Employer dragged for wanting applicant to give up hobby

Members of a popular forum were quick to offer advice to an Internet poster who explained why they were rejected from a potential job opportunity.

In a viral Reddit post posted to r/antiwork, Redditor u/EmperorJJ (aka the original poster or OP) said that they recently had a job interview that they were “very excited about” but detailed the strange line of questions they believe . ruined his chances of getting the job.

Titled “I just got turned down for a job because I wasn’t willing to give up my hobbies,” the viral post received nearly 17,000 upvotes and 1,700 comments in the last 7 hours.

Writing that the position they were interviewing for pays well and comes with “extensive benefits,” the original poster said their interview went well until they were asked about any commitments they had outside of the workplace.

“I do community theater in my spare time,” they wrote. “It never got in the way of my work schedule.”

“I love theater, it’s my whole social life. I even make a little money designing for shows,” they continued. “When the interviewers asked me what I do in my spare time, I told them and explained how many of my professional skills are easily applicable to local theaters.”

Despite their insistence that their outside obligations have never interfered with a job, the original poster said they were later asked if they would be willing to leave the theater to fully focus on work.

“‘Would you be willing to give that up for this position?'” OP wrote, recounting a question posed by an interviewer.

“‘We generally don’t like our employees to have side jobs. We prefer this to be your main concern,'” the interviewer continued.

Following the question, the original poster said that they assured the interviewer that their participation in the theater was not a job, but a hobby. Despite this, the original poster said they were rejected for the position and questioned the prospective employer’s motives for their application.

“As much as I wish I had a better salary and a more reliable job, is that what you have to give up to get a paid job today?” they wrote. “Do I have to be willing to give up everything and everyone I love, the one thing I’m passionate about, the one part of my week I really enjoy?”

“God forbid I have a screwed up life or volunteer my free time for something outside of the office,” they added.

Thousands of Reddit users came to the defense of a prospective employee who said he was turned down for a job opportunity because of his hobbies.
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Employers asking applicants about their hobbies is common practice.

By asking about life outside the workplace, employers can sometimes determine if an applicant is team-oriented, possesses leadership skills, and can set and achieve goals, depending on Business Insider.

However, hobby questions can also allow employers to gauge how engaged prospective employees will be if hired.

In an interview with Business InsiderLynn Taylor, author of “Tame Your Terrible Office Bully: How to Handle Childish Boss Behavior and Thrive at Your Job,” said many employers have ulterior motives for wanting to know about applicants’ outside interests.

“If you talk about how passionate you are about a particular hobby to the point where it sounds like you want to make it your main career, that can send up a red flag,” Taylor said. “Even if you claim that such efforts have nothing to do with the job at hand, you’re still raising a red flag.”

“No interviewer wants to feel like they’re just trying to gain a salary or work experience,” Taylor added.

Throughout the comments section of the viral Reddit post, Reddit users speculated that the original author was asked about his hobbies for exactly this reason and was adamant that his rejection of this particular job could be, ultimately a blessing in disguise.

“Probably a place you don’t want to work OP, no matter how nice it looks from your interview perspective,” Redditor u/CheeseburgerBrown wrote in a comment that received more than 3,000 upvotes.

“Asking someone to give up their hobbies is a toxic trait of an employer,” they added. “Never mention making extra money outside of work. I think it was the extra compensation that set off the alarm bells.”

In a separate comment, which received nearly 1,000 upvotes, Redditor u/waylorn offered a similar response.

“Specifically they wanted to know if you would quit because they were clearly planning for you to ‘stay late’ most or many nights, and if you had other obligations, you would have a reason to turn them down,” they said. he wrote her.

“You dodged a bullet,” they added.

news week contacted u/EmperorJJ for comment.

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