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Inappropriate interview. Should I speak up?


I just had my first interview for a job last week. It's in maternal child health which is the area that I really love and have always done well in. I had a great interview with the nurse recruiter. However, the minute I walked into the nurse manager's office, she started explaining to me why I would NOT be qualified for that area. Some of the reasons include my background in science (my first degree) which indicates that I am too analytical for nursing. Also, she told me that she doesn't like nurses coming to her with 4.0 averages. She'd rather talk to the person with a 3.5 because they tend to be more well rounded. (Note: the 4.0 only in nursing courses since I already have a degree from another university where my gpa was far from a 4.0). She went on to explain that she needs people are open and flexible and can determine what a mom needs whether it's a mother, teacher, best friend, etc. I tried really hard to explain that flexibility is something I understand but I don't think I got that through. I didn't have much time to talk. She proceeded to ask me questions about my births and the number of children I had. She also asked when and where they were born so she knows how old they are now. She went on to ask me about how I birthed. I mentioned that one was a c-section and one was a VBAC so she began to berate me over my choice to VBAC telling me about a VBAC mom currently on the floor who was going to rupture because she was laboring with a "big" baby.

I'm still shocked from this interview! I feel like I was judged even before I set foot in the door. I tried to talk about my passion for breastfeeding and helping moms have a great birth experience even when the birth doesn't go the way they had hoped.

Obviously, I am NOT going to get this job so I'm not worried about that. However, I would like to think about other opportunities at that hospital since it does have a good reputation. I'm not sure if I should express my concerns to the Nurse Recruiter or just drop it and try for a different department. Do recruiters want to hear about this? I did not think it was legal to ask personal questions like that so that's why I'm wondering if I should speak up, even if it destroys my chances of employment there.

If you don't care about working there, then have a chat with the HR about this or put a complaint in writing. She had no business asking you to talk about your childbearing experiences. Sounds as if this person has some serious problems. Be glad that you won't be dealing with her on a daily basis.

llg, PhD, RN

Specializes in Nursing Professional Development. Has 44 years experience.

That case is so bad that I would probably follow up on it. You'd be doing the hospital a big favor -- and who knows -- they might fix the problem to avoid lawsuits in the future.

That case is so bad that I would probably follow up on it. You'd be doing the hospital a big favor -- and who knows -- they might fix the problem to avoid lawsuits in the future.

I was thinking along these lines too. You could work elsewhere in the meantime and if you ever wanted to go back to that hospital, after some passage of time, you probably would not have a problem. For that matter, you might not have a problem now. The employer would not want to put themselves in an awkward position of denying you employment and possibly giving you further grist for a discrimination suit.

canoehead, BSN, RN

Specializes in ER. Has 30 years experience.

Put it all in writing and send it in to HR. If they hire another manager you'll get a job, and if they don't you didn't want to work there anyway.

Just wanted to say thank you! I did as suggested and was brought back for another interview with the director. That interview went much better. :)

Good that you took that action. Now hope that things turn out ok. Meanwhile keep looking elsewhere for a job.


Specializes in Peds/outpatient FP,derm,allergy/private duty. Has 45 years experience.

That is truly bizarre. I'd really love to know how she ended up as a manager, not knowing that all those personal questions, judgements and quirky biases were strictly not OK. Glad you got another chance! Best wishes!