I interviewed at a small IT firm as a network support technician. I had two very successful interviews and felt that I got along really well with all of the staff that I spoke with during the interview. On the tech side, I very much was qualified if not overqualified for the position and could answer all the questions they asked.
I did not get the job. I was shocked. We had even talked about getting the paperwork together. This is a direct quote as to why from the hiring manager:
“I would suggest presenting a warmer side of your personality (that I’m sure you have) to others. We’re a very laid back (casual) group of folks here. When we’re dealing with customers we want to respond to their issue but also do it in a way that demonstrates warmth and caring…a soft skill approach that connects with folks on a deeper level. Hope that helps.”
I get a strong feeling that a couple of things are happening here:
1) They would never tell a male candidate for a technicial position that he needed to be more ‘warm’ or ‘soft’. They expected this to an unreasonable degree from me because I am a woman. Had I managed to get the position, I probably would have been pidegonholed into support and customer relations instead of the tech position I wanted.
2) They did not want to pay my modest asking price of ~45k.
I will note that I picked up on the casual atmosphere of the organization when I was there for the first interview. I tried to be more relaxed and jovial in the second interview, even cracking a few SFW jokes and puns where appropriate and talking about where I grew up. I keep trying to figure out what I did wrong, and I am so upset because I actually wanted this job.
I should have known something was wrong when every technical interviewer I met was a white male. Or when they told me about how they had a girl in software support who was transferred to HR because she was ‘better at HR’, despite having the same technical degree as me. It’s disheartening. But as a recent graduate of a CS field, it’s good to know what I am up against.
Solidarity to you all.