employer said I didn’t have enough “passion” when I couldn’t interview on a Saturday

A reader writes:

I recently applied for a job and was excited to receive an invitation to interview. They were looking to fill the position fast and wanted to know if I could interview two days later on Friday. That was tight, but I moved forward since the job seemed like a great fit for my experience.

The next day (Thursday) I was told that Friday would no longer work and was asked if I could instead interview on Saturday (???). Due to a prior family commitment (planned months in advance), I explained my circumstances and offered to interview the following Monday. However, even without a commitment, I would have found an excuse not to interview on a weekend.

I was surprised to receive an email on Friday saying my interview offer had been rescinded. Normally I don’t do this, but the circumstances were so odd that I asked what made them change their mind. I was even more surprised to receive an email saying (paraphrased):

“Thanks for reaching out about your application status. My feedback to you would be to understand what passion really means. It’s not simply an interest. Think about something that you’d be willing to go out of your way to accomplish even if all the odds were against you. Unfortunately, we felt you were not the best fit as to what we’re looking for. Best of luck in your job search.”

I WTF’ed. I knew they were referring to my email explaining why Saturday wouldn’t work. It made me wonder what type of work (not to mention the time commitment) would be expected if I had gotten the job. I also found that this isn’t the first time the company has pulled this stunt on applicants. Apparently, they use it as a metric to see how passionate an applicant really is.

All this aside, I’m not sure how to handle this email. Everything being said, I don’t want to add any more fuel to the fire. Am I right to feel this way about the situation? If so, is there a good way to let them know, or is it wiser to move on?

You are absolutely right to be WTF’ing over this.

They’re ridiculous to think they can read anything about “passion” into your lack of availability.

First, in most fields it’s weird to schedule interviews on the weekend. (There are exceptions for businesses like retail, but I’m assuming from your reaction that this isn’t one of them.) So if for some reason it was the only time they could offer, they should have apologized and explained the situation — and certainly not assumed you’d be available.

Second, even if they’d offered you a weekday and you had a conflict with that, they’d be absurd to read anything into that other than “the candidate has a prior commitment then.” People have lives outside of job searching — they have jobs, and other interviews, and family, and all sorts of other commitments that mean you can’t expect them to clear their calendar at a particular time just because an employer asks them to. No decent employer penalizes someone for not being being available at a suggested interview time. (In some cases, it may mean that the scheduling won’t work out, but that’s about logistics — not being punitive or drawing negative conclusions about the person.)

Third, attributing this to you not having enough “passion” says such bad things about them. There’s nothing here that says anything about your level of passion for the job. Plus it’s awfully weird to expect job candidates who haven’t even had a chance to speak with an interviewer yet and learn more about the job to have any particular “passion” for it. And, most importantly, high-performing employers don’t prioritize passion this way. They want people who want to do the work, yes, but passion is pretty far down the list of what makes a good employee. There’s very little correlation between passion and effectiveness. And employers who prioritize passion above all else tend to be terrible places to work — they tend to expect unrealistic and inappropriate amounts of commitment to the job, even when it’s not in employees’ self-interest.

Fourth, if you’re saying that they changed your interview time on purpose, and that this is their strategy for screening applicants … you didn’t just dodge a bullet, you dodged a fireball. They have a shocking lack of understanding of how to hire well, and I’m quite sure that extends into an inability to run a functional workplace as well.

As for whether you should respond … there’s probably not much to be gained by it other than personal satisfaction. But personal satisfaction can sometimes be reason to do something, and I’d write back with, “How bizarre. I think you’ll find that strong candidates with options will have other commitments in their lives, and will find it off-putting to receive an unsolicited lecture about ‘passion’ simply because a single time on their calendar is already committed to something else. I’d suggest rethinking your hiring practices because they don’t appear competitive. Best of luck.”

And Glassdoor was made for this kind of information sharing.

{ 368 comments… read them below }

  1. RabbitRabbit*

    Assume that this would have been their response if you couldn’t stay three hours, if you couldn’t come in on weekends, if you couldn’t devote your entire life to your job. Nuke dodged.

      1. On Fire*

        My first reaction on reading this was “ooh, I would want to reply: ‘hahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha. The End.’”

    1. Lil Fidget*

      Yeah, it sounds like they’re explicitly screening for candidates that will not stand up for themselves and will let themselves be steamrolled. It doesn’t say great things about the company or what it would be like to work there.

        1. Armchair Analyst*

          This reminds of when I finally figured out that “leadership” at a certain nonprofit I was volunteering with meant “doing all the unpaid grunt work and getting nothing out of it”.

      1. Marthooh*

        Except that agreeing to a Saturday interview doesn’t actually demonstrate desperation, or passion either, or anything at all except that you happen to be free on Saturday.

    2. Artemesia*

      And ‘passion’ is closely correlated with ‘we don’t want to pay you well either because you should be committed.’ Of course even non -profits which exploit naive workers this way tend to pay the very top huge salaries.

        1. Duffel of Doom*

          I just interviewed with a well-respected, local nonprofit recently, and was informed in the interview that they always work 9 hour days (with no mandatory lunch break), and attending their events is part of the job and additional to the 45 hours I’d be working in the office.
          I laughed when I got the rejection email. Must not have hid my horror all that well.

    3. TardyTardis*

      “If you can’t come in on Saturday don’t bother coming in on Sunday…” (attributed to the policies of the old Disney Studios).

  2. Kara*

    They may be looking for “passionate” candidates, but are likely to end up with “desperate” ones instead. Looks like you dodged a bullet. I can imagine what they’d try to pile on you in the name of “passion” had you conceded the weekend interview and were hired. Smh.

    1. earl grey aficionado*

      I’m wondering if desperate candidates are actually what they want and they’re using “passionate” as a cover. Desperate, i.e. willing to be paid less and treated worse.

      1. Psyche*

        That is what it sounds like. They are displaying an extreme lack of respect for the applicants time. Forcing a candidate to clear a weekday for the interview only two days in advance and then trying to reschedule last minute is horrible.

        1. Lil Fidget*

          Yeah it seems like calling OP not passionate was basically a neg, eg a deliberate put down intended to make someone do what you want to prove that the neg isn’t true. It doesn’t matter what games they were playing, OP definitely doesn’t want to work there.

          1. RUKiddingMe*

            “Negging” is exactly what went through my mind. I would be so tempted to write back basically with Alison’s script but maybe add something about how most peoples’ “passion” for work is tied to money and benefits.

            That’s not to say that there aren’t people truly passionate about a Thing, or who don’t truly love their work, but…

      2. Jadelyn*

        Yes – this reads to me not as testing for passion, but testing boundaries. They’re looking for candidates who have poor boundaries or don’t have the ability to enforce boundaries between work time and personal time.

        1. Passion is more than a fruit*

          Yes – this reads to me not as testing for passion, but testing boundaries

          Just so. I think passion is a fine criteria for selecting employees, but you measure passion by how well the candidate knows the company and industry and her enthusiasm for the work, not by last-minute availability outside of standard work hours.

          I disagree with AAM’s take that “there’s very little correlation between passion and effectiveness” or that employers who seek out passionate employees are bad places to work.

          1. Phoenix Programmer*

            Alison is clear that showing enthusiasm for the role is a good thing. But screen candidates set in passion and definitely in passion as 100% availability with no notice during evenings amd weekends? Bad screening tool.

      3. Jules K*

        It could also be a strategy for using employees’ values against them. I’ve worked in special education and healthcare for young children with disabilities, and many companies basically weaponize the care you feel for students/clients. “We can’t possibly afford to pay for all the care this child needs, so can’t you just work a little extra?” “Taking care of our students doesn’t stop just because we’re off hours; if you want the kids to succeed, you’ll need to pop back in for a while after you clock out.”

        1. Lonely Aussie*

          Like that in the animal world as well. I have friends in the racing industry that spend crazy amounts of time and money on the horses in their care. I’ve worked in Ag and done crazy amounts of unpaid or under paid work for “the good of the animals” because it was a welfare issue if it wasn’t done (and I can’t in good concious leave an animal suffering or at risk) but also because my employer refused to either staff properly or pay properly.

          1. Jules K*

            And of course they refuse, because they can afford to; most people who go into animal care (or social work or education or disability support) do it because the ones we’re working with matter to us, and we’ll put up with a lot to prevent their suffering. Sometimes compassion is a real liability.

          2. bluephone*

            I re-read Water for Elephants recently (set in the 1930s, on a midlevel circus train) and that’s honestly a huge part of the book’s plot–the main character is a veterinary student who knows he’s mixed up with some really bad people but refuses to skip out while the circus animals are still alive, and need care.

          3. Beatings Will Continue Until Morale Improves*

            That’s why I ended my career as an equine veterinarian. I was expected to work 7 days a week plus on call for very low pay and cancel plans on the regular “for the good of the clients and animals.” And that was just from my boss, never mind the clients!

    2. Princess Consuela Banana Hammock*

      Seriously—this was dodging a projectile in the shape of a flaming dumpster fire. The employer sounds manipulative, deluded, and fundamentally problematic, and it sounds like they were testing candidates’ boundaries in order to gauge how much batshit craziness those candidates are willing to accept.

      I would pop a big bag of popcorn and send them Alison’s follow up. I particularly like the idea of opening with “How bizarre” and closing with advice on how uncompetitive their hiring practices are, because I suspect they’ll double down or do something equally ludicrous. And I would derive so much personal satisfaction from the ensuing show.

        1. Danger: Gumption Ahead*

          ^ This! I’d love to get an update if the LW responds. I anticipate a nearly off the meter WTF

          1. Jennifer Juniper*

            Of course, the employer could then retaliate against the OP by sabotaging their job search. I would not put it past them. A whisper here and there to other companies in the employer’s industry, and BAM! OP is blacklisted.

      1. rogue axolotl*

        I derive a weird amount of satisfaction from Alison’s professional-yet-cutting emails to weirdos and I dream of a podcast episode that’s just an extended recitation of them.

      2. Traffic_Spiral*

        Nah, they don’t need advice – the rest of the world needs a warning. Glassdoor that shit!

    3. Kes*

      Totally agree. What a dodged bullet. They want candidates willing to put up with anything and who can’t or won’t stand up for themselves.

