Hey everyone, it’s our first ever guest post! This one comes from our good friend, Alyson, who has been on the job market and fighting all the good fights. When she told Becky this story, I begged her to write about it. In a world full of articles about the dumb things people say during interviews, the focus is usually on the answers (which always strikes me as elitist BS between the job havers and job seekers. Seriously, who is helped by reading about not bringing a beer to the interview?) Anyway, here’s the worst interview I’ve ever heard about because the interviewer is a complete ass.
When I lived in Maryland, I lost my job with a pharmaceutical company when a new CEO came in to clear everyone out. It was a pretty big blow, and I really wasn’t sure where to go from there. It takes you off guard. Though I have to say it may have been a lifesaver in the long run, as I was done with having coffee thrown at me on a daily basis… or file folders… or staplers… I digress.
After a few weeks, I started showing signs of becoming a desperate unemployed “application-a-holic.” I applied for a job with one of those companies that administers Microsoft testing. They help people test for certificates in the Office programs, and give out little pieces of paper that you can take back to your employer and say, “look what I can do!” I had applied for the test administrator position, which came off as a general office position, with faxing, filing, and setting people up at the little computers to test for the certificates. When I looked at the position, from my many previous experiences, I figured, “this is going to be an awesome interview, and a piece of cake.”
I got called for an interview the day after I applied. The secretary was very enthusiastic and she gave me a very thorough overview of the job. I was going to interview with the manager, and as I understood, it was a very small office, of about a dozen people. If he liked me, I’d get to meet with everyone else that day. At no point during this conversation did my “skeptic” red flag go up, so I strolled into that interview completely primped, primed and prepped (3 P’s, we’ll leave for another day) to get that job!
I was ten minutes early, and was asked to sit in a cheap plastic chair, in the waiting area. There were no clients there at the time. Doors wide open, I could hear the manager on his cell phone and see his feet propped up on his desk, watching the golf channel on a flat screen. Thirty minutes after my scheduled interview time, he got off his cell phone, dropped his feet, and yelled for me to be brought into his office. *Super Classy*
At this point, my ass was so numb from the hard plastic chair, I was too preoccupied with trying to walk straight in heels, to notice that he’d even started talking to me.
This guy, “Mick” started in by telling me the following,
“I asked you here because I read your resume and wanted to ask you a few questions about why you’ve moved around the country so much? Why do you keep changing jobs every 8 months or so? You’ve worked for some pretty big companies, so I’m just trying to figure you out.”
My reply was fuzzy at first, the usual, “I’ve gotten a chance to travel because my husband was in the Air Force. Every position I took, I left on good measure for a bigger opportunity, well within the confines of knowing I may need to move again if he needs to move. Now that he’s out of the Air Force, I’d like a stable position with a company, where I can use my assets to help the company growth.”
His reply, “That can’t be the real reason why you’re here, or why you’ve moved around so much. What makes you tick? Why do you think I would even think about hiring you? You’ll just up and quit in about 8 months or so, it’s like there’s a pattern. Why did you apply for this job? I know you’ve probably already realized I never planned on hiring you when we made this appointment.”
EXCUSE ME!?!?? I looked at him with what I can only assume was a shocked face, and then I turned on my complete bitch mode. It’s that mode hidden deep down in your soul, which radiates through your extremities and causes you to visibly shake. That vein in your neck, forehead or other noticeable part of your body pops and starts to pulse. With everything I had, I didn’t jump over the desk at this guy and punch him.
“I’m sorry you feel that way. You’re right, I have had a chance to work in many different offices, and here I thought after the lovely conversation you had with your friend on your cellphone the last 45 minutes, that you were a decent human being or would be a decent manager. I don’t have to justify my lengthy resume to you, nor do I appreciate the fact that you were a complete and utter asshole, a waste of my time, and I will be speaking with your supervisor the minute I leave this hell hole. You’re a jackass.” … All without raising my voice.
Mick was stunned into silence. See, he could be a jack wagon all he wanted, but he couldn’t stand to think that he had pissed someone off so badly, that they would speak to him that way. In fact I’m not sure he expected me to counter his attitude. On the way out, I stopped at the secretary’s desk and said, “I will need the business card of the man who owns this establishment, or at least the person who is above the completely obnoxious douche who I just met with, and I’ll need it NOW.”
You didn’t have to ask that poor girl twice, she smiled and said, “thank you, have a nice day” trembling all the way as she handed me the card. I was on my cell phone within minutes. I also emailed a letter to the company, telling them that they had an appalling situation on their hands with Mick.
Two weeks later, justice came in the form of a letter from the school district telling me I’d gotten the job as a substitute teacher. That same day, a letter back from Mick’s supervisor, and an apology letter from their CEO came, telling me that Mick had been canned, and that they were appalled at the way he handled the situation.
Moral of the Story: Walking into an interview, you never know who the nut job on the other side of the desk is, and sometimes you never learn that until after you’re hired. The goal though is to not let someone trample on you or your decisions. I had a lot of really great chances and choices in my life before I’d had that interview that made my resume look like I was playing leap frog, but in reality, I was becoming a “jack of all trades” (or a Jill of all skills, whatever) that would pay off later in life.
Go into your interview prepped and ready for anything they throw at you, even if they throw you a dirtball like Mick. Good Luck in your next interview.