Just say no to a bad job -- the fun way

Honesty is the best policy when you're interviewing for a job that you already know is not the right fit

I didn't pursue an IT career until the latter years of my life, so I'm used to being interviewed for tech jobs by people quite a bit younger than me. But I'm still not sure why some people feel the need to brag for most of the interview.

Before I got into IT, I had owned my own business for several years and pursued another occupation where I managed a large crew in a hostile and dangerous environment. While the bragging doesn't impress me, it does offer me a good glimpse into what the company culture and management would be like. One such instance stands out in my mind.

I was probing the market for another IT job that might offer further advancement and challenges when I landed an interview. Upon arrival I was greeted by my potential boss and her boss -- both many years my junior. As the interview progressed, it was obvious that we had different opinions on leadership.

The two interviewers were regaling me with their exploits of how projects had forced them to often work 24, 32, or 40 hours straight to complete the task. I could see they were probing for my viewpoint on doing "whatever it takes" to complete a project on time.

I'd seen enough of the company, and quite a bit of the interview had progressed at this point that I knew this job was not the right fit for me. Frankly, I was tired of feeling pressured to have the "right" answer from the two.

When needed, I have put in many hours to finish a project. But I've also learned that doing so frequently brings more problems and is not sustainable for very long. Over time, I had paid attention to long-term successes and what seemed to make the difference.

I offered them a rule of thumb from a sage who'd influenced me: Definitely give the job your all. But on a day-to-day basis, if you can't get it done in 10 hours, you aren't as effective for your company or your family. Your productivity and your work quality will be greatly diminished.

I told them that once in a while "doing whatever it takes" needs to happen. But I felt it should not be the normal standard of procedure, as it appeared to be there. I said that if I had been their boss and this continued to happen, I would have fired them both for poor planning and abusing their resources.

Needless to say, I didn't get the job. I guess some people don't like an honest opinion! I wasn't surprised by this result, and best of all, I found a job at another company that was a better fit.

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