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Why the job interviewing process sucks...

Thanks. I guess my rambling point was, I'll take competence over passion nearly 100% of the time. BTW, you're wise not to take me up as counsel. I wouldn't know an evidence rule now (20 years later), if I tripped over one.

Up thread I mentioned competence plus passion. I always tried to hire smart, capable people who liked the work. :)
 

Doc4

Stumpy in cold weather
A couple of deal breakers for me is someone that did no research into our company before the interview. ...

The second is having no questions. To me that shows a lack of interest and or passion.

To me questions show an interest in learning.

"Back in the day" when I was the young interviewee, I assumed that "having questions" showed a combination of not having done my research in advance, and being overly interested in personal aspects of the employment. I wanted to be the guy who knew he wanted to work for the company, no questions asked, and I'm sure the details will be acceptable to me once I get hired.

I suppose nowadays I'd be smarter, and figure out a question to ask that makes you want to hire me even more.

I no longer practice law. My first interview with my current employer, a company everyone knows, was over steak and Labatts. We didn't discuss my "passion" for the law, fyi.

I'd suggest the "passion" the interviewer would be interested in would be your passion for your prospective, new career with them, not with your old career. Presumably that passion came out well in between the t-bone and Blue.
 
Actually, we both had a passion for Labatts and bass fishing. Game over.

I once went to a job-counselor who told me how he got HIS job ... when he entered the office of the interviewer, he noticed some sailboat paintings on the wall. Turns out, he also was passionate about sailing, and the two of them spent the next TWO HOURS talking about sailboats. They probably would have continued to talk about boats except it was closing time and the interviewer had to clock out. Not a word was said about his education or experience as a job-counselor. He got hired on the spot.
 

oc_in_fw

Fridays are Fishtastic!
Thanks. I guess my rambling point was, I'll take competence over passion nearly 100% of the time. BTW, you're wise not to take me up as counsel. I wouldn't know an evidence rule now (20 years later), if I tripped over one.
Luckily for me, passion led to competence, and now I can dial it back. When I turned 45 I stopped chasing overtime. I used to love weeks that had a holiday in them, as it was free money. Now, I just take another day off to compensate. Unless there is a major fire, I leave at quitting time (2300). When I am here, I will do my job, and a lot of it is things that others cannot do. When it hits the fan, the bosses know they can call me in on a day off, but they don't do that often. Just walking in the door on my day off mean 4 hours on my time sheet, plus what other time I have to spend correcting the problem. I am not a jerk about it, though- if you need me, I will be here for you, but the job isn't my life. I must be doing something right- I am up for another promotion :)
 
Thank you all so far for your posts in this thread. Very interesting, thoughtful, and insightful.
I will recommend to my students that they read through it.
 
Another big frustration in the job-hunting process is supposedly well-meaning friends and family who say ...
"Why don't you just get a job, ANY JOB, while you wait for the right one to come along?"

And they say this in the same tone of voice, the same frame of mind, as if ...
"Why don't you just go to the library and check out a book, ANY BOOK?"

As if there are thousands of jobs sitting on the shelf, and all I have to do is pick one, and they will automatically give it to me just for asking.

Frankly, I think this is a great way to run the employment marketplace ... too bad that someone forgot to tell the employers.

TBT, I have gotten so desperate for work that there were times I applied to 7-Eleven, McDonald's, gas station pump-jockey, janitorial positions ... and even they turned me down.
I was laid off after 22 years at a company and was having a difficult time finding a new job. I decided I can't spend all my time doing this fruitless job search thing. So I volunteered at a local non profit. Had a job offer in less than a week.
 
