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Why the job interviewing process sucks...

I once went to an interview at a company I had previously worked for. I left on good conditions and wanted to return after a 3 year absence.

They gave me a written test to complete, and I blew it out of the water. I knew this corporate culture and I knew how they wanted the questions answered. It was pretty easy. So I moved on to the next round, which was a face-to-face interview.

The interviewer and I already knew each other. She had started about the same time I did previously, and brown-nosed her way into a District Manager position.

The interview was going well, or so I thought ... then she asked me a question that really floored me.

"You're a Jew, aren't you?"

I tried not to visibly flinch, hesitated for a few seconds while I composed my answer, and I said "Yes, I am."

She wrote something down on her notes, and after an uncomfortable pause, I asked "How does my Religion relate to my qualifications for this job?"

She knew she was busted for asking an illegal question. She shuffled some papers on her desk, closed my application folder, and she said "We'll be in touch. Send in the next candidate." No handshake. No thank you. I gathered myself together and left.

Needless to say, I didn't get this job. When I called back several times over the next two weeks to inquire, my phone calls were never returned. Nor did I get anything in the mail to let me know I can stop holding my breath.

I considered reporting her illegal question ... but I had no proof. It was my word against hers.


where was this interviewing company located??
 
This was a national chain of retail stores, with headquarters in Texas.
My interview took place in Maryland.
I suspect, that the question that you were asked was totally contrary to the company's policy.
I would suggest contacting the corporate headquarters to report your incident to prevent future cases.
 
This has been a stickler for me. I won't lie to people, but I'm careful how much detail I give them.

Lying is hard work. Once you lie - you've gotta make sure that every time this situation comes up later - you've gotta remember ALL of your lies so they match up. Who said what, why I said so and so, what I did. Forever after you gotta make sure your facts line up. Eventually you slip up, and it all comes crashing down. Better to just tell the truth - then you don't have to lie awake at night and sweat it out, because - if you continue to tell the truth - your facts will always automatically line up. Alot less work that way. Did you screw up? Admit it, and take your lumps. It'll almost certainly be less painful than lying about it and it coming out later.

If you really need the job, most people will say what they think the interviewer wants to hear. My last interview I told the guy the truth - flat out, straight forward, up front, honest truth. And he hired me. Only I found out down the road that he had been less than truthful with me. Even called him on one of them. I quit at the end of the probationary period.
During my next interview I'll probably just ignore listing this job - you know, let a sleeping dog lie. But if it comes up I'll tell the next guy the truth. Honesty is the best policy. If some potential boss doesn't want your honesty then I don't wanna work for him.

This was the case for me. I went in with the mindset that if I need to lie to get the job then I didn't need it. I was brutally honest and said what I thought. I got the job only to find out that the company was dishonest. I didn't need the hassle so I quit. This may sound hard, but be who you are, and be honest. That is the best you can do. Be aware, the liar in the room just might be the guy conducting the interview.
 
Was he also curious what you do on Friday afternoons or Sunday mornings? :D :D :D

Some of those questions are illegal to ask in Canada.
Of course you can chose not to answer, but that doesn't look too promising for you, same way asking those questions doesn't look too good on that particular employer (assuming they are legal in your state).

Bottom line as I said before, interviews mostly suck, but we all have to "play the game", and rules are far from perfectly clear. In ideal scenario, you are interviewing them just as much as they are interviewing you, but to get to that point one needs certain level of financial independence and skills that are highly in demand. Often that's not the case - often there are several candidates that could do the job equally well.

At the time I figured it had to do with the supposition that married men - with kids - are more reliable, mature, and not going jump ship as easily as a young single guy would. Don't know if that still holds in today's job market, but, whatever. When I told the guy who referred me to this company that they had asked this, he said "That's illegal"! And several other of my friends have voiced the same sentiment. As far as reporting it, I just turned down the job and moved on with my life.
A company who doesn't ask about your experience - especially if you have 25+ years of it in the area they're hiring for - is extremely foolish and shortsighted. You could have 3 or 4 years of actual experience in my field, and - if you applied at this company - you could say 20 years. And if you played your cards right, they wouldn't realize it until you'd worked there 3 or 4 months. Then it would be a big problem.
 
This was the case for me. I went in with the mindset that if I need to lie to get the job then I didn't need it. I was brutally honest and said what I thought. I got the job only to find out that the company was dishonest. I didn't need the hassle so I quit. This may sound hard, but be who you are, and be honest. That is the best you can do. Be aware, the liar in the room just might be the guy conducting the interview.

