Getting an Interview
Getting an Interview
Interviews for Top Jobs at Acosta
- Retail Coverage Merchandiser (14)
- Merchandiser (11)
- Retail Merchandiser (9)
- Leadership Development Program Associate (7)
- Unit Manager (6)
- Business Manager Assistant - BMA (5)
- Retail Coverage Specialist (4)
- Retail Sales Representative (3)
- Business Manager Assistant (3)
- Customer Service Coordinator (3)
- Category Analyst (3)
- Business Manager (2)
- Territory Manager (2)
- RCM (2)
- Reset Merchandising Specialist (2)
- IMPACT Retail Associate (2)
- Mandate Merchandiser (1)
- Applied for Assistant Branch Manager, Interviewed for Merchandiser? (1)
- Mandate Retail Service Merchandiser (1)
- Retail Continuity Merchandiser (1)
- Merchandiser Associate (1)
- Retail Service Merchandiser (1)
- Project Managing Intern (1)
- Business Insights Manager (1)
- TRAC Merchandiser (1)
- Mail Room Supervisor (1)
- Regional Manager (1)
- PMO Manager (1)
- Executive Administrative Assistant (1)
- Data Analyst (1)
Helpful (1)Declined OfferNegative ExperienceEasy InterviewDeclined OfferNegative ExperienceEasy Interview
I applied online. The process took 1+ week – interviewed at Acosta (Aurora, CO) in August 2012.
Initial communication was good; I received a call shortly after submitting my application. The caller was professional, polite and upbeat. Then came the interview...I did arrive very early, so that is on me, but after waiting in reception and finally meeting who I was interviewing with, I realized she had passed within feet of me approximately 6 times while I waited. I was the only person waiting in reception and the receptionist had let her know I was there when I arrived. So, my first impression is that a professional would have introduced herself, possibly even noting that I was early, and asked me to wait until she was available rather than repeatedly passing by and simply looking at me like I was inconveniencing her.
Next, she escorted me to a conference room and seemed very frazzled. She explained that someone else was supposed to join her but that they were on a conference call. Her demeanor and tone said more than her words, she clearly felt deserted and was uncomfortable conducting the interview herself. Then she announced she would go ahead with the interview and hopefully the other person would join us soon (which never happened). The questions started off as pretty basic ones about customer care, then there were a few "what if" and "tell me about a time when" questions. The strangest questions were 2 or 3 that seemed to test my intelligence, or grasp of English, or education level...wasn't sure...they were the types of questions more often seen on the type of competency tests one completes online before/after meeting with the company, things like providing the definition of a word.
Having completed the several pages of questions that were on the prepared interview questionaire, she turned the pages over and dug deeper. Still seeming nervous and uncomfortable, she asked why someone with my credentials (management) was applying for what was essentially an entry level job. I told her that I had just left a very long career and was looking for my next very long career, I did not mind working my way up and actually looked forward to learning a different industry. Sure, I wanted to get back to management level, but that it was my responsibility to earn my way there. She then admitted that I had more experience than she did (although hers was considerable - she had shared her history with me in the first few minutes) and that she would be my boss and that it made her wonder if I would become very unhappy very quickly and either leave the company or try for her job. I was floored, this was not an interview conversation I had prepared for!
At that point I assumed the discomfort she had displayed the entire time was a result of her true feelings about my work history and I wondered if she was forced to interview me rather than having made that decision herself after reading my application/resume. So, the cards were now on the table. She said she would offer me the position if I really wanted it. I decided to be as bold as she was and flat out asked if there was room for advancement. She then told me what the starting salary would be (I assumed to see if I would gasp at how low it was - I have to admit that I did gasp) and then told me it would take me 20 years with this company to get back to the pay grade I previously earned and that management positions are usually filled by those coming in from the competition because they not only bring relevant experience, they bring some of their old customers.
So...now I had a bigger picture. She walked by me approximately 6 times in reception without being professional enough to introduce herself, she was clearly uncomfortable with my work history and did not want to interview me, and although she claimed she would offer me the job, it was presented more as a dare to take such low pay and try to work my way up the ladder with her standing firmly in my way. I did contact her again as a follow up, a thank you, and a "keep me in mind for other openings" gesture, but her response was even colder than she was on the day of the interview. Call me a fool, but I contacted her again (she is an "insider" after all) when a management position became available. Oh my, short of telling me to f*** off, she made it clear that she had the power to make sure I was never in a position with Acosta to be her boss. Yikes! Because of this one manager, someone who is clearly very insecure, I will never know what the true atmosphere is at Acosta.
- Although the questions included what one typically completes on paper or online, they were pretty standard and boring...nothing that seemed intended to trick me into revealing something personal or negative. At first I was surprised at the lack of questions intended to inspire dialogue, but in the end I decided that the prepared questions probably at least resulted in a more fair interview process that could not discriminate against anyone. Answer Question
Reasons for Declining
Well, I sort received an offer. It was thinly veiled as a dare to take the job more than a "we would be pleased to have you" offer.