I Have The Oddest Job Interview Monday

To preface, I am looking for a new job in a different field.

So, going through an agency I have used for many years, I sent my updated resume and got a quick response. They found an interesting match, and although I don’t have exactly all of the qualifications, they wanted to submit my resume anyway. I was fine with it.

Then I got the word that I didn’t meet that company’s minimum requirements and the interview wouldn’t happen.

OK. It was a shot, and didn’t happen.

The same day the agency called back. Seems by chance, the owner of the company had met with some people from my agency for lunch, took another look at my resume and said, “Ya know, I might have something else for this guy.”
“Something else?”*

Nobody at the agency has an idea what the guy meant. But he scheduled me in for a meeting.

So now, Monday morning at 10:00 AM, I will arrive at this company, neatly dressed with several copies of my resume and…

I now have no idea what the potential job is, I have no idea if I am meeting just the owner or his staff or a guy in the janitorial department or what.

The original idea was a rather well-paying job with some new software they have developed and are marketing all over the US. I have been told that is 100% no longer the job he has in mind, as my qualification really didn’t match.

Does he want me to mow his lawn? Did he see something on my resume that gave him a new idea?

Do I play 20 questions?

“Does the job have anything to do with farm animals?”
“Does the job entail nudity and dancing on tables for tips?”
“Is the job in the service industry?”

In other words, how in the hell do I prepare for a job interview, when I don’t even know what the job is?

Talk about “winging it” in an interview…this ought to be fun.

Hey, good luck and for goodness’ sake REPORT BACK!

Curiosity is at stake here.

Trust me, I will let you all know what happened…I have been to a lot of job interviews in my life, but this is a first.

The very best of luck to you.

Is it possible to phone the agency and get them to find out what the job is? Seems kind of important if your going for an interview.

As mentioned, they really don’t know…however, my rep is going to call one of the women who was at the lunch and try to figure out what the guy was talking about before and after looking at my resume…but she too is at a loss and told me, “you’ll do just fine…just be yourself.”

As if there is another option at this point.

The only thing I can think of (and I’m no expert) is, if an appropriate juncture arises, mention how amused and interested you were by this whole situation.

This actually could be a benefit in disguise for you. In my experience, one of the hardest things in interview (as I’m sure you already know) is the old “do you have any questions for us?” bit; and demonstrating yourself over as curious, and able to digest and react to new information as it is supplied during the interview. With this situation, you’ll have dozens of questions for them - in a way, you’ll be interviewing them, which is always a good position to be in. Best of luck!

OK…so the boss got an idea from your resume, so I’m guessing the the lawn-mowing and table-dancing gigs are unlikely (unless these were skills/hobbies you listed?) and the job he’s thinking of is somewhere in your field of expertise.

I would think that you’ll get an idea of the nature of the job from the types of questions they ask you and might have an opportunity to ask some clarification questions as you’re answering their questions.

And, as jjimm suggested, you should have an opportunity ask all kinds of questions and at the end of the interview, and if you don’t you might have a chance to introduce the topic as the interview is closing.

If not, you don’t actually have a problem unless they offer you the job.

You really shouldn’t accept it unless you actually know what it is. :smiley: So, if they offer you the job before you feel like you have enough information, that’s the point where you can ask some more questions…

Actually seems like a cool situation to be in. Good luck!


I went for a job once, which asked for computing experience that I had.

When I got there, the interviewer apologised and explained that their advertisement wasn’t quite correct. They wanted something else too (which I hadn’t used). :slight_smile:
I explained that I didn’t have the required experience, but was keen to learn.

The interviewer stared at me. Had I done the wrong thing? :confused:
“Everyone I’ve seen so far has immediately claimed they know all about this program. When I ask detailed questions, it’s clear they are bluffing. You’re the first honest person I’ve met today.” :smiley:

They didn’t offer me the job, but said I would be top of the list if something I knew about came along.

So my firm recommendation is to stick to the truth. If they don’t tell you what it’s about, it’s not a problem if you haven’t got the experience.

It could be a postion that the company doesn’t usually fill through an agency. They may not want the agency to constantly bug them with potential candidates for a job they usually fill through other means.

Trust me, agencies can be quite annoying.

OK…so I went to the interview.

They have just moved into new offices, and it looked like it…boxes everywhere and the place was a disaster. Two people in the office…the owner and his assistant.

