Getting an Interview
Getting an Interview
Interviews for Top Jobs at Better World Books
- Account Manager (1)
- Account Representative (1)
- Human Resources (1)
- Director of Sales (1)
- Chief Operating Officer (1)
- No OfferNeutral ExperienceDifficult InterviewNo OfferNeutral ExperienceDifficult Interview
I applied online – interviewed at Better World Books (Alpharetta, GA) in March 2012.
phone screen with HR, then on-site with 2 individuals. typical HR questions in regard to process, policies, systems, benefits. Second on-site interview was a presentation of top 3 issues the role needed to tackle. 6-8 people attended, included some via phone.
Everyone was very nice and seemed bright - seemed like an "interesting" place to work.
- ideas/plans for becoming an employer of choice Answer Question
Helpful (2)Declined OfferNegative ExperienceDifficult InterviewDeclined OfferNegative ExperienceDifficult Interview
I applied online. The process took 3+ months – interviewed at Better World Books (Alpharetta, GA) in January 2012.
I applied online attaching both a resume and cover letter. I received a call 6 weeks later from the Admin. Asst. to the Vice Pres. who proceeded to do a screening interview with me which took about a half an hour. (I later found out her role is Office Mgr and she is not a Human Resource professional). She then set an appointment for me to have a phone interview with the V.P. who would be my manager. That took place a week later. It was scheduled for 1/2 hour, but went for an hour as we discovered that my skills were a perfect match for what they were hiring. He stated he wanted to interview me in person which meant a 3 day trip away from home as the headquarters are in a different state than where I live. The interview was supposed to take place within a week, but was postponed for over a month because of travel schedules of other executives who were to interview me. I first had a panel interview with the CFO and two V.P's. Then a 1:1 with the hiring V.P, then a 1:1 with the CEO, and a follow up w/ the hiring V.P. Most of the interviews were excellent, the exception being with the CEO. He had only been with the company for 6 months and he spent our 45 minutes together bragging about himself and his past achievements. He only asked me two questions and only gave me a chance to ask two of him.
The company is young, and that includes its management team. They are excited about what they do, but they are naive in the ways of business. The company was started by some college kids in 2003, and they've done a fine job growing the company. But, they and most of their other management people have never worked in a professional capacity at other companies and do not understand some basic principles in the larger business world. They have little to no negotiation skills or are perhaps afraid of negotiating. They currently have no sales force and do not have experience dealing with B2B sales people including recruiting, hiring, performance management and compensation.
I was told that they have a lot of fun there, but that the new CEO was put in place to take the company to the next level and possibly position them to go public in a couple of years. The position was a new one they were creating and it was going to be critical in the growth of the company over the next five years and would be responsible for creating an entire sales organization. They mentioned that the CEO is setting new rules for how they do work and is changing the culture there. I asked about turnover and they stated that it has increased over the past six months.
After my on-site interview at their headquarters I was called 12 days later by the V.P and told that they were going to offer me the job, but that they wanted me to provide them with three years salary history. I was taken aback. In twenty-five years I have never been told I had to provide personal financial information in order to receive an offer. I mentioned that I didn't feel that was relevant and that the skills I bring to the table, along with the amount of travel (75%) that was going to be expected and the current market rates are what they should use in determining the offer. He told me that they were worried that I would leave in 3 or 4 years if they didn't offer me enough. I stated that I would be taking the job for the long haul and wanted career growth with the company and that it was the package in total that I would consider. He told me that they would make email me the offer within 24 hours and that I could consider it over the weekend.
I was excited and waited to hear back from the V.P. The offer NEVER came. I didn't hear a peep from them. No phone call, no email, nothing. The weekend came and went. I waited until Tuesday afternoon giving them the benefit of the doubt that they were busy or working to pull together market data on what would be an appropriate compensation package to offer me. I finally called a left a voicemail for the V.P. The next day I received an email, not even the courtesy of a phone call (again an example of their lack of business management skills and business propriety) after having spent three days of my life away from home so they could evaluate me.
Reasons for Declining
Although they never emailed me the offer, I had decided I would decline as their senior executive team was too immature and inexperienced to deal with highly educated, experienced and sophisticated senior management personnel from the real world.
