I know a lot of people out there who read this are just going to poo-poo my stories as sour grapes. But hey it’s just my opinion; it’s just that people seem to behave differently when they are hiring for an open job.
I interviewed at Rutgers University in Newark, NJ, for three different positions. One was in the graduate career center. That one wasn’t too unusual. But another time I interviewed with the undergraduate career center; I met a woman named Lynne who was an assistant director. She could not have looked any more disinterested during our brief interview. It’s like someone had dumped the task of interviewing on her and she resented it. So she asked me a couple of questions, I answered, trying to demonstrate some enthusiasm, trying to make some kind of connection with her. Then she asked me if I had any questions; I asked one, she made a quick reply, and then said, thanks for coming in. We left the conference room and walked back to her office. She opened the door, and I don’t remember what I said exactly, something along the lines of thanks for meeting me, I’m really interested in the job, etc., smiling as I said it. What did she do? She frowns and slams the door in front of me! Look people, if you’re not interested in a candidate, fine, but there’s no need to be rude. At least act like a civilized human being.
Another time I interviewed for an assistant director of the student center job at Rutgers Newark. I went into the conference room and there was about ten college administrators sitting on both sides of a long table. They asked me to sit at the front. I did and promptly sank into a chair that was lower than the others. I guess they like looking down at people. Anyway only one person, the dean that I would have been reporting to, asked me any interview questions. The rest of them just sat there and stared at me. Eventually the security director help up a flyer and asked me what I would do if I some supposedly radical group consisting of black people came to campus for some type of student program. Then he picked up a flyer and growled that they were going to be there next week, and slammed the flyer down on the table. The black folks sitting at the table said nothing; didn’t even look at him. I’m not sure what my answer was, but I’m pretty sure it was generic. I was interested in the job (for some unknown reason) so I didn’t show any bias one way or another. Anyway the interview ended and I left. Never heard from them again, thankfully. I mean, who knows..was it all some sort of act to see how I would respond to people just staring at me? How I would respond to an angry security director? Maybe. Or maybe they’re just a bunch of wackos who have no idea how to conduct a professional job interview. I don’t know. I don’t really care either…I’m just glad my own diploma isn’t from Rutgers Newark!