A young woman is being hailed as a hero online after she rejected a job offer because of her “abusive” interviewer.
Olivia Bland, 22, applied for a job at a travelling software company called Web Applications UK, and was called for an interview with its CEO Craig Dean.
She claimed that during the interview she was bullied and berated by Mr Dean.
“Yesterday morning, I had a job interview for a position at a company called Web Applications UK,” she wrote on Twitter.
“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.”
In the email, addressed to the hiring manager, Ms Bland explained why she had chosen not to take the job.
“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 said.
“There is something very off to me about a man who tries his best to intimidate and assert power over a young woman, and who continues to push even when he can see that he’s making somebody uncomfortable to the point of tears.
“I have just moved back home to Manchester from Brighton after escaping a year and a half long abusive relationship,” she went on. “The two hours I spent in that room with Craig Dean yesterday felt like sitting in a room with my abusive ex — it was two hours of being told I am not good enough, and detailing exactly why. This job is supposed to be the present. I don’t want it.
“I’m yet to receive any kind of response from the company. @WebAppUK you may have free juice and yoga on Mondays but you certainly don’t have respect for your potential employees. Your CEO should be ashamed of himself.”
Ms Bland’s post immediately went viral, with users thanking her for setting an example and sticking up for herself.
”This job is supposed to be the present. I don’t want it.” I don’t think that I have ever read something so powerful and brave. You didn’t just stand up for yourself but for so many others too. Thank you!
— Ivan Fahy (@IvanFahy) January 30, 2019
I have been a senior manager, director & managing director in a number of companies during my career & lost count of the number of people I’ve interviewed. You were quite right to reject the job offer. The man’s a crushing bore and a bully. If he worked for me I’d fire his ass.
— Dick Winchester (@DickWinchester) January 30, 2019
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
Shortly after the post gained traction, Dean tweeted a response.
“Hearing someone is in pain is heartbreaking; hearing that they feel you are the cause is devastating,” he wrote. “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 go 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.”
I am so sorry that anyone has been hurt, it is never my intent. I have sat watching the messages pouring in all night and humbly submit this sleep-deprived and anxiety-driven message: pic.twitter.com/8fb0njtzYF
— Craig Dean (@UncleThargy) January 30, 2019
Ms Bland responded saying she acknowledged his apology but believed it was self-serving.
“Your apology is acknowledged but it is also driven by your own pain for yourself,” she said. “You told me in my interview that people have walked out and cried when you’ve interviewed them so I don’t know why you’re acting surprised for being called out.
“You know what you’ve done to people.”