Baker & Taylor
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Getting an Interview
Interviews for Top Jobs at Baker & Taylor
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Senior Financial Analyst Interview
I applied through a recruiter. The process took a day – interviewed at Baker & Taylor in November 2009.
I first learned of this position through a recruiter in the Charlotte area. I went in to interview with my recruiter so he could get a general idea of me, etc. I asked him a couple questions about this company, how he was linked to them. He said he knew the director (boss of the hiring manager for this position) as a friend and they went to the gym together. I also asked him how long they have been hiring for this position, and he told me for about 6 months now. He said he has sent nearly 10 applicants himself and they've all been declined. Nearly all of them were declined as they 'were all very qualified but not a good fit with the company.' This recruiter was not the only one who had this job, either. I've seen this position posted with may other recruiters and on your regular job sites. So a lot of applicants must have gone in over the 6 months it has been open. I asked the recruiter how serious the company was hiring for this position seeing as it has been left open for so long, he said very serious. Then I asked him if it was a business critical position because it may not be if it was allowed to be open for this long. He repeated they were seriously looking for someone. These were all red flags to me to begin with, but i knew I had the requirements down pat. They were looking for a financial analyst, advanced excel skills. Someone at the beginning of their career looking to move forward beyond this position. I fit all of these. I remained positive and went in for the interview with the company.
I was greeted at the entrance by a perfectly nice receptionist and she took me to a small conference room to fill out some paperwork. My first impression of the office was not good. It was dead quiet, old, poor quality furniture dirty carpets, etc. Not that I cant look past something like that. I mean it is an awful economy and what company needs to spend money on these things now, but it certainly didn't look like the HQ of the leader of the books and media distribution industry. Whatever, I thought. And i got over it.
After I was done with my paperwork, I was left sitting for 15 mins. And the receptionist came in and apologized as their HR was out and I would have to speak directly to the hiring manager for my interview.
So I went into his office. He started by saying that this should be treated as a casual get to know you session. He was nice, smiled and seemed genuinely friendly. He asked standard interview questions, walk me through your CV, why do you want to work here. Yada yada. And then we got to chatting about the industry, where he came from, etc. It was kind of cool because we were both products of corporate management training programs. We had a lot in common and we started joking towards the end. This lasted about 30 min and then the hiring manager introduced me to his boss (the director I mentioned earlier) for another one on one.
He was even easier to talk to than the hiring manager. I did largely the same with him and walked through my CV again. We had some casual chit chat and i found out he used to work for the company i currently work for about 15 years ago. Again, it was good. The feeling was friendly and it was over in another 20 mins.
I left feeling like they would certainly call me back for a second round. I hit all the requirements to a T, and was able to casually get along with everyone. I felt like I nailed it. So I sent my thank you emails to the director and the manager. What was weird was I never got a response.
The next day my recruiter called saying they would not be asking me back saying 'they thought you were great, but they could not get a read on your personality.' Seemed kind of bogus to me so I pressed him for more info, but I didn't get any.
I let it sit for a couple of days, but I really thought if I nailed every technical point, was able to get along with the guys, then why not sit me down again to get a better read on my personality if that was indeed the problem. So I sent another email to the hiring manager, saying thanks again for his time, but respectfully disagreeing with him. I asked him to sit down again, but I never got any response.
I never got any response or feedback at all from either the director or the manager, and that just didn't sit right with me. I can't put my finger as to really what went on, but c'est la vie.
If anyone else has any feedback regarding this, I would love to hear for curiosity's sake.