my interviewer kept laughing at me, my managers are giving me contradictory instructions, and more

It’s five answers to five questions. Here we go…

1. My interviewer kept laughing at me

I had an interview today for a part-time writing tutor position at my local community college. I met all of the qualifications and I have previous tutoring experience, so I was very excited about this opportunity. The interviewer said he was impressed with my resume and he was pleased with my experience, but then the interview started to go sour.

He started things off with the “tell me about yourself,” so I told him about my recent graduation and my past experiences as a tutor. He looked at my application, grinned, and started chuckling! I laughed nervously, but I really had no idea what he found funny, so I just fell silent. I sat there for a minute or two, and I felt too taken aback to ask him if anything was wrong or if I should clarify anything I said. Finally, he looked back at me, still grinning, and said again, “Tell me about yourself.” I had no idea what to say, so I somewhat repeated my original statements, as well as discussing my other past job experiences that were relevant. He nodded and seemed to follow along this time, but his next question was for me to describe my past jobs…which I had already spent several minutes doing.

During the interview he said, “My supervisor is supposed to be sitting in this interview, too,” and looking out the door before asking me another question. He also kept apologizing for weather, which was strange because I had never really mentioned or complained about the weather. And after almost every question, he would shuffle through my application and laugh. I don’t even know his name; he didn’t introduce himself, he didn’t have business cards, and I felt too put off to ask.

I’m really not sure what to think. I mean, he was probably just a bad interviewer, but his laughs didn’t seem nervous or friendly at all; he really came off, to be frank, like a jerk. But I also don’t want to over-analyze because, otherwise, the tutoring center seems well-run and the other staff was nice. The interviewer said that he’ll be emailing me his decision tomorrow and that I would need to start right away, but this just feels so rushed and I’m just still perplexed about him laughing after all of my answers. I really don’t know what to do.

My guess is that he’s an inexperienced interviewer, maybe even a first-time interviewer, who had no idea what he was doing and was laughing from nerves. It’s still totally inappropriate, but the only other feasible explanation is some form of clinical insanity, and I think inexperienced, awkward interviewer is far more likely. And his comment that his manager was supposed to be participating would fit with that explanation too.

If you’re offered the job, I’d ask if you can meet with the person who would be your manager. During that conversation, you might also ask about the role of the first guy and see if you can glean anything that way.

Read an update to this letter here.

2. My managers are giving me contradictory instructions

I’m a graphic designer working for a government agency. I report to both my direct boss, “Tiffany,” and the head of the organization, “Jared.” We’re a small office (maybe 20 people), and there’s been a huge amount of overhaul recently. The office is running much more smoothly than it has in the past due to Jared’s strong leadership and hiring more qualified applicants to several key roles, but 3/4 of the office hasn’t been here 12 months yet, myself included.

There have been multiple occasions where Tiffany and Jared have given me directly contradictory instructions. In the last incident, Tiffany told me to cc her if Jared gave me any additional direction on how to proceed with Project X. Jared did end up giving me extra feedback, and when I informed him that I’d be cc’ing Tiffany, Jared told me not to. (This wasn’t due to any maliciousness; Tiffany was on medical leave and I really believe that Jared though he was avoiding stressing her out.)

This puts me in an awkward spot. I can’t follow both of their instructions. I’m very junior in the company, and I was first hired on an intern while an undergraduate. They chose to keep me on after I graduated. This job is fantastic, and I’d really like to keep it. But I don’t want to have to fib to either Tiffany or Jared. Tiffany has told me that this is “just how Jared is,” but colluding with her to keep Jared out of the loop isn’t going to benefit me in the future! I’m going to have a direct conversation with Tiffany once she returns to medical leave, but I’m worried that she’s going to essentially tell me “don’t worry about it,” which doesn’t solve my problem. How do I handle this?

Explain to them both that you sometimes get slightly different guidance from each of them and that you’ll flag it when that happens so that they can decide how they’d like it handled. I wouldn’t assume that Jared will object to that; when he told you not to loop in Tiffany, she was on medical leave — and employers should leave people alone when they’re on medical leave.

Flagging contradictory instructions doesn’t have to be a big awkward thing. It can just be a simple email to them both saying, “I’m hearing slightly different perspectives from each of you, so wanted to alert both of you to do that so we can figure out which path to take.”

Read an update to this letter here.

3. Should employers stick to application deadlines?

I was wondering what your suggestions are for application deadlines. If I set deadlines and advertise them, isn’t it just common courtesy to all involved that I keep to those deadlines? I had one person who I worked for who said, “No, we should take applications on a continual basis,” which would be fine, but I have to run all of my hires through a selection committee, who are all busy people and to keep adding more and more applications to the stack after the deadline seems disrespectful of their time. I will of course keep all of the applications that I receive for a year, in case any other openings become available and to ensure that we are ready in case anyone accuses us of unequal hiring practices.

Ultimately, your goal is to make the best hire you can, and you shouldn’t let an arbitrary application deadline get in the way of that. It’s fine to sketch out rough timelines for when you hope to finish each stage of the screening process, but if a fantastic candidate applies late in the process, it would be foolish to lock them out just because the deadline had passed. The bar certainly might get higher in the later stages — it might take more to get an interview after a certain point — but you want to make sure that you’re considering any truly excellent candidates who apply. You’re right that you don’t want to “keep adding more and more applications to the stack” of candidates for busy managers to interview, but that’s an argument for keeping the bar high throughout the process, so that your interviewers are only spending time on the best of the best.

4. My husband hit up my company for business

My husband recently became the director of sales for an LED lighting company. What I’m upset about is that he went behind my back and against my wishes by approaching my company about doing a lighting installation for them. I had told him to let me ask about it and to let me handle it, but he submitted a note on the website via our contact page.

I love my husband but he’s very inexperienced in the professional world. Plus I’ve been busting my butt for prospects of moving up within the company but I feel this very unprofessional behavior on the part of my husband will ruin things. How do I handle this? My boss hasn’t mentioned anything. The note would have gone to either my boss, the CEO, COO, or CFO or, worse, all four. Do I bring it up?

Honestly, I wouldn’t assume they’ll see it at all. A cold contact about lighting submitted through the company website’s contact form is unlikely to be forwarded to C-level executives. It’s actually far more likely that whoever handles that email account will ignore or delete it. Most companies aren’t particularly responsive to random email solicitations.

That’s assuming he didn’t mention your name, of course. Even then, though, I wouldn’t worry too much about it. If you’re asked about it, you can simply explain you didn’t know he was sending it.

