This shouldn't bug me, but it does.
I am a female in a very male dominated field. It's never bothered me, because I've been one of the guys. Sometimes the playing field isn't level, but other times, it has worked out in my favor. In summary: I make my own success. It isn't given or taken from me.
That being said, I was working with a headhunter that had an opening that was appealing to me. Then she dropped the bombshell: the hiring manager had been accused of discrimination so he is eager to hire a woman to prove that is not the case. Charming.... Anyhow, I said fine I'd take the interview because I could handle whatever he threw my way.
The interview was cordial. He was polite. But he was completely uninterested in getting to know me or what I could bring to the table. It was all, "how could I be a great boss to you?" After the interview I assumed that was that and moved on. I was shocked two weeks later when I got a call that I was in the final two, and needed to be interviewed one more time. Same style of interview, not one piece of tangible information I shared that would make someone hire me. I did not get the job.
Today I ran into the guy who did get the job. I offered my congrats and wanted to compare notes on what I felt was an odd interview. He had a totally different experience, was put through the wringer and was really challenged. I go into conspiracy mode after this conversation and go back to the weird comment about this manager trying to clean up his image after being accused of discrimination. Now I feel like I was part of his rehabilitation of his image - see, I did try to hire a woman, but it didn't work out.
I don't think the job would have been interesting for me so im not really upset. But I am feeling somewhat used and am feeling like this whole thing was less than professional. I would have loved the chance to lose or win the job based on the same questions the guy got. Then again, maybe I'm just paranoid.