Heartland Alliance Program Officer Interview Questions | Glassdoor

Heartland Alliance Program Officer Interview Questions

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Program Officer Interview

Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
Accepted Offer
Negative Experience
Difficult Interview

Application

I applied online. The process took 4+ weeks. I interviewed at Heartland Alliance (Chicago, IL) in January 2016.

Interview

Be wary of applying here. They rescinded their job offer with no explanation and not even a phone call just because I did a little textbook negotiating. You know how they say that only 1% of employers will rescind an offer if you negotiate? Heartland Alliance is that 1%. Which may have been for the better: there were numerous red flags throughout the process.

They put me through an interview process that lasted for over a month. It included a prescreen, a 3-hour written test, and two face-to-face interviews. Each step of the process involved about a week of waiting to see if I advanced.

Finally, I was offered the job, and I was ready to accept. However, first red flag: in the prescreen, they gave me one salary range. Despite my strong interviews, they low-balled me with the low-end of that range. When I questioned why they'd do this even when they knew I was already willing to take a $12,000 pay cut to work there, I got some fishy story about how they'd shared the wrong salary range with me. So, in their minds, they were offering me the max. I said I couldn't make that salary work financially.

Second red flag: they agreed to honor their original salary range, but not without first changing the job description. They made it a senior position and added responsibilities. Hmm, okay. My gut said something was off, but I was still too excited about working for them so I went along.

Since I was taking a sizable salary cut, I asked if there was room to negotiate past their max. They said no. So I went to textbook job offer negotiation: I asked for extra vacation time. Even my would-be boss said she was "expecting" I would.

Third red flag: my would-be boss said that it would have to be off the books, but that, yes, I could get 5 extra vacation days. All sounded good. This was on a Friday afternoon. I was ready to pop the champagne. I foolishly started telling friends and family that I'd accepted the position.

30 minutes later, I get an e-mail asking if I meant for the five days to be just for this year, or an ongoing benefit. If ongoing, then it wasn't possible. I wrote a very professional but very conciliatory e-mail asking what we could do, because I felt I was giving up a lot of things but wanted to find a win-win compromise.

Monday, they abruptly pulled the offer. No phone calls. Just a curt, cold e-mail saying that we had hit an impasse and "good luck with your search." I tried e-mailing, and hours later I got one last curt response saying the offer was off the table. I tried calling to get some kind of explanation but she never even had the courtesy to call me back.

After over a month of interviewing, and despite my strong showing and references, they chose to pull the offer just because I did basic negotiation. I didn't ask for the sun, moon, and stars, and I was willing to take a $12,000 pay cut to work for them. They way they handled it, you'd think I was asking for a private jet, six months of vacation, and a personal chef for lunches. All I asked for were five extra vacation days a year. That's it.

In the end, I was probably saved from something. As one of my friends said about the matter, it's clearly amateur hour there. It's best to find that out now than later.

I'm sure someone will be happy with the low salary and high expectations. But be ready for anything, as my experience demonstrates that they can change their minds at the slightest provocation, especially if you have the audacity to try and negotiate like a normal person.

Interview Questions

Other Interview Reviews for Heartland Alliance

  1.  

    Program Officer Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 3+ weeks. I interviewed at Heartland Alliance (Chicago, IL) in March 2012.

    Interview

    I submitted an online application and was contacted the next day to set up an interview. I had a phone interview the next week. My interviewer wen through a normal list of questions. A few weeks after that I was contacted and asked to set up a second interview. This interviewer asked a wide range of questions and came just short of offering me the position in the interview. A third interview was arranged for me the following week with a third member of the staff. This interviewer also had a list of questions that needed to be answered about things such as my work style. I was called a week later and offered the position.

    Interview Questions

    Negotiation

    I was told before I was even offered the position that there was no room for salary negotiation.


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