View Full Version : I had my 3rd and 4th job interview today (at 2 pm and 4 pm)

04-18-16, 05:55 PM
Today I had two job interviews. They were very different from each other and in both I talked about some ADD related things. You may find that interesting. Anyways, I just wanted to share these stories with you:

Interview #1
The first was the second job interview at a company that gave a really good impression at first and the founder/CTO really wanted to hire me. During this interview they (not the founder) wer not so nice. First, they asked me whether or not I received unemployment benefits from the government (they are not allowed to ask that here; I stayed friendly and answered them "I would be allowed to get it but because I choose not to, because, personally, I think it is good to earn my own money, especially because I am young and able to work". They also asked me "why did you take 10 years to finish your studies?", another question that they were not allowed to ask. I made the mistake to also give an honest answer here, mentioning ADD as well (I prefer to be open - I am not sure that was a wise decision though). They did not give me respect and said "ok we have heard enough". They also did not want to pay me that much. They also said "it says in your profile that you speak english as well" - I said "yes I do", they asked "what is your level" and I answered "my English is near fluent, almost as good as my Dutch", and then they answered, in a mocking tone "ha how do you know that?". I was surprised by this, and answered "well I have lived abroad for some months and I spoke English half of the time during my 10 year study. That's how I know". Note that this was not the founder/CTO who I spoke with during the first conversation, who was a really friendly and respectful/respectable guy. These men were two employees; I think that their people skills were quite bad and it seemed like they saw me as both a threat as someone they could exploit. Not going to happen.

Interview #2
About 45 minutes after that conversation I had my second job interview. The conversation was wonderful. The owner/CEO of the company was a really good guy. He spoke about 60-70% of the time, which was nice. He told me how and why he founded the company, his business philosophy, some stories from his life (where he came from, what his previous jobs were), etc. He spoke both calmly and passionately, and what he said was interesting. While the conversation at the first company was like a trial in court, this one was more like a real conversation with a human. The nice thing was that in this way I could get to know the company and its roots, I could ask some questions, and in between I got some questions that I could answer or I took the initiative myself (when it seemed appropriate) to tell a story about myself that was relevant. An interesting moment was when he asked me if I could tell about my studies. I told him what I studied and I said "here is something that you may find interesting: I studied 10 years minus two days" (so I finished just in time - 10 years is the limit here). He responded enthusiastically that he liked that a lot, something I did not expect at all. He said that you learn a lot from taking longer to study and that he was looking for that sort of person. He said that he also extended his studies for a while. I said that I also had to learn to some lessons about myself, "like most people around that age I guess". He said that his sons were 17 and 19 so that he completely understood that. I also said that the school system did not fit me that well, that, while (NT) people often find it much easier to fit in the system/"act inside the box" while finding it hard to "think outside of the box" and be creative, to me thinking outside the box is just what I normally do, my mind is always exploring ideas and combining things, and I also "act inside of the box", I love doing new things and meeting interesting people, but I find it hard to "act inside of the box" and that was something that was not very useful. I did not want to mention the term ADHD or concrete symptoms like "trouble concentration/organizing", so I did not do that and chose to explain it in this way, because it very clearly connects the good sides of ADD (for me personally, I am not saying it has to be the same for you) with the lesser sides. In his body language and his responses I saw that he really liked what I said and it's nice to learn that it is possible to be open without getting judgement. During the conversation he also complimented me about my social skills and he said that he really liked my enthusiasm. Overall I found it an awesome company and I have a lot of respect for this guy, also because he respected me - treating me as an equal. I think I have a good chance of getting a position there, but even if I do (at this time) I am glad that this conversation went so well.

During my studies and the last months, I was very scared of job interviews, I thought that they would judge me for taking so long to finish my studies and that they would not want to have me due to my ADHD. Today I learned that indeed, this could happen, but I have learned that from my other conversation today and two from last week that, generally, people are very respectful and so I will not be afraid of this anymore. If people treat me this badly it is their problem, not mine. It's a huge missed opportunity for them, because I really felt that I had a lot to offer for that company (the first one) and now I don't feel like working there (those two colleagues who interviewed me will be my 2 colleagues at the department where they want to place me). But, to finish positively, I will forget about the first conversation (I already stopped caring) and I think I will remember the second conversation for the rest of my life.

I just wanted to share that with you. Thanks for your interest and I welcome your advice or any other reactions :).

04-18-16, 06:05 PM
Well thats awesome!
The best interviews are when you find yourself actually having a conversation and not feeling like you're in a courtroom.

04-18-16, 06:12 PM
Thanks stef! :)

Indeed! If they want a courtroom stye conversation with me they should not break the rules like this, or I will take them to court... I am bluffing there of course :P.

It is quite stupid of them to treat people like this. My workfield is really small, I think there are only a few hundred people in the Netherlands with full time jobs in it, so it is a big mistake to be unrespectful of people. We will meet for the next decades, perhaps even 40 years. So, even though I found the way they treated me insulting, I will be the wiser one and I will only treat them with respect.

04-18-16, 06:23 PM
I'm so glad you are in such demand Jacksper. I hope you find a company that is a great fit for you. Sounds like you may have already.

04-18-16, 06:28 PM
Brilliant. Love your answers and approach. No wonder people want to meet you. :)