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  1. LCA
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    #1

    Default Obnoxious job interviewers

    I guess there's been thread like this one before but I'm really interested to know of others experiences in similiar situations to mine.

    I went for an interview a couple of days ago, now I've been to plenty of interviews but this one was to me rather an odd one.

    The position is at a small IT shop which involves co-ordinating/supervising the work schedule of other field technicians and doing a variety of other tasks as is typical for a small IT shop.

    I was there for nearly two hours and was interviewed by two people, one the general manager who was a great guy, asked good questions and a very positive person who I liked the moment I met him. But the other dude the owner was the most boorish person I've ever been interviewed by for a job.

    His people skills are poor and throughout the whole interview he was bent on asking very negative questions and making unflattering comments. He never smiled once and frowned and look grumpy throughout the whole interview. When I asked about his company's approach and attitude to staff sitting further exams (a common question at IT job interviews) he told me it was a silly question!! I got the strong impression from the moment I shook his hand that he took an instant dislike to me for no reason.

    As for my own performance I think I did reasonably well in the circumstances and would mark myself at 7 out of 10. It was rather difficult to nail the interview dealing with this guy. Naturally I have no desire to work for this company as I point blank refuse to work for people who don't have good people management skills.

    Any comments welcome
    Last edited by LCA; 04-29-2011 at 08:50 PM.
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    #2
    I vote good move! Who would want to work for a guy like that? Cant believe he would say thats a silly question! I say move on, good practice.
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  4. Senior Member ChooseLife's Avatar
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    #3
    Quote Originally Posted by LCA View Post
    he told me it was a silly question!!
    Based on that remark alone I'd skip on the company. Why work with (let alone for) a person like that?
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  5. BOBBY_TABLES RobertKaucher's Avatar
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    #4
    Silly question because their company does not invest in their employees in any way.
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  6. LCA
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    #5
    Quote Originally Posted by RobertKaucher View Post
    Silly question because their company does not invest in their employees in any way.
    Yup, you got that right.

    When I asked about training of staff he gave a very wishy-washy answer that lacked any detail whatsoever.
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    #6
    I think you can safely pass this job up
    Who wants to work for someone who obviously does not care?
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    #7
    I would also pass on this job
    *Associate's of Applied Sciences degree in Information Technology-Network Systems Administration
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    #8
    Job interviews are a two way street. You are also interviewing them, they failed. Always remember, the worst thing isn't failing to get a job. It's getting a job and finding out it is horrible 3 weeks into it.
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    #9
    Since I've been called much worse things than obnoxious as an interviewer, I'm afraid I have to take up for the other side. I purposely try and make folks uncomfortable during an interview because I need to see how they handle pressure. If you can't acquit yourself during a high pressure interview, I sure as hell don't want you touching mission critical portions of my infrastructure.

    You need to understand that if you're in that interview room, it's probably because you asked to be there. If it's a privately owned company, you have no right to expect to be treated how you think you should be treated. If you walk into a job interview with ANY sense of entitlement about ANYTHING, you're getting way ahead of yourself.

    You decided that the job wasn't for you, and that's good. You should be interviewing the people you're asking to work for at the same time in order to make sure it's a mutual fit.

    However, by coming to an internet message board and complaining because someone you were asking for a job didn't talk nice to you, you've lost a little grace. If you're really that fragile, and an interview like that gets under your skin, I wouldn't want you working with me either.
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    #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Forsaken_GA View Post
    However, by coming to an internet message board and complaining because someone you were asking for a job didn't talk nice to you, you've lost a little grace. If you're really that fragile, and an interview like that gets under your skin, I wouldn't want you working with me either.
    Are you the interviewer OP was talking about? If so, may be both of you should take it outside.
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  12. Stuck in a padded room... ITVince's Avatar
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    #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Forsaken_GA View Post
    Since I've been called much worse things than obnoxious as an interviewer, I'm afraid I have to take up for the other side. I purposely try and make folks uncomfortable during an interview because I need to see how they handle pressure. If you can't acquit yourself during a high pressure interview, I sure as hell don't want you touching mission critical portions of my infrastructure.

