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What should I do about sexist job interveiw?

(21 Posts)
MountainDew Wed 29-Jun-11 16:46:41

...other than run a mile from any job offer?

I thought it was a set up it was that ridiculous. I had all the usual 'are you having more children?', 'what about childcare?' illegal bollocks, that I remained non-commital about. ('Its not on my mind at this point', 'As a family we have everything covered'.)

But on top of this he said (actual quote) 'So are you a good wife? Who does the ironing in your house?'

He showed me his fingernails and said his wife had cut them, and he likes 'that kind of attention from 'his' girls in the office'.

And he spoke down soooooo much to a giggling assistant who played into all his comments. 'Oooh I would iron for my husband if I was married'. I wanted to bash over the head and shout 'why are you putting up with this pig!?'.

FFS. Writing it out is making me fucking angry. I should have said something scathing. Instead I probably just came across as a grumpy bore when I didn't laugh at his 'jokes'. I did enjoy a bit of power though. I volunteer as a breastfeeding peer supporter, and noticed he squirmed at the word. So I refered to as much and as often as I could. grin Small revenge though. Pfft.

Aside from the sexism it was the most unprofessional interveiw ever. They were chatting and laughing at in-jokes, and I felt so uncomfortable.

sad I feel so embarrassed. What should I do?

SinicalSal Wed 29-Jun-11 16:47:38


TotalChaos Wed 29-Jun-11 16:51:12

shock. complain to HR/Head of Company?

realhousewifeofdevoncounty Wed 29-Jun-11 16:52:32

What a cock-head.

MountainDew Wed 29-Jun-11 16:55:09

I know it sounds too ridiculous. But it is true. (I don't really know what you mean by WTF?)

Its only just happened. I'm just trying to make sense of it. Please be nice to me! I feel really shaken from it. I was not expecting it at all. (obviously!)

ViolaTricolor Wed 29-Jun-11 16:56:44


TrilllianAstra Wed 29-Jun-11 16:56:44

Write a letter to HR and head of company with as much detail as possible.

TechLovingDad Wed 29-Jun-11 16:57:06

i'd complain to HR and the agency who sent you, if any.

I may have said, when asked those questions "you're not allowed to ask about my personal life, it's not relevant".

Oh and I'd have called him a prick. Hope that helps. grin

worldgonecrazy Wed 29-Jun-11 16:57:33

In your situation I would pray to be called back for a second interview so I could plan my oh-so-witty put downs beforehand.

bumpybecky Wed 29-Jun-11 16:57:33

wtf = what the fuck

I'm shock ! was this part of a bigger company or was he the top boss? if part of something larger I'd be complaining to head office

queenofthecapitalwasteland Wed 29-Jun-11 16:58:58

Report them, report them now, not sure who to, maybe HR like totalchaos suggests? But get this fiasco officially reported!

SinicalSal Wed 29-Jun-11 16:59:51

Sorry didn't mean to imply I didn't believe you - but I can't believe it! If you follow me. shock

mustdash Wed 29-Jun-11 17:02:21

I had one once where the job involved a lot of international travel. I was asked how DH would cope feeding himself while I was gone. hmm

I turned the job down, but heard later that they'd assumed I was only trying to get a better counter offer from my existing employer. Even though I told the MD exactly why I wasn't taking the job. angry

Difficult to know what's best to do if you actually want the job. Can't imagine you do now though.

MountainDew Wed 29-Jun-11 17:07:20

No I don't want it. I have put up with sexism at work before, but that was in a totally different environment. Not that any environment should have it, but I didn't expect it from this place. I don't want to do all that again. I had tribunals etc before, and got no where, and just left in the end to save my sanity.

I will complain to Head Office. He was manager of the team/floor. But for a very large international company.

realhousewifeofdevoncounty Wed 29-Jun-11 17:09:50

I think this behaviour should definitely not go unchecked. There is no way dinosaurs like him should be allowed to manage/hire/fire and think that kind of behaviour is acceptable.

ThatVikRinA22 Wed 29-Jun-11 17:15:31

i would write then to the HR dept of that large international company.

i once had an interview like that from DH boss, who is a dinosaur but who runs his own company. He actually said " i know i'm not supposed to ask this but are you planning to have any more children?"
the job i feel was dependant on my saying "no".

This being a multi national, i would be inclined to write to their head office.

cloudydays Wed 29-Jun-11 17:15:35

If there's an HR manager or if they guy doing the interviewing isn't top dog, I would definitely complain, in writing, and cc the letter to him as well so he can shit himself when he realises that his boss is reading it.

I would make the letter as professional, well-written and dispassionate as possible, while making absolutely clear that you are well aware that his questions and comments were not only offensive and inappropriate, but illegal. I would leave them with the strong impression that the letter itself is not the end of your response to the situation, but is notice to them that you are considering how to respond, and you are taking legal advice on same. Either you will take advice and some further action (don't know whether this is an option), or you will enjoy the satisfaction of knowing that they are waiting for the other shoe to drop.

If it's the kind of company where you might be a customer as well as a prospective employee, I would ensure that the letter is very clear on your disgust and disappointment as a (former) customer, and the disgust that you know other (soon-to-be former) customers will share when they hear about the appalling attitudes and behaviour of a person in a position of power within the company.

I'm sure there are many here who would be happy to help you draft such a letter smile

Sorry you had such a shit day - a disappointing job interview is bad enough without being left shaken by being treated so offensively. Hope you find an employer worthy of you soon.

StealthPolarBear Wed 29-Jun-11 17:27:23

Just to clarify, I don't believe it is illegal as such to ask the questions. It is illegal to discriminate, and the best way to protect yourself from such claims is to avoid asking those questions, so it is highly discouraged. For example, Vicar, I hope you answered "yes, lots more, thanks"

wompoopigeon Wed 29-Jun-11 17:29:28

If this is a very large company then I think you should name and shame!

VivaLeBeaver Wed 29-Jun-11 17:32:17

Equality commission helpline here if you want to take it all the way;

wicketkeeper Sat 02-Jul-11 20:57:33

Shocked and horrified that there are still people like that out there. Reminds me of an interview a friend of mine had, for a post as a health visitor with a GP's practice. One of the doctors asked how she planned to juggle three children and full time work. Another doctor on the panel objected, saying they couldn't ask questions like that. To which she answered 'I know, but I just want to know how to do it.'

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