Luckily for me, passion led to competence, and now I can dial it back. When I turned 45 I stopped chasing overtime. I used to love weeks that had a holiday in them, as it was free money. Now, I just take another day off to compensate. Unless there is a major fire, I leave at quitting time (2300). When I am here, I will do my job, and a lot of it is things that others cannot do. When it hits the fan, the bosses know they can call me in on a day off, but they don't do that often. Just walking in the door on my day off mean 4 hours on my time sheet, plus what other time I have to spend correcting the problem. I am not a jerk about it, though- if you need me, I will be here for you, but the job isn't my life. I must be doing something right- I am up for another promotion :)

:thumbup: Big 10-4 on this.
I've spent enough time over the years chasing money. Now I just want to be productive and be able to reflect on the work I did and feel like I rocked it. Sure, I need a paycheck, but life for me is more than just dollar signs - at the end of the day I want to feel like I made a difference.
 

FarmerTan

"Just Call Me Billy"
As a manager, the interview process is no fun either. Here are my responses to the OP's points. I know this was just for fun but there are some good points in there:

If you overdress, you fail. If you dress too casual, you fail - I suppose it depends on the job. I wouldn't "dock" a person either way. We are very casual at my employer but appearing in a smart suit or dress starts the first impression off right. I know it's casual, if you did your research you know it's casual, but obtaining the job means enough to you that you want to put your best foot forward.

If you are too confident, you fail. If you aren't assertive enough, you fail. - I think one needs to be confident in their abilities without crossing the threshold of cocky.

Experts say "prepare, prepare, prepare". Then if your answers sound prepared, you fail. - The first question is for the prepared response, the second question is for how that prepared response relates to your experiences (or how you will apply your experience to my position).

They ask questions about weaknesses, but if you give honest answers you fail. - The interviewer knows that this is one of the questions where we will get lied to. It's not so much to find out what your weakness is but your ability to wordcraft.

They ask people to interview for positions that are already filled. - I would not waste my time doing that.

They ask why you quit or intend to quit a job. If you're honest, you fail. - Some people have valid reasons. Other people should choose to state the "minor" reasons for quitting. For example, I asked a candidate why she was looking to leave her job. Her response, verbatim, "I don't get along with my boss". Fair enough but you have not given me any reason to believe that it was only the boss at fault.

If you're too young, you fail. If you're too old, you fail. - This does not factor into my decision process. I've hired people both older and younger than me.

We live in a society dependent on money...if you ask about money, you fail. - Not in my book. I don't want to waste my time interviewing excluding other potential candidates to have someone turn down the job based on money. Truth is as hiring managers we may not know the exact pay we'll offer you but we know the range. As long as we're close, we can make it happen.

If the resume is too short, you fail. If it's too long, you fail. - This is a good one. I've seen both but never excluded a candidate based on the length of their resume. As a manager you can typically "fill in the blanks" by knowing the field and the company they worked for. Resumes that do "fail"? Spelling and grammatical errors. Even if one is unsure, Word has automatic spelling and grammar checks. There is no excuse for these errors.

They ask an unemployed person "Where do you see yourself in five years?", and expect a concise answer. - I don't expect a concise answer, I don't know where I'm going to be in 5 years. Generally the response should fall in line with the work experience and the position. If I'm hiring an entry level staff accountant and they tell me they're going to be CFO in 5 years...well there's a problem. But if the tell me that they want to continue to grow and learn and progress within the company as it relates to the position, then I appreciate that. Random note - not everyone wants to advance in their career and that's fine too! Some really smart people are just looking for a job to pay the bills and are content doing what they're doing. Just be honest!

They ask situational questions, which we all know are just an exercise in fictional storytelling. - Right...but it's also a test because throughout the day situations arise. There are times that conflict rears their ugly head. I want to be sure that the candidate can handle the pressure and work through issues.

Search committees...they're the business version of juries. A bunch of random people who you can only hope are objective enough to see both sides. - We don't use search committees but we do have candidates meet with about 4-5 people. HR, myself, one of my staff and my boss. All 4-5 people have to give the "thumbs up" to the candidate. I've not hired someone because one of my staff did not like the person. They are the ones who will work side-by-side so no matter what I think I want my staff happy and productive.

