“What’s Your Biggest Weakness?” –”None of Your Damn Business. What’s Yours?”

I recently declined to continue interviewing with a stupid little start-up, for several reasons listed below. At least the hiring manager or recruiter or whoever they are had the idea to ask why I didn’t want their money. I responded in these exact words, as follows.

Feedback: any company that thinks it’s appropriate to ask a person what their “biggest weakness” is clearly lacks respect for other peoples’ privacy, dignity and society’s basic social norms. The only answer to this question you deserve is: none of your damn business. What’s yours?  Such a question is completely inappropriate and absolutely insulting coming from a company; it is only appropriate for a person’s innermost private circle of relationships and is paramount to asking about a person’s medical or sexual history.

Furthermore, I don’t have have time, nor do I feel respected by, the idea of sitting through two or three rounds of interviews, including a lengthy phone call when I said “I have only a few minutes”, plus a “trial run” with a fake phone call in addition to test a person’s responses before they have even been trained. Extremely few companies for extremely few positions are that important or deserve such effort, and [your company] isn’t one of them. If a company like [your company] thinks it’s that much of a big deal, it’s clearly too self-absorbed and will likely treat applicants and people working for them as if we are desperate. And we are not.

The job market is excellent for job seekers right now, and nobody with a real life and self-respect is going to jump through these hoops for a little start-up that’s thinks it’s so hot. Even when the job market isn’t ideal for job-seekers, the strongest candidates still have more self-respect than to bend over and beg. They are willing to tough it out and use their intelligence for the right opportunity.

This Is What We Go Through (Prologue)

Hi again, Recruiter. So, I went through the whole long application and got to the end and submitted it. The job then said that certain Amazon-related experience was required. I do not have this experience, but I can learn what I need on-the-job. You did not mention this during our phone call. I hope I didn’t go through that whole application for nothing.
I also noticed in your email that you have signed me up for a “group First Step interview”. We did not talk about a group interview: I was led to believe that this was a traditional one-on-one interview. I don’t do group interviews because I find them to be quite disrespectful of candidates’ time and dignity. We don’t need to be sitting in a room being talked at among our competition, hoping for a real interview: that’s degrading. If you’re willing and able to get me set up with a real, actual one-on-one interview, that’d be great. Thanks. If not, just let the next person know about this well in advance.
Say no to group interviews.