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If you want the job, I'm not sure I'd rock the boat.

Dear Prudence,

I was virtually interviewing for a new position in our company with a recruiter who acted extremely unprofessional. Her child was in the room, crawling all over her and screaming his head off. I couldn’t get a question in without the interviewer immediately losing focus to deal with her kid. I asked if this wasn’t a good time and if we could reschedule, but the interviewer ignored me and plowed ahead, completely wasting both her and my time. The entire experience left me unhappy. She shouldn’t have had her child in the room, had someone else watch him, or rescheduled.

Part of me wants to go to a higher-up and complain, but my partner thinks I should let it go and give the woman a break because she obviously has it hard as a mother. I was raised by a single mother and she certainly wouldn’t have let me get away with how this kid behaved with guests, let alone interfere with her work. My partner suggested you as an uninvolved third party. What should be done?

—Unprofessional

Re: If you want the job, I'm not sure I'd rock the boat.

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    banana468banana468 member
    First Answer First Anniversary 5 Love Its First Comment
    I don't think I'd rock the boat either.

    Also, SO much of what the LW said reeks of "When I'm a mother my kids won't do this."  The reality is that adults don't recall when they were literally crawling and ultimately can't reliably state 'I never got away with this' because they likely engaged in that behavior when they were to young to have the ability to form memories.

    Furthermore, even if the kid IS of the age that they can be told what to do the LW does not know if this child is on the Autism spectrum, has a different behavioral issue or could have something more acute going on.     If this is not a pattern of behavior I would not escalate.

    What I WOULD do is write to the recruiter, thank them for their time and advise if there are any additional questions that the recruiter would like to ask in a follow up interview.  By doing it the recruiter has the opportunity to advise if they want to engage in a different meeting.

    Furthermore, escalating this over ONE instance through the management chain in the company would make me question the LW's tolerance for unplanned stress and how to deal with personnel issues.
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    The LW shouldn't say anything until after they have received word about the job. 

    But once they do, the recruiter's lack of professionalism should be brought to someone's attention.  I personally wouldn't file a formal complaint.  But I would at least have a conversation with my boss and take their cue if we should bring it up with the recruiter's boss.
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    Well you sound pretty condescending LW, 

    There is no way alerting their manager is going to go well. You don’t know the context here; it’s possible the recruiter wanted to reschedule and the hiring manager insisted they meet with the LW anyway. Or that the recruiter knew LW was getting a line interview anyway and this was just a screening and a formality. 

    Or you email the manager and the recruiter gets called out. They are absolutely going to tell every other recruiter they know that you’re someone who goes over someone’s head to tattle and they’re probably going to blackball you. 

    If you don’t get a follow up interview you can reach out to the recruiter and ask for feedback and slip in “I didn’t feel I adequately explained my experience and qualifications for the job, is there an opportunity to interview again”. That’s all. Don’t imply it was her fault, don’t threaten to go to her boss. If she declines then you have your answer. 
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    levioosalevioosa member
    First Anniversary First Comment First Answer 5 Love Its
    Additionally (not that I agree with this tactic at all), for all you know this was purposeful on the interviewer's part to see how you deal with distraction and stress. Probably not. But I've heard of some interviewers doing super weird and unprofessional things to "test" their subject. 


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    Well you sound pretty condescending LW, 

    There is no way alerting their manager is going to go well. You don’t know the context here; it’s possible the recruiter wanted to reschedule and the hiring manager insisted they meet with the LW anyway. Or that the recruiter knew LW was getting a line interview anyway and this was just a screening and a formality. 

    Or you email the manager and the recruiter gets called out. They are absolutely going to tell every other recruiter they know that you’re someone who goes over someone’s head to tattle and they’re probably going to blackball you. 

    If you don’t get a follow up interview you can reach out to the recruiter and ask for feedback and slip in “I didn’t feel I adequately explained my experience and qualifications for the job, is there an opportunity to interview again”. That’s all. Don’t imply it was her fault, don’t threaten to go to her boss. If she declines then you have your answer. 
    I agree if this is an outside recruiter.  But that wasn't my impression.  It sounded like an internal position and the recruiter works for the same company.

    In that vein, I'd be concerned about the company I work for being able to hire top talent if that is the impression this person is giving.  I would feel remiss to see a problem like that and not say something.

    It also didn't sound like this was a one-off, bad day.  For example, if the interviewer had made a casual comment in the beginning, explaining her "mini coworker" would be in the room because he was sick and couldn't go to school.  Then it would make sense to let it go as a one-off.  But the LW made it sound like the recruiter was non-plussed at how much the child was interrupting them.
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    mrsconn23mrsconn23 member
    First Anniversary First Answer 5 Love Its First Comment
    Well you sound pretty condescending LW, 

    There is no way alerting their manager is going to go well. You don’t know the context here; it’s possible the recruiter wanted to reschedule and the hiring manager insisted they meet with the LW anyway. Or that the recruiter knew LW was getting a line interview anyway and this was just a screening and a formality. 

    Or you email the manager and the recruiter gets called out. They are absolutely going to tell every other recruiter they know that you’re someone who goes over someone’s head to tattle and they’re probably going to blackball you. 

    If you don’t get a follow up interview you can reach out to the recruiter and ask for feedback and slip in “I didn’t feel I adequately explained my experience and qualifications for the job, is there an opportunity to interview again”. That’s all. Don’t imply it was her fault, don’t threaten to go to her boss. If she declines then you have your answer. 
    I agree if this is an outside recruiter.  But that wasn't my impression.  It sounded like an internal position and the recruiter works for the same company.

