A Job Interview Gone Wrong

Last night I recalled a job interview that gone wrong.  Not for me but for them.   About 5 years ago in Jersey, I went to a job interview.

I met and sat across one of the most pretentious and self-absorbed HR person I’ve ever met.  Ten minutes into the interview, I got up and said,

“Thank you, but I am not interested.”

He looks up at me and says, “Excuse me?”

I replied back, “The moment I came in here I didn’t feel welcomed. You are the first person I met that represents this company, I don’t even want to think about what the other people are like that work here.  I wouldn’t want to work here.”

I was young and ambitious but I’ve always held a belief that people should treat others with respect.  Even then, I knew that he was doing a poor job of vetting qualified candidates. He had no social skills, made no eye contact and had an air of elitism.  Why would I want to work in a place that made me feel unworthy?!

There are definitely better ways to get to know a candidate then with a snappy self-absorbed gatekeeper controlling the talent entering your doors.  I can picture myself as Julia Roberts in the movie, Pretty Women, going into that Beverly Hills store and saying,  “Big mistake. Big, big mistake.” (Ok, so Julia’s character and I aren’t actually in the same profession but that scene definitely captured my mood then.)  If only the designers knew how their associates treated people that led to decrease sales.

So what happened afterwards?  I was called in for a 2nd interview by the actual hiring manager.  I respectfully declined.

Moral of this story – Know your true worth and value.  Those who may feel threatened by you will try to demean you without at first trying to get to know you.  Stand up for yourself.

With years of experience now behind me, I understand how important it is to have the right people in all areas of my business.  There is one thing about assessing someone’s character, motivations and work ethic and another when you make someone feel inferior.

My friend shared  a story about his interview at Facebook when they asked him, “You didn’t go to an Ivy League school, so why should we hire you?”  My response would have been, “Your CEO didn’t graduate college, so what are you trying to tell me?!”

Have you had any similar experiences?

Jason Vitug

Jason Vitug is a bestselling author, writer, producer, entrepreneur, and founder of The Smile Lifestyle Brands and the financial wellness marketplace, phroogal.com.

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