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In thinking interviewer was an arse?

(58 Posts)
NearlySpring Sat 09-Jul-11 00:41:21

I went for a last minute job interview. My recruitment consultant arranged it with me over the phone for the very next morning.

She sent me a full job description the morning of the interview (I read it on the journey there). After all the details about the role, salary etc she made a point of saying "this is a very male orientated environment, be bold, they do not want a girly girl who will cry under pressure or who can't take the male office banter or that will offended by swearing. I was a little "hmm" at this- doesn't sound too professional.

Anyway, I get there, nice office, interviewer is director (small company, one office, 35 staff only 2 females- young admin girls - my role would not be admin) He got me to answer a few questions, the usual why this company, why are you leaving last job etc then said "let's hear a bit more about you" I got ready to talk about my interests as hobbies, work related events Id attended etc BUT he then asked

1. My age (it wasn't on my cv)
2. If I live in a house or flat (I answered house)
3. How many bedrooms (I said 2)

He then said "oh I live with my wife and 3 kids, do you live alone?" to which I said "no with my partner" He then continued the questions with

4. Are you planning on moving to a bigger house anytime soon?
5. Sometimes we may need you to work late or change your working days hours at short notice, are there are reasons that you wouldn't be able to do this?

He didn't ask or let me say anything about myself other than my living arrangements.

AIBU to think he was a sexist hit who realised I was in my mid twenties as was probing to find out if I had kids or was likely to inconvenience him by having a baby and taking maternity leave in the near future should he employ me.

It pissed me off actually.

MoonGirl1981 Sat 09-Jul-11 00:44:26

He asked about your living arrangements because interviewers are no longer allowed to ask if you are married, have children or if you are planning to have children. So he found a way around it.

Yes, he's an arse.

madhattershouse Sat 09-Jul-11 00:44:36

Sounds like you are right..he was fishing to see if he would have to pay maternity! Mind you I once filled in a job form that atually asked if I had problem periods and when was my last period shock needless to say I left that blank!! They are looking for the candidates who will have the least time off..totally out of order!

madhattershouse Sat 09-Jul-11 00:45:12


NearlySpring Sat 09-Jul-11 00:49:28

Moon girl- yes, I know! I think I was more offended that he thought I was dim enough to not see through his cunning plan! What a cock!

Periods question on application form! How bloody odd!

LRDTheFeministNutcase Sat 09-Jul-11 01:00:47

What a total arse.

Are you in a position to complain? I guess only feasible if you've decided you don't want the job/you don't get it.

Bet he thought he was being subtle and all. angry

Tortington Sat 09-Jul-11 01:00:53

its nt there some kind of law that says he has to ask all candidates the same questions and if not you can take them to court?

NearlySpring Sat 09-Jul-11 01:05:17

I probably could complain but I don't want the job anyway- so haven't got the time or energy to persue it whilst working fulltime and looking for new job too.

I can imagine how awful it'd be working there.

Spuddybean Sat 09-Jul-11 01:35:27

what a tit!

i was interviewed the other day (for a financial institution) by a wanker employer who looked at my cv (despite shortlisting me on the basis of that) and laughed in my face and said 'History of art degree! why did you choose that! how much money could that earn' and it basically went downhill from there.

It got to a point where he was so aggressive i though he was going to offer me outside for a fight. Like a mug i carried on being polite and tried to get thru the interview. on the way out he wouldn't even shake my hand and shut the door on me as i said goodbye with my arm out.

After i left i told i wished i'd got up and just walked out after the first question.

Now when i get told i don't have the job, i always ask for 'feedback'. But i have also started giving interviewer feedback. Eg 'well thank you for the opportunity and interview experience but just for future reference, it is very unprofessional to look at your watch repeatedly when a candidate is talking'

A1980 Sat 09-Jul-11 01:46:56

It's a piss take to ask that but in a way I see both sides of it. Employers have a business to run.

A few years ago at work one of the deaprtments was struggling, a couple of people left and it was a niche area of law so it can be very hard to recruit people at the senior end. We evetually found someone who was well aware of the situation when she joined, i.e. that we were desperate and she was well needed. There was a six month probation period and by the end of it she was 8 months pregnant. Do the math! Then on maternity leave, first she's coming back in 6 months, then 9, then she wants part time, then the full leave for a year then at the last possible minute she decides not to come back at all. I don't know why she left her last job to work with us for only 6 months.

I'll probably get flamed for saying this but this so be it.

lovesicecream Sat 09-Jul-11 01:54:09

I once got a job as a trainee hairdresser, never asked if I had children so I didn't tell them, a month or so in they found out, they were never the same with me, a couple of months later they fired me, said it was last in first out bollocks and in the same sentence she bought up that I hadn't told them in the interview that I had a child, I said you never asked me and what was the relevance! I never had any time off

Spuddybean Sat 09-Jul-11 01:56:14

A1980 - that's interesting. at the moment i am going for interviews but also ttc. i feel odd about it but dont really know what else i can do. if i get a job and conceive then i will just be off my prob period when i have to go on mat leave. i'm not sure what the alternatives are.

