Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Industry interview, continued.

A large profitable company tried to recruit me, and flew me out at the end of February. During the phone screens, they told me about one division which actually lines up very well with my academic work, and I said I would be interested in interviewing with that division. They brought me to interview for another division that I'd said I wasn't so interested in, but which produces most of the company's revenue stream, so they're concentrating hiring in.

The company is well-known for being secretive, so the interviews consisted of them saying, "This division is called X Y [i.e., two words]; what do you think we do, and how should we do it?" I learned almost nothing about the company, other than what I could observe, so it was hard to answer the question, "Do you think you would be interested in what we do here?"

I learned more about the company from a NYT article than I did during my entire interview, but the NYT article came out after my interview. Given the lack of information, I suppose that most people who interview just drink the kool-aid, while I found the kool-aid factor extremely disturbing.

We had a couple of phone calls and exchanged some emails after the interview, and I repeated that I might be interested in the other division, but not the one they brought me to interview for. The recruiter said she would look into it, and I naturally never heard back from her.

Now, in mid-June, I get the following email from the company's recruiter:

I hope all is well with you. I wanted to write to follow up and see what you had decided to do regarding the academic offers you were looking into. I take it that since I have not heard from you, you made a decision to accept one of those. I wanted to be able to make the lines of communication open and thought i'd check in!

Hope all is well, looking forwrad to hearing back from you.
Kind regards,

My impulse is to say, "I couldn't consider offers that I didn't receive, so I accepted one of the offers that I did receive." But that's not helpful.

I am guessing that they are having trouble recruiting for this new division. This company is popular among new college graduates, but PhDs are a harder sell especially since it's solely a question of making more money, rather than solving intrinsically interesting problems that the company likes to tout.

So I settled for:

Thanks for your follow up. The last I recalled of our contact, you told me in late March that you would look into the positions that you had available that would be a good match for me. I didn't hear back from you, so I assumed that there was not a match and I accepted one of the offers that I received. I'll be a postdoc at Z in September. On your end, what's going on?

I would still consider a job in the relevant division, especially since it's not located in Kool-Aid Central.

No comments: