- 3 years ago
This is going to be long, sorry in advance.
I am currently on the job hunt after a somewhat turbulent career move over the past 12-18 months. I WAS in a job I enjoyed, a lot. However; I had been there for years and had capped out financially, and really just overall hit the ceiling on what I could do, and make. The commute was killing me and so I was considering starting to look elsewhere. Around that time, a headhunter reached out to me and began to recruit me for a new position with a different company. The pay was better, it was a work from home job and overall just fit what I *thought* I needed professionally and personally.
Anyways, I quit the job I liked and took on this new role. Well– it has been hell. The first 6 months were ok, but the manager that hired me and that I reported to changed roles and I was assigned to a new manager who immediately did not take to my role. For context, I work in a male dominated field and this manager regularly talked down to me, talked about me to other employees, etc. It wasn’t personal, he did it to everyone and so it was common knowledge that he was just a jackass. I come from a management background myself, so I know how to address, document and handle these types of individuals. Long story short, the company decided that ALL employees in my region were going to be let go and given severance packages. They wanted to bring everything back into the home office (across the country), so that meant eliminating the positions of those out in the field.
I wasn’t given ANY notice, other than just that inkling feeling you get when it looks like things might be going south. And it put me (unexpectedly) on the job hunt, again— 2nd time in the past year or so. With a shaky reference from my previous employer who, like I said, is just a jackass in general.
I sat down with my husband and determined there’s some things I want to get out of (sales) and some things I would like to stay in (management). I have made it through decently far in several interview rounds with companies I would like to work for. However; my resume got in the hands of a recruiter, again, through a job board– and they reached out to me to set up an interview for a sales manager, my previous role.
Just to keep my skills sharp, I decided WHY NOT. Let’s just see what they say and have to offer.
Well, it was the weirdest thing ever and now I’m pretty torn on what to do next.
First of all, we did not meet onsite, but in a hotel lobby. That isn’t the strangest thing, I have worked remote and had to meet people in coffee shops and hotel lobbies. But when the office is 3 miles away, it seems somewhat unnecessary. You’re just sitting there trying to look casual and trying to “guess” who it is you’re supposed to be meeting. There’s no confidentiality or privacy of any sort. It just, isn’t my favorite location for an interview.
The guy interviewing me was very nice and personable at first, but it quickly turned into a series of very uncomfortable questions. He asked me to explain my work history and about 3 sentences in he cuts me off with, “well your resume doesn’t give me the numbers I need. I have a homework assignment for you to give me % to goals, attainment, rankings, etc.” When I explained to him I’d be more than happy to give references on performance, but am not able to disclose client sales acheivements and financials, he scoffed saying he “didn’t understand why” and that “it shouldn’t be an issue”. UH YEAH– it is. I’ve listed on my resume clients I have worked for, if I start handing out quarterly financials to you and they are a publicly held company then yeah– I’ve signed MANY documents stating that information is private and not to be dispersed even after leaving the company.
So we leave it at that. Then he asks me to explain a time I’ve had an issue with a direct report that was uncomfortable and how I resolved it. I begin with, “I had a report who told me that he did not like working with female managers” and I begin my explanation of how we worked through it. The guy interrupts me and goes, “what was his name? The one that said that.” I said, ” I’d rather not say, but it was just an older gentleman that worked for me”. He pushes asking me, “why can’t you say?”. BECAUSE I DON’T WANT TO. Finally, I smile and say, “for the purpose of this example, his name is Tom”. So I continue to tell this guy how I handled the situation with “Tom” and it did turn into a success story at the end. “Tom” and I sat down and I appreciated his honesty in telling me he disliked me because of being a woman, but it didn’t change the job expectations nor his performance requirements. Tom and I worked together on some issues he was having with the company and he turned out to be a pretty good employee overall. Well my interviewer just stops me– again– and says, “so Tom had a problem with you and you talked to him and it MAGICALLY went away????” To which I responded, “NO. Tom had a problem with me. I addressed it and made it clear his perceived problem with me didn’t absolve him from his work functions and that the expectations were the same whether I’m a woman, man, black, green, etc”. He goes, “oh ok, well just clarifying. Just so you know, that IS the way you should handle it”.
Ugh, thanks?? This was years ago, pretty sure I didn’t need your blessing on how to handle that.
So, at this point I’m pretty aggravated. He pushes me more on “Tom”, asking me if HE (the interviewer) liked Tom and wanted to give Tom a free pass on his sales goals would I, as the manager, let it slide. I answered with, “Me personally, no I would not let it slide”. He responds with, “well why do you say personally, this is profesionally NOT personally“. I responded with, “YOU asked ME what I would do. ME as a PERSON would not make an exception for the good ol boys club”. He said, “so you’d tell me no”, and I said, “yes, I would”. He said, “are you sure?”… YES.
So after another 10 minutes or so of interrupting me, picking apart my word choice, and generally trying to make himself feel more superior and better– that portion of the interview was over. When I asked him what type of candidate they were looking for to be a good fit for the company culture, he responded that this interview wasn’t “the appropriate time for that discussion” and that “if I make it further they will tell me”. Then he tells me that I’ll need to do follow up phone interviews, a video interview and THEN another interview with him for 4-5 hours?!?! WTF.
Immediately after I left, my phone starts blowing up to schedule phone interviews. I have 2 today, which seems very fast considering it was Monday afternoon when we scheduled the initial interview in the first place! I’m torn if I even want to continue in this, and my DH is of no help haha. He thinks I should keep going just to see what they say, but I’m just so turned off right now on how this has started out. I know nothing about salary, benefits, hours, travel expectations, what they truly are looking for, etc. The guy who interviewed me would be my boss and I would report directly to him– and you can see we did not get off on the right foot. It’s a hella long commute again.
I’m tempted today to just tell thank them for their time but I don’t think I am a good fit. On the other hand, I do not want to let my husband down and be super picky about a job when he is the one shouldering all of our finances right now. We are in a good spot and not desperate by any means, but I also don’t want him to have to bear a huge burden of being the sole earner right when we were trying to pay off the house and really get in a GREAT spot, ya know?
Sorry this was so long, just need to hear if I’m being reasonable or not here and need some harsh reality checks if necessary.