5. Indicating a change in company ownership on a resume

I work for a CPA firm whose original owner sold the company last October. How do I incorporate the change in ownership on my resume without having to list both companies as separate employers? I want to keep it all as one so it doesn’t look like I quit one job and started another job all in the same month and year.

Like this:

Lannister Tyrell Accounting (formerly Stark Ltd.)

{ 186 comments… read them below }

  1. Seal*

    #1 – My first thought was the interviewer was on something. The inappropriate laughing, repeating questions, and not realizing the candidate was extremely uncomfortable sounds like this guy was high or drunk. There could be a legitimate explanation, like a bad and untimely reaction to prescription drugs. Regardless of whether or not the OP gets the job, the interview itself sounds so odd they might want to make the company aware of what happened.

    1. FMLW*

      I agree with Seal. This sounds just like someone who is unable to concentrate because of some sort of intoxication.

      1. AMT*

        Interviewer says: “Tell me about yourself.”

        Interviewer thinks: “Oh, God. I knew that wasn’t a normal brownie.”

    2. GrumpyBoss*

      I think you may be onto something here. I was thinking that it sounds like social awkwardness (I work with a lot of engineers and computer programmers who behave this way). But since it is a tutoring center, it’s a fair assumption that dealing with strangers and making them comfortable is part of the gig.

      1. Neeta*

        I work with a lot of engineers and computer programmers who behave this way

        That doesn’t necessarily mean they’d behave like that during an interview. This was actually the case with my colleagues at my past job, they’d make stupid jokes and talk about weirdly maybe even inappropriate things in the office.
        During interviews though, they were perfectly polite and professional.

        On the other hand, I had sat through an interview where the person doing the technical interview would glance at my CV and then ask me “Who the heck works for [my then current work place]? I’ve never worked there myself, but since everybody says it sucks, it must be horrible”.

    3. LBK*

      Yeah…nerves are one thing, but to laugh, have a long-ish awkward silence and then repeat the question…that sounds like intoxication to me.

    4. Cat*

      This was my first thought too. In fact, you can imagine it as an episode of, say, Fresh Prince of Bel-air, where Will talks Carleton into smoking pot, and then Carleton’s supervisor calls in sick and he has to come into his job at the university writing center to do an interview but can’t stop laughing, and then everyone learns a very important lesson about drug use.

    5. Windchime*

      The interviewer being high isn’t something I’d thought of, but makes sense.

      Or they could just be an Inappropriate Laugher. We have one at work and it’s to the point where we try to avoid inviting her to certain meetings because she laughs at EVERYTHING. One customer complained after the meeting because they felt the Inappropriate Laugher was making fun of them.

      “We need to fix the TPS reports; Human Resources is really angry about the duplicate cover sheets.”

      It gets really old, really fast.

      1. TheSnarkyB*

        Why doesn’t somebody say something to her about it? That seems like a weird thing to just brush under the rug.

        1. Windchime*

          People have said something to her about it. I’ll say, “Sorry, do you think my suggestion is funny?” She will respond, “No, hahahahahahah!”

          I guess the boss has talked to her and she says it’s a nervous habit, but I haven’t seen her making any changes. I’m not sure why it would be difficult to control unless she has Tourette’s (which is something that I think could be a possibility). It definitely damages her credibility because people either think that she is mocking their ideas or making fun of them.

    6. OhNo*

      That was my first thought, too.

      My second thought was that his supervisor or someone else around the office made a lot of funny/weird annotations on his copy of your application, and he didn’t realize it until he was in the interview with you. I’ve never seen this happen in an interview, but I have seen that happen in a meeting in an informal office (where someone will start giggling, and then apologize with “Sorry, there was a comment from so-and-so on my meeting notes”).

      1. Kelly L.*

        I cracked up laughing randomly on the bus the other day. I was thinking about a book scene I’d read a few hours earlier. The other people on the bus probably thought I was high! :D I’m just glad I wasn’t in an interview or meeting at the time.

        1. NoPantsFridays*

          This happens to me all the time and might be a possible explanation. I’ll remember something I read/watched or something someone said to me and start laughing completely out of context. Or one word someone says will remind me of something else, and I’ll start laughing. I have been doing this since middle school. That said, I can control myself in an office setting and even moreso in an interview!

      1. Anon.*

        I had a weird interview where the job description was completely vauge, and then one of the three interviewers started talking jibberish, I think just to be funny with his colleagues and to see how I reacted. I just went ahead and said “So, do you want me to tell you more about how my skills would be a good fit for this position?” or some corporate-y, interview-y question. That got them back on track. They pulled the job back and later re-tooled it. Luckily, I was already working on a project and wasn’t terribly crazy about the commute or necessarily working there.

      2. Koko*

        OP, did this interview take place in Colorado? Did your interviewer “pull a Maureen?”

    7. Anonsie*

      I don’t think this is impossible or anything, but it seems a lot more likely that he wasn’t supposed to be heading up the interview himself and was just floundering through it. People tend to jump to substances or serious medical conditions when someone had really strange behavior in the letters here, but I think realistically a lot of normal people do really strange things occasionally and then never speak of it again.

      (I can’t get this out of my head so here you go: Interviewer used struggle! … Nothing happened!)

      1. KM*

        It reads to me as general awkwardness/floundering, too.

        The only women I’ve ever interviewed with have been older than me and more established in their careers, so I don’t know what would happen if they were around my age, but I’ve had several cases where a younger guy, in his 20s, seems to feel preposterous conducting an interview and tries to act like he’s cool and above it and not some kind of stuffy dweeb in a suit. Being like, “Ha ha ha. You and I both know this is silly, but what is your work history? Ha ha ha” is actually pretty par for the course.

      2. Sarahnova*

        I mean, sure, sometimes people are just weird, but drug usage isn’t exactly rare (medical conditions somewhat more so), and a local community college could easily end up with a current or recently-ex-student conducting this interview. The combo of inappropriate laughter, distractableness, and absentmindedness says “weed” to me, but who knows.

        1. Anonsie*

          On the scale of probability though, I’d put “weird” way above anything else such that I would not consider notifying anyone or bringing it up again.

  2. MK*

    I am confused as to why OP4 thinks this is “very unprofessional behavior on the part of her husband”. He approached her company offering his services, just as he would any other prospective client; unless he was rude or pushy or used the OP’s name without her knowledge, why is that unprofessional? I realise cold-calling is mostly ineffective, but is it such a fauz-pas? And why would it be more appropriate to allow the OP to “handle” it? If I was the OP’s boss, I wouldn’t be bothered by an employee’s husband approaching our company as any other vendor; I might be annoyed if an employee tried to use her position to drum up business for her husband.

