Interviewers Behaving Badly: The Face Maker

Here’s a tale of an interviewer behaving badly that might make you wanna grimace.

A reader sent in this story of a strange panel interview:

I am a graphic designer and the interview was a bit below where I am professionally but it was with a university (good benefits) and the job itself wouldn’t require steep learning curve (as in lots of technology or code writing)… which is where I am in life these days.

I was sent to meet with 3 women: the head of the department, the designer I’d be assisting and the assistant to a department head that would use the graphics services a lot.

Like many bureaucratic places, they had a script they went by…questions that were easy for me to answer and which I was able to elaborate with relevant personal experience without hesitation or
problems. I had direct, relevant experience as I had worked for a school district previously. After one of the questions–I don’t recall which one– the third lady — apparently offended by my answer — and I cant IMAGINE what I could have said as I was purposely being very controlled, peppy and positive — as she was writing her notes, made a face, shook her head, and continued making faces as she wrote. She then looked up and asked her question (they each took turns asking questions from the script) as if nothing had happened. At first I thought it must have been some sort of tic and I answered her question without letting on I had noticed anything. But as the interview progressed, every time I looked away, she would take the opportunity to make nasty faces and shake her head.. and I mean FACES.. like a little kid… it was as if she thought that, because she was looking away from me (usually, down at her notes), I wouldn’t be able to see HER, even though I was a small table width away from her!!

It was unbelievably funny… Obviously I did not get the job. And I
was glad!

The reader adds that the face was in the same category as “I smell something bad.”

Probably not a boss you’d want to have, we think…

photo: stevegatto2

Publish date: May 4, 2010 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT