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Amazing Interview
Old 08-23-2015, 11:58 AM   #1
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Amazing Interview

I ERed just over a year ago, but I still keep my eye out for interesting jobs. I recently had an interview with the director of a program and through out he made denigrating remarks describing a female employee as a "gal", saying that one of the younger team members "drank too much" and that the director of a potential vendor was "slimy". He described himself as "blunt and to the point" which IMHO is usually an excuse for poor management and people skills. The program is in trouble and there is a bad relationship with the vendors and maybe I understand why after the interview. If they make me an offer I'll refuse it, the company failed the interview from my POV. It's a shock when you run into managers who act this way.
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Old 08-23-2015, 12:09 PM   #2
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There's a certain appeal to plain speak, but like everything it has limits. Any chance this is a job at the campaign office of a certain presidential candidate?
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Old 08-23-2015, 12:51 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by nun View Post
he made denigrating remarks describing a female employee as a "gal",
If someone referred to a man as a "guy", is that also denigrating? Sorry, I just don't see how referring to a female as a "gal" is any different or less respectful than using the often-used pronoun "guy" (which I don't find offensive or denigrating). Were you expecting him to use her name instead of "gal"? Or did he use "gal" 20 different times over a few minutes?

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saying that one of the younger team members "drank too much"
Too much alcohol? Too much water? Soda? Perhaps it is his attempt to let you know going in that one of the employees might indeed indulge a bit heavy on the weekends, calling in "sick" on Fridays and Mondays with a somewhat regular basis, so you aren't wondering "where in the heck is ____ at, I needed him to tackle this today!".

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and that the director of a potential vendor was "slimy".
Perhaps he should have said that all of your co-workers have exemplary work ethics, and all of your potential vendors are even more ethical and will never cause you any frustrations at their ethics and values, and let you wonder how to address a potential vendor who you soon find out is very slimy?

I'd rather have someone let me know if there are potential issues out there, rather than someone who says everything is golden and you will have no worries.

Given all of the potential issues one could encounter with a boss, I find your descriptions pretty tame to me.
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Old 08-23-2015, 12:55 PM   #4
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There's a certain appeal to plain speak, but like everything it has limits. Any chance this is a job at the campaign office of a certain presidential candidate?
Plain speaking is fine....but why would anyone describe the supposed drinking habits of one of their employees in an interview. I have a couple of issues with that:

1) It's none of my business so why even bring it up
2) How does this guy know what his employee does on their own time.....
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Old 08-23-2015, 01:03 PM   #5
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If someone referred to a man as a "guy", is that also denigrating? Sorry, I just don't see how referring to a female as a "gal" is any different or less respectful than using the often-used pronoun "guy" (which I don't find offensive or denigrating). Were you expecting him to use her name instead of "gal"? Or did he use "gal" 20 different times over a few minutes?
The remark was in a context that was clearly denigrating. He mentioned her poor performance and described her as a "gal" with a tone that struck me as offensive. It might not be the worst language, but was unprofessional in the context of an interview.

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Too much alcohol? Too much water? Soda? Perhaps it is his attempt to let you know going in that one of the employees might indeed indulge a bit heavy on the weekends, calling in "sick" on Fridays and Mondays with a somewhat regular basis, so you aren't wondering "where in the heck is ____ at, I needed him to tackle this today!".
It was obviously a reference to alcohol. But why even bring this up in an interview....again very unprofessional.


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Perhaps he should have said that all of your co-workers have exemplary work ethics, and all of your potential vendors are even more ethical and will never cause you any frustrations at their ethics and values, and let you wonder how to address a potential vendor who you soon find out is very slimy?

I'd rather have someone let me know if there are potential issues out there, rather than someone who says everything is golden and you will have no worries.

Given all of the potential issues one could encounter with a boss, I find your descriptions pretty tame to me.
Bad mouthing people in an interview is dumb. I would never do it and I would hope that the interviewer wouldn't either. The remarks were casual and the people were only incidentally connected to the job I was applying for. My interviewer struck me as a "loose cannon". It is not the sort of behaviour I expect from a responsible PM.
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Old 08-23-2015, 01:07 PM   #6
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I think the interviewer was being honest and quite frankly I find that refreshing. Would you prefer if everything was sugar coated and you found out otherwise when you got onboard? I think mentioning some of the challenges the organization is facing is not only honest but Is in their best interest. You don't want to hire someone and then have them quit on you the next week. If you ask me, the interviewer made a smart move and if you cannot deal with the honesty then you're doing them a favor by not taking the job because you wouldn't be a good fit. And coming from a female, calling someone a gal which is the equivalent to calling a man a guy is not denigrating.


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Old 08-23-2015, 01:14 PM   #7
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I think the interviewer was being honest and quite frankly I find that refreshing. Would you prefer if everything was sugar coated and you found out otherwise when you got onboard? I think mentioning some of the challenges the organization is facing is not only honest but Is in their best interest. You don't want to hire someone and then have them quit on you the next week. If you ask me, the interviewer made a smart move and if you cannot deal with the honesty then you're doing them a favor by not taking the job because you wouldn't be a good fit. And coming from a female, calling someone a gal which is the equivalent to calling a man a guy is not denigrating.