    1. Artemesia*

      This jumped out at me too. Her handling it by making contact with the company would be crazy inappropriate. His making the contact seems naive but less an issue .

    2. Wakeen's Teapots Ltd.*

      Mmmm, yeah, that’s what I thought.

      Mind, what he should have done is stay away from her place of business altogether if she asked. Family trying to sell to a business is often awkward. But, if there was going to be an approach, the most professional way was as a cold contact without referencing his wife.

      It’s not appropriate for the OP to approach her boss to buy things from her husband.

      1. Anon Accountant*

        That’s what I was thinking. Why would the OP approach her boss to buy things from her husband?

    3. some1*

      My take was that she wanted to go to her boss and find out if they would even do business with an employee’s spouse and how he should go about submitting an RFP, NOT they she’d solicit her boss for her husband.

      It may be a moot point anyway if the LW’S employer leases the space.

      1. MK*

        Even if that’s the case, it doesn’t make the husband’s approaching the company “extremely unprofessional”, unless a blanket ban on doing business with employees’ spouses is the standard in the OP’s country/industry/whatever. Which sounds a extreme to me; forbidding an employee to contract their spouse to do work for the company makes sense, but refusing to even consider a vendor just because their spouse works for the company? Even if the company does have such a policy, they would be pretty unreasonable to be offended by the husband’s cold-call, instead of just answering “sorry, we don’t do business with the spouses of our employees”. But it’s hardly such a widespread practice that it makes the husband’s cold-call unprofessional.

        I think the OP is a) reasonably upset with her husband for not respecting her wishes in this matter and b) so worried about her future prospects in this company that she is being paranoid about the things that might affect her chances.

    4. Kate M*

      I can see why the OP would be very uncomfortable with it. Maybe she was trying to put her husband off until she figured out what company policy is on vendors, or just didn’t want him to apply for it in the first place. If that’s the case, of course she should have said something directly to him, but him going around her when he knew she was uncomfortable with it doesn’t seem ok with me.

      Why does the husband have to solicit her particular business? This could lead to a lot of problems. The company could feel that they have to give special consideration to him since his wife works there, or think that she told him to submit. And there are plenty of reasons not to mix up personal and business like this (what if he did a bad job and they didn’t want to pay him?). I get that cold-calling is the way this is usually done, but I do think that soliciting your spouse’s company is a little unprofessional unless you absolutely know it’s ok and they want your services.

      1. MK*

        I agree that he was wrong to go against her wishes, but that’s a “marriage” problem, not an issue of professionalism.

        Perhaps ideally he wouldn’t mix business with family, but I am not sure how reallistic that is; most businesses cannot afford to be so sensitive. If the husband is an employee himself, I don’t think his boss would accept “I cannot approach company X, my wife works there” as reasonable. Also, the OP didn’t say that she wanted her husband to stay away from her company altogether, just that she wanted to handle it herself. That’s what made no sense to me: if there was going to be an approach at all, a cold-call was the most professional way to do it. It left the OP completely outside the situation, didn’t put any of her co-workers in an uncomfortable position (as it would if she had made the approach herself like she wanted to).

        1. neverjaunty*

          That’s what I was thinking too: OP doesn’t have a job problem, she has a husband problem.

          Regardless of whether the OP was “wrong” about the correct professional approach, her husband went and contacted her employer after she told him not to. Even if my employer was totally fine with such an approach, I’d go ballistic if my spouse did this: it’s essentially saying “I don’t care if it’s your job and your workplace and you may be impacted by my actions.”

          1. JMegan*

            Yes, that’s exactly it. By “handling it”, I assume that the OP meant that she would check on the policies and the etiquette and the culture and so on, not that she would be walking into the facility manager’s office with her husband’s business cards.

            We don’t know what the organization’s protocol is about this kind of thing. But what we do know is that the OP specifically asked her husband to wait, and he didn’t. That would be grounds for a Serious Discussion in my household – it’s not okay for him to go behind her back like that.

            1. Bea W*

              I assumed she meant she wanted to approach her employer on behalf of her husband, since she didn’t mention there being the possibility of some conflict of interest and focused on how inexperienced and “unprofessional” her husband is.

              It could be either or neither. She doesn’t elaborate.

          2. Bea W*

            her husband went and contacted her employer after she told him not to.

            This gets back to tell vs. suggest. It could be she thought she was clear and told her husband not to contact her employer, but if she phrased it as “I’d rather you make the request through me.” or “Let me handle it instead of you cold calling. I know the right people to talk to.” – the husband may have heard it as a suggestion rather than a direct “Don’t contact my employer. There are policies I have to follow in this situation because you are my husband.”

          3. Observer*

            I’d say THEY have a marriage problem. I can see getting really upset about not respecting her request. But that’s not what she’s complaining about. On the other hand, she’s not being very respectful of him either. Unless there is something very odd about her husband’s company, it’s not likely that he got the job by being “very unprofessional” and “very naive.” Nor, by not working hard. It sounds like a mutually disrespectful relationship.

            But, that is REALLY not something you want to bring up with your employer.

    5. Bea W*

      The OP didn’t say why she wanted to handle it herself just that she wanted to handle it herself. I’m not sure if she thought she could help her husband out by using her influence and annoyed he still insisted on doing his own thing or just afraid he would say or do something would reflect badly on her.

      I don’t think he did anything unprofessional, and it could be he doesn’t want her help because he doesn’t want to feel like he’s taking advantage or expecting special consideration because of his wife or doesn’t want it to even appear he’s taking advantage or receiving special treatment.

      I work in a heavily regulated industry, and my employer has all kinds of written policies about how to handle this kind of conflict of interest. That’s probably influencing my views here. I don’t think the wife should be handling her husband’s request at all. At most she could tell him the correct people to contact, but beyond that she should stay out of it. If the situation arose where she would have any involvement in deciding who gets the company’s business, she should immediately disclose the conflict of interest to her manager so the company can make an informed decision about how much to allow her to be involved.

      I get from the sense of outrage in the OPs letter that she’s concerned most that her husband may make her look bad, so bad that it affects her career. I don’t know where that comes from, but it came across to me as insecurity. Why the need to control what her husband does regarding his own work?

