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I've just be overtly racist in a job interview. I'm not getting the job am I

(181 Posts)
JayHooooo Fri 10-Mar-17 09:08:41

had an interview today for a job I really wanted. It's for a very professional role, one where I will work with vulnerable people from all different backgrounds.

I was asked for a time when I worked with someone challenging in the office.

I discussed someone who would very openly state their opinions on people. Whether it was insulting their clothes,hair or work performance. She was very very blunt and honest. This caused conflict in the team as people were angry and offended with her and complained.

So I discussed with her what was appropriate for the work place blah blah (insert good I interview standard answer here )

When the interviewer told me that that was a very interesting example and what was the end result I said that she did learn not to be too personal but that she is still very honest but to be fair, she's Nigerian, and that's what Niegerians are like'.


Absolute stunned silence from the panel!

I won't get the job. No chance.

The rest of the interview was a blur. I honestly want to curl up and die. I get so nervous in interviews and end up saying something really stupid, but this is the worst.

AIBU to say I'm not getting the job.

C4Envelope Fri 10-Mar-17 09:10:17


CherryChasingDotMuncher Fri 10-Mar-17 09:10:31

Oh dear. If im being honest that would put me off giving you the job. Sorry

Batteriesallgone Fri 10-Mar-17 09:11:21

Oh dear. No. Sorry. That is pretty bad.

Still at least you got to practise the good interview answer before it all went to pot.

Chloe84 Fri 10-Mar-17 09:12:06

Yikes! Are you Nigerian as well, by any chance?

OnionKnight Fri 10-Mar-17 09:12:17

Yup, no job for you.

Next time think before you speak.

JayHooooo Fri 10-Mar-17 09:12:48

I'm a quarter Nigerian myself so my answer came from knowing my family and how blunt they are and the culture of just saying it like it is.

My grandmother will immediately tell someone if they've put on weight for example. It took her years to learn English politeness.

I'm not actually racist of course. But, I can't explain that now. I will just have to cringe for a few days.

iamapixiebutnotaniceone Fri 10-Mar-17 09:13:23

Whoops! If it makes you feel better I once made reference to an 80's porn star in an interview. The company packaged and distributed sex toys! πŸ˜‚ I didn't get the job either.

Foldedtshirt Fri 10-Mar-17 09:13:35

Sorry. Not helpful.
An emotionally intelligent response from them would be to see that your example was relevant- although you expected certain norms to be followed in the workplace you were able to see that her manner was the product of her upbringing.
But yep- bit of a tricky example to bring up in interview.

JayHooooo Fri 10-Mar-17 09:13:51

...and I look completely white.

glueandstick Fri 10-Mar-17 09:14:00

Ooh not good! I take it you meant that culturally to be quite blunt is the norm and to talk straight to people's faces.

Don't worry, we all come out with absolute clangers at times.

Beelands Fri 10-Mar-17 09:14:37

grin sorry but it's a bit funny.

My dad once referred to "negros" in a job interview. It's not a word he's used before or since. He came home, stood in the doorway and screamed "SOMEONE EXPLAIN TO ME WHY I HAVE JUST USED THE WORD NEGRO!" with his hands clutched to his face in horror.

No he did not get the job.

SailAwaySailAwaySailAway Fri 10-Mar-17 09:15:12

If you are Nigerian there's a vanishingly slim chance you might be ok.
Otherwise no. And try to move away from that kind of thinking inside your head too.

SailAwaySailAwaySailAway Fri 10-Mar-17 09:15:35

X post

IamFriedSpam Fri 10-Mar-17 09:16:40


I also get nervous and say stupid stuff. Have you thought about beta blockers for interview situations? Tend to keep the nerves under control!

LaContessaDiPlump Fri 10-Mar-17 09:16:51

Did you at least say that you were of Nigerian descent?! That might have helped!

Sympathy from me - I am half Arab and routinely make sarcastic comments about these dodgy foreigners, comin' over here, marrying our wimmin (i.e. my mum). My friends are used to it of course but I do occasionally generate a shock face blush

LaContessaDiPlump Fri 10-Mar-17 09:18:36

Also I recently admitted in a job interview to having two 'rather unplanned' children and saw the fleeting look of confused on the senior female interviewer's face, so feel your pain on that score too.

It's true and it had a major impact on my so-called career, alright?!

QueenofallIsee Fri 10-Mar-17 09:20:09

I think (hope) you meant that cultural differences were at play in that particular case? I get occasional remarks about a member of my extended team being 'abrupt' He is German, so not only does his language translate without some of the english niceties but as a culture they are far less given to small talk and such like.

You made a mistake but don't beat yourself up about it - you know what you meant!

Doyouwantabrew Fri 10-Mar-17 09:20:26

Mmm no think you have blown it even if theres an element of truth in the way different cultures and races have different attitudes to white lies and directness.

Fuck white lies would have bollocked up the interview too. hmm

Never mind op good luck next time flowers

alltogethernow123 Fri 10-Mar-17 09:20:37

I'm sorry but I don't think that's racist hmm

I work frequently with Australians and my goodness they can be very direct and straight to the point. That's my experience. I don't like them any less or harbour ill feeling.

People are too quick to cry racist these days.

What you made was an observation of their culture. You didn't qualify your statement with "and I can't stand all Nigerians" which would have been racist.

LostSight Fri 10-Mar-17 09:22:02


You probably won't get the job because it's such a touchy issue currently.

My husband however, attended a course not that long ago about working with people from different countries and cultures as that is something he has to do a lot in his job. It is a real thing and I find it frustrating that nobody is allowed to allude to the real difficulties it can cause for fear of causing offence.

I hope you can pick yourself up and have a good weekend OP. Shit happens sometimes. I lost out on working on something I thought would be a great opportunity last summer, then something else even better came along that I wouldn't have been able to do, had I taken on the first position. Onwards and upwards. gin

mumblechum0 Fri 10-Mar-17 09:22:54

Sorry, but grin. If I'd been on the panel I would have known where you're coming from, but that's because my MIL is Nigerian and is exactly like the person you're describing, as are the Nigerian aunties and cousins.

JayHooooo Fri 10-Mar-17 09:23:09

I think it would be seen as racist as it's a sleeping generalisation about a particular race.

I actually think it's largely true. The Nigerian culture is more blunt and honest than the English culture. But I don't actually think that's a bad thing.

I just shouldn't have said it in an interview. It's the only conflict I've encountered at work though so no chance of using another scenario.

peaceloveandbiscuits Fri 10-Mar-17 09:23:14


JayHooooo Fri 10-Mar-17 09:23:19


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