      And this: “Think about something that you’d be willing to go out of your way to accomplish even if all the odds were against you” – really, how often is that going to be true of a job, even one you’re interested and want to succeed in? Most people have boundaries, and that’s exactly what they aren’t looking for.

      1. Former Employee*

        Yeah. That sounds more like a career, not a job. I’ve heard people talk this way about getting into medical school or trying to break into show business. I can’t think of ever hearing anyone say that about getting a job at XYZ Corp.

      2. polkadotbird*

        If all the odds are against me, that means I’m likely to waste my time and my company’s resources, and I should choose a different course of action. This isn’t Lord Of The Rings where you HAVE to walk into Mordor and destroy the ring Or Else Doom. In my experience, there are always other goals you can prioritise at work.

      1. ZarinC*

        I also wonder how one is supposed to be passionate about a job that they haven’t even started yet…..I mean, you can be enthusiastic about the possibilities but I would think one would have to be in the role to be truly passionate about it.

        1. Mongrel*

          To me, it sounds like the behaviour of a start up, or just past that, that’s running on artisanal pizza, kombucha, quirky facial hair and ‘passion’. The ones who can’t understand that just because they’re willing to piss all over their work\life for the success of their business employees… don’t.

          Of course, that’s just my speculation but it doesn’t ‘feel’ like a big company thing to do.

  3. Lilo*

    Definitely consider this a bullet dodged. Someone who would be this unreasonable about “passion” would lecture you about commitment when you need a day off to go to your friend’s funeral. And the fact that they consider interviewing on Saturdays a must suggests you’d probably end up working a lot of weekends.

    This is a dodged cannon ball.

      1. The clouds have lifted*

        Think about something that you’d be willing to go out of your way to accomplish even if all the odds were against you.

        So grieving for a loved one would be second to accomplishing work tasks. *eye roll*

        1. Armchair Analyst*

          Maybe the boss would leave a note at the gravesite for you to read…. or ask someone else to leave it for you….

          1. Cathy Gale*

            No kidding, I hope we get an update from her (the young woman whose boss made her leave the graveside note) and that she’s doing better.

    1. Elizafish*

      If they are really interviewing on Saturdays and not just performing another rescheduling test, someone is obviously working on Saturdays to run those interviews….

    1. The Ginger Ginger*

      ME TOO. OMG the most perfect example of the hyper-professional “nasty-gram” I have ever seen. I am in awe.

          1. Micromanagered*

            I was totally reading that script think “OMG Alison’s blessing their hearts! She’s blessing their little hearts!”

    2. Not So NewReader*

      Alison was very kind. Other people would have said, “Sorry, you’re not the center of my universe.”

    3. Stoking the flames*

      I would love to send a reply like this! But how likely would it be to burn you in the future? While not necessarily rude, it is a bit biting. Could something like this negatively impact your ability to be hired elsewhere? I’m thinking of my sort of niche industry where many people are connected

      1. Liane*

        “Could something like this negatively impact your ability to be hired elsewhere? I’m thinking of my sort of niche industry where many people are connected”
        If it’s a niche industry and there are lots of connections–every rival and all their employees are going to know that the firm of Bizarre Ridiculed & Crazypants is the first hit when you google “Dysfunctional Workplace Dumpster Fire.”

    4. Bulbasaur*

      While we’re fantasizing, here’s my attempt:

      Thanks for your reply. I took your advice and spent some time thinking about what passion really means to me. I’ve realized that I am passionate about being part of a successful company that allows employees to share in that success while maintaining a healthy work-life balance. I’m also passionate about finding employers who share my values, and leading by example to empower my colleagues to follow the same practices.

      Based on your reply it’s clear that you don’t share my passion on this subject, and I agree that I would have been a poor fit for the position.

      1. TootsNYC*

        except, I’d say, “YOU would be a bad fit for me.”

        “You are not a company I would be interested in working for.”

    5. Slow Gin Lizz*

      OP, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE write back and then send Allison their response so she can post it. I would LOVE to hear their response to this.

  4. Czhorat*

    That isn’t measuring passion; it’s measuring desperation.

    To expect an applicant to show sincere interest, follow up unprompted, is reasonable. To expect that they’d do *anything* just to attend an interview with very little notice is not reasonable. You get people so badly in need of a job that they’ll accept any treatment for just s chance. Those are not likely your best applicants.

      1. Czhorat*

        On reflection, this could be smart.

        Scam emails are often transparently obvious scams (think Nigerian Prince). Why? Because a subtle, plausible scam will attract potential marks who are too savvy to eventually pay up. The more obvious it is, the more you select for the truly naive.

        With this in mind, imagine you’re hiring for a position at a less than prestigious firm paying below market value for not very interesting work. You don’t WANT to waste your time interviewing a potential superstar who has other and better options. You want someone so desperate for a job that they’ll take anything and like it because they’re the only one who will accept your offer. Read like that, it makes a perverse kind of sense.

        1. ElspethGC*

          “The more obvious it is, the more you select for the truly naive.”

          There was a BBC article yesterday about people that fall prey to catfishers – there was an British guy who got catfished and thought he was engaged to an American woman, and is now paying off debts of £100,000 using his pension. While he was being interviewed, the reporter asked about the calendar entry of “Sherry – $500”. He has a new American girlfriend, and he’s sending her money. He’d already been catfished once, he *knows* the risks of sending money to ‘American girlfriends’ online, and he’s doing it again.

          That’s the kind of person this company is looking for, methinks.

          1. Rumbakalao*

            Oh my god. I read your comment and felt so bad for this guy until I read he’d doing it again and started cackling at my desk.

    1. Lil Fidget*

      Well, it WOULD be the best applicants for a job that was shady/underhanded and looking to exploit people – so this may be crazy like a fox. But either way OP doesn’t want to work there.

      1. Elbe*

        Exactly. This was my thought as well. They want people whose personal lives they don’t have to respect. They want people who are desperate for work or have poor boundaries or who don’t question unusual business practices.

  5. Yeah, no*

    God I’m sick of organizations thinking we need to eat, breathe, and s**t passion for their objectives before even meeting with anyone from there. I’m with Alison; I absolutely would send an email along the lines of what she wrote.

    1. Jadelyn*

      Seriously. And you know the company is not going to be as “passionate” about your well-being as they want you to be about their company. Much like “loyalty”, businesses increasingly see that as a one-way street and get bizarrely huffy if they don’t feel that employees are giving them enough of it even though they have no intention of giving in turn.

      1. Blue*

        Completely agree with this. There’s really no faster way for them to have said, “We don’t care about our employees as people and only want workers whose highest priority is this company.”

      2. Elbe*

        This is a bit of a side note, but I think a lot of this entitlement comes from the excuses we, as a culture, make for large corporations because they are “job creators.” People get the impression that offering someone a job is some gift they’re bestowing on the world and that they no longer need to a) pay a living wage b) pay taxes c) respect employees as people, etc.

        The “job creators” mythology is very misleading. There are a lot of factors that go into how many jobs an economy has. Just because a company is hiring doesn’t mean that they singlehandedly “created” a job or that the employee is now in their eternal debt.

        1. Miss Pantalones en Fuego*

          I think you are right. There are so many examples of companies getting away with all kinds of bad practices and reaping huge tax breaks because they are supposedly job creators. See “What’s the matter with Kansas”, for instance.

        2. Jadelyn*

          There’s a whooooole long conversation we could get into here about the origins of that phrase/framing, cultural/political factors involved, effects, etc. and I’m going to try very hard not to hijack the thread, lol. Suffice to say, yes, these are very definitely related phenomena. Companies very much do feel that they’re doing people a favor by employing them, when in truth if they didn’t have any employees doing the actual work of the business – whether that be providing a service, making a product, or doing any of the support work that enables the revenue-generating jobs – they, you know, wouldn’t be able to exist as a company?

          But of course, point that out and suddenly you’re a filthy Marxist. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

        3. Jennifer Juniper*

          I actually thought that my old job saved me from homelessness. I put up with spending $1,000 a month of my own money for transportation to and from the place to demonstrate my gratitude to them for promoting me.

          Why yes, the place was a dumpster fire.

        4. Susana*

          Totally. No regard for the “job doers.” Maybe now that the unemployment rate is down, the power dynamic will shift. But it’s taken awhile, even in the recovery. The recession was so brutal employers got used to thinking they were doing people a favor by offering them any paid work – no matter how bad the pay, hours or conditions.

    2. PsychDoc*

      This feels similar to the jobs that get mad that you want to be paid. I can love my job and feel passionately about it and still refuse to do it for free. In fact, I will do a better job of I am being paid enough that I can focus on the task at hand, rather than worrying about how I will cover my rent or how long it will be until I can afford my next meal.

  6. The Original K.*

    [reads post title, snorts derisively at the prospective employers]

    Bullet dodged indeed. For SURE call this out in the Glassdoor interview section. Odds are excellent that if you worked there, every day off that you requested would either be denied or approved with a huffy sigh and a snide comment about your level of commitment to the mission. You don’t need that BS.

    1. ChaoticGood*

      Yes exactly. OP PLEASE PLEASE post about this on GlassDoor so that others can also avoid the fate of working there.

    2. CoveredInBees*

      Are you allowed to take a day off from a cult? I’m not saying for sure that they are a cult, but it really feels like a possibility.

    3. sheworkshardforthemoney*

      My current job has an excellent PTO policy that can be accessed without humping through hoops. Because of it I tend not to use it but it’s nice knowing that it’s there when needed. I’ve had jobs where requesting PTO or other mandated benefits was considered a betrayal of company loyalty.

  7. FuzzFrogs*

    Just saying what everyone else has said, but yeah, giant, MASSIVE red flag. They want to know upfront that you’ll do whatever they want you to do for the sake of the job.

    1. Better off without this one*

      And possibly some things that could be considered illegal or immoral down the line. Curious as to know what industry the OP is interviewing in. I can see something like entertainment pulling a stunt like this.

      1. Lil Fidget*

        Yeah prestige positions or positions that are skirting legality. And, you know, not a small overlap there either.

      2. Brisvegan*

        I thought it might be in law. As a former lawyer/academic, I see too many perfectly reputable firms who think 12-14 hour workdays, 7 days per week = reasonable work commitment. Many of them would think having a passion for eg corporate law would require routine weekend work and would disparage anyone who wanted regular days off on the weekend as being insufficiently passionate and/or lazy or uncommitted.