      I don’t think the husband is 100% blameless here either, but I don’t know what prompted him to try to contact someone at her company, if it was something he thought would be a great idea on his own or if his manager or employer is behind it. Maybe he and his wife think they had entirely different conversations. It happens!

    6. Sarah*

      Maybe by “unprofessional” she meant “professionally inept” (or it’s just what she’s been using during arguments about the issue with her husband to make it less personal). It sounds like she doesn’t want her husband to have unsupervised contact with her company because she’s concerned that his behavior will reflect badly on her. To be honest, I can’t really blame her (the guy isn’t dripping with business savvy if thinks spamming is effective marketing) and I think that spouses should be able to set boundaries around their own employers. I agree with AAM though that she probably has nothing to worry about – the email was probably deleted immediately if it got past the spam filter.

      1. Anna*

        I think the whole letter is weird and am trying not to let it speak volumes to me about their relationship.

  3. EE*

    I particularly like the GoT reference for OP5 because a friend of mine was recently in this situation! As she describes it:

    Good Boss (Stark) built an honourable company;
    The Lannister-Tyrell alliance took over the company and her with it (perhaps she is the hostage Sansa Stark?) and turned the honourable intentions of Stark to something evil;
    Plot twist: Stark returned, fought valiantly, and now it is Stark Ltd once more!

    1. Wakeen's Teapots Ltd.*

      Yeah, I went there too.

      I do have actual work to do this morning but still, I went there and wrote the story in my head.

    2. KerryOwl*

      I don’t know, wouldn’t an accounting firm be more associated with the Master of Coin, rather than the Hand of the King?

      Tyrion Lannister Accounting (Formerly Baelish Enterprises)

    3. LBK*

      GoT nerd moment: technically the honorable company was built by Robert Baratheon, not the Starks. The Starks always ruled the North, they never held the Iron Throne.

      1. Laufey*

        Fair enough, but Robert Baratheon would not have been king with the Starks, just as his offspring would not be king without the Lannister-Tyrell Alliance.

        1. LBK*

          True. Although if you want to be really technical, no actual Baratheons have been king since Robert.

          (Okay done derailing now, I promise.)

          1. Laufey*

            I was trying not to leave spoilers. And one would argue that as long as the law recognizes them as Baratheon, they’re Baratheon by law if not by blood.

          2. Laufey*

            I suppose it would have been better and more accurately phrased as “his heir” rather than “his offspring”.

    4. Kelly O*

      I adore the ASoIaF references.


      Patiently waiting for House Manwoody to make an appearance.

      1. jesicka309*

        HOUSE MANWOODY OF KINGSGRAVE. GRRM’s sneaky naughty jokes. Mors Manwoody? Come on :)
        By this reference, I must assume you are aware of A Podcast of Ice and Fire, House Manwoody’s champion! (PS. They name checked house Manwoody in season 3, and even showed their banners).

  4. Name*

    I wonder if anyone else finds the pop culture references distracting from the point they are being used to make.

    OP #1: I feel you. And interviewer pair laughed uproariously when I asked “how would describe your ideal employee”. Should I take it to the comedy stand-up circuit? “What challenges do you foresee in this role?” Audience: *busts a gut, slaps knees*

    1. GrumpyBoss*

      Not sure how references are distracting. I’ve never seen GoT, and didn’t know there was a pop culture reference being made until I read the comments. But the advice still made perfect sense to me. You either get them and chuckle or don’t. But the point is still the point.

      1. Miri*

        I’m also confused about what the point is that’s being distracted from – it’s just an example, yes? I don’t understand what the point is other than ‘it’s a fake company name’? Sorry if I’m missing something as English isn’t my first language.

        1. TheSnarkyB*

          Don’t worry about missing something – this isn’t specific to English! I don’t get the reference either, but I’ve figured out (after a few) that they’re referencing families in a TV show called Game of Thrones (based on a series of books). And in this case, I think they’re feuding royal families or something, so it’s funny to for viewers of those shows to see XYZ enterprises (formerly ABC) when XYZ has conquered ABC in a war and taken their land. (or something) Sorry if I’m not explaining this very well.

          You’re right – they’re just fake names, but in this case they’re fictional names.
          Alison could also write:
          Jane Smith Industries (formerly John Doe), but it would be more boring. And this way still gets the point across.
          I’m not sure why “Name” finds it so very distracting, since even those of us who (clearly) don’t get it, still clearly understand Alison’s point.

      2. LQ*


        If you get it, it is worth a quick chuckle.

        If you don’t get it, it is still a perfectly understandable explanation.

        The great part about it is that it doesn’t rely on you to understand the cultural reference at all to get the explanation of the situation. I prefer them, even the ones I don’t get, to Mr Y and Mrs X and Ms Z.

    2. Kerry*

      I think fake company names drawn from pop culture are much better than either real company names or totally made-up company names – they make it clear that it’s a fictional example.

      And they’re fun, which is a good thing!

      1. fposte*

        Yes, I like the additional game–I think I finally figured out the OP’s references for 2.

        1. Mints*

          Y’know, Cold Comfort Farm has gone on my “to-read” list solely because of your username. Fake names have positive outcomes!

      1. Carrie in Scotland*

        I like and enjoy the pop culture references and almost all of them are universal, so can be understood by people in the UK, Australia, Japan etc etc. Although I don’t watch GoT myself (to me Stark as a company name always reminds me of Iron Man, even though in that case it’s Stark Industries…)

        1. eemmzz*

          I had the same thing. Until recently I kept thinking of Iron Man until I did a marathon of all 4 seasons of GoT and now I finally get the references. They weren’t distracting for me before and after I understood what pop culture reference it was talking about.

      1. Tina*

        I don’t understand them all, but most of the time I can understand the context. Or just think they’re just made up names and never know the difference

        1. HarperC*

          Yeah, when I don’t get one, I just don’t worry about it (or frankly even notice). You have to make up names for examples, so I don’t see the big deal where they come from. I’m sort of baffled why anyone would be “distracted” by them.

        2. Diet Coke Addict*

          Exactly. A made-up example is a made-up example whether it’s using Lucinda and Wakeen, or the people from Game of Thrones. For all I know Lucinda and Wakeen could well be the stars of “Who’s Going To Replace The Water Jug” on NBC–but it makes no difference to me, either way. I think it would be distracting if people got into hundred-comment-long digressions on what they think will happen on Game of Thrones or “Who’s Going To Replace The Water Jug,” but no one does.

