Obnoxious job interviewers

LCALCA Posts: 215Member
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
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Comments

  • nimrod.sixty9nimrod.sixty9 Posts: 125Banned
    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.
  • ChooseLifeChooseLife Posts: 941Member
    LCA wrote: »
    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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  • RobertKaucherRobertKaucher Posts: 4,298Member
    Silly question because their company does not invest in their employees in any way.
  • LCALCA Posts: 215Member
    Silly question because their company does not invest in their employees in any way.

    Yup, you got that right. icon_thumright.gif

    When I asked about training of staff he gave a very wishy-washy answer that lacked any detail whatsoever.
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  • PsoasmanPsoasman Posts: 2,687Member ■■■■■■■■■□
    I think you can safely pass this job up icon_wink.gif
    Who wants to work for someone who obviously does not care?
  • Dakinggamer87Dakinggamer87 Gaming Tech Expert Silicon Valley, CAPosts: 3,986Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    I would also pass on this job
    *Associate's of Applied Sciences degree in Information Technology-Network Systems Administration
    *Bachelor's of Science: Information Technology - Security, Master's of Science: Information Technology - Management
    Matthew 6:33 - "Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need."
  • pertpert Posts: 250Member
    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.
  • Forsaken_GAForsaken_GA Posts: 4,024Member
    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.
  • certhelpcerthelp Posts: 191Member
    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. icon_smile.gif
  • ITVinceITVince Posts: 143Member
    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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  • darkshade9darkshade9 Posts: 17Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    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.
  • TurgonTurgon Posts: 6,313Banned
    LCA wrote: »
    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.
  • TurgonTurgon Posts: 6,313Banned
    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.
  • Forsaken_GAForsaken_GA Posts: 4,024Member
    ITVince wrote: »
    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.
  • Forsaken_GAForsaken_GA Posts: 4,024Member
    Turgon wrote: »
    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.
  • kevozzkevozz Posts: 305Member
    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.
  • TurgonTurgon Posts: 6,313Banned
    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.
  • Forsaken_GAForsaken_GA Posts: 4,024Member
    Turgon wrote: »
    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.
  • MickQMickQ Posts: 628Member
    Turgon wrote: »
    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.
  • LCALCA Posts: 215Member
    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.
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  • Forsaken_GAForsaken_GA Posts: 4,024Member
    MickQ wrote: »
    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.
  • LCALCA Posts: 215Member
    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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  • rsuttonrsutton Posts: 1,029Member
    LCA wrote: »
    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?
  • rsuttonrsutton Posts: 1,029Member
    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.
  • Forsaken_GAForsaken_GA Posts: 4,024Member
    rsutton wrote: »
    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.

    Well, what the OP may see as a legitimate question may not be a big deal to the people hiring. Given the nature of this board, I'm sure everyone here agrees that certification is important, and training is important.

    But there's the other side of that as well - with the rampant dumping going on, certifications are devalued, and alot of employers have been burnt by hiring folks who had the paper that said they knew something, only to find out that they didn't. This is actually one of the reasons my company sends me in to deal with candidates. They were pleasantly surprised to find someone who had the alphabet soup on their resume, and could actually back it up. So I get to deal with the candidates who list the alphabet soup to figure out whether or not they're legit. I am specifically instructed to push them as hard as I can to find out if they're the real deal. Given the nature of our business, we require people of integrity, and candidates who misrepresent their knowledge level are a no go. (I will note that I am *not* the only interviewer, nor do I have any final say in whether or not they get a job offer. I make a recommendation, as do the other interviewers, and the hiring manager has the final say).

    And some fields simply do not value certification. Our Unix admins in particular have no respect for any unix oriented certification. The paper doesn't make a good admin. I sat in on one interview for a unix admin who was listing RHCE and LPIC certs along with 5 years of experience as an admin, but couldn't figure out how to deal with a service that was hitting the default of 1024 file descriptors. (He also couldn't relate to me how ARP actually worked... he honestly thought that a machine ARP'd for IP's that weren't on the local subnet, and had no idea what proxy arp was).

    On the subject of training, I can also see the other side of it. Many employers have been burned by providing training for their employees, only to have them take that knowledge and run. That's hard to deal with, especially if they end up with a competitor. I personally am a huge believer in training, and fortunately, my company believes it's worthwhile as well, and worth the risk of turnover. However, I can see how a company, particularly a smaller one, might be a little hesitant to make the investment.

    Most folks simply do not understand that hiring (and firing) cost the company alot more than your salary and the sum of your benefits. The concepts of risk vs. reward and opportunity cost are quite valid when it comes to employment.

