Interviews are designed for show offs. You would think that a company would like to hire someone that is hesitant about tooting their own horn. No. They get you in a room of people and expect you to brag - about your accomplishments, about your personality - about what ever it is they feel is an asset to their company. And let the biggest boaster win.
I had a swanking contest yesterday with a fairly prestigious engineering firm. And although (as you can probably tell by now) I usually don't have a problem with discussing my accomplishments, yesterday didn't go so well. One engineer kept asking me (in my opinion) the dumbest questions. I am thinking that he may have had a problem with me correcting him when he got Pspice and PCB Express mixed up. I didn't really mean to correct him - I just didn't know what he was talking about... Anyway, that happens a lot in my field.
I work with mostly white, male, nerds. These guys were often the smartest kids in their high school - maybe even in college. They grew up with people telling them how bright they were. So, even though some of them may not have any social skills, they probably relied on their intelligence. I can understand why some would be slightly upset at a black, socially-astute, female who would dare correct them.
This problem also occurs in my classes. I am not able to study with certain people because they are so intent on being 'right' they don't want to look at their mistakes. It is very hard to study with someone if you have to argue about every problem. Fortunately, there are 3 or 4 other females in my classes that I can study with.
I know that EVERY guy isn't like this. As a matter of fact I met some guys (from my dream company) that are the complete opposite. These guys are highly competent and not at all insecure. They would sit and answer my questions for hours - and compliment me on my interest. This is the company I would like to work for.
Nevertheless, I guess I have to get used to the male ego if I want to continue to work as an engineer.