I am sorry to hear that yet another talented person suited to the post lost out due to the incompetence of amateur hiring managers, Unfortunately, since 2008 IMO this has become the norm, not the exception, in my experience.
Think about how many companies dumped the expensive (i.e. experienced and competent) employees and then hired back people out of their depth into these very vacated jobs for far less money. Firms accepted the risks and lower productivity initially in exchange for reduced overhead that preserved senior management bonuses. The result for you, me and Joe public is that service, products and managers are all far lower quality than they had been for much of my recent memory.
- Tread Lightly.
- Be accommodating.
- Be gracious.
- Be cautious.
- Strive toward speaking simply while not diluting meaning (don’t think of them as stupid; that will reveal itself to them in your behavior).
- Let them drive the conversation.