    In that vein, I'd be concerned about the company I work for being able to hire top talent if that is the impression this person is giving.  I would feel remiss to see a problem like that and not say something.

    It also didn't sound like this was a one-off, bad day.  For example, if the interviewer had made a casual comment in the beginning, explaining her "mini coworker" would be in the room because he was sick and couldn't go to school.  Then it would make sense to let it go as a one-off.  But the LW made it sound like the recruiter was non-plussed at how much the child was interrupting them.
    I agree that LW comes off as a bit judgmental, but I would be very upset if I were being judged for a job I wanted based on this interview experience.  But I'd also be questioning the hell out the company as well.  I've interviewed plenty of people via zoom and know if I'm out job-hunting that I'll likely be interviewed via video at some point, and what is being described here is so out of pocket.  

    I'd try super hard not to be distracted (and annoyed) if the child was literally making a scene during my interview, but I would come away feeling like the whole experience was unprofessional.  I'd be more forgiving if, say, the kid bust in the room and mom 'handled' it, because we all work from home and everyone's situation is different.  Hell, if the kid was watching a tablet in the room and didn't make a peep, I wouldn't mind. 

    But a kid ON my interviewers person and 'screaming'? The hell?!  That's a terrible first impression.  And the interviewer acting like it's 'normal' is getting into 'yikes' territory to me. 

    However, I just don't think there is a diplomatic way to address this and stay in the running.  If I were turned down for the position based on this interview, I'd maybe contemplate saying something, but it would just really depend on so many factors. 
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    Well you sound pretty condescending LW, 

    There is no way alerting their manager is going to go well. You don’t know the context here; it’s possible the recruiter wanted to reschedule and the hiring manager insisted they meet with the LW anyway. Or that the recruiter knew LW was getting a line interview anyway and this was just a screening and a formality. 

    Or you email the manager and the recruiter gets called out. They are absolutely going to tell every other recruiter they know that you’re someone who goes over someone’s head to tattle and they’re probably going to blackball you. 

    If you don’t get a follow up interview you can reach out to the recruiter and ask for feedback and slip in “I didn’t feel I adequately explained my experience and qualifications for the job, is there an opportunity to interview again”. That’s all. Don’t imply it was her fault, don’t threaten to go to her boss. If she declines then you have your answer. 
    I agree if this is an outside recruiter.  But that wasn't my impression.  It sounded like an internal position and the recruiter works for the same company.

    In that vein, I'd be concerned about the company I work for being able to hire top talent if that is the impression this person is giving.  I would feel remiss to see a problem like that and not say something.

    It also didn't sound like this was a one-off, bad day.  For example, if the interviewer had made a casual comment in the beginning, explaining her "mini coworker" would be in the room because he was sick and couldn't go to school.  Then it would make sense to let it go as a one-off.  But the LW made it sound like the recruiter was non-plussed at how much the child was interrupting them.
    I don’t know, this may be company specific but going over someone’s head, especially if they’re an internal recruiter would be seen as a big deal, and would likely get you a reputation you don’t want. 

    It’s also possible the recruiter was embarrassed and just trying to get through the interview. If they’re internal it’s even more likely this is a formality and the LW is already getting moved to a line interview. 

    The recruiter is clearly wrong for not having childcare secured during and interview, but there’s very little upside to the LW saying something to her boss. 
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    banana468banana468 member
    First Answer First Anniversary 5 Love Its First Comment
    Well you sound pretty condescending LW, 

    There is no way alerting their manager is going to go well. You don’t know the context here; it’s possible the recruiter wanted to reschedule and the hiring manager insisted they meet with the LW anyway. Or that the recruiter knew LW was getting a line interview anyway and this was just a screening and a formality. 

    Or you email the manager and the recruiter gets called out. They are absolutely going to tell every other recruiter they know that you’re someone who goes over someone’s head to tattle and they’re probably going to blackball you. 

    If you don’t get a follow up interview you can reach out to the recruiter and ask for feedback and slip in “I didn’t feel I adequately explained my experience and qualifications for the job, is there an opportunity to interview again”. That’s all. Don’t imply it was her fault, don’t threaten to go to her boss. If she declines then you have your answer. 
    I agree if this is an outside recruiter.  But that wasn't my impression.  It sounded like an internal position and the recruiter works for the same company.

    In that vein, I'd be concerned about the company I work for being able to hire top talent if that is the impression this person is giving.  I would feel remiss to see a problem like that and not say something.

    It also didn't sound like this was a one-off, bad day.  For example, if the interviewer had made a casual comment in the beginning, explaining her "mini coworker" would be in the room because he was sick and couldn't go to school.  Then it would make sense to let it go as a one-off.  But the LW made it sound like the recruiter was non-plussed at how much the child was interrupting them.
    I don’t know, this may be company specific but going over someone’s head, especially if they’re an internal recruiter would be seen as a big deal, and would likely get you a reputation you don’t want. 

    It’s also possible the recruiter was embarrassed and just trying to get through the interview. If they’re internal it’s even more likely this is a formality and the LW is already getting moved to a line interview. 

    The recruiter is clearly wrong for not having childcare secured during and interview, but there’s very little upside to the LW saying something to her boss. 
    Right.  I don't think the recruiter made the right choice but without more context I'd be way more likely to cut slack vs. complain especially if this is a complaint within the company and she may interact with the recruiter again. 
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