Too Much Experience And Too Qualified! Abusive Interviewer! Workplace bullying!

I am currently unemployed, and this is not a situation I would like to persist.  I walked out on a job, due to being bullied by a line Manager, and living with daily threats of redundancy and investigation into my professional practice.  Eventually, I had enough, and resigned.  My colleagues were supportive, and knew I had been bullied out! due to the Manager having taken a dislike to me?

However, this week I applied to an organisation that I worked for about 6 years ago, as a Locum; where I had been quite successful, and they had asked to to join the permanent staff, (which I declined at the time, due to wanting to do Post Qualifying Qualifications, and their not being able to offer me flexibility with this).  As a result of studying for these qualifications, I have worked in Higher Education and have a lot of friends and contacts in quite prestigious Universities.

Anyway, I am now in the position where I am applying for positions that I might have too much experience for.  But, in the current climate, I would be glad of what I could get.  However, at an interview this week, an interviewer's attitude changed when I produced evidence that my colleagues at a University thought that I was "a laugh!" and a "calm and capable person to have around".  She also didn't like the fact that I introduced my experience as a supervisor into the interview, and told me to stick with the case study she had produced.  This I did, (I wasn't satisfied with my performance in the interview, but, did feel that I had been constrained by the interviewer not wishing me to bring in my experience).  She said in the interview that she would let me know by 17.00 that night, which she didn't, (but, she did call back the following day in the afternoon).

She said I hadn't got the job, I said fair enough, and thanked her for letting me know.  She then asked if I would like to know why?  I said "yes!" thinking constructive criticism might be useful, (as I said, I thought I hadn't done very well anyway!).  However, she then launched into a vitriolic attack, saying I would never find a job, due to my background in education, that my colleagues would not wish to work with me, due to their seeing me as an academic.  She then highlighted how much I didn't know about practice, (to be honest, I am a bit rusty, but, you can pick that up and get up to speed in a short time, due to previous experience, you only need to refresh and update on changes in policy and legislation).  She then said "you didn't even meet our threshold! even though your CV looks fantastic!"  She then said "you couldn't do the job!"  I found her attitude extremely hostile, and she sounded unhinged on the phone!  You could see that I had really pushed her buttons for some unexplained reason!  (I don't know her life history, or what her particular foibles are, but, she obviously had real issues with me).  She said, "you walked out of a job, what kind of person does that?"  at which point the conversation ended.  She said I didn't meet the threshold for a job I did 6 years ago, and since then have a lot more qualifications and experience than I had then??????

I was aghast, I felt that my professionalism had been put through the wringer!  She left me feeling small, and stupid, and wishing I had not applied for the job in the first place!  I felt really underminded, and anxious about applying for other jobs!  I felt that I should have said something to her, and challenged her, but, it had took me unawares, I wasn't prepared for her hostility on the phone!  Also,  a friend of mine who works in HRM, has advised me to "always keep your dignity with these people!  don't allow them to provoke you!"  Which is probably sound advice.  However, I am left feeling a bit bemused by the woman's attitude, and feeling slightly affronted!  I went an interview, and shouldn't have been subjected to that! 

The moral of the story is that I probably had a lucky escape in not the getting the job with her! especially as I was attending the interview, due to having chosen to leave my last job due to workplace bullying!

The question really is why do organisations allow these bullies to operate?  The costs of keeping a serial bully, in a position of power in an organisation, must be astronomical!  when you consider this in terms of  increased staff turnover, and the effects of being bullied on workers productivity!

dramanon dramanon
36-40, F
Jul 21, 2010