        If it’s law, they probably wouldn’t even be dodgy, but merely buying into the neoliberal hyper-competitive legal culture.

        Anyway whatever industry this is: bullet total dodged LW! They totally want weekend work for liw pay and amidst ridiculous game-playing instead of competent management.

        1. Working Hypothesis*

          Ugh, law firms! I was raised by two lawyers, and both my parents fought this pattern their whole careers. My father tells a story about a time early in his career when everyone was working insane hours because of a case that wouldn’t slow down. I was about four years old at the time, and I came out of my room while he was getting ready for work (in my yellow pajamas with the feet) and asked him plaintively, “Daddy? Since it’s Saturday… can you come home before dark?”

          *ZING!* He says he gave me the only possible answer, which was (internally) “Ouch!!” and externally, “Yes, sweetheart. I’ll be home by lunch.” Then he went into the office — all of a 27-year-old junior associate — and told the senior partners on the case firmly, “Let’s get this moving; I have to be out of here by noon. I have a lunch date with my kid.”

          Not a single one of them complained. And he never lost sight of work-life balance after that, even when he was in charge of his department decades later. He had a two-year marathon case at one point where he had to keep people pretty busy, but I still saw him for dinner most days during those years, and so did the rest of the staff’s families. One of his lawyers became a father to triplets in the middle of the case. He was sent packing off home to be with his family, though like most companies, this one didn’t have a formal paternity leave policy at the time.

          Law firms often like to pretend the courts’ requirements mean you *can’t* give people decent time off. It’s never been true.

    2. NW Mossy*

      It’s a red flag in the sense that the flag is soaked in some sort of red substance that you hope is ketchup but blood is still a possibility….

    3. bluephone*

      This is exactly the type of employer that tries to fine you $90 in cash for accidentally sleeping through an alarm (and also has a stingy, almost-nonexistent PTO policy), or sexually harasses anyone within a 20 foot radius, or any other numerous examples of terrible boss behavior we’ve seen before.

  8. Jaguar*

    “It’s probably for the best. I only want to work somewhere that’s passionate enough to interview on Friday.”

    1. Elbe*

      This is a great point. How passionate can they be about hiring the best people if they’re weeding people out based on this irrelevant criteria? Why would the LW want to work at a business that expected passion from its employees, but had so little regard for the employees themselves?

    2. Willis*

      This!! I really hope the OP is in a position to respond because this employer clearly does not appreciate that job interviews are a two way street. That said, a crappy company (and this sounds crappy) is likely continue their rude behavior. Would still be satisfying to send though.

  9. Arctic*

    I’d have done the Saturday interview if it could be over a nice brunch. I’m passionate about mimosas.

    1. MechanicalPencil*

      Can we be passionate about waffles or eggs benedict also? Orange juice and I don’t mix well.

      1. Arctic*

        Of course! There is so much to love about brunch! Didn’t mean to be non-inclusive to my friends with acidity issues.

    2. kittymommy*

      Serious. You give me a Bloody Mary or champagne, I’ll show up on a Saturday interview – no doubt.

  10. Observer*

    you didn’t just dodge a bullet, you dodged a fireball.

    This! Or a nuke, as someone else mentioned. These people are out of their minds.

  11. Oranges*

    I wouldn’t write the email if the company has any “business capital”. People who are that “off” on business norms AND if they’re in a position to blackball you (Eg. tech startups with big movers behind them) you might be frozen out of a couple/some opportunities.

    Also, yes dodged a flaming cannon ball of poo.

    1. Lil Fidget*

      Yes, to be honest I probably wouldn’t actually send any response email, I’d just go on my way (and post to glassdoor). I don’t choose to increase engagement with the people I’m trying to leave behind. But OP may be willing to continue the conversation, totally up to them and their patience.

      1. Zona the Great*

        I wish I could be more like you. It would save time and stress but I find I cannot stay silent at these types of things. I recently emailed a former middle school teacher because for my entire life, I kicked myself for not saying something about the time she told the class a hilarious story about her mom backhanding her for mentioning that a nearby black baby was cute. She told this story like it was a funny anecdote about her adorably racist mother. I was appalled then and stayed appalled until recently.

        Sometimes people HAVE to say something to injustice. I’m glad there seems to be a balance of those who will say something and those who won’t. Keeps us relatively civil.

        1. Lil Fidget*

          Yeah everybody’s got a different tolerance. Like with catcallers, I always just ignore them, stonefaced. I think they want attention and I don’t feed the trolls. But my friend stops and yells at them or starts a fight with them because she wants to Fight the Patriarchy and ignoring them feels like letting them win, to her. I’d say neither of us are wrong, it’s just a question of strategy and your appetite / energy that day. Takes all kinds of people to make a world!

      2. LurkieLoo*

        Sort of a job seeker’s equivalent of “don’t feed the trolls.” ;) I think it depends on OP’s boredom and/or desire for extra entertainment. I doubt if a response or no response will change anything.

        Unless . . . it’s double blind passion test. You are so passionate about the company you will argue your way into an interview on a normal day . . .

    2. Wild Bluebell*

      Yep. I wouldn’t respond either for this same reason. There’s nothing to be gained here anyway, they won’t change their minds.

  12. iglwif*

    This isn’t just a red flag, this is a flag on freaking fire. This is a giant neon sign reading RUN AWAY FAST, RUN AWAY FAR.

    OP, I’d be extremely tempted to respond as Alison suggests. Not because I would have any hope of being listened to, because these folks are clearly either very, very evil or very, very deluded, but because it would make me feel much better about the whole experience.

  13. Squeeble*

    “There’s very little correlation between passion and effectiveness.” Whew. That’s it right there.

      1. WonderingHowIGotIntoThis*

        But the popularity of X Factor and Country Of Choice’s Got Talent suggest that passion is still very much desired.

      2. Oranges*

        Oh man. That reminds me of my mom. Love her but please mom, sing solo or not at all. When she tries to sing along with others it always makes me wince.

  14. CatCat*

    Ooooh, I want to think how I would write my personal satisfaction response!

    Building off Alison’s: “What a bizarre thing to say to a candidate and a complete stranger. It is clear that your hiring practices are not competitive. I think you’ll find that strong candidates with options will have other commitments in their lives, and will find it off-putting to receive an unsolicited lecture about ‘passion’ simply because a single time on their calendar is already committed to something else. Company’s approach here really says something about the company’s culture. Thank you for cancelling the appointment. It is clear from Company’s abnormal communication that this would, indeed, be a poor fit.”

    That was deeply satisfying to write and I didn’t even apply for this job.

    1. SignalLost*

      I wrote something very similar to a company I applied to that contacted me after 10pm on a Sunday to, among other things, ask me to read over the job description and make sure I was interested, then send my resume and cover letter to a completely new address, then fill out a 9-question questionnaire where the questions ranged from what I would do in my first 60 days to a ranking grid, where I was asked to rank myself 1-10 on over thirty items including a lot of unquantifiable crap and – comedy gold – “software”. But the logical software for the position was called out separately. My reply was mostly professional in the vein of what you suggested, but I did add that “software” is a meaningless term, since I would rank myself quite differently on Minesweeper and QuickBooks.

      It was very satisfying to send.

      1. Jadelyn*


        I’m a straight up expert with certain video games. Clearly this means I can rank myself as an “expert” for ALL SOFTWARE EVER. That’s…wild.

  15. Girl from the North Country*

    Sometimes for things like this I feel like the best response would be to send them a link to this AAM post so they can see Alison’s reaction as well as the hundreds of comments backing up OP. The people who pull these weird hiring schticks need to know that we all think they’re crazy.

    1. Antilles*

      I disagree.
      Right now, their hiring practices are a giant red flag and very clearly indicate the company’s real sentiments towards employees. Their stupidity warns people upfront about their evil.
      However, if they realize their hiring practices are terrible, then they might modify their process to better conceal the dumpster fire until *after* people get hired.

      1. Amber Rose*

        It’s debatable whether this is stupidity or a kind of evil cleverness. I mean, this kind of thing screens for desperate people who probably won’t stand up for themselves because they need the money. If all you want to hire are people who will work all day every day for low pay and crappy benefits without raising a fuss, this is how you do it.

        I think odds are good they know what they’re doing.

        1. WonderingHowIGotIntoThis*

          I don’t know – we had someone fairly high up in the management chain who *genuinely* (and I cannot stress that enough) believed her employees should come to work for the love of the job, not just for a paycheck. (Of course she was extremely well paid, and married to the CEO or something, so of course she was doing it for the love!)

          1. Scarlet*

            Cluelessness and blindness rooted in extreme privilege tend to be indistinguishable from evil. Sometimes people “don’t know” because they don’t want to know.

    2. MatKnifeNinja*

      The problem, this level of crazy doesn’t care.

      And they don’t care a rip about Alison.

      I have had bosses this nuts. Passion screens out anyone with a commitment to something outside of 24/7 work. Like the coffee is for closers speech from Glengarry Glen Ross.

      They were maniacal about the company and making cash. And making cash they did. They were generous cash wise, but you sell your soul and everything else to get.

      So tactical nuke dodged. You saved your soul a lot of grief not dealing with this level of shark.

      I wouldn’t circle back either, these types of sharks (depending on the business) know everyone.

    3. General Ginger*

      Unfortunately, I think people who pull this kind of crap really don’t care, otherwise they wouldn’t be pulling the crap in the first place.

  16. Dust Bunny*

    yeah, don’t look back on this one. This is on them for being bizarre, and you’ll be glad you don’t work there.

    1. pony tailed wonder*

      I would love to see what others have out on their Glassdoor reviews as well, not just this one poster. I wonder if one of those aggregate sites has ever put together a list of the worst Glassdoor reviews on one of those click bait articles.

  17. Haiku*

    Also they’re screening out candidates who are Sabbath observant, such as Orthodox Jews and Seventh Day Adventists.

    1. AvonLady Barksdale*

      Yup, that’s the first thing I thought of, especially since I probably wouldn’t respond to an email saying so. I would simply say, “I’m sorry, I will be busy on Saturday.” This hiring manager sounds like a jackass.

    2. irene adler*

      I think I would have replied with this-“sorry, can’t- Sabbath”. Then see how they respond. Just to see how they handle folks who are observant.

