Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

Suspected of Not Being Liberal Enough?

This is the first time this has ever happened to me, and I thought it was humorous enough to diary.

Throughout my career, I’ve had to tone down personal style and opinions in order to not scare off the bosses and the clients.  (I’m sure you are familiar with this situation.)

Right now I’m interviewing with a progressive-minded organization and was amused to find the opposite situation.

So I walked in wearing a suit to the first interview, because, well, that is what you DO in a first interview, right?

Throughout the session I was asked numerous questions by the interviewers that led me to think they were somehow … suspicious?  Questions like “I notice you have a lot of business experience on your resume”  (as opposed to non-profit experience.) and  “Do you think you would really be comfortable here?”  and “Are you OK with working hard and getting your hands dirty?”


And then it dawned on me.  Oh. my.  They think I’m not liberal enough for them!  That I might even be a (gasp) usurper of some sort!  But how do you, in a job interview, assure people, “Listen, I’m not only liberal, I’m super DUPER liberal!!”  Because you’re not supposed to talk about politics in a first interview. (Right???)

So I dropped as many hints as possible, assured them that I was a hard worker and not a diva, and left, hoping for the best.

It was an interesting day, to say the least.


  1. Sarea

    It came as quite a surprise.  In fact, I left the interview kind of depressed, realizing that I may never find a workplace where I fit in.

    The job search is going OK…just taking way longer than I’d hoped.

  2. dirkster42

    I had NO IDEA what “appropriate attire” would be.  I ended up throwing on a kind of medium-level outfit – slacks and tie, but found the most retro examples I could find from my closet.

    I was still overdressed, but I got the job anyway.  That was a fun year.

    On my first interview for a college-teaching job, I had an interview with the chair of my department and the librarian.  For my sample teaching, I played a couple of pieces of music, asked them some questions about what they heard, and then proceeded to say.  “OK, so there’s a few stories we can tell about how music changed from 1600 to 1800, there’s some people who relate it to class structure, but I’m going be telling a feminist story.”  The two women beamed instantly, and I thought “it’s in the bag.”

  3. November 5

    (and I’m lucky enough to be able to so it)

    I don’t know what to tell you. Seems to me that the left, which really should know better, since they’re the so-called intellectuals, are picking up too many bad habits from the right.

    I think the real problem transcends politics, however. These are the most challenging times since what historians will eventually call The First Great Depression. People are on edge, and I think that’s most of the problem.

    Also, with all of this divisiveness, I’m not sure what I am anymore on the spectrum. Probably a Clinton centrist, but that’s close to left wing these days. I know I’m more libertarian than liberal. The right has completely lost their minds and people organizing and holding protests because they think the Middle Ages, the Sequel, is a wonderful idea. And those are the putative serfs.

    I think the real question is, do you really want to work for these people? The interviewer was fairly condescending towards you. If you need the job, that’s one thing, but even if they hire you, you know you’re going to have to be looking over your shoulder.

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