MrMan Sat 09-Jul-11 02:04:52

This seriously pisses me off and A1980, you are talking bollocks. Women have an equal right to jobs regardless of if they have, will have or might have kids. And what is this bullshit inbuilt assumption that fathers won't take time to take care of their DC?

If you have the time & energy I would talk to an employment lawyer and see if you can drag his sorry ass to court. May make him think twice next time.

ShellyBoobs Sat 09-Jul-11 02:20:21

However the dickhead interviewer thought he'd found a way around the law, he was mistaken.

You absolutely cannot ask questions pertaining to someone's age (other than to confirm they're above the legal minimum (shift work rules for example might dictate that you need to check.)

He's on very shaky ground with questions regarding whether you would have anything that prevents you working certain hours too.

It's perfectly reasonable to state the possible working hours and ask if you understand them but it's difficult to ask whether something might prevent you (for example) working on a Sunday, without getting into the realms of religious discrimination.

The question about whether you live alone could be construed as questioning your sexual orientation - again illegal.

Sounds like you're better off out of there, but it's bloody annoying that someone would ask such questions.

fernier Sat 09-Jul-11 08:20:17

I had a job interview once where they asked " does your husband mind you working?"
I think regardless of laws they seem to ask whatever they fancy.

scarlettsmummy2 Sat 09-Jul-11 08:41:51

When I was a recruitment consultant we used to ask anyone interviewing to work with us all kinds of barely legal questions. This was completely common across the industry. We also never hired women with children, I know this was wrong but when you are working fifty plus hours a week plus client entertaining you need someone who can give one hundred percent you can't afford to take the risk it won't work out. In the company I worked for, a huge well known finance agency, myself and four other girls did get pregnant, but we all ended up leaving within a year of going back from mat leave as the pressure was too much.

These things are very sad and morally wrong but unfortunately it is sometimes the reality of the business world.My boss was female and she was far more sexist than any of the men.

follyfoot Sat 09-Jul-11 08:48:08

You dont have to ask all candidates the same questions (according to the chairing an interview panel course I've just done anyway smile). That doesnt mean that you can ask discriminatory questions though (which he did)

StealthPolarBear Sat 09-Jul-11 08:54:13

"CustardoMightyNonSmoker Sat 09-Jul-11 01:00:53
its nt there some kind of law that says he has to ask all candidates the same questions and if not you can take them to court?"

AFAIK no it's not law, but it's good practice/recommended to avoid discrimination claims. Exactly like this one should be grin

Mind you I once got an app form for a job I advertised from a "woman" who said she wanted the job in order to spend more time with her husband. (I put "woman" in quotes because I suspect he had filled it in on her behalf)

squeakytoy Sat 09-Jul-11 08:58:04

I feel very sorry for employers who are trying to run a business these days.

Employers need committment from their staff, small businesses cant afford to invest the time and expense of training up new employees only for them to leave or be unable to put in the extra time if needed. They also usually want to employ a person who will fit in with the rest of the company, so from that point of view they do need to know a bit about the person.

This isnt always sexist.

A friend of mine recently took on a new employee, who said he was fine at working long hours, no problem with working away on overnight jobs etc...

Week 2 and he has so far asked to leave early twice because he needs to get home to his kids, and cant do the overnights next week because his wife is working.. this affects other people in the company too and they are getting pissed off about it already.

catgirl1976 Sat 09-Jul-11 09:22:33

As other has said - you cannot be asked your age at an interivew. Nor should you be asked questions pertinaing to your living arrangements which I think sound like they could be designed to find out if you have children, your sexual orientation etc. Complain to the recruitment agency and to the MD of this company

scarlettsmummy2 Sat 09-Jul-11 09:29:26

Going on the advice that the recruitment consultant gave when booking the op in for interview I would say that they are already perfectly aware of the culture in this organisation. Employers tell recruitment consultants all kinds of things as they are paying them a large fee to find them suitable candidates and feel it is their right to be choosy. I have had senior staff tell me, no women under forty, no men, no one fat, no one ugly, no one old. It is shocking.

lenak Sat 09-Jul-11 09:34:15

At the question about the house, I would have said "I thought I was interviewing for [so and so position], not a house share".

catgirl1976 Sat 09-Jul-11 09:34:48

To be fair our company is terrible. Girls must be size 12 or under and very attractive. We have only got 2 female staff over the age of the 30 (I am one of them). We do have some "less attractive" female staff (maybe 3) but they are kept very much back office and not allowed to mix with clients. I am 22 weeks pg and the second female only in 16 years to have a baby. I have gone through all the morning sickness with a smile on my face and not taken a minute off. Arranged private scans so as minimise time off during working hours, am working right up to the birth and back after 8 weeks. And I am still getting comments like "you won't be the same when you have the baby" and my request to work shorter hours after the baby is born was turned down flat. At my interview I was asked if I was on the pill.

StealthPolarBear Sat 09-Jul-11 09:36:18

shock catgirl
Which company?
No actuially don't answer that

catgirl1976 Sat 09-Jul-11 09:36:51

smile really cant! Need my job!

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