What a Weird Job Interview

I lost my job in February (srsly, it’s OK), which means I’ve been applying for a ton of jobs, and have been on a bunch of job interviews lately.   For those of you keeping score, I mostly use Indeed.com and LinkedIn for job searching.  Local networking events have been very helpful as well.

I got a good laugh at a networking event by comparing job interviews with meeting a marriage suitor.  You’re going to be spending 40+ hours a week with this person, possibly for years, so you better like them before agreeing to a committed relationship! Everyone laughed, nervously.

But, job interviews. Wow can you learn a lot about a company through the interview process! and if the person interviewing you is the person you’d be reporting to if hired? Pay attention, because they are telling you everything you need to know about their management style through the way they run the interview.

I have been on a lot of really good interviews. Interviews where the person interviewing me asking pointed questions about how I handled specific situations, what am I looking for in a new career, why am I interested in their company, etc.    If I listed all the positive experiences I’ve had, the list would be ten pages long.

But I want to share with you a negative, or if not negative, a weird interviewing experience I had.  there were many weird and unprofessional things this person did,  these are what stuck in my mind:

  • The hiring manager called me on a Saturday afternoon, and went right into a phone screening without asking “is now a good time?”
  • the interviewer scheduled in-person interviews 30 minutes apart
  • the interviewer carbon copied all of the candidates on the interview schedule
  • the interviewer was not clear about the job description or expectations

As our in-person interview progressed, I got the impression that this person had no idea how to interview candidates, and didn’t think it was important to learn how.  This is the kind of person who is not committed to hiring the right person, who thinks hiring the right person happens magically.

As our interview came to a close an hour later, the interviewer asked me the following questions.  I do not believe any of these are illegal to ask in an interview, but they sure were strange:

Do you have family nearby?

Where are you from?

Do you have any pets?

Do you rent or own your home?

I answered these questions with an increasingly puzzled look on my face.  The interviewer responded to my non-verbal communication with “I need someone who doesn’t have any obligations outside of work. Nothing is more frustrating than when someone says they have to go home to take care of their dog”.

I did not walk out of that job interview, I RAN.   There were two other people waiting in the reception area, one of whose interview was supposed to have started an hour ago.  I hope none of them had pets, kids, or a lawn to mow.