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Ask Savvy: My Interview With a Plastic Surgeon Ended Abruptly

Dear Savvy,

I applied for a receptionist job at a plastic surgeon's office (I have experience in this field). Yesterday, I was called back and interviewed on the phone for about 15 or 20 minutes with the office manager. She asked if I'd come in to be interviewed by the doctor. I went in this morning for my interview. I met and spoke with the doctor for a while before he called the office manager and other receptionist to come and speak to me.

It seemed to be going well until the doctor came in and asked to speak to the office manager. I could hear them in the hallway saying something about "she's here early." They came back in and said, "I'm sorry, but I have to cut this interview short. We'll get back to you (or we'll be in touch, I can't remember verbatim)." So, I went and got my coat from the closet. As I was walking out, the doctor and office manager were greeting what seemed to be an important patient — judging from her Chanel jacket. The receptionist was even rushing coffee over to her. 

Now, I'm confused. The interview seemed to be going well and I'd understand if something came up, but it seemed very odd and that I was being abruptly shuttled out. I'm not sure if it was just the circumstances or if I was being brushed off. If it was a brush off, it was a very unprofessional way to go about it. I'm disappointed because I felt a good vibe coming in and they were initially very nice. I just wrote and sent out a thank you note, I guess it's all I can do. Any insight into the situation?

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Savvy says: Now I'm dying to know the identity of the woman in the Chanel jacket! Kidding, kidding. But important client or not, the interviewers handled the situation unprofessionally. How could you not leave asking yourself, "What just happened?" Your seemingly positive interview was cut off without explanation except for the small pieces you could put together, and it's just enough to leave you both frustrated and confused.

From your description of the way events played out, it doesn't seem like you were simply brushed off, but I can't say for sure. I think you did the right thing by sending them a note right away, and hopefully you included something along the lines of, "I really enjoyed speaking with you and our interview was unfortunately cut short; if there's anything else you'd like to know about me please feel free to ask." You've left the door open, and now it's in the employer's hands to knock again.

Have a question for me? Ask away by posting your questions in my Ask Savvy group.

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