suggestions needed

March 14, 2006 at 11:56 pm | Posted in Bringing Home the Bacon, We are Family | 9 Comments

I have a phone interview later this week for a job I thought I really wanted.

In preparation, I googled the guy who will be interviewing me.

One of the things that came up was his alumnus of note profile from his undergrad institution. A pentecostal school. In which he talks about being guided by the lord in all that he does.

Am I a coward to think that maybe this is not the right job for me – just another nice jewish lesbian? How will I answer when he asks what brought me to city where I am perpetually underemployed (Pili’s job)? Am I being close-minded to assume that we might not work all that well together?

On first glance, I pass as straight fairly easily. But I have no interest in being closeted. Which is not to say that I announce: “Hi, I’m Art-Sweet and I’m a Jewish Muffm*ncher” the minute we meet. But I’m going to talk about Pili the same way my straight friends talk about their partners. When you ask me what I did this weekend, well, Pili and I went skiing. We had friends over. We rented a movie and spent way too much time petting the cats.

Your honest feedback and advice, please!

A random postscript: Gmail gives you ads based on the content of your email. I get my comments emailed to me. So the ad I saw above my inbox, based on the comments from the last post?

“Fart Spray only $1.79 – – Why pay more somewhere else? Qty. disc. Secure online ordering.”

I’m almost tempted. I mean, why pay more somewhere else?


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  1. Well, you’re not interviewing for a Pentecoastal PR position. You’ll probably pick up during the interview whether the guy seems open-minded or not. Is there any way to Google anyone else at the organization? Surely not everyone came from similar backgrounds.

    During the interview, your partner doesn’t need to come up; you can say you moved to New York to enhance your career and have been freelancing or consulting while you search for your dream job.

    After you get the job, you talk about Pili, or your partner, or however you describe her.

    Just go in and show your honest enthusiasm for doing the job and that should go a long way. I work with a number of people that clearly have different mindsets than I do, but I love the work I do and I get the job done.

    Good luck!

  2. I guess it depends on the company and how much influence your prospective boss has on the mindset there. I don’t know if there’s any way to tell that before you start working there, unfortunately.

    If it’s a job you really want and it doesn’t seem as though the guy is going to be on your case all the time with his religious beliefs, then maybe it would be ok. Personally, I’d find it very difficult to work with someone who was overtly religious, but I’m a tree-hugging, quasi-hippy-dippy, agnostic, opinionated liberal with a loud mouth.

  3. I think they’ve posted some good advice. You will get a feel for him in the interview. If someone’s personal beliefs are strong enough to cross the professional barrier, I suspect you will get a sense of that pretty early on.

    Good luck!!

  4. Make sure you speak with more than the 1 guy at the interview. Also, go in with an open mind. Matt and I don’t really match our blonde Lutheran neighborhood and workplaces, either, but it’s never been an issue.

    My advice – don’t hide things, but don’t bring things up just because you want them brought up, y’know what I mean? The interview should primarily focus on how well you can perform a job, I would consider how you fit into the workplace culture an important but secondary facet.

    Good luck!

  5. Has he been out of school for a while?

    I was a pretty devout fundamentalist for most of my life–till I turned 17–I’d hate to think anyone thought I was still like that.

    It is potentially tricky. If he asked any inappropriate questions you could smile painfully and excuse yourself. Can you get names or information on any of the other people you’d be working with, and call them as part of the interview prep to ask them about office culture etc.?

  6. Will this man actually be your boss, or is he just the HR person doing the interview?

    If he will be your boss, how closely would the two of you work together? Is it a large or small company?

    Reason I ask these questions is that if you’ll have somewhat limited-to-no contact with the guy, it’s probably fine.

    But, on the other hand, if he is the boss (thus the person who sets the tone in the work environment) and you will have lots of interaction with him, I’d just really try to get a feel for him in the interview. And as Beanie suggests, try to gather more info about the office culture from other employees.

    Then go from there.

    Good luck!

  7. Thank you all so much for your comments and suggestions. You’ve really helped me think through my options.

    To answer some questions: It’s an initial phone interview just with him. And the alumni profile was fairly recent, so unfortunately Beanie, I don’t think he’s undergone a transition from bible banger to “tree-hugging, quasi-hippy-dippy, agnostic, opinionated liberal” in the past couple of years. Yes, this guy will be my direct supervisor, and yes, it’s a relatively small organization.

    Nonetheless, I think I need to go in giving this guy the benefit of the doubt. Just because he’s vocal about his faith doesn’t mean that he can’t work with people who his faith disapproves of in a respectful and professional way. Right? I hope so, because in many ways this seems like a great job for me.

    Youse guys rock.

  8. I know you probably already did the interview and I know that this is a very sensitive and serious thing for you to be going through. I mean it is your life and career that you are trying to protect. But I have to say that I always get tickled at these scenarios because you are kind of prejudging the guy before you have ever spoken to him just like what you don’t want him to do to you. I really hope that it all works out and that you are always judged on your ability and nothing else. If this job doesn’t work out feel blessed that you were not roped into a job that is not worthy of you. Good luck and sending you big hugs.

  9. Vivian –

    I was concerned that I was judging him too harshly, that’s why I posted this – to get some perspective on it. And that’s exactly what everyone did, and why I love the internet.

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