“Our CEO wouldn’t like you”

This is the latest in the long line of strange arguments for not wanting to continue with me in a hiring process. And it must make the top on the top ten of strange reasons. Granted, the person that claimed this was Dutch, and I am Swedish so neither of us were speaking in our mother tongue. Still, this was a straight forward message.

I must admit I queried this saying that the only way we really could verify if the CEO would feel, and decide, that I’m an un-likeable person was for him to actually meet me. No, no, absolutely not he is such a particular individual that that wasn’t possible. She, the HR director, seemed quite worried about what treatment she should be submitted to if something as drastic as that happened. The reason for why the person that last had the position in question had quit, was because of the CEO’s personality. (Which makes you wonder if maybe the CEO should be changed…) By now I was intrigued, I mean how can a person like that lead a multi-million global corporate, so I chatted a bit more trying to make a small joke “I have no shame, so if it shouldn’t work with the other candidates, I’d be interested to restart the process.” That seemed to make the HR director close to scared. By now the sardonic side of me had woken, so I kept up the conversation a bit, and now came the best of it all: she actually complained to me! Saying something along the lines: Well, think about me I have to make three of these phone calls.

So not only was I told that I would be an un-likeable person in the eyes of a CEO, I was also supposed to pity the person that gave me the bad news.

Should we create a data bank with strange “don’t call us, we’ll call you” situations and how to manage them?

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