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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?


To see my answer,


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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Join The Conversation
Spectra Spectra 7 years
While it was unprofessional of them to cut the interview short, they probably just weren't thinking very logically in the presence of the rich client who showed up. At least you followed up with them and hopefully they'll give you another interview.
a1stbornunicorn a1stbornunicorn 7 years
I'm sure it was probably one of the scenarios listed above but I'm going to play devil's advocate here a little throw out the vanity card. I don't know how old you are or what you look like but maybe when they saw you, they didn't think you'd be right as the face of their practice.. that kind of discrimination does happen, you know. Vanity plays a huge factor in plastic surgery, as you saw in their clientele.
insanitypepper insanitypepper 7 years
This gives you great insight as to how they will treat you in the future if you do end up working there.
TidalWave TidalWave 7 years
I don't think it was a brush off either. They apologized for cutting the interview short. Which means that they did want to spend more time speaking with you. If they had just said, "Well, we gotta scoot, thanks for your time," then there would be some reason for concern.
tarabara1229 tarabara1229 7 years
Yeah, I concur with CoralAmber too.
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 7 years
What CoralAmber said.
CoralAmber CoralAmber 7 years
It's a plastic surgeon's office. When a VIP client comes in they all have to hop to to make her happy. They weren't giving you the brush off, they were dealing with a (most likely) demanding and wealthy client who showed up before her appointment. If this behavior was too innapropriate for you, maybe you wouldn't like working there.
skigurl skigurl 7 years
i think they probably just got flustered because they felt like they needed to deal with this important client, and they figured it was easier to brush you off than brush the rich bitch off yes, it's unprofessional, but it's also sometimes just the cost of doing such have to suck ass to the best clients you sent a thankyou note, which was great. i mean, they still need to hire someone and they will recall your great interview and likely will feel badly it was cut short for unforseen circumstances, so just call and follow up once more in abour a week and cross your fingers...i dont think this unexpected patient will affect your chances though
kimmieb124 kimmieb124 7 years
I would also think twice about working there after they cut your interview short. Even if the woman was a very important client, the unprofessional way they handled the situation would be a big red flag for me.
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