Getting an Interview
Getting an Interview
Interviews for Top Jobs at ePlus
- Account Manager (2)
- Sales Engineer (1)
- Senior Security Consultant (1)
- Pre Sales (1)
- Data Center Architect (1)
- Business Development Manager (1)
- Support Specialist (1)
- Manager Professional Services (1)
- Senior Systems Engineer (1)
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Senior Security Consultant Interview
I applied through a recruiter. The process took 6 weeks – interviewed at ePlus in January 2010.
My interview with ePlus was really a story of two different companies.
My first several interviews were over the phone with various levels of leadership out of their Home Office out of Herndon, VA. Took a couple of weeks altogether.
I was told this position was for a new security team they were building to service an unaddressed need in the sales portfolio. I was immediately impressed with the direction and enthusiasm for the team they were trying to build, and their vision of where they wanted to take it. And I was told by all three interviewers about the leadership direction/backing for the team.
The individual interview questions were challenging and those asking them were knowledgeable. Questions were technical at points. But often times would be focused on vendor neutral security knowledge and solutions for real world challenges, and how I would explain my thoughts in front of a C-Level audience. Writing samples were requested, reviewed, and approved.
I received constant positive feedback from the leader who conducted my first interview about where I was in the process. And I was excited to be moving forward with the opportunity.
The second set of interviews were to be local one-and-one. These local interviews *greatly* lacked the direction and enthusiasm I was impressed by from the Herndon office.
The hour long face to face with the Regional Leader was a healthy mix about standard ‘people/personality’ and my professional style in working with various customers over the years. The last 15 minutes turned into a open discussion about the company, how we both got to where we were at in our various IT careers, and the state of the industry as a whole. Though I felt this interview was a solid conversation, I did feel as if the tone had changed before I walked into the door.
This interview really had none of the enthusiasm I heard in my phone interviews. At one point he accented a question by saying that he ‘didn’t really know where the position would fit in’.
I was, however, impressed with the openness of this particular interviewer when it came to some of the internal challenges specific to the company.
This was scheduled to be a back-to-back in person interview with another Regional Leader. But that leader was actually in another town and he was not available due to a deliverable he was working on. We rescheduled for the next day when he would give me a call directly for the next interview.
I left the ePlus office this day rethinking my earlier conversations wondering if I had misunderstood the need they were trying to fill and generally thinking there appeared to be a significant disconnect between ePlus Virginia and this ePlus Regional Office concerning what they were looking for in (and the general need for) the position.
The rescheduled interview felt somewhat like a blow off by the interviewer. Though he had indicated he would contact me at the specific time, he did not. At about 15 after, I google’d his contact info and called him directly. He did not really apologize for missing our appointment, though did note how he was working on a spreadsheet deliverable. This interview was standard ‘people/personality’ level questions, but he did appear to be somewhat distant throughout our talk, perhaps multi-tasking. As with the other local interview, the overall tone of the conversation did not have the same level drive and direction.
And from there, I didn’t hear anything for several weeks. This seemed odd given the frequency of the feedback to this point. Periodic inquiries by myself and the independent recruiter went unanswered. The recruiter ended up apologizing to me for the lack of communication and though he was still trying to find out what was up, we both agreed that no communication after so much was the answer in itself.
I eventually did receive an update from the original interviewer apologizing for the silence as he ‘worked every angle’ and that ‘[I was] without exception the most qualified, well thought out and well written security engineer that [he] spoke with during our national search’, but that ‘management had decided not to move forward in the Texas Market’.
It was extremely professional thank you in line with what I saw in my various conversations. And I very much appreciated that. I don’t know if it was honesty or sales pitch or a mix of whatever. Doesn’t really matter either way to me. I just wasn’t what they were looking for, one way or another.
But I was left echoing the sense of the other individual review posted: ePlus, while maintaining an impressive technical culture, had not quite figured out what they were looking for from this position or team before I came into the room.
- Given this scenario, how would you determine what the customer needs? Answer Question