kaigou: (2 start drinking heavily)
[personal profile] kaigou
I have an interview tomorrow. (Nothing big there, been on the search for a few weeks now, but that's another story involving many complaints about the "hot new title" in my industry and the number of managers who seem to be renaming all sorts of non-title jobs to the title, and wasting my time in interviews.) This position is not confused (as far as I can tell, at least) about the title/definition, but it's...

Well, it's a lunch interview.

Y'know, there's a reason I use my initials on my resume and my portfolio and my online site. Not just the basics of not letting anyone have the option of assuming that because I am Gender A or Gender B that I can (or can't) do the job. But also because I've done my share of interviews-in-bars, and interviews-at-lunch, and while I'm not 18 anymore (so I doubt it's necessarily the exact same dynamics), I can't forget those lessons. Lunches are what you do with friends, and dates. You are not on a date with your potential employer, and the casual situation makes it too easy for some guys (already in a position of power via gender, and then as potential employer) to make things even murkier.

Sign me up so very not.

On top of that, I did a search for restaurants around the office's location, because I want to know what else to suggest in case the primary suggestion is Italian. (Pasta, you're great, but you attack people who eat you, and same for you, Pho.) Oh, look, it's nothing but bar food. Independently owned, but you can't tell me that Joe's Bar, Logan's Bar, and something-or-other Bar & Grill, times ten, is going to be anything other than, well, bar food. I loathe bar food. Not because it's bad, but because it's boring. Life is too goddamn short to eat bar food.

(And life is way too goddamn short to eat what American bars believe passes for Irish food. You Irish on my flist, you know I like you, but the American bar concept of Irish food leaves a great deal to be desired.)

Or we could walk the two blocks to the nearest acceptable restaurant -- a Thai place. A quarter-mile away (about two blocks and hang a right, go a block). In 101F heat. For a fucking job interview.

And then I must ask: am I going to be expected to pay for my half? Why? I didn't ask to go on this fucking lunch date. I'd be just as happy not having to walk anywhere in 101F heat at 1pm, thank you, and I'd be just fine sitting in a nice, cool, air-conditioned conference room for an hour. And I wouldn't even have to pay for the benefit of being forced to stomach bar food.


I mean, I don't mind going out to eat. But if I'm going to pay for it, then I want to eat something I enjoy eating, and on top of that, I want to eat it with someone I want to be with. That list of people is really fucking short, and it does not include -- nor will it ever include -- an employer, let alone a potential employer. I am not interested in a fucking social life as part of my job. And I sure as hell don't want to be fighting to keep my attention solid, while choking down bar food, and trying to hear someone (or yell at someone) over the goddamn background noise. Is this an interview, or the equivalent of an introvert's stress test? And I'm supposed to pay for this pleasure?

I really hope I get word in the morning from the second interview with that other company. The one that -- ironically enough -- has offices within walking distance of one of the town's best sushi restaurants. I'm addicted to their sushi. But I still wouldn't go there for an interview.

Date: 9 Jun 2011 02:43 am (UTC)
dragonhand: (Default)
From: [personal profile] dragonhand
I'm sorry you may have to eat bar food, but you'd better not have to pay for it!

Date: 9 Jun 2011 03:18 am (UTC)
tesserae: white poppies in the sun (Default)
From: [personal profile] tesserae
I just had an interview at the Starbucks on the concourse between a casino & a convention center. So loud I could barely think, and I kept having to wave at people.

Got the job, though.

Date: 9 Jun 2011 03:18 am (UTC)
nagasvoice: lj default (Default)
From: [personal profile] nagasvoice
On the surface this sounds completely inappropriate, verging on invitation to harassment. Also, my employer's official rules would consider that kind of setting totally unfair selection among different candidates. In private industry, it still strikes me as odd, but perhaps that's the only time this person has left over from other meetings. Otherwise, why do they need to see what your social manners are like? Given nervous stomach during interviews, personally I would probably avoid eating, just sip something.

Date: 9 Jun 2011 04:18 am (UTC)
ext_141054: (Default)
From: [identity profile] christeos-pir.livejournal.com
<< But to have to come up with a way to say, "could we please eat somewhere that doesn't have a television or music playing?" is tantamount to being forced to say -- before the interview has even begun -- "hi! I have a disability! and I'm even asking you to make concessions! just think of how demanding I'll be as an employee!" >>

Actually, what it says to me is anywhere from "This was an imbecilic idea" to "This is really rude." But then I'm not the kind of idiot to suggest such a thing.