      1. Hapless Bureaucrat*

        Well if you’re more passionate about your faith than their company, clearly you’re not the candidate they’re looking for.
        Thou shalt have no passion before them.

        1. irene adler*

          Kinda wonder though, does this tip-toe onto the edge of discrimination on their end if they don’t offer to reschedule-given the reason for not making the Sat interview appointment? Would they be concerned with that?

            1. Jadelyn*

              This. The kind of company who pulls this sort of stuff almost certainly doesn’t care about how legal that is or isn’t.

    3. Harvey P. Carr*

      Brilliant point.

      If a candidate had specifically mentioned these reasons for being unable to interview on Saturday and received the same “you have no passion” e-mail the OP received, would that constitute religious discrimination on the part of the employer?

    4. Princess Consuela Banana Hammock*

      They only want employees who worship our Lord and Savior, ruthless, unfettered, neoliberal capitalism.

      1. Observer*

        Well, if you actually worship capitalism, then you don’t go to work at a job that so severely limits your options. What these guys want is not capitalism where everyone theoretically can bargain, but serfdom.

        1. Working Hypothesis*

          That is their definition of capitalism. They don’t actually mean the kind with competition and all.

  18. Been there done that*

    One time, I received a call shortly before the scheduled interview time (I had already taken the morning off from my current job and was literally walking out the door) to inform me that the manager would not be in the office that day, and asked if I could come in the next day. I agreed, although it felt a bit disrespectful.

    I ended up getting the job – the job that was the first job I ever quit in my twenty-year working career. My manager would do things like call me up on a Sunday morning and then ream me out for not being available to talk because I was in church.

    You dodged a nuclear bomb.

    1. ExcelJedi*

      …ream me out for not being available to talk because I was in church.

      OMG. I don’t even GO to church, and I want to ream this person out for being a discriminatory bully. Like, I don’t care if it’s church or boozy brunch, either way leave your employee’s Sunday mornings alone!

      1. General Ginger*

        Same. I feel like if I’d caught the employee during church time once, I would stop calling them during that time. It’s not like “someone might be at a faith-based event on Sunday morning” is such a rare occurrence!

  19. ThankYouRoman*

    I’ve only ever offered Saturday or off hours interviews to people who can’t do business hours since they’re obviously working standard office hours. To expect someone to choose that random AF non-standard hours because I’m busy though is grossly out of touch!

    I bet they need someone immediately because they get a lot of “today is my last day” resignations due to their bad idea of passion.

    I’ve held insane hours myself and done a lot of flexing over the years. This is WTFx10.

    1. I Wrote This in the Bathroom*

      I bet they need someone immediately because they get a lot of “today is my last day” resignations due to their bad idea of passion.

      HAHAHAH! And, yes, I bet you’re right.

  20. Snarkus Aurelius*

    How can you have passion for a work environment you’ve never seen or asked about?

    Anyway…here’s why passion is a terrible #1 job requirement.

    I’ve worked in politics and government for almost 20 years. The people who have the most passion are the worst employees. They’re the ones who love the cause but can’t put together a proper sentence for the organization’s blog. They’re the ones who don’t fact check the very partisan sources they use when writing for the organization’s blog. (Those first two were done by the same person, and he did get fired!) They’re the ones who don’t care about “the rules” even when those rules are really laws you can’t violate. They’re the ones who don’t care about bureaucratic process and that’s how we wind up spending thousands on a vendor whose product is incompatible with our IT system. They’re the ones who browbeat people into registering to vote. They’re the ones who make passionate, self-righteous speeches in the middle of the workday to an audience who isn’t listening or already originally agreed. (Okay so only one guy did that when I worked on Capitol Hill, but it was still annoying because I don’t have time.) They’re the ones who think lobbyists are evil people and try to “play hard ball” when in reality a lot of lobbyists do good work. They’re the ones who show up to testify at a legislative hearing wearing jeans, tennis shoes, and a long sleeved t-shirt, and that was okay because they have lived experience on the issue rather than, you know, representing a large government agency. They’re the ones who repeatedly pretend not know about laws separating official business and campaign work.

    Passion is great, but I’d rather have a more unenthusiastic candidate who knows the basic dos and don’ts of work and life.

    1. SignalLost*

      And the flip side to this is that I am not in the least passionate about international trade, biomed, development in Africa, aerospace, or the maritime sector. But I developed a passion for all of those things by working in a job where I had the opportunity to learn deeply about those subjects. The overall job was awful AND a terrible fit, but man do I have THOUGHTS about all those topics, and more besides, now.

      1. Properlike*

        I love that there is a job where I can learn about all of these things. What kind of job is this?

        1. SignalLost*

          Communications for a regional international trade non-profit. It was not a good choice for me. But dude! Now I know why building freeways “for exports to get to the airport” is a terrible idea – half of my state’s export value (2012) flies out under its own power. And I know what sustainable fishing looks like and why what we do now is Not That! And that the aerospace sector is hot garbage!

      2. anonity anon*

        Oh yeah. I developed passion for digitalising healthcare thanks to my job. I can now talk about this for hours to anyone willing to stand still. But the topic wasn’t really on my radar before I started working on it! (And still wouldn’t be if my company had insisted on a Saturday interview. WTF.)

    2. Antilles*

      Passionate people also tend to be the ones who don’t accept “no” for an answer. Which is a fine quality in limited doses, but can be insanely aggravating when the “no” is set in stone. It doesn’t matter how often you ask, how strongly you advocate, or how you reword your argument, it doesn’t change the budget/time/reality/etc constraints we’re under.

      1. Snarkus Aurelius*

        This, this, this.

        Yeah, it’s great to have passionate advocates standing up for the disenfranchised, but it’s super irritating to work with someone who refuses to use a TPS report cover sheet.

    3. fposte*

      I’m also kind of boggled by “Think about something that you’d be willing to go out of your way to accomplish even if all the odds were against you.” Hey, Job, you’re a place of employment, not climbing Everest in a dune buggy.

      1. SignalLost*

        “Nothing” is the answer. I mean, I don’t think I’m a quitter, but I’ve been doing what I love in a lot of challenging situations (costume for a con that day, book shopping in another state, traveling by car when the car breaks down) and it doesn’t make anything better to get up on your sewing table, book case, or car, shake your fist at the heavens, announce that nothing will stop you, and sling a suitcase, a carry-on, a purse, a pillow, and an unhappy Airedale on your back and hike directly over the Siskiyous because I’m passionate about the friend I’m going to visit. Missing half the con because you’re going. to. make. this. is not fun. Getting hung up on getting books at THIS store is silly.

        Sometimes passion requires you to know when to step the hell back for a second and re-evaluate.

        1. Jersey's mom*

          I’d pay money to watch you sling an unhappy Airedale across your back and hike for any amount of time. :)

    4. Trout 'Waver*

      The most passionate guy I ever had work for me was dumber than a sack full of left-handed hammers. It was a role that required the willingness to do the same rote tasks over-and-over again, so he actually was a good fit for the position. He thought he was a genius and would constantly pitch incredibly poorly thought out ideas. But he sure was always happy to do the job.

    5. Jennifer Juniper*

      Oh dear. I’m wondering if I turned people off by nipping at their heels to vote at midterm time.

      Of course, I am also an election worker raised by two civic-minded parents who taught me that if you don’t vote, you can’t complain. (This is only directed at those who have not been disenfranchised, of course.)

  21. Elizabeth Proctor*

    This reminds me of that big online dust up (I think started with an AAM question?) where the person was accused of being a bad fit because they were interested to know the salary range…

  22. Elbe*

    I loved the response to this.

    I’m very confident that the LW dodged a bullet on this one. What they’re after isn’t “passion” – it’s an excuse to dominate the lives of their employees. It’s completely unrealistic to expect someone to have drop-everything passion for a job based on little to no information about it.

    If this is what they expect from interview candidates, what will they expect from employees? The next thing you know, they’ll be asking you to get medical tests to see if you’re a kidney donor for the CEO’s brother.

        1. Jennifer Juniper*

          I’m thinking there would be lots of paternity suits and hasty STI tests due to the Duck Club. People stupid enough to do that kind of thing at work probably would also not be diligent about precautions.

  23. ragazza*

    Everything Allison and the other commenters have said, and also I would be seriously weirded out (especially as a woman) to come into what I assume would be an empty office on a Saturday. Unprofessional is the least of it–it’s downright creepy.

    1. Lars*

      woah, i hadn’t even considered that! I had been reading this letter thinking how much i’d love a saturday interview (to be offered as a potential date, not to be the only date of course) since i dislike interviewing and then going to work a full day after that… but the thought of being in an empty office (that likely doesn’t even have the regular building staff in the lobby, staff manning the parking gates when you exit, security maybe?) with a stranger is… unsettling to say the least

  24. Sleepytime Tea*

    If you have no desire to work for this company (which god I hope you don’t) then I say personal satisfaction wins and I would write an e-mail back. In fact, I am tempted to lower my level of professionalism and just send them a link to this AAM post and let them read the responses here. Because jesus christ almighty, I don’t know if I could write an e-mail satisfying enough to explain to them how ridiculous they are.

      1. Harvey P. Carr*

        On the surface, you would think so. I know I did.

        Earlier in this discussion, someone posted a similar suggestion. But another poster, Antilles, disagreed and explained why:

        “Right now, their hiring practices are a giant red flag and very clearly indicate the company’s real sentiments towards employees. Their stupidity warns people upfront about their evil. However, if they realize their hiring practices are terrible, then they might modify their process to better conceal the dumpster fire until *after* people get hired.”

        So it’s possible that sending the company a link to this discussion might do more harm than good.

        1. TootsNYC*

          This is a true point!

          I hire copyeditors, and I sometimes think perhaps I should tell candidates about the horrendous errors on their résumés that completely disqualify them from being considered. But then I think, “No, my colleagues in the industry will be better off if this person makes this same mistake, so the other hiring managers are WARNED about this person.” (because that one error is so very seldom the only thing wrong)

  25. Lena Clare*

    These people are twittering on the knife edge of sanity. You dodged a fireball indeed… and now I want to read your review on Glassdoor ~GRINS~

  26. Mockingjay*

    OP, absolutely “add fuel to the fire.” Post this comedy on Glassdoor.

    Then send us the link. ;)

  27. Lena Clare*

    Please write back to them and let us know if they respond to that at all.