- No OfferNeutral ExperienceAverage InterviewNo OfferNeutral ExperienceAverage Interview
I applied through an employee referral. The process took 2+ months – interviewed at Better World Books (Alpharetta, GA) in June 2010.
Better World ran a very thorough, thoughtful interview process in their COO search. I spent 2 hours meeting with the co-founder over lunch, 2 hours on the phone with the CEO and 2 more hours meeting with the CEO at a local Starbucks. They followed best practices by asking a set of experientially based questions. I left the process liking the two interviewers. However, I wasn't sure that the two interviewers were in sync in what they wanted in the role. I'm not sure I would have taken this role if offered because of this uncertainty about what the job really was.
- In summary, tell me why you are the best candidate for this role? Answer Question
- No OfferNegative ExperienceEasy InterviewNo OfferNegative ExperienceEasy Interview
I applied online. The process took 4+ weeks – interviewed at Better World Books.
Phone interview with HR was standard. Followup in-person interview was very pleasant; I was left with a good feeling about getting another interview for the position (apparently even for entry-level sales position the company requires multiple interviews).
Several days later I received a boilerplate "sorry, we went with someone else" email from their recruiting email address. When I followed up with the HR manager, who I'd been in touch with for the entire process, she didn't respond. Overall I spent 1.5 hours interviewing for the position and felt really good about the company, but the way HR handled the "rejection" process changed my opinion.
- Name top five adjectives to describe you--this was the first question they asked and caught me off guard a bit. Answer Question
Helpful (3)Declined OfferNegative ExperienceDifficult InterviewDeclined OfferNegative ExperienceDifficult Interview
I applied online. The process took 3+ months – interviewed at Better World Books in February 2011.
I have over five years marketing and sales management experience. I had seven...yes seven...interviews with this company for an entry-level position. They included:
-phone interview with HR Representative. During this interview, I was told that I should apply for other management positions currently open with the company. I applied, but the company decided to move me forward in the interview process for the Account Representative position. This was acceptable to me because I strongly believed in the company's mission and culture and thought I could grow from the ground up with them.
- phone interview with Regional Account Manager
-In-person interview with 2 Regional Account Managers
-In Person interview with Sales Director
- In person Interview with 3 Account Representatives and a National Account Manager
-An interview with a Director and COO of the company.
-Negotiations with another HR Representative
After 3 months of interviewing, I was offered the position and entered into salary negotiations. I was told to be candid about my expectations. The offered salary was more than a 20% decrease from what I previously made. I inquired about the benefits package and hours. Once those questions were answered, I countered with a 10% increase from what they offered. Even though they had asked me to be candid and instead of just letting me know that their first offer was firm, they rescinded their offer saying that "the role was far beneath my experience." They also apologized for the lengthy 3 month interview process, blaming it on the office not having a proper HR professional in place.
- Many of the same questions came up in all 7 interviews...Tell us about yourself. Describe your role in the last company you worked for. What are your strengths/weaknesses? Describe a time where you've lost your patience. Answer Question
Reasons for Declining
The interview process was highly disorganized and handled carelessly. I acted as a Professional throughout, sending a thank you letter after each meeting and waiting weeks to hear back from the company. I looked forward to growing with the company and truly did believe in what they stood for, but after going through their hiring process I realize that is all a farce. I went through 3 months of interviews and within 3 days an offer was given and then rescinded for a reason that they could have found from just looking over my resume. I was overqualified for an entry-level position....why did they have to go through 7 interviews to discover that? If the offer was firm, they should have been candid with me. I don't think the company has a strong handle on what they want out of a future employee of the company. I think the employees they choose to conduct interviews should review the company's culture and mission because that was completely forgotten during my process. I would also make sure that the company has a very capable HR professional in the office before moving forward in a hiring blitz.
I've always believed that a company's first customer is their employee and if I was treated so poorly as a potential employee, I can only imagine how badly they treat their own employees and furthermore their customers. They've lost not only a great candidate for this position, but also a customer in me. My experience was highly negative and truly the worst I've ever experienced with any company.
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