Sad but true.
 
Having just sold my business and semi-retired, I was fortunate to be self employed for over 30 yrs, however hired and dismissed some staff in that time. For me other than the basic skills & State & Federal licenses needed to fill the position, I would literally just have a very basic conversation with the applicant and my staff. Nothing to deep or pointed but enough point leading questions to tell me what I needed to know. It allowed the applicant to relax a bit, and either hit it out of the park, or be relaxed enough to torpedo themselves. My staff was also involved in the conversation to see if the applicant was a fit as well. Many times these interviews would occur over lunch. Better playing field for both. for the most part this method was a good indicator and many of my employees were with me for over 15-20 yrs
 
I suspect, that the question that you were asked was totally contrary to the company's policy.
I would suggest contacting the corporate headquarters to report your incident to prevent future cases.

This happened over 20 years ago, so its a moot point, and it was my word against hers. No proof.

And the company in question is now defunct.
They recently went bankrupt TWICE in three years, and closed all their stores.
 
certainly this is symptomatic of their demise.
No, their demise was due to much more serious problems than poor interview practices.

For about ten years, I was a Moderator on a website called (FormerCompany)SUCKS dot com.
We all had a good laugh as we watched this company go down the tubes,
and we compared notes about when we worked there.

The problems I had with this employer were by no means unique,
similar things were happening at stores all over the country.
 

kelbro

Alfred Spatchcock
As the Vice President of Talent for a chain of international 'Gentleman's Clubs' for the past ten years, I've had more than my share of some very interesting interviews. Paris, Macau, Rio, LA, the dancers all have different tricks that they try in order to get a job at one of our establishments.

It's a rough job but somebody has to do it.
 
I once went to an interview at a company I had previously worked for. I left on good conditions and wanted to return after a 3 year absence.

They gave me a written test to complete, and I blew it out of the water. I knew this corporate culture and I knew how they wanted the questions answered. It was pretty easy. So I moved on to the next round, which was a face-to-face interview.

The interviewer and I already knew each other. She had started about the same time I did previously, and brown-nosed her way into a District Manager position.

The interview was going well, or so I thought ... then she asked me a question that really floored me.

"You're a Jew, aren't you?"

I tried not to visibly flinch, hesitated for a few seconds while I composed my answer, and I said "Yes, I am."

She wrote something down on her notes, and after an uncomfortable pause, I asked "How does my Religion relate to my qualifications for this job?"

She knew she was busted for asking an illegal question. She shuffled some papers on her desk, closed my application folder, and she said "We'll be in touch. Send in the next candidate." No handshake. No thank you. I gathered myself together and left.

Needless to say, I didn't get this job. When I called back several times over the next two weeks to inquire, my phone calls were never returned. Nor did I get anything in the mail to let me know I can stop holding my breath.

I considered reporting her illegal question ... but I had no proof. It was my word against hers.

Wow. Just wow. Hearing that story makes me want to turn my phone on and record the entire interview. While the recording may not be admissible in court, it sure could get someone fired if it surfaced to the right people, especially if it carried the threat of being released to the press. In fact, I think I'm going to do that. There are just too many dirty, crooked bigots in the world today. Sorry for the negative perspective but I'm becoming an angry person in my old age.
 

FarmerTan

FarmerStan the Man
Wow. Just wow. Hearing that story makes me want to turn my phone on and record the entire interview. While the recording may not be admissible in court, it sure could get someone fired if it surfaced to the right people, especially if it carried the threat of being released to the press. In fact, I think I'm going to do that. There are just too many dirty, crooked bigots in the world today. Sorry for the negative perspective but I'm becoming an angry person in my old age.
Truly unbelievable that she could be so..... Evil, for lack of a better word. Wow. I will go to my job tomorrow with a much more appreciative attitude.
 

Rhody

I'm a Lumberjack.
Truly unbelievable that she could be so..... Evil, for lack of a better word. Wow. I will go to my job tomorrow with a much more appreciative attitude.
Truly one of life situations you would never expect and therefore are not prepared to respond with a smile and a go f yourself.

I've conducted a few interviews and over the last 5 to 6 years I've noticed that post interview thank you notes are a thing if the past.

Recent interviews for a position about 6 months ago. Maybe 6 interviews .no thank you note / email .I ended up emailing a candidate we liked asking for references. We had someone schedule an interview and just not show up.
 
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