According to Cosmopolitan, Olivia Bland's Twitter post exposing an excruciating two hour interview at technology firm Web Applications has gone viral on Twitter.
It was supposed to be a new start for the 22-year-old graduate after moving back home, escaping an abusive relationship that lasted a year and a half.
However, she found herself in an interview room with a boss she says reminded her of all the abuse she endured and subsequently ran away from.
She was applying for a position of a communication assistant at the firm. In the telling letter she sent to the company and posted on Twitter, she details the distressing experience, and how the interview was all about personal criticism and humiliation, to the point of being reduced to tears.
“Yesterday morning I had a job interview for a position at a company called Web Applications UK. After a brutal 2 hour interview, in which the CEO Craig Dean tore both me and my writings to shreds (and called me an underachiever), I was offered the job. This was my response today.”
Yesterday morning I had a job interview for a position at a company called Web Applications UK. After a brutal 2 hour interview, in which the CEO Craig Dean tore both me and my writing to shreds (and called me an underachiever), I was offered the job. This was my response today. pic.twitter.com/gijDpsEVHY— olivia (@oliviaabland) January 29, 2019
In her rejection letter, she writes: “The interview process yesterday was very uncomfortable for me. I understand the impact that Craig was trying to have, but nobody should come out of a job interview feeling so upset that they cry at the bus stop,” she wrote.
Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today, Olivia went on to describe how the CEO Craig Dean tried to intimidate her and assert power over her.
“He was trying to demonstrate his power over me and he had witnesses in there to watch me being interviewed to basically show that he could humiliate me,” she noted.
She says he attacked her writing line by line, all her characteristics, the way she sat and even called her an underachiever despite graduating with a first class degree.
Olivia received an influx of responses from people all over the world who have had similar interview experiences and those who have gone through workplace bullying.
Unlike you I took the job where I felt like this in the interview and it was the worst 3 months of my life, where my mental health took a massive hit. Over three years ago and I still get anxious thinking about it. Good on you for sticking up for yourself.— Kelly (@Kelly_QPR) January 30, 2019
Literally the exact same thing happened to me about 10 years ago. I managed to prove myself by not crying (I was told other women cried) but was forced to go for a drink with the team and ended up crying in the bar toilets. I will never forget it— Carrie (@smurff83) January 29, 2019
In the company reviews online, Craig is constantly mentioned in a negative light. One writer said: “Working with various levels exposed me to ridiculous management team especially Craig. He is condescending, arrogant and abusive.”
Another one wrote: “The CEO needs to further develop his interpersonal skills and avoid coming across in such a way that at times could be seen as borderline workplace bullying."
The company has since issued out a statement, saying they are concerned about the allegations made by Olivia and they condemn any form of bullying or intimidation. This is how Craig responded in a statement:
"Hearing someone is in pain is heartbreaking; hearing that they feel you are the cause is devastating. When that person explicitly asks you not to respond, you have to respect that, and I shall continue to; even if it means the accusations fo unanswered.
I have no desire to see anyone hurt; and can only apologise if anything I've done has had that effect; it was not my intent. I care deeply for the plight of all people particularly those looking for new opportunities and striving to better themselves.
If allowed, I will apologise directly. If the goal of everyone else is to punish me, my family, and friends, without defence, then it has succeeded. This is a hurt, and lesson, that will stay with me." [sic]
He has since deactivated his Twitter account @UncleThargy.
”According to a recent study by Oxford Academic, workplace bullying and violence can place one at risk of heart conditions such as congestive heart failure, cardiac arrest and high blood pressure.
We commend Olivia for standing up for herself and protecting her mental and physical health.
Have you ever been in a similar situation? Chat to us here
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