From the interview file.

I have so many stories about dumb things that companies have told me either during or after interviews, that I thought I would occasionally post them as a warning for companies as to how not to treat a potential employee. Remember we talk to other people and other companies, and we share this information with them.

In this particular case, a small hardware/software company in Waterloo, Canada (where I was living at the time) called me out of the blue and asked me to come in to speak with them. I met one of their HR folks and we had what I thought was a pleasant discussion about a position they had open. When I spoke with them a couple of weeks later, this was their reponse:

Sorry, but you are too energetic and enthusiastic for our company.

Assuming this was just a pleasant way of saying they didn’t like me, I pushed for more information. They just explained that their company was very staid, and didn’t like change of any kind. All of their employees were lifers.

A friend of mine knew a VP at the company and thought he might like to know that the company was turning away energetic, enthusiastic people. The VP’s response:

Well HR would know best what we are looking for.

How would you feel knowing that this was the impression your company was giving people?