    You need to understand that if you're in that interview room, it's probably because you asked to be there. If it's a privately owned company, you have no right to expect to be treated how you think you should be treated. If you walk into a job interview with ANY sense of entitlement about ANYTHING, you're getting way ahead of yourself.

    You decided that the job wasn't for you, and that's good. You should be interviewing the people you're asking to work for at the same time in order to make sure it's a mutual fit.

    However, by coming to an internet message board and complaining because someone you were asking for a job didn't talk nice to you, you've lost a little grace. If you're really that fragile, and an interview like that gets under your skin, I wouldn't want you working with me either.
    There are other ways to find out how a person can act and resolve mission critical portions of infrastructure without acting like a complete (for lack of better work) douchebag. I think this comes back to people skills and the ability and competence to properly formulate a question or scenario for the interviewee to respond in a way to gives you your answer. In your case, why do you have to make the interviewee uncomfertable to find out how he's going to handle a critical situation at work? Formulate a scenario based technical question in the form of "what would you do if..." If the person cannot answer, they are put in the hot seat then. There's no need to be rude and unfriendly IMO. I say this because I just dealt with an a-hole internal hiring manager the other day for a position I applied for.
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    #12
    Testing under-pressure situations and being a jerk can be two different things. Poor interviewers give a negative outlook of the company regardless of how prestigious the job may be. I wouldn't want to touch any mission-critical infrastructure at a company that wouldn't appreciate my services or skills.
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  14. Senior Member Turgon's Avatar
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    #13
    Quote Originally Posted by LCA View Post
    I guess there's been thread like this one before but I'm really interested to know of others experiences in similiar situations to mine.

    I went for an interview a couple of days ago, now I've been to plenty of interviews but this one was to me rather an odd one.

    The position is at a small IT shop which involves co-ordinating/supervising the work schedule of other field technicians and doing a variety of other tasks as is typical for a small IT shop.

    I was there for nearly two hours and was interviewed by two people, one the general manager who was a great guy, asked good questions and a very positive person who I liked the moment I met him. But the other dude the owner was the most boorish person I've ever been interviewed by for a job.

    His people skills are poor and throughout the whole interview he was bent on asking very negative questions and making unflattering comments. He never smiled once and frowned and look grumpy throughout the whole interview. When I asked about his company's approach and attitude to staff sitting further exams (a common question at IT job interviews) he told me it was a silly question!! I got the strong impression from the moment I shook his hand that he took an instant dislike to me for no reason.

    As for my own performance I think I did reasonably well in the circumstances and would mark myself at 7 out of 10. It was rather difficult to nail the interview dealing with this guy. Naturally I have no desire to work for this company as I point blank refuse to work for people who don't have good people management skills.

    Any comments welcome
    One to avoid. Someone with such an outlook will likely have a dim view of anyone who accepts an offer of employment there and treat you accordingly. There are other jobs.
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  15. Senior Member Turgon's Avatar
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    #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Forsaken_GA View Post
    Since I've been called much worse things than obnoxious as an interviewer, I'm afraid I have to take up for the other side. I purposely try and make folks uncomfortable during an interview because I need to see how they handle pressure. If you can't acquit yourself during a high pressure interview, I sure as hell don't want you touching mission critical portions of my infrastructure.

    You need to understand that if you're in that interview room, it's probably because you asked to be there. If it's a privately owned company, you have no right to expect to be treated how you think you should be treated. If you walk into a job interview with ANY sense of entitlement about ANYTHING, you're getting way ahead of yourself.

    You decided that the job wasn't for you, and that's good. You should be interviewing the people you're asking to work for at the same time in order to make sure it's a mutual fit.