          1. HarperC*

            “Who’s Going to Replace the Water Jug” would be a drama if based on my department. :)

      2. LV*

        I don’t mind the pop-culture references themselves, but I am a bit tired of hearing about GoT specifically because it’s all over the place and sometimes it feels like that’s all people talk about. Pretty soon my eye is going to start twitching when I see the word “Lannister.”

      1. LV*

        There’s really no need to be snide just because someone admitted to a pet peeve and asked if anyone else felt the same way.

    3. Anon*

      No. Sometimes I don’t get them and I just read them as a random fill-in-the-blank name like Wakeen or the alphabetical Alice, Bob, Carol, etc. that some other sites use.

    4. Fabulously Anonymous*

      Maybe it’s a learning preference or personality quirk? As someone with a significant mathematics background, I’d rather see variables – X, Y, etc. The names distract me because my mind is not used to seeing full names. However, whether or not those names come from pop culture is irrelevant to me.

      1. Persephone Mulberry*

        And I, on the other hand, prefer it when writers (and Alison) use actual names rather than letters – I find it easier to keep track of who’s who, particularly when the story gets complicated.

      2. Reader*

        As a number person who likes x and y it doesn’t work where a complete name is more appropriate. Most companies are not AAA or ABC.
        It is always about context.

      3. Kelly L.*

        I’m the opposite–I can’t read stories with A did this and B did that. It makes my eyes glaze over. I’d rather see the letters at least turned into alphabetical names like Alice and Bob, or fictional characters, or totally made up names. I think it’s because I start actually imagining people as I read the story, and even if that means I’m picturing everybody’s office populated with Peter Dinklage, Joaquin Phoenix, and Alice from the Brady Bunch, it at least gives me a mental image. I get no mental image from the plain letters.

      4. Lily in NYC*

        I find it so hard to follow long posts with initials instead of names. I know a few forums that won’t allow it for this very reason.

      5. Mints*

        I wish English had a convention like “Fulano de Tal” in Spanish. It’s used as a name, but it’s inherently anonymous anybody/nobody and it’s not an actual name

          1. Mints*

            That’s probably the closest, but the difference is Fulano isn’t actually a name, so it’s inherently anonymous, but John/Jane are actual names.

    5. AnotherAlison*

      The only thing possibly distracting is if it leads into a long discussion in the comments about the pop culture reference, instead of discussion of the question.

    6. Elizabeth West*

      No, I like them. I use them on my own blog when I’m talking about writing. I use Sherlock, Scooby Doo, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, etc.

      I know nothing about Game of Thrones, but that doesn’t diminish my enjoyment of the technique.

  5. kas*

    4. When I get emails like that sent through my company’s website, it just gets sent to our spam folder. We don’t even read them. I don’t think you have much to worry about unless you have an unusual last name or if he mentioned you.

    1. asasda*

      If you are aware of this problem and not trying to fix it (perhaps by working with IT to have emails sent by your website be whitelisted) or else be having the form removed from the website, then you’re wildly unprofessional. This situation is really bad – it reflects badly on your company and it’s disrespectful to people who actually want to contact you.

      1. ExceptionToTheRule*

        Calling that “wildly unprofessional” seems like wildly over-reacting without additional context.

        1. asasda*

          OK – perhaps I should have said kas is wildly unprofessional. But the organization or company is.

          1. fposte*

            To filter out cold sales is unprofessional? I’m going to disagree strongly. It’s professional of me to focus on what’s relevant to my job; wanting to talk to me doesn’t make a spammer relevant to my job.

            1. Diet Coke Addict*

              Additionally, for a lot of larger companies, going through each individual unsolicited email would be a full-time job in itself. There’s a lot of spam out there, and people who do email marketing need to be cognizant of the fact that it won’t be viewed by every single recipient. It’s hardly unprofessional to filter out irrelevant email.

            2. en pointe*

              I think you guys are talking about different things. asasda appears to have misinterpreted kas’s comment to mean that all emails sent through the website contact form are filtered out and go unread, not just the sales ones, and that’s what’s being called wildly unprofessional. (Please correct me if I’m wrong, asasda).

              For my company’s contact form, we have problems with legit emails also going into Junk by mistake, (despite IT saying they’ve fixed it like four times), so I check Junk and read all of them. But I always just delete the sales ones, and would never pass them up the chain, because we don’t take unsolicited calls or emails. That’s not unprofessional.

            3. Felicia*

              If I didn’t filter out all the cold sales emails, calls and phone calls we get, I would have no time to do my actual job. 99% of the time it’s not for anything we need, and when we do need something, I’m likely to purposefully not go to the people who cold called or cold emailed.

      2. Fuchsia*

        I think kas is saying that spam sounding sales emails “like that” get sent in, they are filtered out–not everything sent into their web contact place.

        1. Tina*

          That’s what I thought kas was saying, that blatantly sales/unrelated emails, however it’s determined, not all emails.

    2. the gold digger*

      If you don’t want people to contact you via your website and have no intention of responding, please remove the information from your site. I get so frustrated when I email a company using the contact information they have given me – and I am not trying to sell something, I want to ask a question about their product so I can decide whether to buy it – and I never get an answer.

      1. Steven M*

        Going through this right now and I hate it so much.

        me: Hi, I’d like to buy $$$$$ worth of your product, can I have a quote please?
        them: silence
        me: I guess I’ll go talk with your competitor?


    3. kas*

      Wow to clarify, I was referring to cold sales only. I work for a very large company and we get hundreds of emails per day. I respond to all inquiries and concerns EXCEPT for cold sales.

      Why would I classify all emails as spam?

  6. NW Cat Lady*

    #5 – While I agree Allison’s advice is spot on, I don’t understand why you would think it’s weird to show leaving one job and starting another in the same month and year. Ideally, that’s how it would look if you DID leave your company and start a new job.

    1. GrumpyBoss*

      It could be a timing issue. When did the name change take place during OP’s tenure? If they are listed separately, it could look odd that they were at a job for a couple of months.

  7. Irish Reader*

    Maybe I’m being picky, but I’m curious about how Husband got a Sales Director job if he is not an experienced professional. For all we know, the OP’s employer may be a prime sales target for the husband’s employer and he has to show he contacted them to make his targets. I get why OP would be annoyed, but I think this is mixing up business and personal.

    Cold-calling is a very typical part of sales. How he follows up on the lead will be another story and I think the OP needs to stay out of it. I am sure most companies will be understanding of the fact that employees are in a bind in this situation and aren’t going to “blame” the OP if the husband pursues this lead.

