Same Job Title, Different Expectations

I recently interviewed a candidate to fill a Senior IT Analyst position on the team. When asked why he was pursuing a new job elsewhere, he mentioned that he wanted to relocate closer to the city to start a family there. Fair enough.

When I reviewed his resume, he seemed to be fresh out of graduate school, and I noticed his work experience is on the light side, just a couple of years under his belt, and holds the title of Senior IT Analyst at his current employer.

Within five minutes into the interview, I already knew he wasn’t qualified. I’m not sure how he got through the phone screening portion of the interview, but then again, he was speaking with someone who wasn’t on the technical side of the job. The job responsibilities he described was more aligned to a junior IT analyst role. He was unable to answer most of the questions simply because he didn’t have enough experience to draw from. I felt bad for the guy, he seemed a bit defeated at the end of our interview, and he had a few more people to interview with. Unfortunately, there can be a huge discrepancy regarding the definition of the same job titles at different employers.

In one of the interview panels, the candidate asked why he was interviewing with so many high-level people (An odd question to ask). His expectations of a Senior IT Analyst’s role didn’t match up to our expectations of the role. I don’t think he read the job posting in its entirety, and he may have applied for the position simply because the job title is the same as his. There is a lesson to be learned here, what may look like a lateral move regarding job opportunity, study the job posting in depth and don’t just blindly apply to a job just because the job title is the same. If the job posting asks for specific skills and experience, try to come up with detailed examples. If you’re able to, then apply for that position.

On a side note,  I would also encourage you to check out higher-ranked job positions in your field of expertise. For example, if you’re a Business Operations Lead Associate at your current employer, scour the online job boards for Business Operations Manager or Vice President positions. Read the job postings in detail to determine if you meet the requirements. If you do, it may be a path worth exploring to get a better job title (and pay) for something you’re already experienced with.

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