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Don't think I was given the real reason I didn't get the job

(8 Posts)
Pleiades45 Fri 14-Oct-11 11:26:21

I had a job interview, it went well, I was called back to meet the MD. It also went well. So well in fact, that I was being asked how soon could I start, they spent forever, validating why i was suitable for the job etc. Two other managers were present and one kept asking about childcare arrangements. I was honest, and said I had checked availability for care and just had to sign up to it. I could start as soon as this was done. What about working late, No problem, my husband would pick up the children if need be.

Nearly 2 weeks later, I heard they had decided to restructure instead and that even after the restructure I would no longer be considered due to my lack of product knowledge. This wasn't an issue to them earlier!

I took it hard, it was a complete shock, they were even discussing salary with me. I think the shock was responsible for me being ill that night and ending up in hospital with severe biliary colic and a result that I have just had surgery. Something that came out of the blue, I was healthy.

I don't think I have been treated fairly, but I'm just not up for a fight. How do I move on? Is this always going to be an issue?

Hassled Fri 14-Oct-11 11:33:17

Well they're not allowed to ask a question of a female candidate that they wouldn't also ask a male candidate. And while you can probably be sure it wouldn't have crossed their minds to ask a man about childcare arrangements at that stage of the application process, your problem is proving it. When I interview, copies are kept of the questions asked and the notes we take during the interviews - and we are very careful that apart from follow up questions, we ask everyone the same thing. But in this case they would say it was an informal chat, not part of the interview process, etc.

All you can do is tell yourself the truth, which is that working for a company with that sort of a mindset would have been shit. And no, I do think those attitudes are more and more rare these days - it's not always going to be an issue; I think you were just very unlucky (although possibly I'm being naive). I'm sorry you were so ill.

KatieMortician Fri 14-Oct-11 16:06:30

Do you know if anyone else was recruited? Because at the moment jobs being pulled for restructure is more common in my experience than job offers being withdrawn for working mothers.

I know you're pissed off but they might just be telling the truth. They obviously liked you from what you've said so why think the worst?

Pleiades45 Fri 14-Oct-11 17:57:18

No, I don't think so but it's still being advertised elsewhere. I nearly applied for the same job again!

I know it sounds pessimistic but of the 3 people there was one British Female and 2 male foreigners. It was one of the foreigners that questioned childcare and knowing their culture as I do, I got an impression that hubby helping out wasn't something they understood. You would have to have been there to understand.

Also, the job required a French speaker and they were very clear about their need for a French speaker soon because they were unable to communicate with their customers since the last person left. A restructure would not solve this. They either need a French speaker or they don't!

flowery Fri 14-Oct-11 20:04:31

What do you want to do Pleiades? You may or may not be right and you may have been discriminated against in some way. But you say you don't want to fight about it and it sounds like a lucky escape to me.

I thinking focusing on it as a lucky escape might be an idea. I also think blaming it for your health problems probably isn't going to help you move on. Regardless of how healthy you seemed before, a disappointment at not being offered a job you thought you had got wouldn't cause a normally healthy person to be so seriously ill they need surgery. Stress/shock may have contributed to triggering off what happened, but it didn't cause it.

What do you mean 'is this always going to be an issue'? All employers won't quiz you on childcare and make decisions based on sexist assumptions (if that's what's happened), no.

Pleiades45 Fri 14-Oct-11 20:51:33

You're right, it didn't cause it but it triggered it to happen then, even though it was probably just a case of time. It's been a hard month and I'm trying to figure out what i do now. I'm not going to fight this one. It's not worth it.

It is a lucky escape but I dread the idea of putting myself forward only to find that admitting I have 3 children who are 6 and under is going to go against me.

I suppose I'm just looking for reassurance that there are family friendly companies out there, and that my personal circumstances aren't going to be an issue.

rosycheeksandasmile Fri 14-Oct-11 21:13:36

Speaking as a mother, but also as someone who has recruited recently this should never even come into the discussion. I would assume that you could do the job you were applying for - your childcare arrangements are not part of the conversation at interview.

northerngirl41 Sat 15-Oct-11 21:03:38

Well it does sort of - if the job entails working late then they need to know you are able to do those hours. It would be the same question if someone had mentioned being a regional tennis champion or having an ongoing commitment to a Thursday night evening class. Why mention having kids at all if you don't intend it to affect the way you do your job?

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