    And then there's the very real issue of the fact that a company is in business to make money, and the less they spend in overhead, the more they get to keep. Employers are not altruistic, you have to make them more than you're going to cost them. While it's certainly getting better (at least, in Metro Atlanta), it's still a buyers market from the employers perspective. There are alot of (supposedly) highly trained people out of work and looking, so if an employer plays their cards right, they can pickup someone with the training needed to do the job without having to actually pay for that training.

    Now, I realize I sound like an apologist for the employers side. Trust me, my view on corporate america is far from flattering. There's a couple things that bring me to my point of view.

    First off, I don't view myself as an employee. I view my employer as a client, and regard myself as self employed (because really, no one should kid themselves - we're all self employed. The only difference is in how we pay our taxes). So I size up employers like I would potential customers - some have their own quirks that you just have to deal with. Some are more trouble than their worth. Some, you wish you could marry into their bloodline and solidfy the relationship for generations to come. I judge my potential employers just as thoroughly as they judge me, so I can understand their point of view on certain subjects, even when I don't agree with them.

    The other reason is that I'm a realist, and as of yet, the universe has not seen fit to alter reality merely because I don't like something. So I'm forced to accept the things I don't like, and account for them when making my decisions.
  • rsuttonrsutton Posts: 1,029Member
    I understand why an employer could be down on certifications, the problem is not how the employer feels, but how he communicates. When a server is down, and the powers that be are getting ready to nail me to a stake, I am not going to have the patience to play word games with you. There is a time to joke around and a time for logical debate.
  • bigbadsadbigbadsad Posts: 9Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    If I was in an interview and they told me asking about furthering my knowledge and qualifications was a silly idea I'd have thanked him for his time, got up and walked out.

    I havent had any weird interviews other than grad job assessments; building structures out of spaghetti and marshmallows was a strange interview technique. Other than that just the usual boring stuff like where do you see yourself in 5 years.
  • TurgonTurgon Posts: 6,313Banned
    bigbadsad wrote: »
    If I was in an interview and they told me asking about furthering my knowledge and qualifications was a silly idea I'd have thanked him for his time, got up and walked out.

    I havent had any weird interviews other than grad job assessments; building structures out of spaghetti and marshmallows was a strange interview technique. Other than that just the usual boring stuff like where do you see yourself in 5 years.

    If they will not invest in you why invest in them?
  • GT-RobGT-Rob Posts: 1,090Member
    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.


    Good engineers, not the ones looking for their first job after they dumped a few certs, won't put up with this. I myself have no problem dealing with pressure, and actually enjoy it. I have worked as a 3rd party responsible for financial networks, trust me, I have been yelled at plenty and deal fine. However if I had an interview like the OP described, I would have NO hesitation to stand up, thank him, and walk out. If he wanted to chalk that up to someone who 'cant handle the heat' then so be it, and I wish him luck finding someone desperate (likely unskilled) enough to work with him.


    This tactic might be a good way of weeding out fresh grads and people with no experience to see if they can handle real life, but to anyone else it just comes off as a dick to work for, and why would I want to when there are plenty of other companies. You are not weeding out the people who can't handle pressure, you are weeding out people who are not desperate enough to put up with BS. Want to guess why they are desperate?.
  • networker050184networker050184 Posts: 11,962Mod Mod
    GT-Rob wrote: »
    Good engineers, not the ones looking for their first job after they dumped a few certs, won't put up with this. I myself have no problem dealing with pressure, and actually enjoy it. I have worked as a 3rd party responsible for financial networks, trust me, I have been yelled at plenty and deal fine. However if I had an interview like the OP described, I would have NO hesitation to stand up, thank him, and walk out. If he wanted to chalk that up to someone who 'cant handle the heat' then so be it, and I wish him luck finding someone desperate (likely unskilled) enough to work with him.


    This tactic might be a good way of weeding out fresh grads and people with no experience to see if they can handle real life, but to anyone else it just comes off as a dick to work for, and why would I want to when there are plenty of other companies. You are not weeding out the people who can't handle pressure, you are weeding out people who are not desperate enough to put up with BS. Want to guess why they are desperate?.

    I agree with this 100%. I'm not begging anyone for a job. If I go to work for a place its a mutual gain for both the company and myself. If you can't even show me respect during the interview then why would I work for you?

    If I had no other choice then maybe I'd take a job with an interview like that. I would certainly keep looking after that though.
    An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made.
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