Team lunches are one thing. Trying to conduct an interview in an inappropriate setting while assessing the candidate's ability to field--and ask--important questions under trying circumstances is another.

Date: 9 Jun 2011 05:11 am (UTC)
ext_141054: (Default)
From: [identity profile] christeos-pir.livejournal.com
It would be interesting if someone told them they were on a restricted diet--kosher, say--and then if they didn't get hired, sued for discrimination.

Date: 9 Jun 2011 05:15 am (UTC)
ext_141054: (Default)
From: [identity profile] christeos-pir.livejournal.com
OTOH, for $80-90k, I'll eat their Bennigan's or whatever during an interview and ask for seconds. };->

Date: 9 Jun 2011 04:22 am (UTC)
ext_141054: (Default)
From: [identity profile] christeos-pir.livejournal.com
Anyway (I forgot to say), I don't think it's tantamount to putting a disability on the table so much as it is saying "Sorry, but with all this racket it's really hard to follow what you're saying."

IOW, if you can't hear (or concentrate), it's not your fault.

Date: 9 Jun 2011 03:22 am (UTC)
sharibet: (Default)
From: [personal profile] sharibet
Good luck on the interview!

I share your loathing of lunch interviews. In my experience, the potential employer always pays for a candidate's lunch. If they don't, that's a big red flag.

However, my objection to lunch interviews isn't necessarily the food--it's the trial of trying to appear witty and intelligent and sane while simultaneously eating and trying not to talk with my mouth full. "Bar food," by which I'm picturing deep-fried items consumed with your fingers, doesn't really lend itself to looking poised and professional, either. Sigh.

Date: 9 Jun 2011 06:56 am (UTC)
kathmandu: Close-up of pussywillow catkins. (Default)
From: [personal profile] kathmandu
Purely hypothetically, the first thing that comes to mind as "why won't they have you on-site" is that maybe they're screening replacements for someone they haven't fired yet. Stealth interviews would have to be conducted off-site.

My advice falls into two parts: keep a running count of the red flags, because it sounds like the list is rapidly growing; and think of the 'lunch' as props. A drink to sip while thinking what to say, and food to toy with for fitting-in and redirecting-attention purposes. Eat your real meal after, when you can relax more.

Date: 9 Jun 2011 06:50 pm (UTC)
soukup: Tiki heads are coming to mug you! Flee! Fleeee! (srs bsns Tiki heads)
From: [personal profile] soukup
You could always try being the shining example of forthrightness and simply asking your interviewer up front why you aren't being shown your future workspace. That's a logical question to have, and even phrased very politely it'll make it quietly obvious to him that this was a weird way to do things.

OTOH, if you're feeling annoyed enough about this whole thing, you could always eat before you arrive and then when he asks why you aren't ordering any food, very sweetly explain that you have dietary restrictions. /passive-agressive.

Date: 9 Jun 2011 06:51 pm (UTC)
soukup: Tiki heads are coming to mug you! Flee! Fleeee! (srs bsns Tiki heads)
From: [personal profile] soukup
(Oops, didn't notice what time it was before I commented. Here's hoping it went well, anyway!)

Date: 9 Jun 2011 11:32 am (UTC)
brainwane: My smiling face, including a small gold bindi (Default)
From: [personal profile] brainwane
Wow, I forgot or never knew that some people felt quite so vociferously against lunch interviews. As a hiring manager, I'll adjust my future thinking accordingly. I would wish that a person who didn't want to do a lunch interview I'd proposed would say something like "that doesn't work for me, can we do [VERY NON-LUNCH times] instead?" But I shall keep an eye out for people trying to say "pleeeeease not lunch" more subtly, as you did in your "I expect I may be busy until noon, and wouldn't be available until about 1pm" reply. After all, the interviewee is in a position of less power and may feel too constrained to speak up.

And of COURSE the hiring interviewer should pay.
Edited (took out needlessly harsh characterization) Date: 9 Jun 2011 11:34 am (UTC)