I had an interview at a reputable business school for upcoming MBA intake. The interview was informal and was conducted in the coffee shop on premises.
The first issue happened when the interviewer (Chinese male, early 50s) offered to buy me a beverage. I replied with 'thanks could I please have a bottle of water'. He then said 'no, have something else'. I feel like he was doing it to be hospitable but I was really quite irritated by his response there and then tbf. I ordered a cappuccino and felt it was a real hindrance because there is clearly a difference between sipping water in an interview to clear your throat and having a hot coffee.
There were also issues to do with use of language for example, he asked me to describe my experience when doing my undergraduate. I said it was great, blah blah blah however my only criticism would be that the program needed more structure blah blah blah. He then honed in on the word criticism and said that it was a negative word and that I should not use that. Again I feel quite patronised. I have literally written exam papers where the question has been 'criticise and analyse the following paragraph'. This was after all an interview for a business school not for a social work service.
There is an option to take a particular class on the program in titled "mindfulness and meditation for managers'. The interviewer, perhaps given his ethnic background, was very passionate about it almost to the extent of cult-like. He wanted me to confirm that I would be taking that module as it would make a difference whether I would be given a place. I replied that I had read the program and I was aware of that particular module and what it entailed; and whilst I found it fascinating as a subject it was not my first choice of study and I wouldn't be able to make a commitment now as to whether I would take that particular module. He seemed really very peed off by that and I don't know if I could've responded in any better way than what I had? I also felt a little bit patronised at the end of the interview when he said 'I'm leaving now but stay here and finish your coffee'.
I'm new to the interviewing process and I realise that I have to butter people up and say what the interviewer wants to hear if I want to successfully gain a place. But I found this to be particularly patronising or is it just a case of different communication/culture? How should I respond should situations come up again in a different interview? I think my reticence is is that I am wary of rubbing the interview up the wrong way and so I tend to acquiesce.