Need a sanity check here for an interview gone awry.
I went on an interview this week. It was a panel interview consisting of the IT Director, someone from business development, the CFO, and the head of HR. While there was free flowing discussion between all of us, there was some organization to the proceedings as everyone had their assigned time to control the table.
When the HR person’s time came around, she asked me approximately 8 questions. All very negative and sometimes argumentative in nature. She wanted to know all the times I’ve had things go wrong, all my mistakes (explain several instances), etc. It finally ended with:
HR: Tell me what is the worst thing your peers are going to say about you when I call your former places of employment.
Me: I’m not sure I understand your question, I’ve provided references to you and I’m assuming your organization will run a background check on me as a condition of employment.
HR: Yes, but when I call your references they’re going to give you positive remarks. When I call your former employers, HR can only tell me name and verify employment dates. I know people at your last three places at work and I’m going to call all of them and ask around about you – I want you right now to tell me what is the worst thing they are going to say about you.
Me: (feeling a little flustered) I hope people will have positive things to say about me. If they don’t I hope they’ll at least recognize I conducted myself in a professional manner 100% of the time and no matter the situation.
I pretty much ended the interview right there. They asked me if I had any final questions and I said no and stood up. When I stood the panel did too and I shook their hands and thanked them for their time. One of them walked me out the door.
To my surprise, they want to bring me back for another round of interviewing and meet other people. I’m inclined to tell them to no thanks.
I’m a little stunned by the whole experience. I think the head of HR should work at TMZ or the National Enquirer if she is so motivated to dig up dirt like that. I’m under no illusions that I shouldn’t be asked questions which force me to expose my warts but I thought her conduct was completely inappropriate.
What say you?