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I agree that I'm not a good fit for the job. Of course you might not be offended by the word "gal", but the delivery of a word is sometimes more important that the word itself. This "guy's" delivery and use of "gal" was intended to belittle. Some might find such descriptions honest, I find them to display a definite lack of tack and to do it in an interview with someone outside the organization just underlines it's unprofessionalism.

Honesty about the issues and reasons for a projects problems are a given in the type of work I've done before. Little asides about the character of other employees and potential vendors are not....certainly never in an interview.
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Old 08-23-2015, 01:16 PM   #8
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I understand that context can be everything and since you presumably correctly read the tone and body language, you may be right that the interviewer was being disrespectful. However, based on what you reported in your thread your bar for a loose cannon seem to be very low and judgmental in my opinion but I do understand that some people are way more politically correct and diplomatic than others and there's a huge penchant in our culture for political correctness and offense. That still doesn't mean that the interviewer was being a slime ball. Just my two cents.


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Old 08-23-2015, 01:21 PM   #9
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I understand that context can be everything and since you presumably correctly read the tone and body language, you may be right that the interviewer was being disrespectful. However, based on what you reported in your thread your bar for a loose cannon seem to be very low and judgmental in my opinion but I do understand that some people are way more politically correct and diplomatic than others and there's a huge penchant in our culture for political correctness and offense. That still doesn't mean that the interviewer was being a slime ball. Just my two cents.


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This wasn't so much a PC thing for me. It was that he even mentioned these things to someone outside of the organization in an interview. It just struck me as weird and is not what a good manager should be doing. It gave me the impression that he has bad judgement which might explain the issues with his program.
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Old 08-23-2015, 02:05 PM   #10
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Ok I see your point. Discussing personnel issue is probably not appropriate in an interview. Maybe he thought you can come onboard and clean things up😀


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Old 08-23-2015, 03:04 PM   #11
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This wasn't so much a PC thing for me. It was that he even mentioned these things to someone outside of the organization in an interview. It just struck me as weird and is not what a good manager should be doing. It gave me the impression that he has bad judgement which might explain the issues with his program.
Yes, it sounds like he is airing his company's dirty laundry; for all he knows your next interview is with the slimy vendor, or a competitor. He should hope you are more professional than he is (and less "blunt and to the point") and would not share what he's told you.

But hopefully you can just snap out of this whole go back to work stage
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Old 08-23-2015, 03:12 PM   #12
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There is a fine line between being blunt and being c/rude and it sounds like this manager is clueless as to where that fine line lies.
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Old 08-23-2015, 08:03 PM   #13
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Nun, I got from your description a clueless interviewer who thinks he is plain speaking, when in fact he is judgmental, inappropriate and probably not very self aware. Sure there are contexts where I might call a man a guy and might call a woman a gal, but as you described this interview, the "gal" comment would have triggered a red flag for me too.

Knowing this director says these inappropriate things about coworkers, team members and vendors, doesn't make me want to get involved and see what inappropriate things he will tell everyone else about me. Unless you need the work, this sounds like a toxic workplace in the making and well worth staying far away.
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Old 08-23-2015, 08:12 PM   #14
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2) How does this guy know what his employee does on their own time.....
If he ever traveled with this guy, then it may be obvious that he is a problem drinker or alcoholic.
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Old 08-23-2015, 08:39 PM   #15
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If he ever traveled with this guy, then it may be obvious that he is a problem drinker or alcoholic.
The remark was coupled with some comments about the person's youth, the implication being that a lot of young people party too much.
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Old 08-23-2015, 08:42 PM   #16
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Knowing this director says these inappropriate things about coworkers, team members and vendors, doesn't make me want to get involved and see what inappropriate things he will tell everyone else about me. Unless you need the work, this sounds like a toxic workplace in the making and well worth staying far away.
Exactly! I don't need the work, but I want to do something fun. This job is not it. Most of my career has been in very professional environments working for the US Government where there are strictly enforced policies and where people are respected and personnel issues are kept within HR and the directly responsible management. To have these things thrown into an interview was bizarre.
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Old 08-23-2015, 08:44 PM   #17
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I am so very grateful that I will never, ever have to attend another j*b interview!
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Old 08-24-2015, 07:47 PM   #18
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I am so very grateful that I will never, ever have to attend another j*b interview!
So am I. Stick a fork in me, I'm done....
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Old 08-24-2015, 08:28 PM   #19
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I am so very grateful that I will never, ever have to attend another j*b interview!
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So am I. Stick a fork in me, I'm done....
+1
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Old 08-25-2015, 08:49 AM   #20
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Just to close this out, I got offered the job. Nice salary too, but nothing could really tempt me to accept, so I told them "thanks, but no thanks".....or words to that effect.

PS. I got an email back asking why I refused the offer.........
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