HR interview - feeling sad

I had a phone screen with a HR from a very large hedge fund. I just graduated from college and I'm from a non-target, so unfortunately I only worked for small companies, but learnt a lot by having more responsibilities. The HR lady kept digging into my previous companies, like size of the firm, how much fund they manage, goal, areas, portfolio etc.. she didn't let me explain much of what i did. Whenever I tried to explain I have done something that I can contribute, she interrupted me and continued to ask my companies. She seemed like disinterested in me due to size of my previous employers, getting annoying and pissed. I heard a deep sigh from her and started getting frustrated.. I don't what else to say, maybe i'm just not good enough to have experience from some big firms... and the names probably were not impressive... But still I believed that I have something valuable to offer. When I tried to explain for myself, she interrupted me, then quickly ended the conversation.

After this interview, I started re-evaluate myself. Having experiences in small firm seems to lead me nowhere... but i don't want to always stay at small firm forever..

Comments (5)

Most Helpful
Aug 9, 2019

There is a reason she's HR. Don't let her time of the month get you down.

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Aug 9, 2019

Potentially subtle enough to not get censored like my comments.

Aug 9, 2019

Thats unfortunate. Some interviewers are just a pain and can be having a bad day. Honestly I feel your pain--early on my interviews / talks did always lead to them asking about the company. I took on a ton of responsibility early on due to being at a smaller firm that if I was able to actually get out what I did there then they'd be super interested. It took me a while to learn how to spin my experience in a way that made them interested.

The problem comes when some interviewers (especially HR) might be trained to look at certain metrics (IE, company size, areas, portfolio, etc) and ignore your experience there.

I think the other half of it is that when its a smaller name, first people want to know what they do. People see 'XXX division at BB Bank" and know pretty much exactly what you did. On my resume I have one line under the firm name that briefly describes what industries they focus on. Also when I run through my story, I give one of two sentences about each firm when I come to it that summarizes what they do.

When asked questions like that, I always try to lead it into something that they do want to hear. For example, "How big was the fund?" "It was about 500m AUM, so we mostly looked at lower middle market companies primarily in the healthcare space. Despite this, the main deals I worked on were in the x, y, and z space" Try to cover as many of those bases as you can as quickly as possible and answer the question relating how you fit into them.

Aug 9, 2019

Don't let one interaction with HR change the direction of your entire life. Make sure to do the right thing and send her a thank you email and then move on.

Aug 9, 2019