    I can imagine they don’t really have any idea of professional norms and so I gleefully foresee a butthurt reply back!

  28. Properlike*

    “Thank you so much for your prompt feedback! I am definitely a passionate person when it comes to avoiding toxic workplaces, and I am more than willing to go out of my way to avoid self-important, out-of-touch companies who don’t follow basic business norms. You’ve been very clear, and I do appreciate it! Take care!”

  29. Falling Diphthong*

    It reminds me of the company in Canada that rescinded an interview offer (second or third interview) because the applicant asked about salary, and they only wanted people with so much passion for the job that they wouldn’t sully it with monetary consideration.

    The job was working on online takeout menus.

  30. Amber Rose*

    I’m extremely passionate… about my weekend activities and my family. If you want me to be passionate about more than that, you’re gonna have to give me more than an interview and attitude. LW, feel bad for the desperate person who bends over backwards to take that job and count this as one of those weird experiences that happen sometimes.

    Like every job interview I’ve had that turned out to be an MLM recruitment scheme. Those are always weird AF. Brush it off and move on. (But go ahead and write that email, if it won’t bite you in the butt.)

    1. JanetM*

      Oh my. I just remembered back in the day when I was working as a technical recruiter — and an applicant tried not only to sell me term life insurance but also to convince me to join his MLM insurance company. I did not recommend him for the technical position he was supposedly interviewing for.

      1. Amber Rose*

        I was called in for what I thought was an interview for a reception job for a water treatment company and ended up being an hour long presentation trying to convince me to join their MLM.

        Those guys are the shadiest.

  31. Argh!*

    Their email deserves no response. They are jerks, and LW dodged a bullet.

    I also wish LW the best of luck in the job search.

  32. LKW*

    Part of me wonders that if you did show up on Saturday, would it be to a full office of miserable looking people (miserable but passionate people) OR would it be to an empty office because if you came Monday through Friday it would be full of miserable looking people that they wanted to hide?

    1. irene adler*

      Yes! Wonder what the turnover rate is as well. Passion only get one so far before one hits burnout.

  33. Mephyle*

    OP dodged a bullet. If this was a test to screen out applicants without enough “passion”, it very likely signals something about the workplace. This is not breaking news, of course; it is mentioned by Alison and numerous commenters.
    And what kind of applicant is their strategy screening in? People who are ready to break a prior commitment out of desperation, or possibly out of simply not respecting prior commitments enough to hold to them. In neither case but especially in the latter, that’s not going to get them the best type of employee either.

  34. Bunny Girl*

    I had a similar situation when I told an interviewer that I really wasn’t interested in a job that required me to work 50-60 hours a week while I was a student. And this was an administrative assistant job.

    When I sent back and said that I was sorry and just had prior commitments that would prevent me from working over the standard 40 hour week, I got a snappy email back telling me that I obviously didn’t have the motivation for it and some other nonsense.

    1. LKW*

      Yeah -I’m surprised (and yet not surprised) at the number of stories I hear about retail managers berating part time employees who are students to drop their classes so they can fill in a shift (but remain part time in a dead end job).

      1. Pam*

        Sigh. That’s why I recommend to my students that they work on campus. You’re still flipping burgers, but your bosses know that school needs to come first.

        1. Amber Rose*

          Working on campus was the best. The pay wasn’t half bad either. It wasn’t super high, but it was above minimum.

      2. Bunny Girl*

        Yep. I’ve been an online student for my entire college career, so it’s not an issue of my schedule, it’s more of an issue of balance. I still have a lot of homework, even though I’m not going to class. So I don’t burn out in school and/or work, I can’t work more than 40 hours a week; ya know a standard schedule. So I really thought 50-60 hours a week was ridiculous.

      3. Miss Pantalones en Fuego*

        Like the time I had to stay to work inventory until 3am if I wanted to keep my job, even though it was finals week and I had a test the next morning?

      4. Jadelyn*

        Or the ones where the employee is very clear upfront about their class schedule, the company swears they can work with that and it’s fine, then after the employee starts suddenly they’re scheduling them during their class times and “sorry, you need to be here or find someone to cover for you.”

        1. Shad*

          Wow, it’s like you worked the job I ended up having to leave a 2 hour buffer from classes for when I have my availability. Before I eventually quit because even that wasn’t good enough anymore.

        2. msroboto*

          I had two jobs and told them I have to leave by 2:00 pm. 2:00 pm came around no relief person in sight. I told the manager. He said you have to stay. YEAH RIGHT…badge drop … see ya. This was a retail job so no one was going to be hurt or anything. I left and never went back.

    2. Nea*

      My “oh, you must not care enough” came when I was offered a job that I did want and had interviewed for – but with the assumption that I would drop everything and move to their city within days.

      I wrote back saying I’d be glad to accept and move but not until I’d completed my degree, which would take only 3 more weeks. They rescinded and made it clear I was blacklisted. How dare I turn down a learning opportunity in order to complete my previous learning opportunity!

    1. Environmental Compliance*

      It’s passion only if you consider that generally people get pretty passionate about having enough money to eat, pay rent, medical bills, etc.

      It’s my favorite state of stupid – they’re not necessarily *wrong*, they’re just also really not right.

      1. Crystal*

        Yeah as I was typing I was like “well, it is I suppose” and coming from an entertainment background there’s just so, so many jobs in the industry that could pull this to help wean the pool and it wouldn’t turn off job seekers at all. The supply is so little compared to demand.

        1. Environmental Compliance*

          Yeah, it’s one of those situations where you *can* go “well, technically…”, but it doesn’t make the situation any less skeezy.

  35. CanCan*

    I once had a Saturday interview. And yes, I was desperate – there are hardly any entry-level lawyer positions. Everybody wants at least 3 years experience. It was a bit of a flag, but there was so much else wrong with the interview! The lawyer (owner of the firm, with one or two juniors) smoked (!!!) one cigarette after another for the entire the interview, right in the office. He did ask if I minded, and I was so flabbergasted that I said I didn’t. Note that smoking in the workplace had been prohibited by law for the preceding decade or more. He even joked that his employees threatened to report him to the Workplace Heath and Safety authority. I later checked up on the guy – he had a professional misconduct history on file with the law society. I could live with the other weirdness (I had a weird boss before, and he turned out to be fine), but I turned down the job because of the smoking.

    What a bullet dodged! – see below:

    PS: Just checked up on him again (~8 years later): he was disbarred last year for using $2.6 million of client trust funds for propping up his failing firm. And there are criminal charges outstanding for fraud, breach of trust, and forging documents. What a bullet dodged!

    1. TootsNYC*

      see, this is why the OP is right to prioritize professionalism and organizational abilities.

      That’s what I’d write back:
      I agree that early interactions such as ours can reveal a great deal that influences whether an interview should proceed. For my part, I greatly value professionalism and organizational ability in both the manager I work for and the organization I am employed by. And therefore, I agree that the interview should be canceled, since your organization would not be a good fit.” Thank you for revealing so much about your organization; it has saved us both a lot of time and energy.

  36. Totally Minnie*

    I love it when people show me right away that they’re not the kind of people I want to spend my energy on. It saves so much time and trouble. Consider this the gift it is, and tell this story at cocktail parties for the rest of your life.

  37. I Work on a Hellmouth*

    I would definitely send Alison’s reply, because W. T. F. And seriously, Glassdoor it UP if this is a standard tactic of theirs, and I would personally encourage anyone else who has been on the receiving end of it to write it up on Glassdoor as well. I personally would find that VERY helpful information if I was considering applying for a position with that company. Heck, if there’s a way to link Alison’s response to a write up on Glassdoor, I would maybe do that, too.

  38. Dance-y Reagan*

    I was kinda hoping that the LW turned down the weekend interview for religious reasons… there’s a “passion for Christ” pun in there somewhere.

  39. I exist*

    it’s probably good that you didn’t get hired. I doubt many people would be “passionate” enough to work for a place like that.

  40. Lana Kane*

    This company’s hiring practices can likely be found on their “Motivational Sayings” Pinterest board.

  41. Aphrodite*

    I suspect this mess–the short notice for the Friday interview and the sudden, last-minute change to the Saturday interview–IS the actual first-round interview. In other words, you have to pass this test to go on to the second interview, which is where you actually meet with someone from the company.

    Thank your lucky stars, and have a glass of champagne–you didn’t make it past the first round.

  42. Labradoodle Daddy*

    You dodged a bullet, OP! Sending you good vibes so that you can find a job that deserves you.

  43. Nanc*

    Wow. I’ve always offered evening and weekend interviews. Not everyone can take time off from their current job to interview. Is it really that odd to offer that option?

    1. Jennifer Thneed*

      Depends a lot on the type of job. What kind of work do you do?

      And the real problem isn’t the timing, it’s the presentation (it was all very rushed) and their response to the OP’s reasonable request.

    2. No Tribble At All*

      I don’t think it’s odd to offer, but I think it’s bizarre to reschedule < 24 hours before on a weekend. PS we appreciate you, person who stays late so we can interview.

    3. SignalLost*

      I’ve never had an offer of an evening or weekend interview, so yes, I would say it is. But I would also say your reasoning for offering those choices is thoughtful and considerate, and this co’s pretty clearly yanking LW’s chain, especially with their stated reason for the shift to Saturday being thatthey want people with passion. (Also, I would like more employers to think about early morning and late afternoon interviews, at the very least, rather than midday. Being flexible to evening and weekends would be nice if the applicant indicates a problem with conventional business hours.)

    4. Bunny Girl*

      I think there’s a difference between offering evening and weekend interviews, and requiring people to take time out of their nights and weekends to meet. I think your reasoning is really thoughtful and I’m sure a ton of people appreciate you being flexible if the normal 9-5 isn’t an option for them.

      1. Labradoodle Daddy*

        I’ve lost out on SO MANY interviews by not being willing to disrespect my *current* company’s time. Makes no sense.

        1. Nea*

          What really made no sense to me was the time I was contracting. The contract was running out and I was working with someone in the company to put me on a new one – and she insisted that I take hours of out of my working day in order to discuss options.

          When I pointed out that this would take me away from *earning money for OUR company* she sniffed that if I couldn’t care enough about my job, then why should she?

          I was young enough to actually go and the first words out of her mouth – before even “Hello” – was a regret that she couldn’t write me up for discipline. Could have saved us both a lot of time by telling me over the phone to just quit already.