    However, by coming to an internet message board and complaining because someone you were asking for a job didn't talk nice to you, you've lost a little grace. If you're really that fragile, and an interview like that gets under your skin, I wouldn't want you working with me either.
    We were not in the room but Im not sure the person being interviewed went in with any sense of entitlement there. While I agree that some tension can be positive to see how someone reacts to pressure, most of that is really tested under the gun in the field. One can and should still be courteous when interviewing.
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    #15
    Quote Originally Posted by ITVince View Post
    There are other ways to find out how a person can act and resolve mission critical portions of infrastructure without acting like a complete (for lack of better work) douchebag. I think this comes back to people skills and the ability and competence to properly formulate a question or scenario for the interviewee to respond in a way to gives you your answer. In your case, why do you have to make the interviewee uncomfertable to find out how he's going to handle a critical situation at work? Formulate a scenario based technical question in the form of "what would you do if..." If the person cannot answer, they are put in the hot seat then. There's no need to be rude and unfriendly IMO. I say this because I just dealt with an a-hole internal hiring manager the other day for a position I applied for.
    If you can't handle me making you uncomfortable in an interview, you absolutely will NOT be able to handle our senior managers and mid level executives YELLING at you on the phone bridge in the middle of an outage. It's a high pressure job that's very well compensated... but you have to be able to handle the pressure.

    You have to keep in mind we're only seeing one side of the story, and I've sat on both sides of the table often enough to know to take that with a grain of salt. Someone's not happy with the way an interviewer talked to them? Wah. I'm sure the interviewer could probably say a few unflattering things about the OP.

    Are there interviewers that are just straight up douchebags? Sure. And they'll have issues with turnover.

    There are also plenty of applicants out there who will flat out lie and misrepresent themselves in order to get a job. And none of them like being called on it.

    I have seen far, far too many pretenders to just take folks at their word when it comes to an interview.
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    #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Turgon View Post
    We were not in the room but Im not sure the person being interviewed went in with any sense of entitlement there. While I agree that some tension can be positive to see how someone reacts to pressure, most of that is really tested under the gun in the field. One can and should still be courteous when interviewing.
    Well, that's a subjective matter. The OP stated that the odious interviewer was the owner of the company. I don't think it's particularly wise to try and impose what you think is the right or the wrong way to act on the guy who ultimately decides if the company succeeds or fails. It's easy to say they should act better, and to think maybe you could do better, but if you could, you probably wouldn't be asking that guy for a job.

    I'm playing a little bit of devil's advocate here, and it's entirely possible that the interviewer was just as horrible a person as the OP makes him out to be. It's also quite possible the OP is publicizing a case of sour grapes. As you said, we weren't in the room. From the way the OP describe him, I certainly wouldn't want to work for him.

    But, with the way it's presented, I wouldn't be too keen on hiring the OP either.
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    #17
    I've seen this before, mostly in small businesses. IT usually pays well and is not always a profit center for a business (but in your scenario it should be). The owner probably views hiring another person as more money out of his pocket. Take it with a grain of salt and if possible speak privately with the General Manager about your concerns.
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  19. Senior Member Turgon's Avatar
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    #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Forsaken_GA View Post
    Well, that's a subjective matter. The OP stated that the odious interviewer was the owner of the company. I don't think it's particularly wise to try and impose what you think is the right or the wrong way to act on the guy who ultimately decides if the company succeeds or fails. It's easy to say they should act better, and to think maybe you could do better, but if you could, you probably wouldn't be asking that guy for a job.

    I'm playing a little bit of devil's advocate here, and it's entirely possible that the interviewer was just as horrible a person as the OP makes him out to be. It's also quite possible the OP is publicizing a case of sour grapes. As you said, we weren't in the room. From the way the OP describe him, I certainly wouldn't want to work for him.

