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I participated in a set of interviews for a position in which I was hired recently. During the interview process I was interviewed 6 seperate times. 3 technical interviews and 3 situational / business interviews.

During my second (and most dificult interview) the interviewer, who is now my manager, asked me to provide a solution to a programming problem overnight. I submitted the solution the next day but found out shortly that it was not what the interviewer expected. I quickly followed up with another solution that included the correct answer, and was deemed as such from the interviewing company.

I now know that behind the scenes, during this time period, the interview process was changed because the manager had not hired any employees for the position in a 6 month time period.

Now that I have the position, I am somewhat worried that this particular situation has put a bad taste in this manager's mouth regarding my placement here (which I believe was done above his head because of the new hire process taking too long).

I have now been at the job for over 2 months and have NOT had ANY direct interaction with this manager, just a team lead. I believe that I have performed well, and have received praise and confirmation of my perceptions from my team lead.

From a professional perspective, How do I make sure that my manager sees this, noting my interviewing history?

Thanks in advance for any answers.

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4 Answers

up vote 21 down vote accepted

Don't sweat it. Your manager may not even remember much about that interview anymore. If (s)he hadn't hired anyone in 6 months time, (s)he probably turned down a lot more candidates, so most likely (s)he doesn't hold anything specific against you.

But even if (s)he does, the main point is your current performance in the team, in real projects. If your team lead is satisfied with it, the word will get to your manager too. And if your team likes what you do, you earn their respect and support (even against management, if needed).

Now, in the unlikely (but not fully impossible) case of the manager taking this too personally, and trying to prove in retrospect that (s)he was right and you shouldn't have been hired in the first place, still your best defense is your excellent performance in the team. But in this case, you might need to get involved in company politics as well to secure yourself. You may want to find out who decided to change the hiring process and who agreed with it; they are your potential allies, whom you may want to build good contacts with. But again, this would only be necessary if you notice any concrete signs of your manager playing against you, which is unlikely.

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+1 I agree, what happened at the interview doesn't count if you're performing well at the job –  CamelBlues Jul 8 '11 at 15:31
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Excellence, achievement, and results go a long way toward convincing skeptical management. Just keep at it and don't obsess over it. –  Jarrod Nettles Jul 8 '11 at 15:35
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Agreed. I don't think on the person's first day of work I've ever remembered much about the interview. –  edA-qa mort-ora-y Jul 8 '11 at 15:39
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+1 Ayup. You're fretting over a problem that may or may not actually exist. And even if it does, doing your job well is one of the best defenses you have against unpleasant office politics -- so even if this problem exists, you're already doing the most important thing you can to address it. –  BlairHippo Jul 8 '11 at 16:11
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You are in the door and have established yourself. Keep playing the game right and performing well and you will be fine. Odds are that your original hiring manager has long forgotten any details from the interview. Keep up the good work. –  Catchops Jul 8 '11 at 16:12
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I've been in the position before where I had a headcount open for too long and had to quickly hire someone to fill it. In that process I took people I normally would have passed over and sometimes it worked out OK, but more often it didn't.

At no time did I hold it personally against the employee and it would be a very poor manager who did.

Do well at the job and it'll be fine. But assume you're being watched carefully.

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I'm not sure if it matters, especially if you don't deal with this person on a regular basis. Do your job well and gain the respect of the people that you work with regularly and it won't matter - these are the people who should have the greatest impact during performance reviews and would best provide references should you seek a promotion or even decide to leave the organization and look for employment elsewhere.

I highly doubt it will become an issue down the road. If it does, your current team lead should stand up. And if it actually becomes problematic, dealing with it is typically a function of the HR department and/or the management chain that you are part of.

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I know this may be oversimplifying things but if you believe your doing the job well and your open to criticism when you arent, that coupled with actually being able to perform technically then you are doing all the right things.

Whether you 'should' have been hired for the position is now irrelvant, you have so that is now longer your problem all you need to do is to work hard. There is no substitute for hard graft. Do this and you wont need to prove yourself. It will just happen. Worry more about doing the right things and it will be almost impossible for some management decision that was made rightly/wrongly (which you dont really know fully about) to actually effect the outcome of how you progress in your job as you have it now. Good luck!

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