My Thoughts About Interviews & Ethics

In the past I’ve had a range of job interviews. Most of them have been soul crushing. It is why I will always be thankful to the interview panel at the New Zealand Embassy, even though I didn’t make it in the final round of interviews. (I sadly choked in the final round as I wanted the job too badly) They made me feel good that I had made it through so far and treated me with respect and dignity. They even sent a lovely letter that didn’t sound like a rejection at all when most other companies just leave you in the dark.

Of course my heart goes out to the interviewers at my most beloved workplaces. They definitely treated me with more kindness than I expected and I’m forever grateful and forever an evangelist for those organisations.

My partner makes me feel envious of the unique way he’s been hired by American companies. “Once they have identified the candidate they want, they arrange for the person to meet everyone in the team. Makes you feel at home, and accepted, like in a family.” Well I guess I’ve experienced a bit of this too at some of my earlier jobs. That inclusive feeling where you are happy to come to work every day. Even better I know of people who don’t even have to go through interviews, but get hired through contacts. (I wonder if they realise how lucky they are to not have to endure one of those confidence ruining traumas.

Yes, a far cry to interviewers at many local companies that left me feeling so dejected. It was terrible to my psyche and my partner told me I should have walked out and not endured the mocking condescending tone and the racist and sexist questions. With reference to race, they asked “What are you?” And even asked questions like “Do you have a boyfriend?” They rudely yawned repeatedly during the interview, made no eye contact and just only then began flipping through reading my resume. “You’re very rich” with reference to my last drawn salary, meaning they can’t pay that much even though it was the salary stated in the job advert. All this was during a recession and it was an employers’ market.

Since I was feeling so desperate and there are no laws protecting me, I didn’t shut it down when I should have. These interviews were much more than a decade ago, so I truly pray that we have evolved since then. Maybe the interviewers lack professionalism, because they are not properly trained. Maybe they suddenly feel like they are in a position of authority and turn into a power obsessed bully. Please send these employees for training to spare potential victims and your company image.

Having been on the other side as well, my partner has developed a lot of empathy for the candidates. (As it should be.) Interviewers must do their homework. It’s just basic respect to the candidates who have put in so much hard work into their Resumes and dressing up (often buying new clothes to look their best) and making the trip to the appointment usually well before the appointed time. He shared that it’s important to put the candidate at ease: “I always go into an interview, making sure that the interviewee is comfortable. Because I know they are very anxious.”

Don’t you understand that how your managers treat people at interviews is a reflection of your company. What you stand for? These interviewees could be potential clients or possibly your boss in the future. Well, at least, I wish. Word of mouth and now, social media is very powerful and I’m glad to see toxic discriminatory behaviours taken to task.

About bookjunkie

Blogging about life in Singapore & recently cancer too.
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