December 19, 2006

Learn A Bit Of Tact, People!

At a recent interview,

HR lady: So, tell us a little more about yourself.

Interviewee: (nervously) I'm 23 years old, from KL. I recently graduated from MMU.

HR lady: How many members are there in your family?

Interviewee: Three. My father, younger brother and I. My mother passed away when I was very young.

HR lady: How old were you when she passed away?

Interviewee: I was four.

HR lady: How did she die?

Interviewee: Umm ... I don't know. It happened a long time ago.

HR lady: (incredulously) Huh? You mean you don't know how your mother died?

Interviewee: (uncomfortably) Umm ... she died of a fever.

HR lady: (disbelievingly) Fever? She DIED of a fever??

Interviewee: It was high fever, I think.

HR lady: (raising one eyebrow) Ohhh ... so she DIED of a high fever lah?

Interviewee: (very uncomfortable now) Yeah. She was already sick when she was pregnant.

Hr lady: Oh okay (writing it down casually). Let's move on.


I attended this interview. Thank God, I wasn't in the interviewee's shoes (I was interviewing for an extra member in my team). He looked so uncomfortable, shifting in his seat, trying to explain to our company's personnel on HOW his mother died.

First of all, who the hell asks such a question in an interview?! Hello, do you even understand the meaning of tact?! How is this even relevant to the interview? Go ahead, ask a few simple questions to break the ice or something; I mean, hey, it's a job interview, the interviewee's bound to be nervous, even more so if he/she's newly graduated from university. But to probe deep into cause of death of a parent, when it's not even any of our business to know ... now that's just wrong. It's highly insensitive, and if we were in the States right now, we'd get our asses sued for harassment and emotional trauma. The death of a parent is already traumatic enough, without having to have the memories brought up again, and worst of all, ridiculed.

Geez. The sort of tactless people we face day to day. Just makes you wanna smack 'em upside down. I'm conducting another interview on Friday. If she does this again (she asked insensitive questions again, in a separate interview), I'm telling her off there and then. I really don't give two hoots if she gets angry. She can jolly well kiss my ass when I lodge a formal complaint against her to HER boss.


hellfried said...

this is a symptom of our national disease 'keh poh chi'. the treatment besides 2 tight slaps across the face, is to reverse roles and ask intimate details about her sex life eg. how often she gets it.

beetrice said...

I'm pretty inclined to agree with hellfried...these pple wouldn't understand tact if it bit them on the butt...

Let her have it if she goes around asking those inane questions this Friday... :)

Tine said...

hellfried: I know! I kept tossing disgusted looks at her when she asked those questions, but she behaved as though it was the most natural thing in the world. Too bad the interviewee was too nervous and hellbent on a job to retort.

beetrice: Exactly. She wouldn't understand if it was smacked right at her face either, her skin's so thick *roll eyes*.

Paris Beaverbanks said...

Poor interviewee - If this is what they get at the interview, imagine if they were hired and having to face this throughout their working hours!