How the weird power dynamics of job interviews can brainwash you into putting up with outrageous behavior.

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How the weird power dynamics of job interviews can brainwash you into putting up with outrageous behavior.‘Slate Magazine

How the weird power dynamics of job interviews can brainwash you into putting up with outrageous behavior.

Few people are as knee-deep in our work-related anxieties and sticky office politics as Alison Green, who has been fielding workplace questions for a decade now on her website Ask a Manager. In Direct Report, she spotlights themes from her inbox that help explain the modern workplace and how we could be navigating it better.

One of the weirdest and most stressful parts about looking for a new job is figuring out how to navigate the power dynamics that exist between employers and job candidates. I’ve been writing the workplace advice column Ask a Manager for 10 years now, answering questions about everything from how to ask for a raise to what to do if you’re allergic to your boss’s perfume. One of the most frequent themes in my inbox has been rude and power-tripping behavior from prospective employers during the interview process. In letter after letter, people have written about feeling obligated to suck it up and deal with it because they think their interviewers hold all the cards.

One commonality I’ve seen is a free-flowing disrespect for candidates’ time, like interviewers who instruct candidates to clear the entire day to wait for a short phone screen, or unapologetically leave them waiting for two hours past the scheduled interview time, or require candidates to write two dozen mini-essays before they’ll even be considered for an interview.

Then there are the interviewers who ask inappropriately invasive questions with no connection to the job. Take this person’s experience:

Questions ranged from ‘Tell me about your life history, starting when you were young’ to ‘Who was the biggest influence on you when growing up and how?’ to ‘What did your parents do?’ and ‘What did you talk about as a family?’ Not once did the interviewers ask about my recent job experience or the work I was performing at this organization; they were more interested in what my family discussed around the dinner table growing up.

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  • Publisher: Slate Magazine
  • Date: 2018-04-16T09:52:02+00:00
  • Author: Alison Green
  • Twitter: @slate
  • Citation: Web link

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