Job interviews provoke anxiety for nearly everybody.
We’re forced to somehow be polite, show eagerness, act genuine, and demonstrate technical ability all within about an hour or less.
That whole ordeal becomes even worse when there’s an impasse that threatens to upset that balancing act of social norms.
A recent post to the “Am I the A**hole (AITA)” subReddit showed how that kind of situation can shake out.
The Original Poster (OP), known as howdoesyourgardendie on the site, kept things a little vague in her title for the post.
“AITA for questioning a job interviewer?”
She began with some background.
“I’ve [19-year-old female] been out of work for awhile now.”
“It wasn’t much an issue earlier as I’m a student and just focused on school, but I’d like to work this summer and part-time once school starts in the fall.”
“I finally got a job interview at a chain retail establishment.”
OP went on to share some more logistical details.
“The posting said it was for that specific location and said nothing about travel or different locations. It’s near my house which is perfect because due to a medical condition, I can’t drive.”
“I either Uber, take the bus or get a ride from one of my parents.”
But OP was surprised when the interviewer began talking about specifics.
“I arrived and the interview started off strong.”
“Then the interviewer started talking about one of the responsibilities being doing inventory once a month at different locations throughout the state.”
“I could also be assigned shifts in other locations if they are short-staffed.”
For OP, that was confusing.
“One is doable, as there’s a bus that I could take there.”
“The others are 45 minutes to upwards of an hour and a half away.”
“There’s no way I could get a ride that far, Uber would be too expensive and there’s no public transport that goes that far.”
She assessed the situation and made a decision.
“I mentioned that was going to be a problem and explained why. The interviewer got a little snotty and said ‘I have no issue going in between stores and I’ve never had an employee who was.’ “
“I said I understood and perhaps I wasn’t the right fit.”
But OP had some parting words.
“But I did point out ‘You should put this in your job listing, I wouldn’t have applied had I known this was a requirement.’ “
“He repeated he’s never, ever had someone say this was an issue.
“I said I didn’t believe that was true. Even for people who drive, they’re willing to drive 90 minutes each way possibly a few days a week if that location is short staffed? No one has ever complained?
“He said no, I was the first. I thanked him for his time and left the interview, knowing that of course I didn’t get the job.”
OP was left second-guessing herself later on.
“I was talking about this with my parents and my dad said that I was rude and I should’ve just let it go, without harping on it. He said I ruined a good job opportunity.”
“I pointed out even if I hadn’t questioned it, there’s no way I’d be able to take the job.”
“He said that I could’ve figured it out and I never know who that person knows, I potentially shot myself in the foot here.”
“Am I the a**hole for questioning him?”
Anonymous strangers weighed in by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
- NAH – No A**holes Here
Most Redditors agreed with OP and assured her she was totally in the right to tell the interviewer how to improve the posting.
“NTA – you’re right, he should’ve put it in the job listing. I’ve gotten sick of long commutes so it’d def be a dealbreaker for me.” — nudrive
“NTA. Working at different locations all over the state at short notice or working at one specific branch are two very different job descriptions and I agree with you that the manager should have made that point in the job listing.”
“Now they wasted your time by making you go through a completely unnecessary interview” — krezepreng
“As a hiring manager this is a HUGE pet peeve for me. I absolutely think you did the RIGHT THING! I always make sure key job responsibility details like travel are listed in job postings. It is a waste of an applicants time and mine if they don’t fit.”
“At the same time another pet peeve is applicants who apply for jobs KNOWING they can’t do or won’t do certain tasks listed. As you said “if you’d known, you wouldn’t have applied”. I say well done for having 2 brain cells to rub together at your age, some much older don’t do that.”
“Also, you’re dad, (I’m sure he’s a nice man, but he’s wrong) JUST because someone is conducting the interview or seems to be in a position of authority doesn’t mean they are correct or are doing a job well, if he/she were they would have been more specific in their job posting.” — navykymmy
Others called the interviewer’s bluff.
“NTA. As an adult and a mother of teenagers, you were absolutely right to tell him it should be in the job description…because it should be. As you pointed out, you wouldn’t have applied had you known that requirement.”
“And I highly doubt you’re the first one to complain about it. Maybe you’re just the first one to have the nerve to do it to his face.”
“You weren’t rude or disrespectful about it. As such, NTA.” — Ok-Mode-2038
“NTA. The interviewer was lying. Or he’s just unaware that candidates turned down the job for that reason. And I guarantee people who do work for him complain about having to change locations.”
“Also, my husband is a hiring manager at his job. You should always ask questions! Always be aware of what you are interviewing for so there are no nasty surprises. And giving him feedback is okay too! Not everyone appreciates it, but never be afraid to express your opinion.” — guppytub
Sadly, not all the Reddit support in the world will get OP that wasted afternoon back.