Strange 2nd interview?

First phone interview was with the company recruiter, she asked basic questions about my resume and experience and scheduled me to speak with the Head of Finance for my 2nd phone interview.

The 2nd interview felt weird in the sense that the first thing the Head of Finance said to me was: “Okay, so you’ve already spoken about this position with the recruiter, do you have any questions for me?” I had some questions ready for the end of the interview but ended up asking them in the beginning. The rest of the interview was very casual, there wasn’t any technical or finance discussion really, most of it was a casual discussion and every once in a while, he would asked simple questions like “do you consider yourself a power excel user? what kind of business is your company in right now? So you’ve done financial modeling before?” We spoke for about 25 mins and we ended the call by him telling me that the recruiter will be in touch regarding what’s next.

I’m confused about how the interview went… is this somewhat normal for a 2nd interview? I can’t help but think that he’s already made a decision about a candidate (myself or someone else), and he’s just conducting this call for the sake of conducting it… Has anyone had a similar experience?

I find it best not to try to read people’s minds. Just do your best and keep interviewing

Sure, but there is a more probable scenario than others and I think it is more likely he was a backup to one or two candidates. It’s really annoying; however just have to keep pushing on yeah.

I guess time will tell!

Sounds like the interviewer was completely under prepared. I have had this before with telephone interviews…really is poor form…

But this sounds totally normal? Also, I like this guy. Casual convo, and a few direct questions, done.

I guess there’s a million ways to overthink about it, but you’re right, perhaps he just wanted to see if I was a “normal” person who can carry a conversation without being awkward, and hopefully will invite me for an in-person interview where they can test my technical skills… I’ll like him too if this is the case haha

sounds normal to me…You’re interviewing for FP&A role I assume? Head of Finance asking you about modeling usually means you’ll be doing budget forecasting or FP&A stuff. It is quite interesting and dynamic work and lucrative! Good luck!!!

Thanks benzo!

it’s a Senior Financial Analyst role at a start-up launched in 2014. They have more than 300 employees now, but they only have 3 accountants (controller, AP, AR), and the Head of Finance (no CFO), and they are looking to bring someone to basically build the reporting & analysis infrastructure from scratch. It’s definitely interesting and challenging, just gotta wait for their decision…

Usually, more senior managers will be more laid back in interviews. They know from your resume whether you can do the job, and technical questions are not always indicative of real life performance. It’s more important that they like your personality.

Update: Just got an e-mail saying that they switched the position into a hybrid analyst/business ops role and decided to move on with applicants who better fit that need.

Oh well, just gotta keep applying

Well if you hadn’t gotten that reply, I might have even said that maybe they were very interested in you. I’ve had those situations before where I’ll have a first round with HR, maybe a second with the hiring manager, and then it’s just a formality to meet the VP or CFO or whoever is heading the entire group. Because it’s a formality, this person is usually more laid back. They want to confirm you have the skills, but more than that they just want to see what your social skills are like.

Nonetheless, it didn’t work out, so do keep looking. But keep an eye on the firm. If that role pops up again, email them and ask to be considered for it again. The way you put your interview, it sounds like they are interested, they just don’t think you would fit the hybrid role, so if the analyst (I’m just guessing here) pops up again maybe they’ll think about bringing you back.