    5. Orbit*

      I don’t think offering a weekend interview is the issue here.
      It’s that when the op said they couldn’t make it on that day they canceled the interview entirely because she wasn’t passionate enough about the job to drop everything to interview, on a weekend.

    6. Anne of Green Gables*

      I think that offering evenings or weekends as an option (especially if it’s one of multiple choices) is VERY different than what happened here. It sounds like Nanc wants to show that they understand that people have lives and it can be difficult to schedule an interview if you are working. That’s being understanding. I would not stop your practices, Nanc. Your framing and message to potential employees sounds right on.

    7. Liane*

      Yes, there’s a big difference between an email/call to say, “We want you to interview at OurCo. These are X minutes/hours and we have open Wednesday or Thursday slots between 10am and 7pm, as well as several Saturday slots, if that works better for you” and “We can’t do your interview Friday, so we changed it to Saturday at 8am. Sorry/not sorry.”
      The first says “This company has good people,” the second says–just what Alison said.

    8. Yes*

      It would be one thing to offer, such as “We have Thursday at 12PM open. Another option could be Saturday at 10AM.” but it is odd to make the comment about “passion” after the OP declined interviewing on a Saturday.

      1. fposte*

        Or honestly, even say “We can get you in Saturday, but unfortunately our time frame means that’s our last slot. We understand if you can’t make it.” And then if the OP says no you say “We totally understand, and we’d be interested in seeing your application again for future openings.” Sometimes schedules on both sides just get crazy, but it doesn’t indicate things about anybody’s passion, as if passion mattered a damn here anyway, that they can’t come in on short notice.

    9. AvonLady Barksdale*

      Echoing what others have said, I think it’s wonderful to offer interviews outside of regular hours. But that’s not what happened here; the expectation that the LW would drop everything for a Saturday interview, which is indeed outside the norm, is bs.

      If a hiring manager said to me, “I know you have a full-time job and we’re very flexible; I can come in on Saturday/stay until 8pm if that makes things easier for you,” I would think that hiring manager is a kind, thoughtful manager. So keep offering it. It would get hairy if you said, “I can ONLY interview at 8pm on weeknights or on Saturdays, take it or leave it.”

    10. Observer*

      Did you actually read what happened?

      The OP wasn’t “offered” anything. First they were expected to clear their schedule with only a day’s notice. Then, they were informed that the appointment THE EMPLOYER scheduled was canceled and were told that that they have to come in on Saturday. When the OP refused due to prior commitment, the employer rescinded the interview offer.

      How do you get from rescinding an offer over not being able to make a last minute appointment for a weekend interview to trying to accommodate someone who can’t take time off their current job?

    11. Jadelyn*

      Offering evening/weekend interviews is different from last-second rescheduling and then rescinding an interview offer when someone says they’re busy that weekend.

      That said, yes, it is a bit odd. I’ve never interviewed on a weekend or evening for anything other than retail jobs.

    12. TootsNYC*

      I don’t think it’s odd–I’d do it. I always have offered evenings, and I can totally see myself saying, “Would you be available tomorrow?” But to take a “no” as a bad indicator would be weird beyond belief.

  44. gmg22*

    “I also found that this isn’t the first time the company has pulled this stunt on applicants. Apparently, they use it as a metric to see how passionate an applicant really is.”

    Wondering if the LW learned this from other Glassdoor reviews — if so, sounds like her review will be an excellent addition to the list.

  45. Hey Karma, Over here.*

    Ok, sometime last someone wrote that “your company is an asshole” and I loved that so much I made a note.
    This letter reminded me of the guy who wrote saying that he calls fifteen minutes before an interview and says he’s stuck in traffic, to test the interviewer’s flexibility/professionalism, humanity, some crazy thing. This company is that guy.

    1. Jadelyn*

      It’s a match made in hell. Would love to see him and this company pulling increasingly-elaborate “tests” on each other!

  46. Thus Spake Zaso*

    –> “even without a commitment, I would have found an excuse not to interview on a weekend.” <– That does suggest to me a lack of passion. If, prior engagements aside, you're not willing to give up a couple of hours on a Saturday to interview, you're probably *not* passionately interested in that particular job. Possibly there were other signs of lack of enthusiasm in OP's communications with the employer. If they had other applicants who were more eager to work for them, than it maybe made sense for them to take a pass on someone who has acknowledged here that the prior engagement wasn't the only reason they wouldn't take the offered interview.

    1. Jennifer Thneed*

      Passion… or desperation. OP showed self-respect and the company responded the way bullies often do.

    2. gmg22*

      The OP indicated they’ve since discovered that the bait-and-switch-to-the-weekend interview is a frequent practice for this company. Does that change your answer? It seems to me that what they are trying to find out is basically along the lines of “Will you skip your daughter’s college graduation so we can ship umpteen more units?” Anyone who answers yes, I guess this company is “lucky” to find them but surely no one else wins in that scenario, least of all the employee (whether they realize it or not) …

    3. Amber Rose*

      Did you miss the part where it makes no sense to be passionately interested in a job you haven’t even talked to someone about? A job posting for “professional book reader” wouldn’t even make me passionately interested until I’d learned more about it, and I love books more than I love chocolate and fuzzy baby animals.

    4. Nicelutherangirl*

      It’s always useful to have someone in the community who is willing to play devil’s advocate.

      That said, I think you’re overthinking what the OP’s letter to AAM *didn’t* include, and that the company’s definition of a “passionate” employee is “one who is willing to be exploited”, as most of us here have concluded.

    5. AvonLady Barksdale*

      I disagree. A lot. A company that asks its interviewees to come in on a weekend, barring extenuating circumstances, ignores business norms. The company didn’t explain by saying this was the only time that work, they didn’t make their case, they just expected the LW to drop her life. This isn’t reasonable. People are entitled to set certain boundaries.

      I’ll put it in another light. I worked for a company that was doing a lot of hiring. During a company-wide meeting (there were only a handful of us), I offered to stay late or come in early to accommodate applicants. I was told no, if they couldn’t come in during our normal work hours, then they weren’t passionate enough and they would be dropped. I thought that was equally ridiculous. An employer who shows lack of flexibility in the name of “passion” is rarely a healthy one, in my experience.

    6. Observer*

      Why would any reasonable person be so “passionate” about a job with a company they know little about – EXCEPT that the company does not follow norms and IS extremely inconsiderate of prospective employees – that they would be willing to give up a good chink of their weekend?

    7. Dee*

      I would be willing to interview on a weekend for a job I wanted, provided there was a good reason for the interview being outside of normal working hours. Not to prove to an employer that I’d drop everything if they wanted me to.

      1. SignalLost*

        Right. It’s absolutely one thing to be approached with an apology and an explanation up front – “a key decision-maker is in town specifically for these interviews and cannot lengthen their stay but is sick today” is one thing that I would be able to better assess my desire to accommodate. Maybe I have firm plans for the weekend, in which case this is a missed opportunity! Maybe I don’t and with context am more interested in making this work! (And by sick I mean something like a migraine or mild food poisoning, where you legit can expect the person will be most likely better the next day, but I don’t need an explanation of what they’re sick with, just that they expect to be better Saturday.)

    8. Jadelyn*

      How very dare people want to take their weekends off like they’re supposed to be able to, amirite? You’ve got some bizarre standards for how to gauge someone’s interest in a job.

    9. Jennifer Juniper*

      The OP had a prior family commitment scheduled months in advance. It’s not like they had a free day with nothing to do.

    10. Been There, Done That*

      I once agreed to a Saturday job interview–eagerly, in fact, as I knew the company was legit and I appreciated not having to carve out time on a weekday. Turned out to be a thinly veiled sales pitch for their financial products.

  47. Akcipitrokulo*

    Bullet dodged! Be thankful you didn’t get this one, and find something less toxic!

    (Seriously… they treat candidates like that? You don’t want to be their staff…)

  48. Anon For This Response*

    This sounds like a toxic waste dumpster fire of a horror show that you do not want to work for.

    It would be one thing if the interviewer agreed to meet on a Saturday because it worked out for you both. In fact, that might be nice if it worked out that way. But to tell an interviewer she lacks “passion” because she’s got other things to do that day is Ri-dic-u-lous (I just said this in an over-pronounced way that doesn’t exactly come through in writing).

    I worked for such a horror show for a while. What other commenters are saying about desperation is completely on the nose. When I worked at Horror Show, the boss talked at length about how he was going to hire people fresh out of college and pay them next to nothing because he knew they were desperate for work and would take anything. One person tried to negotiate a salary. Boss told him to GTFO because salaries don’t get negotiated, they are what he says they are. Boss worked a lot of weekends for various reasons. that’s fine, but he often took it out on people who didn’t work weekends and said they lacked drive to move the company forward. Boss didn’t understand why his company was hemorrhaging employees. I finally left when I overheard a conversation about how much money the company was losing per month. turns out it went belly-up about 6 months after I left, so, bullet dodged.

    Honestly, as much as I love AAM’s answer, I wouldn’t even dignify this interviewer with a response.

  49. SophieChotek*

    “And employers who prioritize passion above all else tend to be terrible places to work — they tend to expect unrealistic and inappropriate amounts of commitment to the job, even when it’s not in employees’ self-interest.”
    – was struck very much by this. I am in a job like that right now – and when we don’t meet goals or come up with good ideas, our bosses tell us we lack “passion and commitment”, no matter what other valid reasons there might be

  50. RandomusernamebecauseIwasboredwiththelastone*

    Honestly, when I hear the word passion by anyone in the workplace I have to fight the urge to run in the other direction. Find passion in your own time but don’t look for at work. This goes for employees and the companies themselves.

    From an employee, if I hear you’re looking for passion in the workplace. I immediately think you will be a pain in the ass unless you are singing from the highest peaks every day. Meaning you’re going to be grumpy if you have to the scut work and will always be tilting towards the next thing regardless of your readiness for it.

    From a company, if you use the word passion in regards to employees. I think there’s a very high likelihood that you are going to use that as an excuse to pay people less, make them work more, or any other weird things that you might come up with. Yeah, no. You get an employee who does their job well, isn’t expected to go above and beyond all the time, and you pay them a competitive wage for that.

    I agree with everyone else, the OP should just tuck this experience in the ‘funny stories from interviewing’ file cross referenced with the ‘if I am ever a hiring manager- things not to do’ file.