    1. AnotherAlison*

      How Husband got a Sales Director job:

      I’m not the OP, but a friend of mine got a power equipment sales rep job with no experience in the power industry, no college degree, no engineering background, etc. He personally knew the owner of the sales rep company and the guy thought he could do it. His previous experience in sales was car sales. So not the same. . .

      He’s been there about 8 months now and is planning to leave, because he will be going on full commission soon and it’s not going to work out. People get jobs they aren’t qualified for all the time.

      1. Bea W*

        Sales Rep vs. Director of Sales though – two different things…theoretically (This is not my field of expertise)

        1. Pennalynn Lott*

          At two of my previous sales positions with software companies my title was “Sales Director” at one, and “Director of Sales” at another. As were all the other sales reps in the companies.

          So it’s entirely possible that he could be a Director of Sales without any professional experience. (Though in my case, we all had 5-10 years software sales experience; but I can totally see a company inflating titles).

    2. Sarah*

      Very small company where “Director of Sales” is the person who supervises a 2-3 person sales team — or even is the one sales person in the company? I don’t think that he can be your standard corporate Director-level employee because those people don’t sit around spamming generic “Contact Us!” email addresses. That would just be bizarre.

  8. Glor*

    Um, re: #1, I’m not sure how “clinical insanity” is far more feasible than meds/drugs/recovering from a seizure/some medical condition. Not to mention, immediately conflicting behavior like this with mental illness is pretty weird, because most people [in my experience] with MI in the workplace would rather coworkers not automatically associate said MI with their interviewer busting a gut at the wrong time.

    1. Big Tom*

      You may want to read through Alison’s answer again. She said that insanity was the far less likely scenario, though the possibility of drugs or other substance issues was also discussed in some of the first comments.

      1. Persephone Mulberry*

        In Glor’s defense, Alison did say that clinical insanity is “the only other feasible defense” and Glor points out a host of other things that could cause a (presumably) involuntary reaction like that.

        I work in mental health and I’m aware that I’ve become more sensitive about casually equating personality quirks and clinical diagnoses (e.g. bothered by crooked window blinds = “she’s so OCD!”). That said, I think Alison’s “clinical insanity” comment was intended to be a bit tongue in cheek and not actually imply that the interviewer has a mental health diagnosis, but rather to highlight how much MORE likely it is that it’s simply a case of new-interviewer nerves.

  9. StarHopper*

    Did anyone else get the feeling from OP#1 that the guy that interviewed her wasn’t really working there? I mean, it is much more likely that he was simply nervous and inexperienced or even high as a kite, but as I was reading it, I thought that he was laughing because he was getting away with something.

    1. AM*

      lol I thought that too – like maybe the “interviewer” was some guy who snuck in and is acting as an interviewer, for whatever kicks he gets out of it!

    2. NoPantsFridays*

      It crossed my mind that he might be some kind of impostor. But I dismissed that scenario as too Seinfeld-esque to be real. Though they say truth is stranger than fiction!

  10. BRR*

    #3 You could always go with something like “Priority will be given to applicants who submit their materials by August 1st.”

    1. Richard*


      I am the question presenter for #3. I guess I just closure on things, and don’t want to look at my email and find additional work to do, as lately I have been getting lots of applications for the position we have. I will add that phrase to any future advertising however, and I do have to agree with the response to my question.

      1. Student*

        Maybe you need to do a better job of making sure the job post gets taken down after the deadline has passed?

        When I was job hunting, I saw lots of old job adds up. I would assume it’s fairly harmless to submit a resume after a posting expired, if the posting remained up.

        If the dates are recent, it’s not really clear to the applicant whether you’ve left the post up because you want more applicants, or because you don’t remember to remove the post or don’t know how to do it automatically.

  11. Camellia*

    #5 – In my company this is called “potential conflict of interest”. The company’s direction is for the employee to ask about a situation such as this. The company can then decide if dealing with a vendor that is the spouse of an employee is okay or not okay.

    In most cases it is fine, the company just wants to know about it in advance so they can say they vetted the situation.

    1. Hlyssande*

      I agree, we have some hefty rules about that in my workplace as well. If you don’t disclose a potential conflict of interest (family member works for a vendor or customer, etc), there can be some pretty serious consequences.

    2. Al Lo*

      In my workplace, family connections are very welcome — since I started here 2 years ago, my husband has worked on contract for us in about 4 different areas, we’ve started using my dad’s company as a new vendor, and we’ve used a friend’s company for yet another need. I just happen to know people who fill needs in our vendor list (but I’m not the only one — there are other employees who recommend vendors all the time).

      Basically, my boss’ position is that as long as the quote is competitive, it’s always better to go with the company with whom we have a relationship.

  12. Suzanne*

    #2 I’ve been in that situation far too many times. One job, the mantra was that if you asked 2 different people for advice on a task, you’d likely get at least 3 different answers. Once, one supervisor told me how to do a task I had never done before (involving a complex database) and not 20 minutes later a different supervisor came by and told I was doing it completely incorrectly and suggested I start over doing it the wat she said. The bottom line was neither one of them really understood how this database worked…

    The advice on how to approach the situation is sound, but the OP should keep in mind that asking may not solve the problem and may put her/him in the center of dueling managers.

    1. OP for Post #2*

      Thanks. That’s one of my concerns, but I think it’s better to take that small chance then to sit in the certainty of poor communication.

  13. Brad*

    #1 – I can’t account for all of the interviewer’s behavior, but I’ve talked to interviewers who use the “tell me about yourself” question as a way of judging how well people follow directions. The thinking is: an applicant shouldn’t answer with a listing of his or her qualifications. They should tell the interviewer about their hobbies, personal background, or goals.

    I’m not advocating this as an interview technique, only mentioning that I have encountered it.

    1. Monodon monoceros*

      I know you said you aren’t advocating for this technique, but for those interviewers who do think this way, I think it’s a bit weird. When I’m at a job interview, and the interviewer asks me this, I tell them about my *professional* self. I’m not going to launch into stories about my hobbies, personal background, etc. unless they specifically ask what my hobbies are. If I talk about my goals, it will be my career related goals, not my goal of owning a farm and having 10 dogs, 20 cats, and many cows, chickens, and goats. My professional self is what is relevant, not my personal self.

      1. Anna*

        The last time I asked that was for the job I’m doing right now and I ended up telling the interview panel about my hobbies and how that led in to my professional growth.

