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Bad Interview Experience

OnSugar Blog: Why I Walked Out of My Last Job Interview

The pressures of interviewing can be daunting, especially when your heart's not in it. OnSugar blogger Everyday Baby Steps explains why she decided to walk out of a recent interview. Read on to find out what that was like.

These are tough economic times. I know. It's been about four years since I left my job as a college academic adviser in order to pursue the more flexible lifestyle of a work-at-home freelance writer. I love working from home, learning new things every day, and networking online and in person with fabulous people. Lately, though, I've been feeling like something's missing, like I'm ready for another change. I kind of miss the structure of getting ready and going someplace every day. I miss the sense of purpose it gives me to leave for a job, and I miss the social interaction of working with others. That's why I began to look for additional employment. Notice I said "additional." I have no intention of leaving my writing and blogs behind!

I've been a bit conflicted about the type of job I'd like. Should I work full time in order to receive a steady salary with benefits? Do I just want to have a part-time gig so that I can continue to be available to my children? There are so many things to consider that I decided not to rule anything out. I applied for several different kinds of opportunities, and I've been excited about exploring each one.


That is until I showed up for my interview at a local Pittsburgh, PA, campus of University of Phoenix last week. That experience was less than exciting for me. The events leading up to the actual interview were encouraging. The hiring process was rigorous, but I felt that showed they were serious about ensuring the quality of their candidates. I took an online assessment, received some information on the position and the benefits, then had a telephone interview. After the phone interview, I was told that I'd meet with the hiring manager in person to continue the interviewing process. Great.

Read on to find out what happened.

I was excited, but a bit nervous when the day arrived for the interview. The position was for an enrollment advisor, and the information I received led me to believe that it was a very similar role to my previous advising position. In fact, the webinar I listened to about becoming an enrollment advisor specifically stated, "This is not a sales position." OK. Again, great!

Except that one of the first things I'm told at the interview is that the campus location will be changing in about six months and that the job is, essentially, a sales position. Yep, seriously. To the institution's credit, I was asked on the phone if I would be willing to travel elsewhere, as there were plans to relocate the campus to another Pittsburgh location. I just found it a bit odd that I was told they still don't know where that location would be, but the change would occur in about six months. Really? I have a bit of a problem committing to a job when I don't know where I'd have to drive. As it stands, the current location is a little over an hour from my house.

Things only went downhill from there. I was prepared for the fact that it would be a behavioral interview. The telephone interviewer told me as much. However, the interrogational approach came as a bit of a shock to me. I was interrupted between each portion of my first answer to point out ways in which I could be more specific. When the interviewer told me to feel free to take five or six minutes to write down my answer, it just hit me that I didn't want to spend another five or six minutes wasting my time or theirs. So I politely told the two gentlemen conducting the interview that I would actually like to end the interview right there and explained my reasoning.

They were actually very polite and gracious, and I left feeling a bit defeated. I felt like I had failed in some way. After taking time to reflect on the experience, I realized that this was not the position for me and that I made the right choice. To endure another half hour or more of such interrogation was pointless. If the job interview itself was that stressful, I can only imagine what the actual work environment would have been like. This may be a good fit others, and I don't know about University of Phoenix's quality of interaction, recruitment, or education. I only know that it wasn't right for me, and it feels good to take action based on what I feel to be right.

Have you ever had an experience like this?

To read other great posts, visit the Everyday Baby Steps blog. You can start your own OnSugar blog for a chance to be featured on the PopSugar Network.

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Join The Conversation
Jonny2398968 Jonny2398968 5 years
I have been applying for jobs a while now. Recently, I received two phone calls from to different companies asking me if I was still interested in a job. But the catch was I had to return the call within thirty minutes of receiving the phone call. Well first time I was working so I called the later on in the day. They said well you cant be considered its past the 30 minute mark. The second company I didnt even bother calling because I was literally on the operating table having heart surgery and was in no frame of mind to be interviewing. Is this right? How can they treat people like this?? I dont want to work for a company that is so unreasonable. Has anyone else had this experience? Thanks.
jzzy55 jzzy55 5 years
These are desperate times. There are plenty of people who would say "yes" without any idea where they will report on their first day of work, let alone in six months. Like me, you are apparently in the enviable position of being able to exercise your job veto option. Recently I was called to interview for a public school teaching job. These are not easy to come by where I live, and I was pleased even to get an interview. I was one of two I've had in the past nine months in spite of looking actively on a daily basis. However, when I arrived at the school, as soon as I walked in the door I was assaulted by the sharp smell of moldy, mildewed air. The school was built on a concrete slab 60 years ago and looked as if it had never been updated. The acoustic ceiling tiles were stained, a sure sign of water damage and hidden mold and mildew. I have asthma, which I work very hard to control. After waiting for a few minutes outside the principal's office I realized that I couldn't work in such a dirty, unhealthy building, so I left a note on the waiting area chair apologizing, and I left. Later I emailed the HR person to apologize and explain. He was actually very nice and said that they have had issues with employees taking sick leave in that building due to what they claim are allergy-related health issues, so it was just as well that I didn't waste their time or mine. Should they have told me in advance that it's an old building with some damp issues? I don't think so. I just feel sorry for the kids and staff who are stuck in there 180 days/year. It was in a poor, urban area where many of the kids probably have asthma -- what an awful place for them to spend seven hours/day.
lauren lauren 5 years
That does sound rough but since they don't even know where they are moving in 6 months, it seems like they are a little less than organized which would make it that much worse! You will find something that is suitable. You don't want to go start doing something you hate, if you don't have to!
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