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How To Deal With a 'Queen Bee' At Interview

(21 Posts)
Highlander Sun 21-Apr-13 11:23:55

I have an interview coming for a job in a different dept. I'm pretty sure that a Queen Bee will be on the panel.

She's very much 'my way or the highway', and makes a point that she managed to work f/t with children, so why can't everyone else?

I definitely want to continue to work reduced hours, and she knows that I am very vocal about the discrimination in terms of career progression for women that do work p/t.

I've not stated on my application that I want to continue on reduced hours, but I'm pretty sure it will be obvious.

How do I deal with her? I have a copy of 'Bulletproof' (surving work politics etc), which is v helpful for work-based conflict. Any other tips?

flowery Sun 21-Apr-13 12:03:10

I don't think it's a question of dealing with her is it? More a question of how you make a good case for how this new role can be done on your current hours?

If you couldn't do the new role on reduced hours would you withdraw your application? If so, and if the role was advertised as full time, you need to be prepared for some irritation that you didn't make it clear on your application.

Have you prepared answers to all the potential concerns they may have about the role being done part time?

Cravingdairy Sun 21-Apr-13 13:56:38

If the job is advertised as FT they need someone to do it FT. It isn't discrimination to say you can't do it PT. They don't have to consider a flexible working request when you are going into a new post.

Highlander Mon 22-Apr-13 07:59:36

New job can definitely be done on feduced hours; like all jobs it's advertised as f/t as they have the money.

I can do f/t as a lot of the work can be done from home if necessary; but I'd rather have some slack for the school hols etc.

Do you think I should contact the Director ini advance?

flowery Mon 22-Apr-13 10:07:23

It depends. If you'd take the job full time but would just prefer part time, then I'd go to the interview, and take it from there. You may be asked about your hours and you can discuss it at that point.

If you would definitely not take the job full time it might be worth contacting the Director in advance, and sounding him/her out about the possibility of reduced hours.

WallyBantersYoniBox Mon 22-Apr-13 10:14:09

I would expect you to do with interview with the view of working the hours advertised.

Then, if you are offered the position it would be up to you to convince me that you could do the job P/T by perhaps a 3 month trial period.

But, if I decided that it was not possible and that it had to be F/T then I'd expect you to accept the hours or stay in your current position.

Won't the Queen Bee be annoyed that you've gone to the Director about negotiating her job ?

Highlander Mon 22-Apr-13 14:35:40

Queen Bee is one of many senior managers, but does like to do interviews. She's not a contact person on the advert.

Will contact director.

WallyBantersYoniBox Mon 22-Apr-13 22:38:59

Ah well if she is not a major factor in the role, and more of an interview "sounding board" just get through the interview and discuss the possibilities with the director! smile

Highlander Wed 24-Apr-13 07:48:58

Eek, post can be p/t, including working from home! Home a disaster for me, but could be good for the odd day in the school hols.

Just have to get job now......

WallyBantersYoniBox Wed 24-Apr-13 13:11:55

Good luck, then!

YoothaJoist Wed 24-Apr-13 13:14:27

'Queen Bee'? Is that the new term for 'assertive, successful working woman'? I suppose it's marginally less offensive than some other terms I have heard, but you might like to think about how you respond to male and female colleagues in positions of power.

WallyBantersYoniBox Wed 24-Apr-13 13:28:31

I am a female at quite a high level in a Global firm and what you'd describe as a "position of power", and I know what the op means.

By Queen Bee it's a title for a woman in a work environment who is a know it all, done it all and won't move from her predefined opinions, usually for personal and not company motives.

I have another equivalent female member of staff, who for example won't tolerate any flexibility with working mothers and thinks maternity leave (which is 3 months) in this country is too long. Working from home is a no, no for her and even mentioning flexibility around a work life balance gets her boiling.

She believes everyone should "work to live" and is only happy with people when they stay later than her, basically she would be happy to work them into an early grave.

This is what I'd define as a Queen Bee, and basically what the op described in her first post if I'm not mistaken.

Incidentally she took a week off when her dog had cancer, because, as she told me, it was just as important as anyone else's child.

There is an equivalent name for a male boss I'm sure.

Flibbertyjibbet Wed 24-Apr-13 13:43:07

Are you saying you will work from home in school hols when the children are at home? I am self employed and do some of the work from home, but when the children are at home in school hols I pay for childcare.
I know some people who 'work from home' some days to save on childcare, it doesn't go down well with colleagues.

YoothaJoist Wed 24-Apr-13 13:48:35

I've no doubt the OP had a very subtle understanding of what she meant by 'Queen Bee'.

I just object to the misogynist language.

ubik Wed 24-Apr-13 13:49:36

I think Queen Bee syndrome is well documented. It's usually a woman who is in senior management and is 'one of the boys' unwilling to help other women as 'she got there without any help'

YoothaJoist Wed 24-Apr-13 13:57:57

Well documented it may be. It's also yet another way that women can have little bitchy digs at each other while the men get on with the serious business. Depressing.

WallyBantersYoniBox Wed 24-Apr-13 14:10:44

The name is generated from the misogyny dealt out by the women in question.

The true definition of a "Queen Bee" is someone who puts other women down and whilst in a position of power does nothing to bring misogynistic practices into the spotlight because that would give her competition. She does nothing to encourage or empower women specifically in the work place. She is a misogynist.

Male bullying back stabbers don't tend to differentiate between the sexes. They are twats to all.

For example - I tried to pull together a meeting with team heads and was told by the "strong confident successful female powerhouse" I work with that I was being unreasonable to expect a fellow male colleague to travel for a week as he had kicked off about travelling whilst having his 3 month old baby (and a SAHM). Travel that was actually very clear in the contract he signed before he had his baby.

Obviously my 8 yo DS is made of fabric and cotton wool balls then, because I have never been asked whether travel plans are suitable for my son and my life by her. It completely sticks in her craw to even broach the subject. She completely acquieces to any male requests and walks all over the female colleagues.

I'm lucky I don't have to work for her, just tolerate her occasionally.

WallyBantersYoniBox Wed 24-Apr-13 14:16:20

Off topic anyhow, and I won't say any more, I suppose if you feel so strongly about it I'd suggest starting a thread in the Feminist section where the discussion would be more relevant.

Op I hope the interview goes well. I agree about the working from home. It's not an excuse for childcare, and it would be looked on as a cop out. This does depend on the age of your children though and whether they are old enough to entertain themselves independantly in the holidays. Why would home be a problem for you? Are you thinking of office space?

Sounds like a great company for working flexibility. I have found that women in the workplace stay more loyal to managers that show flexibility to their teams so I hope this person doesn't trample over too many people and that it all works out for you.

ubik Wed 24-Apr-13 14:19:27

Yootha - I don't agree. I think it's important to recognise that some women collude with the endemic sexism in an organisation and to have measures to counter this such as the mentoring of younger women, encouraging women in senior roles to change policies to make it easier for men and women to have a family life/balance work and caring for family or relatives /allow some time for personal development.

It doesn't help to see this phenomenon as an attack in women and then dismiss it. That is just the easy way out.

WallyBantersYoniBox Wed 24-Apr-13 14:23:05

Hear hear UBIK

Highlander Wed 24-Apr-13 22:37:45

Oh, I will not be working from home - I'm crap at it.

I agree completely with wallybanters and ubik . Madleine Allbright once famously said, 'there's a special place in hell for women who won't help other women in the workplace'.

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