    But, with the way it's presented, I wouldn't be too keen on hiring the OP either.
    There is a lot we dont know but an ass is an ass and I certainly wouldn't work for one, neither would you for that matter.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Turgon View Post
    There is a lot we dont know but an ass is an ass and I certainly wouldn't work for one, neither would you for that matter.
    Well, again, that's all subjective. I personally prefer that the people I report directly to be as direct as possible. I don't like playing the politics and the games. I've had quite a few bosses that other folks would describe as asses, but I got along with fine. I personally can't stand a boss that's everyones friend. They're either lying to your face, or they're ineffective because they spend too much time worrying about keeping everyone happy. I agree that it's possible to be firm without being rude, but some folks are a little rough around the edges. As long as they don't interfere with my ability to do my job, I don't care if they're up for any congeniality awards, I go to work to make a living, not make friends.
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    #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Turgon View Post
    There is a lot we dont know but an ass is an ass and I certainly wouldn't work for one, neither would you for that matter.
    Indeed. There's being Devil's Advocate, but there is also giving a poor impression of the company.
    The interviewee is entitled to their decision of "do I want to work for this company", which will be greatly shaped by meeting representatives of that company in the interview.
    No offence to you, Forsaken, but if you were to start yelling at me in an interview for no reason, I'd have a pretty poor impression of you and the company for permitting such behaviour in the workplace. When the proverbial hits the fan, is one thing. Sorts the men from the boys and all that. When there's no provocation for it, well that's just arrogance, at best.
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  22. LCA
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    #21
    If they offer me the position I have no intention whatsoever of working for this company. There are several other reasons as well why the job wouldn't be an ideal fit me.

    There is a big difference between being upfront, open and direct with people and being rude and boorish.

    I must also add I have a lot of business experience as a supervisor and played a senior role in running a small business for 13 years including running the operation in the owners absence so I know a lot about dealing with staff.
    Last edited by LCA; 05-04-2011 at 01:59 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MickQ View Post
    Indeed. There's being Devil's Advocate, but there is also giving a poor impression of the company.
    The interviewee is entitled to their decision of "do I want to work for this company", which will be greatly shaped by meeting representatives of that company in the interview.
    No offence to you, Forsaken, but if you were to start yelling at me in an interview for no reason, I'd have a pretty poor impression of you and the company for permitting such behaviour in the workplace. When the proverbial hits the fan, is one thing. Sorts the men from the boys and all that. When there's no provocation for it, well that's just arrogance, at best.
    Oh, I never said I yelled. Yelling is above my pay grade

    There are plenty of ways to bring pressure and be unpleasant to a candidate without needing to raise your voice.

    I do understand where y'all are coming from, like I said, I've been on both sides of the table, and I've had my fair share of bad interviews. But I'm also well aware that there are plenty of bad candidates out there as well, so I feel compelled to take up for the other side when I see discussions like this. I'm not trying to disparage the OP in any way, as I said, he may very well be right. This discussion is more of an academic thing to me than a personal one.

    I just don't take terribly well when I see folks piling on to someone who can't defend themself. Maybe the dude was just having a bad day. Lord knows I have a hard time holding myself in check when I've been interviewing candidates all day, and the first three are barely qualified to setup a linksys router. You probably wouldn't like being my fourth interview very much either.
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  24. LCA
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    #23
    Forsaken_GA

    Just want to say I don't have any problems with the opinions you're expressing even though I don't agree with all of them.

    A bit of lively debate never hurt anyone.
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    #24
    Quote Originally Posted by LCA View Post
    When I asked about his company's approach and attitude to staff sitting further exams (a common question at IT job interviews) he told me it was a silly question!!
    I would have thanked him for his time and walked out at this point. Apparently he does not value progressive employees. Maybe if you showed him a 2k MCSE he would have been impressed?
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    #25
    Quote Originally Posted by Forsaken_GA View Post
    I just don't take terribly well when I see folks piling on to someone who can't defend themself. Maybe the dude was just having a bad day. Lord knows I have a hard time holding myself in check when I've been interviewing candidates all day, and the first three are barely qualified to setup a linksys router. You probably wouldn't like being my fourth interview very much either.
    I am an empathetic person and I can relate to what you are saying. That being said, assuming the OP has relayed an accurate account of what happened, there is no reason to downplay a legitimate question in an interview. While circumstances may explain why one says something poorly, it does not excuse them. I have to deal with enough emotional fits from my wife, I don't need a boss who cannot control his emotions either.
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