The problem is thinking about a group instead of individuals.
Our company held team interviews for computer programmers. Four team members conducted a pleasant conversation with the young lady. We used technology she had no experience with. I, the older guy, looked over my reading glasses while asking questions from a list. She got the job, then discovered that I did all training.
A couple weeks later, she said that I wasn’t anything like she expected.
Me: “Why did you leave your last job after 2 months?
Her: “They hired me for my expertise in X language for a project.”
Her: “They put me in a room to read manuals. After a couple weeks, I asked when I would start on that project.”
Them: “Oh, we cancelled that project months ago.”
Her: “I was hired to increase their female and black employee percentages. (important in the ‘80s)”
Me: “I didn’t recommend you for those reasons. You are smart, can learn on your own, and I don’t need to send you to a bunch of classes.”
It was a statement of fact about her, nothing more or less. Looking back, I thought I sounded kind of gruff, but maybe it was a wonderful complement. I'm curious if anybody wants to respond if it was or not.
I treated her just like everyone else. She always seemed excited about her projects.