If you show up late, you fail. If you come in early, you fail. - I wouldn't fail someone for being early. You just have to wait, I start my interviews on time. Late may be an annoyance, doesn't automatically disqualify a candidate, but I need to know that you're serious about this.

My two cents anyway. I tell colleagues that when interviewing keep it simple and be yourself. Make sure your resume is good, arrive on time and answer questions honestly. Let your personality show, I'd rather hire someone under-qualified with drive and a great personality than someone who meets the qualifications exactly but I don't care for their personality (I've had one of those candidates). One more thing, if you're interviewing at a company that consistently ranks as "one of the best places to work" in a given area, don't go on and on about the benefits and perks. We know, we work here. We don't want to think that's the only reason you're coming (had one of those too).
Excellent points.
 

oc_in_fw

Fridays are Fishtastic!
:thumbup: Big 10-4 on this.
I've spent enough time over the years chasing money. Now I just want to be productive and be able to reflect on the work I did and feel like I rocked it. Sure, I need a paycheck, but life for me is more than just dollar signs - at the end of the day I want to feel like I made a difference.
The birth of my grandchildren, especially the youngest (4) reinforced how important Home life is. I’ve alway done a good job of keeping home and work separate. If I have a bad time at home, I leave it at home. If I have a bad time at work, I keep it at work.
 
There's a really valid idea there about volunteering. At a time I struggles to find work after a redundancy roles were hard to come by, so I went to a labour agency to get some temp work. Three weeks later the department manager where I'm working is trying find a role which might convince me to stay.

Sometimes just getting something is a good move.
 
The birth of my grandchildren, especially the youngest (4) reinforced how important Home life is. I’ve alway done a good job of keeping home and work separate. If I have a bad time at home, I leave it at home. If I have a bad time at work, I keep it at work.

Agreed. Quality time isn't always being at work.
 
The corporate buzz word used to be "work/life balance." Now you need to be able to live with "work/life integration," and with passion!
 

FarmerTan

"Just Call Me Billy"
I'm old, so please forgive me if I've told this tale, as I tell it EVERY time a little differently so as to make the hero ( me) even more heroic looking.

My present job I turned down, not once, but twice. I'm a psych nurse, and it is the toughest job I've ever loved. And I now know why it is so hard to keep filled.

My previous job was a split shift school bus nurse that was only work when an emergency occurred, which didn't happen often, praise be to God.

I say all this to point out that sometimes the Path isn't always laid out to our liking. Rarely do we get a fog piercing beam to light our path, but often there is Someone carrying a flashlight walking beside us if we let him.......so if you need a job, take it. If you can volunteer, do it. I'm amazed at what has happened to and for me by taking a "chance."
 

Doc4

Stumpy in cold weather
The corporate buzz word used to be "work/life balance." Now you need to be able to live with "work/life integration," and with passion!

There's no such thing as work/life balance. None!

There's work/life decisions, and those decisions have consequences. Decide wisely.
 
Now you need to be able to live with "work/life integration," and with passion!

I would completely respect somebody who told me in an interview that they won't have corporate emails on their personal phone. I know that some of my coworkers feel similarly. I also know that a vast majority of people in my field would think I'm lazy and entitled for taking that stance.

There are two paths a company can take. Work/life integration where you get to set off a siren at any time day or night, weekday or weekend, and in exchange you provide me with all sorts of "play at work" perks. Or work/life balance, where you get my focus and devotion for a set number of hours each day and a few "fire drills" per year in exchange for leaving me the heck alone for the rest of the time.

Personally, I much prefer the latter. No matter how great a job is, it's still a job. I don't need to be on call 24/7.
 
I would completely respect somebody who told me in an interview that they won't have corporate emails on their personal phone.
The folks I work for and support know that emails do not come in on my phone. They zapped my phone once, erased everything. If they want me to have a phone with email on it, they need to provide same. On the other side of the same coin, they are welcome to search their pc on my desk at home for whatever they like. It's never been to facebook or any other site that is not related to the reason for which it was provided.
 
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