  51. Normally a Lurker*

    OH! This happened to a really good friend of mine in which she got an email saying “we want you to come in for an interview, when is good for you in the next two weeks.”

    She sent them back an email that said “Anytime but Monday from 2-2.30. That is an unmovable appointment”

    She got back “Great! We’ll see you Monday at 2 then”

    She wrote back. “Sorry for the confusion, that is the one time I cannot meet. When else would be good for you”

    Them: “Oh, we retract the interview. Clearly you don’t want it badly enough”

    She was like… why did you ask for times then? Was it specifically to do this?

    Anyway, I agree, HUGE dodge here. (for her too!)

    1. Jadelyn*

      Wowwwwww. Yeah, it sounds pretty much like that was deliberately intended to test boundaries. She just dodged an entire country’s nuclear arsenal right there. WTF.

    2. The New Wanderer*

      See, I had to do that once too. The recruiter asked about my availability, I said anytime except Monday 2-2:30. Recruiter sent me a meeting notice for Monday at 2. I replied with, Sorry, I can’t make that time, how about Monday at 11 or Tuesday at 2?

      The recruiter quickly agreed to move the meeting time and apologized for the confusion, because that’s what functional people do!

      1. Normally a Lurker*

        See, and I think that’s why she went back to the company.

        Like, I get how a quick not “real” read would see Mon at 2 and be like, great! That’s when we’re meeting.

        But like, a normal person, when they get a thing back that says “oh, no. Not that time” goes “Oops! Let me fix that!”

    3. Kfish*

      It’s a ‘shit test’. Abusive partners frequently do it too; it’s a deliberate imposition on your boundaries to find out how much they can get away with doing to you. You do not want to pass this test.

  52. Lizabeth*

    Is it safe to say that the word “passion” is worn out, tired and totally worthless as far as jobs and job descriptions these days?

    1. RandomusernamebecauseIwasboredwiththelastone*

      I hope so… but then again I was the one ranting about it a few posts up, so I may not be particularly unbiased on the subject :)

      Unfortunately I think it’s going to be around for awhile. I still hear the word “Synergy” used from time to time. That word makes me want to stab myself in the eye whenever I hear it.

    2. gmg22*

      Yes. It is very safe to say that! And I say that while understanding very well the power of a fervent belief in your professional objectives. I keep comparing this example to that of my current employer — I do communications at a nonprofit that formulates clean-energy/climate change policy. Yes, the people who work here have a firm belief that we are TRYING TO SAVE THE WORLD. And predictably because of that (and because we’re a bunch of geeks who love geeking out on our policy area) we have some workaholics here, and we pull some weekend hours sometimes, and answer emails at crazy hours on occasion just because we got inspired, and so on and so forth.

      But we would never, ever, ever pull this type of crap on a job candidate. I mean, come on, folks.

      “Passion” for what you do and its importance is one thing. A ridiculous expectation that you will own your employees’ time 24-7 is another, and that’s what I hear being asked for by this employer.

      1. boo bot*

        Yes – I think it’s incredibly bizarre to extrapolate from “I am passionate about the work that I do” to “I am passionate about your company and its strange, pickup-artist style of recruitment.”

        I care about the work I do. That most emphatically does NOT mean that I will do literally anything for the chance to do that work for literally anyone who will have me.

        It’s kind of like saying, “Oh, you’re passionate about being a parent? Here, take this rabid litter of raccoon cubs…. OMG WHAT is your PROBLEM??? Don’t you like BABIES???”

    3. Nicelutherangirl*

      I would have written the same thing if you hadn’t beaten me to it. Phrases like “gifted multi-tasker who thrives in a fast-paced work environment” can be retired, too.

  53. MuseumChick*

    Why do I get a feeling that this is a bizarre strategy this company uses to screen candidates? Similar to that guy who would schedule interviews for 6:30am. I just get this feeling they tell candidates “We can interview you Friday” knowing full well they won’t and then see who is willing to switch to Saturday.

    1. Mr. Bob Dobalina*

      Yes, that’s what the OP confirms in the letter, when she writes:
      “I also found that this isn’t the first time the company has pulled this stunt on applicants. Apparently, they use it as a metric to see how passionate an applicant really is.”

    2. Been There, Done That*

      Back in the day when employers used to switch interview days/times at the last minute, esp. w/ women candidates, it looked to me as if they were trying to suss out whether the applicant had childcare considerations.

  54. kelmarander*

    Wow… sorry to give you the wrong impression, Asshat Corp. I really wanted to just keep it professional. Not looking for anything romantic right now. But you seem like a nice company, so I’m sure you’ll find a special passion pal in that big somewhere out there.

    1. Been There, Done That*

      Ha! Right on, baby, right on. Start-up = new co. with no track record or profits, even if it is in the nifty-cool tech sector that everyone is so passionate to be part of. :)

  55. Mr. Bob Dobalina*

    I wonder if the snotty response had to do with what, exactly, the OP told them about the nature of the family commitment, and if the employer made a value judgement that the particular commitment wasn’t that important–hence the snotty response. I think they did the OP a favor showing their true colors.

    About that “passion” nonsense: Let’s throw the mandatory job passion in a Deep Dark Hole along with the idea that (a) your co-workers are your family, (b) you should be loyal to a corporate employer, (c) you should enjoy spending your personal time in forced social activities with co-workers, and (d) you are obligated to work however many insane extra hours it takes to get the assigned tasks done simply because it’s your job and you don’t get paid extra because you are exempt.

  56. the_scientist*

    I would be willing to bet my next paycheque that this company also pays far below industry standard for their area, has terrible benefits/ sick leave, and expects long hours or unpaid overtime but will DEFINITELY make you take 20 minutes of PTO to leave early to go to an appointment or attend a parent/teacher conference at your kid’s school.

  57. voyager1*

    I would take that email address and sign it up for a couple of choice websites…. they will have a whole bunch of passion waiting for them come a monday morning….

    I know I am a bad person.


  58. Elizabeth*

    I second the fact that you dodged a giant cannonball.

    Be wary employers who preach too much about “passion.” They tend to be the kind that balks at giving you reasonable pay and allowing you to have a life outside of work, all because you should be so “passionate” that you don’t need any of that.

    I mean, I can explain to my landlord all day long about my passionate belief that paying rent is unnecessary, but I don’t think that will do the trick.

  59. Magenta Sky*

    One can deduce a few things from this interaction:

    1) They are more interested in playing schoolyard dominance games than in hiring the best employee. This will reflect in the quality of coworkers. Poorly.

    2) They understand that they need to establish that dominance very early on, even before hiring you, which means they are looking specifically for weak willed, gullible employees. Probably because anybody else would run screaming in terror at the thought of working for a bunch of bullies.

    3) They expect you to consider the job more important that literally *everything* else in your life, including family, possibly including your own life.

    The other term for what you have experienced is “dodged a bullet.” Congratulations.

    1. Jennifer Juniper*

      I actually did that at my last job. I went out in a blizzard, caught the last cab in line, and forced him to take me to work in said blizzard, complete with cab fishtailing all over the road. I was not scared of dying because I had my seat belt on. All I cared about was getting to work on time.

      I thought that was what I was supposed to do. But that was before I found this blog.

  60. LadyCop*

    Jeez…you don’t get “passionate” people out of this…you get desperate. Which is not always going to make for a bad hire, but it’s a less desirable pool to start with…yikes

  61. Essess*

    Although the company was way out of line for their attitude about interviewing on the weekend, I did cringe a bit at Alison’s wording of “off-putting to receive an unsolicited lecture” since this wasn’t unsolicited. The OP states that they reached out and asked for the reason for not moving forward with the interview process, so their response was definitely solicited. You might not agree with their reason (which I don’t either), but it WAS requested.

    1. A girl has no name.*

      I think what they mean is that the lecture on passion was unsolicited. Obviously, OP wanted an answer as to why the interview offer was rescinded. That’s not uncommon. You’d expect responses about hiring someone else, a change in their timeline/job description, etc. Something professional. Not a lecture on subjective personality qualities!

      1. Essess*

        However, they still solicited a response. The fact the response is not in an expected format or not something they wanted to hear doesn’t make it unsolicited. I’m not trying to word pick, but if I’d sent an email answer to someone and they responded back calling my answer unsolicited because they didn’t like how I said it, I’d think they had personal issues with memory or reality and wouldn’t wouldn’t put much concern over anything else they criticized.
        If you want them to actually take your concern seriously about not sending a lecture on passion, don’t sabotage it by saying you didn’t ask for feedback.

    2. MassMatt*

      I was going to say this, the OP did solicit the response.

      I agree with the vast majority here that the company is being jerky and the “passionate” angle is BS, but this situation is another example of the pitfalls of an employer giving feedback or reasons for rejection. It rarely seems to go well. If the employer had ignored the request for an explanation the OP would probably have left it alone, now it’s likely to wind up on Glassdoor, hurting the company.

  62. SigneL*

    If you are a musician (or really, any kind of artist) it is not unusual to be told you should play for a wedding (for example) because you love music! It’s your passion! You shouldn’t CHARGE MONEY for playing!

    1. Doctor Schmoctor*

      Ha ha!
      Or you should do it for the “exposure”. I think that happens to people in any creative field.

      I certainly don’t work for fun. I work for money

    2. A girl has no name.*

      Heck, I work for a nonprofit in the farming/community food system industry and people assume I should just come help them set up and plan their whole backyard homestead for free because that’s my passion. Everyone wants everything for free if they are even acquaintances with you!

  63. TootsNYC*

    I put this up in an answer earlier, but this what I’d write back:
    I agree that early interactions such as ours can reveal a great deal that influences whether an interview should proceed. For my part, I greatly value professionalism and organizational ability in both the manager I work for and the organization I am employed by. And therefore, I agree that the interview should be canceled, since your organization would not be a good fit. Thank you for revealing so much about your organization; it has saved us both a lot of time and energy.”

    1. Magenta Sky*

      I’d be less polite, but really, I couldn’t be bothered to reply at all. There’s nothing the letter writer could possibly say that they would learn anything from, or take seriously, and there’s nothing to be gained on the part of the letter writer. Life’s too short to waste it on losers.

