I went into Manhattan today to interview for a project manager job with a company called Genesis Networks. It couldn’t have gone much better (well, it could have been better if they had offered me the job, but more on that later). I had done my research on their business, reading their website and other info on the web. I also read an article written by their CEO and founder, Paul Dujardin. As I sat in their waiting area that morning, a mature gentleman walked by (on his way to a meeting), and introduced himself. It was the CEO, and we started talking….I told him I read his article (he looked a little embarrassed and impressed), and we started chatting. I thanked him for the article advice. He was a nice man, and some of our past experiences were similar at ATT, Bell System, etc. We talk about his product (Video over IP), and I let him know how interesting I thought it was (sincerely).
The interview part went well, too. The interviewer was a “regular guy” and a “paisan” to boot. He even had a pony tail. I was dressed up (black suit, white shirt…suspenders even) which was good, because this isn’t a business casual place. Both of us felt a bit awkward at the beginning, but became comfortable pretty quickly. He mentioned it would be an easy commute for me, that the hours were a very reasonable 9 to 5-5:30, there would be a second interview down the line, and he offered me a tour of his operations center and other areas. All things I felt were positive—you don’t say those things to a candidate you’ve written off. He didn’t feel comfortable talking salary and he didn’t want to insult me with a low offer, as I told him how much I made at Verizon, that I was making less now, and would be willing to negotiate for the right position (which took the pressure off him). He mentioned a possible range (just between us, he said) and I said that would be fine.
The boss, the chief sales guy (who also introduced himself), the office manager who had called to set this up, and the interviewer…all were nice people I’d be happy to work with. I said that to the interviewer. He’s done six or so interviews already, and was planning some more (they had over 1,000 resumes sent in for this one position) with decisions sometime after New Year’s.
Finally leaving, during my tour, I mentioned something I had found online—another website with their company name, selling a slightly similar service. The interviewer and one of his web people looked it up and were surprised to see what I found, so I left feeling I had helped out a bit already.
I called and thanked the office manager the next day, and got the interviewer’s email address for a thank you memo to him. Even if there were a lot of other applicants, I still feel like I have a chance.