Interview Style #1335…The Love-In Interview!

Seems like this is now the norm.

You get to the interview and the interviewer or interviewers act like you are their lost lost rich relative.

I do not like this kind of approach for a very good reason.

My take on it: They are trying to win your trust. They come on to you like this is a fun, casual meeting and that they are talking to you like this is a social event, trying to get to know you.

Don’t take this nonsensical time wasting approach at face value. These people are NOT friendly; they are anything but.

This was what happened to me on Tuesday: I got the same kissy kissy touchy feely love-in interview, with not one person, but 3. (and they said there would be a second interview? Gee)

I listened carefully and I didn’t like what I saw beneath the surface of this nonsense.

These people were critical and they are looking for what is to their advantage. They more or less gave me flak and static when I told them a company I worked for closed due to business being bad.  It was like they thought I was making the information up!

They didn’t outwardly show it but that was how they came across: that the information was bogus and that I probably never even worked there.

21 years ago, my company shut down. Chapter 11 and the parent company went under and out of business a good 10 years after that, after being Chapter 11 again twice after we closed down!

Before our facility closed, I got the home addresses and phone numbers of 2 of my immediate bosses to use as references.

Not once was I asked for that information at any of the interviews I attended while I was out of work. The company that eventually hired me didn’t even care about obtaining a reference. 2 days after the interview, I had the job.

Anyway, this is about the fifth in a row touchy feely approach that I have encountered.  Maybe they do it to build trust or to  bide their time, to tread water,  or to waste yours, or because they know they won’t be considering you as a bona fide candidate.  It’s annoying and not business like; you can’t even get down to business because they’re so busy being chatty and friendly and UGH.

They want you to come away with this bubbly “WOW, they really LIKED ME!” feeling. Nope….they don’t like you. Not one bit.

At the start of this mess, while I was still waiting for the interviewer, I was handed an application. On the top of the app was marked,  “only complete what is marked with an X.”

That was my name addy and phone number….

And a request for references. “2 MUST be employers.”

Uh, hold on just a Texas minute here….you people have not even met me and you want the names of references??? Nothing DOING!

I wrote down “Available upon request” and that is what I told them at the interview.

Now here is my other question: what do you do when your last employer was 5 something years ago and she was never the greatest to you to begin with? This is a woman who was short tempered and took a lot of her anger out on me and another kid who worked there.

My other employer before that one…. don’t ask when that was.

So what references do I GIVE, then?

I have other employers from my lab days and from a good 17 years ago, that I have given — one company refused to accept that info! “We want somebody from your last company who is in the same field as you!” “Must be a recent employer!”  Why is a gent that I have known FOR YEARS — and a physician, to boot — not a suitable choice for a reference???

When you contact a reference, you want to know if the person is punctual, was polite, did his or her job well, does a good job on a daily basis, was on time, played nice with others, was honest and all that other stuff…you want to know if the person is hirable! Am I correct?

Isnt it the same from field to field and profession to profession: you want a GOOD employee and somebody hire-worthy???? Isn’t that the purpose of speaking to a reference, whether the reference is a ditch digger, a company president or a computer room lead operator or a pathologist???

A physician and an IT person/CFO won’t DO, then.


Lots of companies will NOT accept a former employer as a reference. We all know why. Maybe that person is still mad you left, you never got along with that person…or maybe that person is even LONG GONE and you don’t know it. Your former boss might have resigned, be gone on medical leave (that happened, too, to one of my bosses)  been moved out of his job there or been thrown out! Geesh…do all of us keep in touch with our references on a regular basis??? Not all of us do.

To recap: I didn’t get this job. I was never asked about salary, nor was I told what the job paid. And never ever have I gotten a job where no salary was mentioned at the interview.

I do know that my former boss — the one with the short temper — has a good slew of health problems, all of them fairly serious.

Let’s suppose she is on extended leave and somebody else is running the show. Suppose she cannot be contacted by the prospective reference and the new boss in charge doesn’t know me?  Who vouches for me then, since they are so queer to demand that one of the references “needs” to be a former employer???

Suppose she sold the company to somebody else and went back to her country, or retired and is living who knows where??? Maybe she’s even died. What then?

And in this day and age of mergers and acquisitions and business that hits the fan, lots of companies are no more!  Suppose they call my last company and the place is out of business? Does this get me out of the running for the House Cup or what?

WHY do we need such a big to-do made —-  and why do we need World War III declared on us job hunters???

And the last person I’d contact: A reference.  Maybe it  is the candidate’s uncle, or tennis buddy, or sister in law,  frat brother, or a friend. As I said, everybody gives a home number or cell number these days; no work numbers are ever given. Anybody at all can be at the end of the line or email.

I had a boss who never went by references. he went by gut. He hired an assistant in 15 minutes and he said she was the best assistant he ever had.


3 thoughts on “Interview Style #1335…The Love-In Interview!”

  1. A few years ago I went on an interview where they asked for my last several bosses. The problem is I have no idea where those bosses went because I didn’t keep in touch and either the company went out of business or the person just disappeared, like my last boss. I got along with my last boss but he had a severe drinking problem and what if he’s in a rehab or something? I told them I had other business references at my former employer, including the boss of the department I did some work in but nope not good enough.

  2. The last several?

    I don’t believe that even the feds ask for that many references. Ridiculous.

    Nobody keeps in touch with their references, unless you were mentored by them or you were close to them.

    Next they will be asking you to supply the Pres’s name as a reference, and the Pope’s also — and for good measure the Dali Lama, the metropolitan of a couple three Orthodox churches and the Attorney General and head of Supreme Court.

    It makes you wonder just what kind of outfit it is if they are into such overkill. All fur coat and no knickers, as the Brits would say.

    1. Well I have met the local bishop so who knows, maybe he can be used instead of the pope. I am being funny but I know what you mean. The whole reference thing annoys me because in the past I either use people I personally know though not as workers (like family friends)or people I did work with or for who I keep in touch with, like coworkers. The trend now of wanting former bosses as references is bizarre to say the least. One employer wanted the names of my last 10 bosses I am not kidding. I couldn’t even tell you many of those names because we are going back 15-20 years.

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