    2. LisaLisa*

      That’s strange because your qualifications are still …about yourself…and so I don’t think you’re not following directions if you talk about your qualifications or your hobbies. The problem with the question is that it’s too open ended. Does the interviewer want to hear about the professional side of myself or does s/he want to hear about the personal side of myself?

    3. fposte*

      I think wanting to hear about hobbies is less common than wanting an elevator speech about the applicant’s career trajectory.

      1. M. in Austin!*

        I’ve always heard the best way to answer is by basically giving the elevator pitch… not talking about your hobbies.

    4. Cat*

      Well, that’s stupid and more an indication that the interviewer is bad at giving directions than anything else.

    5. Felicia*

      I think the majority of interviewers mean the opposite – they want you to tell them about your professional self. Not necessarily list everything on your resume, but more like your career trajectory/goals/interests in narrative form. I think what you choose to highlight is also important

      For the ones who really do want to know about your hobbies/personal self (though I hate being asked that), they’ll often specify “Actually I want to know about your hobbies” because they realize their request is an unusual one. Or they’ll ask what’s the last book you read or something else more specific.

      1. Elizabeth West*

        Yeah, I would always err on the side of the professional self answers. I did have an interviewer ask me what I liked to read, and we got off on a lovely discussion of our favorite books. Too bad I didn’t get the job, because we liked all the same things!

        1. Felicia*

          In my last interview for the job I actually got (I start next week, yay!) The interviewer asked me what the last book I read and enjoyed was. The answer was “How to Make a Zombie” which is actually non-fiction, and I was a little embarrassed about. But I got the job!

          Ive also been asked what kind of music I listen to.

    6. Suzanne*

      I’ve always been told the exact opposite! When the interviewer says “Tell me about yourself” he/she wants to know how your background & abilities fit the job, not about your cat, your knitting project, or your kid’s first year of school, unless it relates to the job.
      I guess it just proves that there is lots of conflicting information out there about job searching and interviewing and the bottom line is that there is almost no way to know what YOUR interviewer expects.

    7. aebhel*

      “In my spare time, I write Star Trek fanfiction and get into arguments on the internet.”

      ^ truth. Probably not going to get me employed, though.

      1. Felicia*

        I would hire you for sharing that , I love a fellow fanfiction writer :) But then i don’t do any hiring!

  14. Brett*

    #2 Is the situation involved in federal, state, or local government? Or a quasi-public entity (like a public water company)?

    Each tends to have different approaches to organizational structure and chain of command. In state government and large local government (e.g. metro counties or large metro cities), you are going to be much better off following the instructions of your direct boss. Chain of command is strict and your direct boss has the authority to modify what comes to you from the department or agency head. If there is a problem with what you are doing, that problem goes to your direct boss, not you. (But while Tiffany was out on medical leave, was Jared the direct boss?)

    Smaller local government and quasi-public entities often have broader authority to department heads and agency heads that allows them to directly manage throughout the organization instead of one level down. They may even have cross-department authority (the head of one department can direct employees in another department), which is very uncommon in state and large local.

    The exact department you are inside of affects this too. Public safety departments will get into very rigorous chain of command. IT and planning will be very flexible. Admin often depends on the personalities of the current elected officials. I do not have much familiarity with federal and how it handles chain of command, so no idea how that shakes out but I get the sense it varies widely from agency to agency.

    1. OP for Post #2*

      I’m in a quasi-public entity: we provide federal funding for grants related to a specific area, but we are also run through the state land-grant university in our area. ‘Tiffany’ is my direct boss, but ‘Jared’ is the head of the organization with hire/fire power.

      1. Not So NewReader*

        When I have hit a situation similar to yours I have gone to my immediate boss and said, “I just want to do a good job and do it efficiently. I don’t want to make difficulties for others and at the same time, I don’t want to appear to be a lousy worker. I honestly don’t know what to do when you say ‘Do A’ and Big Boss says ‘Do B’. I am so uncomfortable with this situation. There has to be a way to handle things differently. I just want to do a good job.”

        Your focus is on doing a good job and being a good employee. Limit your remarks to that area. I have used this a couple times and had it make enough differences that I did not have to go back to that issue again.

  15. weasel007*

    Ohhhhh…Allison’s response on #5 made me smile. I needed that early this morning! :)

  16. Ethyl*

    Re: #3 — I’m confused by this. Wouldn’t submitting an application after the deadline be a no-no, showing that the applicant can’t follow instructions? Either have a deadline or don’t, but it seems like saying “take really good applications” is telling people they don’t have to pay attention to deadlines or other instructions in the job posting.

    1. fposte*

      Here’s what I hear Alison saying: running a job search based solely on doing things the fairest way for the applicants is bass ackwards, so refusing to accept a late application merely because it’s unfair is misguided. If you have a reason to believe a late application makes that applicant less suitable for the *job*, then that’s a reason to disqualify. (I would say that whether it does or not will depend a lot on the industry, the posting practice, and the candidate.)

      1. AnotherAlison*

        Yes, how many times do you see the “perfect” listing, right at the deadline or just after?

        1. Ethyl*

          Well that sucks, but it’s not the job posting’s fault you missed it. I think having a firm deadline is good both for job seekers and for the people making hiring decisions.

          I work in a position where we take registrations to events, and it is beyond frustrating when people keep trying to sneak in past the deadline — EVERYONE has some “good reason” they deserve to ignore the rules. At some point you need to close it down and just say no regardless of whether there was an earthquake, a terrible flood, locusts. I’d rather decide that the deadline had passed and move on than be the sort of person who decided that stuff doesn’t apply to me because I’m just that special :)

          1. AnotherAlison*

            Eh, I think it would depend what you’re hiring for. Sure, an entry level job with 1,000 qualified candidates, shut it down, no exceptions.

            OTOH, the position I’m leaving is hard to fill. There isn’t a posted deadline, but we might have a 60% match candidate at best, and would be overjoyed to get a 90% match candidate a day late (if we had a deadline, that is).

          2. the gold digger*

            Yes, but you have an actual hard deadline with a different objective: you need to get the registrations processed before the event.

            A hiring manager is looking for the best person for the job – within a reasonable time frame, of course – and does not have to be bound by a self-imposed deadline if someone really great comes along after the deadline.

  17. Red Librarian*

    Re: #5, what if they changed ownership after you left? So say you worked for Company A and about a year after you left it became Company B and A no longer exists? Should it be written the same way even though you never worked for Company B or reverse it, so using the example above, would it be: Stark Ltd. (now Lannister Tyrell Accounting)

    1. Persephone Mulberry*

      I think I would just leave Company A on my resume and not mention Company B at all, in your scenario. It would be like noting “(out of business)” after the name of a company you worked for that has since closed.

