly present/ask before the interview if the candidate is interested in the other position.
It's only a bait and switch if the other position is off the table, which it was not.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Feb 28, 2005
2226 posts
405 upvotes
Montreal
Walch1102 wrote:
Dec 1st, 2017 3:09 pm
It's only a bait and switch if the other position is off the table, which it was not.
yeah sure w/e
you must be one of those HR types
Koodo & Tangerine customer since 2006
Member
Nov 6, 2015
474 posts
147 upvotes
Guelph, ON
First of all, titles mean whatever that role is in that company. "Senior Business Analyst" in that company could be quite different from what it was in the previous one. I would have at least heard what their interpretation of the role was.

In any case, why wouldn't you just be honest with them and tell them you are only interested in the original position? There's nothing "polite" about giving a dishonest answer, and it just wastes everyone's time, including yours.
Deal Fanatic
Mar 15, 2005
5147 posts
684 upvotes
I've had this happen to me before. Company reached out to me about a management position when I had been a senior analyst for about 7 years. I stated that I was in no way looking for a lateral, only a promotion and they agreed this opportunity would be that.

Went to the interview and they told me they would never hire someone without management experience for the role but would really like me to take a senior analyst position at their company.

Was pretty mad they had me take a day off work to bait and switch me on a lateral job (with less pay) and told them that.

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