The guy is a young, multi-millionaire genius and only has Fortune 500 clients (I know this as truth as the agency checks out clients)…and he was down to earth, his assistant was really nice and we had a really great interview…we laughed, he told me about the company, plans for the future and the assistant was taking notes and asking questions as well.

The upswing…he liked quite a bit of what I had on my resume - none of which was applicable to the job he is still trying to fill, but all of it applicable to future growth with the company. I seemed to have given all the right answers as he seemed to get more and more excited about some mysterious direction he wants to go, and I would be just perfect to help them…his assistant nodded.

At one point, it was almost as if they were talking in code and I could tell I must have passed some other secret test as they both nodded and then the interview got serious.

I still have no idea what the job is, but they seem quite happy to have met me…so tomorrow, I go again for Interview II, but this time some of the employees from out of town are meeting here, as well as one of their major clients, and he wants me to meet with them. The other employees are the programmers and developers of the software this guy designed and continues to update. He seems to have a new version coming out soon that will be even better and they are all quite excited about it.

The agency called me and is very happy. It seems this guy has interviewed a few of their people and never asks for a follow up meeting unless he is serious about hiring the candidate, so they have high hopes for me. The agency said he has also turned down qualified candidates simply because they didn’t “fit” the personality of the office.

I am still winging it, tap dancing my way to a job I know nothing about, but so far, so good.

My educated guess is they don’t really have a title, or know exactly what I will be doing, but the owner has a general idea of what needs to be done and apparently feels I might be the one to be able to handle this position, once he figures out what it is.

Didn’t really discuss money or benefits or vacations or, anything “real” yet, but according to the agency, the company is very solvent and quite generous and they told me they will handle those details for me and not to worry. “Just get the job and we’ll make sure you’re happy with everything else.”

So, tomorrow is another day. I’ll let you know how it goes. Right now, all I can say is I seem to be the prime candidate, for a job I know nothing about, for a guy who doesn’t exactly know what I will be doing, but seems to think I would be highly qualified to do. How is that for limbo-land?

Good job so far, DMark!

All I can suggest is, work with them to define the position. Their concept for the position could be just as clear as yours. If it is, then you can define the position to require precisely you!

At which point, you can get pretty darn aggressive on money & benefits.

How bizarre! How fun!

We’ll keep our fingers crossed … (that is the proper response, right?)


Very cool. Sounds like a very interesting potential employer.


Just remember these words of wisdom from one of my professors “Choose, don’t be chosen”.

Which means, try to be in the position where you select a job that appeals to you, not where you are in the position of being pursued actively, and you take the job because they want you so badly.

Especially if they don’t give you more information.

But, on the other hand, if you want a change of pace, sounds like this could be one, and maybe you’d have a chance to help structure this job the way you want it.

Good luck.

That’s a pretty exciting kind of limbo-land to be in! Best of luck on Interview II.

Tell us how it goes!

Sounds like fun to me. Have fun with it, and don’t get to worried about what it is. You will have a lot of leverage if they decide they want you.

I have had a few of the interview for the mystery job type experiences. They aren’t all that uncommon but they generally happen when a company is growing and keeping an eye out for good people. They may only have a vague idea of what is going to happen so they like to have good candidates already screened.

I got my first professional job that way. The headquarters of a large supermarket chain would just call me in to interview for anything that looked remotely like a good fit. One day, the called me and told me to come and interview right away and I got there later that morning. I interviewed for an even more mysterious position and the VP didn’t really say what it was. He asked me what I genuinely thought my best strengths and skills were. I rattled off about 6 of them and he kind of smiled and pulled out the job description. Four of the ones I listed were primary requirements for the job. I started the next day and lasted until the company was sold 3 1/2 years later. It was great.

I got another job later through mystery interviewing but I didn’t like that one and I have had a few more that just went poof after a while.

That sounds like a perfect description so far…but I think the owner seems eager to start, whatever it is he wants to start, soon.

Thanks all for the good wishes and your curiosity. I too am wondering how this will all turn out.

My ace in the hole is, I have no expectations whatsoever. Can’t lose either way.

Sure, I would love to get a great job with a good salary doing interesting things for a young, upstart company. So far so good.

But if it doesn’t happen, I will always be able to tell people, “Once, I didn’t get a job that I didn’t know anything about.”
(It will be fun to watch as people try to figure out what the hell I just said.)

I promise I will fill you in on Interview II.