      1. Red Librarian*

        My only concern would be if they call for a reference the name thing would throw them off if I don’t mention that it changed.

        1. Persephone Mulberry*

          I would make a point of bringing it up in the interview, the same as I would if they wanted to contact a now-defunct employer.

    2. Chocolate Teapot*

      That’s what I would do. Some companies do merge or change hands frequently, and my previous company (which was originally formed from 2 or 3 different companies) got rebranded during the time I worked there. Law firms often seem to change names when partners depart.

      eg. Chocolate Teapots Ltd. (Now known as Marzipan Coffee Pots R Us)

      1. Beth Anne*

        I’ve been wondering about this as well. A job I had was in the middle of re-branding when I left so the change didn’t take effect until then. I kind of wonder if I should put something on my resume in case they are ever contacted….but the fact that I know is by snooping so…I’ve always kept it as the original company name.

        1. Red Librarian*

          Right, it’s if they contact them that makes me wonder if it should be addressed on the resume.

  18. Lily in NYC*

    #1 – I had a panel interview once, and they ALL laughed at me. I was really young and it was an admin job and they were talking about reliability and punctuality. I responded that I am anally prompt and the room got really quiet for a second, eyes bugged out, and then 4 people burst into laughter at the same time. I was mortified. But I got the job and stayed there for 5 years – still the best job I’ve ever had. I never lived down that comment.

  19. Aloe Vera*

    #1 – A few medical conditions can cause inappropriate laughter, although the inebriated theory mentioned above seems more plausible. Tourette’s and pseudobulbar affect come to mind.

    1. Observer*

      All this would ring more true if it were just laughter. But, he also smiled and, worst of all, he didn’t seem to be paying attention to anything the LW was saying.

  20. Aloe Vera*

    And speaking of pseudobulbar affect (PBA)… has anyone seen this PSA on TV for it? That’s how I heard of it. But it’s such a poorly done ad. At first, I thought it was a joke or SNL spoof or something. Then I felt rotten when I realized it was real:

    1. Lily in NYC*

      Those ads are so weird! My dad’s illness has PBA as one of it’s symptoms – and it’s manifestation is nothing like what happened in the interview. I really, really doubt that’s what’s going on here. It really does just sound like a nervous interviewer.

    2. Persephone Mulberry*

      I was skimming and didn’t read your previous comment, and thought to myself, “wow, that’s some exceptionally random and complex spam.” ;)

  21. QC Kid*

    #2 – I am in a very similar situation in that I report to two people and I have had something very similar happen a few times. Luckily both bosses agree that I need to cc them on most stuff and they delegated duties, such as boss #1 assists with personal type issues and boss #2 assists with corrective actions. I agree with the advice given that letting them know you have received contradictory directions and then let them come back to you with a solution is the best one.

  22. CaliSusan*

    #5 — I’d just like to reiterate how important it is to actually show that your current employer and former employer/merged company are linked through an acquisition/merger. I was in the same position and it didn’t occur to me to list it on my resume as “Current Company (formerly Former Company)” — I just listed Current Company, dating back to the first date I started with Former Company. It was hard for future employers to confirm my dates of employment because Former Company hadn’t done a great job of transferring our employment history and records to Current Company, so when my employment history was verified, I had to jump through a lot of additional hurdles. So, please do make sure to spell it out on your resume as Alison suggests.

  23. Student*

    #3 I am in favor of the “grace period” method for deadlines. Have an external, clear deadline – 7/30/2014. Have a hidden internal deadline that is slightly later – 8/1/2014, maybe. The period in between is your grace period.

    It lets you cover all the reasons someone might miss your external deadline but still make an honest effort to get an application to you promptly. Use your internal deadline for all your hiring committee planning.

    Treat all the resumes that you get after the grace period ends the same way you would applications that you get randomly . You’d probably look it over, forward it to the appropriate person (your ongoing committee, other hiring managers) if it is especially good, file it if it has potential later, and circular file it if it’s unlikely to work out.

    1. Cassie*

      For faculty searches, allowing people to submit after the posted deadline could be a problem (e.g. if one candidate who submitted during the grace period happens to be of a protected class). The university is very clear about the application deadline.

      Of course, that’s not to say that some people don’t get special treatment… I’ve heard about a candidate who was offered a position even though he didn’t apply in the current round (had applied previous years) – I’m not sure how they got around that one.

    2. AB Normal*

      “#3 I am in favor of the “grace period” method for deadlines. ”

      I don’t think this is particularly helpful for a company looking for the best candidate. I once found an old job posting that had a past deadline. It happened on the day I decided to start a job search, so there’s no way I could have applied before the deadline. I submitted my resume, got interviewed a few days later, and hired right afterward.

      This is a situation that’s very different than, say, announcing to a group of student, or employees, that they have until X day to submit something, and then enforcing the deadline (with or without a grace period). You can’t control when a great candidate will come across your job posting, and if an excellent resume arrives after the deadline, when you hadn’t already lined up enough high-quality candidates to interview, it would be silly not to add the new candidate to the pool.

  24. Anx*

    #1 Perhaps the interviewer was trying to make you uncomfortable on purpose?

    The last time I was laughed at derisively in an interview, the interviewer was clearly trying to make me as stressed out as possible as an interviewing technique.

    I did not get that job.

  25. nyxalinth*

    I had someone laugh at me derisivel once. Iwent to an interview back in 2004. The people I’d be working with loved me. the guy I’d report to directly loved me. so he sent me up to the boss of bosses…

    …who would look at me, look at my resume, shake his head, and laugh all throughout the interview, especially when I answered his questions.

    Needless to say, given that and how well (sarcasm) my life has gone the past ten years, I didn’t get the job.

  26. Cassie*

    #3: I think I prefer a hard deadline. If a great candidate misses it, it’s too bad but that’s how life works sometimes. I’m someone who follows (or tries to) directions to a T and it drives me bonkers when people don’t follow directions because I guess it feels like they think the rules don’t apply to them. I don’t necessarily blame them – I’ve learned that sometimes you *can* get what you want just by asking.

    If there are no strong candidates in the applicant pool, then you should re-open the search. But I wouldn’t just have a continuous application period (unless you had multiple identical positions available) – you wouldn’t keep the position open in hopes of finding the PERFECT candidate, would you?

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