Stories from the job search: The GPA question

Posted on 01/04/2011 in misc

Back before Christmas somebody seriously asked me what my college GPA was in an interview. At first I thought he was kidding, then when I realized he was serious, the conversation went like this. (Paraphrased from memory a few weeks later, but very close to actual quotes)

Me: Blah, blah, blah, undergrad Purdue, grad school at Georgia State, blah, blah, blah.

Him: What was your GPA at Purdue?

Me: It was 20 years ago, how is that relevant?

Him: I think it's important.

Me: (thinking this interview just became a waste of time). I think it was a 2.8.

Him: Why didn't you get straight A's. (yes, he really asked me that).

Me: I did in my senior year - made Dean's List. (I actually am rather proud of that).

Him: So what happened before that?

Me: (thinking, wtf? Oh well, let's go with the brutally honest answer instead of the stock insipid answer designed to make me look good. It's not like I care at this point.) Apparently, I had too much fun at school my first couple of years.

Him: What about your grad school GPA?

Me: I have no idea. I think I had to have a 3.0 to get a Master's degree, so it was better than that.

Him: Could you be more specific?

Me: No. It's not relevant.

You'll be shocked to learn that I did not get the job :) I freaking hate interviews where all they do is talk through your resume. My strategy in those types of interviews is to move the conversation to an actual conversation, and away from the adversarial Q & A style that this guy was trying to do. He wouldn't let me do it. He didn't want to have a conversation, and in that effort told me everything I needed to know about what it would be like to work for him.

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