Thursday, 14 August 2014

What language did your ancestors speak?

A fair question

Most readers of this blog know that I have two brothers, Frank and Ernest, who work for Blackberry.

To be frank and earnest, I do not understand why we received a lawyer's letter, initiated by  a lady candidate whom we turned down for a job in our Service Department.

She claimed she was asked 4 unfair questions.

   1) What language did your ancestors speak?
   2) Do you agree that pregnancy interferes with high performance and achieving stretch goals?
   3) If you are married, what food do you cook your husband for supper?
   4) Are the ladies of HR true business partners?

I called our corporate lawyer (who works on a razor thin retainer) and told him that the candidate was probably inventing the entire story. The lawyer played me a tape, and indeed, I heard my own shrill voice doing the interview.

When I think back, this interview took place after a huge argument I had with Chief Nerd Comrade Carl Marks, who took me out for lunch (Au Beau Pain) to reconcile but "talks broke down".

The day of the interview, Comrade Carl brought out the worst in me, claiming that holacracy will eliminate HR. 
Nevertheless, I see no problem with the interview questions that I asked. (Dad always told me that I am very stubborn). 

To get to the top of the HR ladder, my beauty was not enough. I needed to be stubborn, understand big data, develop holacracy to the next level, and embrace cloud computing. Mais oui!


  1. Time to take an online course in competency-based interviewing, Gloria. Your outside counsel can probably recommend one.

  2. Is such a course available on the cloud? I do everything on the cloud, as it were.

  3. I don't know if this was a game to find the worse questions a HR can ask, but if it is the case you probably won. For me job interview questions need to be relevant for the job and frankly asking what language did your ancestors speak can be taken very badly. It implies that the person was not speaking proper English or with an accent and therefore that you discriminated her for her ethnicity, skin color, nationality or even her social origin.

    1. Mais non! This cannot be.. No one be ashamed of their ancestors, as it were