  64. mcm*

    About a decade ago, I got offered a role with a start date prior to the end date of my existing contract. I reminded the ED that I had told them, from the very beginning of the interview process, that I was committed to seeing through my existing contract, but I would be ready, willing, and able to take on this new role as soon as that contract was done – and perhaps even make myself available for a handful of meetings prior to that, but not too many, because I wanted to do a good job wrapping up my other work. (For context, they wanted me to start about a week prior to when I’d be able to start if I finished up my other contract.) I also asked for confirmation that the title of the job would be “Marketing Director,” not “Marketing Manager,” because they had used both titles interchangeably throughout the process. I got this follow-up email a few days later:

    “I have spent a lot of time thinking about our meeting on Thursday.

    Here’s the thing. I’ve probably offered hundreds of different people jobs over the years and so I am pretty used to people’s reactions. I have to say what’s plagued me is that you are the first person not to be excited about an offer. You spent most of the time sharing why you wouldn’t be able to begin or prepare and sharing concerns for the actual title and place in the staff hierarchy rather than assuring me that you were thrilled to have the opportunity to be a part of the team taking [company] to the next level.

    I need someone who passionately understands what our story is– how compelling a narrative we have right now, how my short tenure here has raised the bar– and to share that throughout the community with great authenticity and enthusiasm.

    I think it’s best for me to trust my instincts on this and politely rescind my offer.”


    (Side note – this was after an interview process which included me writing a marketing plan for a product they were planning to launch a few months later – and I have been SO glad every time I read an AAM post that validates the extreme discomfort I felt over that!)

    1. leukothea*

      Yikes! So many things wrong with that email, but the part that jumped out most to me was the self-aggrandizement — “how my short tenure here has raised the bar” — really?!?? There speaks a person who is making it all about themselves and who has a distorted view of their own importance.

    2. Traffic_Spiral*

      “I need someone who passionately understands what our story is– how compelling a narrative we have right now, how my short tenure here has raised the bar”

      Ahahahaa! Man, I’d have been passionately glassdoor-ing that as well.

    3. Been There, Done That*

      “My short tenure here” is telling–sounds like a newbie braggart to me. That’s a bullet that can ricochet. And I loved the “compelling narrative.” Sounds like my own greenie manager. She made an awful hiring decision because, she said, the applicant “understands the story.” I saw red flags in the interview regarding attitude and skills. Once hired, the gal acted like she knew everything, routinely came severely late, and was incredibly rude to people who couldn’t boost her. Best holiday I ever had was to come back to the office and find her gone.

    4. Elbe*

      Yikes! This is awful. When someone dumps you after you stand up for yourself, it’s a really clear sign that they fully intended to screw you over. This reminds me so much of a textbook abusive relationship, only it’s with an employer rather than a significant other. I’m so happy you didn’t take the job!

  65. Anon this post*

    I once sat in on an interview panel for the person who would become my manager. When she was asked to name a weakness or shortcoming, she said that she was sometimes perceived as being overly passionate about the job. I thought to myself, Uh oh, red flag, and waited for others to follow up on that. No one did. She was hired, and almost right away we could see that her “passion” was code for “it’s ok to berate and bully employees and otherwise treat them poorly.”

  66. MissDisplaced*

    I’d actually do a Saturday interview as then I wouldn’t have to take time off, which can be tough. But of course not if you had plans.

  67. Len F*

    I think in a business context “passion” really means “you should think of working here as its own reward and so we’re going to exploit you”

  68. Database Developer Dude*

    Alison pretty much said the same thing to me. I had a verbal offer that was made over the phone AS I WAS WALKING AWAY FROM THEIR BUILDING AFTER THE INTERVIEW rescinded because I wouldn’t make a decision on the spot. I asked to let them know by 5pm the next day…got pushback. 5pm that day also got pushback…I asked for an hour, and they still refused to understand why I couldn’t answer them now, so I declined the verbal offer because it was a red flag that they wouldn’t give me any time…..and the guy rescinded it immediately, telling me my “demands” were outrageous.

    I hope they went out of business.

    1. I Wrote This in the Bathroom*

      Hah, that doesn’t sound shady at all.

      That’s how my then-husband and I bought a timeshare in the early 00s. “No, you cannot go home and think, this offer ends today” and it was close to midnight and we were not thinking straight, so we signed the papers.

      1. Database Developer Dude*

        Long story, but I have two timeshares…..and there is no way to get rid of them without losing a metric boatload of money. The resale market just DOES NOT EXIST.

        1. I Wrote This in the Bathroom*

          I sold mine in late 2007 for 10% of what we’d bought it for. Apparently, my timing was perfect. I feel your pain.

          I called the timeshare company first asking what could be done if I was all paid off and didn’t want to own their timeshare anymore, and they were like “nope, there’s nothing you can do, we will come after you every year for your dues and maintenance fees till the day we die, and after you die we’re going to come after your children”. That really motivated me to sell, even at a 90% loss. But after 2008, I do not think even that is possible. The guy who bought it from me, shut his website down around that time.

  69. Cindy*

    I am incredibly fortunate to for one of the most passion driven companies-high hurdles to get hired with regard to presentation, background and so forth. We have a big mission and I work with incredibly talented, wicked smart individuals and yet for all of this engagement and passion, not only did anyone ever blow me off for a conflict in interview timing, nor did anyone ever contact me on a weekend or outside office hours. Dodging a fireball is right-hang in OP-the right company with passion is out there!

  70. Cindy*

    Sorry-I work for one of the most passion driven companies and no inappropriate contact outside of working hours or problems with interview timing conflicts. Hit enter too fast!

  71. Even Steven*

    Oh, dear, dear OP! Alison’s delicacy & diplomacy is bang on as always- yes, fireball dodged. And then some.And then some more. Ahhhh, the circus is in town!!!

    How DARE they scold you with some silly script about “passion”!!! These are NOT people you would have wanted to work for or with now or ever. This appalling “Survivor”-esque goading would next lead to, “Really? You don’t have the passion to work during vacation/root canal/jury duty/childbirth?????”

    Hah! There is a bright side – you got a good & realistic look behind the curtain before going backstage. Run, my friend! This place will help make you really appreciate the sane & mundane moments of job searching. I would say I second the advice here, but we’re way past seconding. I really I am three-hundredthing it. :) It really WILL get better, and saner. You’ll be just fine.

  72. Doctor Schmoctor*

    You dodged a bullet there. Just imagine what it would be like to work for these people.

    “passion is pretty far down the list of what makes a good employee. There’s very little correlation between passion and effectiveness.” I wish someone can explain this to my boss. I don’t have a passion for anything, but I get my work done as required.

  73. Interplanet Janet*

    Good grief, this sounds like the type of crap a dotcom in 1999 would pull. Bullet dodged, OP!

  74. Been There, Done That*

    I am so sick of hearing about “passion” in relation to jobs. It’s gotten to be beyond a tired buzzword. People have lives outside of their jobs, and the idea that somebody breathes, eats, and sleeps their job or their occupation at the expense of their family or their further education or community activities or other personal “passions” always sounds to me like an employer’s pipedream.

    1. I Wrote This in the Bathroom*

      One of the best pieces of work advice I got in my career (ironically, at a startup in 1999) was something along the lines of “There’s no such thing as job security. Do not be loyal to your employer beyond how much your employer will be loyal to you”. In OP’s case, the company had no qualms about moving the interview date on last-minute notice, because the day they’d originally agreed upon “would not work” for them. But heaven forbid the day they are moving it to, which falls on A WEEKEND and is in LESS THAN TWO DAYS, does not work for OP?! Yeah, no. If they want passion so badly, they have to reciprocate a bit. Otherwise, it’s not passion they are looking for. Expecting people to respond “how high?” when you say “jump” is not an expectation of passion.

  75. Family Business*

    In addition to all the correct things Aloson said, this isn’t even a good metric for passion. I did a job interview at 6am on a Saturday once, at a local Starbucks, for a job I was only mildly interested in! And I wouldn’t have WORKED those hours, for sure.

    In this case, the hiring manager was based out of state and was heading back that Monday, so it was his only chance to meet in person. I didn’t mind doing the interview, but yeah, no, I wasn’t PASSIONATE about it. So if being available on a weekend is their measurement of passion, they are confused.

  76. Knope 4 Pres*

    Something very similar happened to me once. I got a call late on a Tuesday from an agency and asked to interview with this company on Thursday. It was tight, but I made it work. After that first interview they said they would be in contact to set up a second round interview. Recruiter with the agency calls me Friday morning and asks what my availability is to come in ASAP for another interview. I said I could make Monday or Tuesday work, but he told me they had their other top candidate coming in on Saturday morning, so could I also come in Saturday?

    My answer was a firm no. I didn’t have anything special planned that weekend but my gut told me that I needed to set that boundary now. I was excited about the role but not enough to be willing to sacrifice my work/life balance consistently. The recruiter said they may not consider me if I wasn’t willing to come in Saturday, and I told him to remove my name from consideration then. I took the opportunity to give him feedback on the call that this is not the way to attract and retain talent, and was a really bizarre way to handle their recruiting.

    They ended up offering the job to the person that came in to interview that Saturday, which was about 8 months ago. I checked LinkedIn a few weeks ago out of curiosity and it looks like he’s already left and been replaced. Sigh.

    1. fposte*

      I actually think that’s okay on their part. It’s not a best practice, but they were straightforward with you about what their timeline was and didn’t demean you for not being able to make it. Sometimes you can’t wait for your second candidate at all; sometimes you’re willing to have a look at your second candidate if they can come in on short notice and can change their minds, but not if it takes longer. Where it becomes not okay is where they insult you for not being able to hop to it, as happened in the OP.

  77. Big Biscuit*

    I love Alison’s response, I had a similar scenario and decided not to respond, but if I had that verbiage I would have used it. The recruiter asked me to be available during my regular work day for a phone interview with a higher up (who had cancelled twice on me previously) with no advance notice. I told the recruiter my day was already filled and I would need to look at my schedule for a good time later in the week….she replied that ” I must not be serious about the position”….WTF, indeed!

  78. Tysons in NE*

    I actually pulled out my candidacy for a position when during the interview the folks said that it was their culture to come into the office all the time on Saturdays. While the overtime probably would have been nice (non-exempt position), I do like having my weekends off.
    And they were going to pay for over the 40 hours, then I wouldn’t want to be working at a company that so blatantly was breaking the law. HR should know better.

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