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Well, It Was Worth A Shot

, , , , , | Working | January 14, 2022

A friend of mine told me this story. It’s about half an hour before a hiring interview, and he’s talking with a coworker about the applicant’s resume. His second most recent listed job is as “Home Guard” for a company they don’t recognize, with a very vague description of what his duties entailed.

Coworker: “Did you say ‘Home Guard’?”

Friend: “What about it?”

Coworker: “I think he might have been unemployed for that period. You’d better question him about it.”

During the interview, my friend does indeed probe about that particular job. His coworker was right on the money; the applicant was, in fact, unemployed. His wife is an independent masseuse, and the “Company” that the candidate has on his resume is just the name she uses for her business. After the interview, my friend talks to his coworker again.

Friend: “You were right; he was unemployed. How did you know?”

Coworker: “‘Guarding my own home’ is a Japanese euphemism for unemployment. It came up in a manga I was reading.”

Who knew being an avid otaku would pay off in business?

That Better Be An Amazing Roast Dinner…

, , | Working | January 1, 2022

I was made redundant from my previous job as a design engineer. As such, I look for any work just to keep the lights on. I get approached by an employer who offers competitive rates of pay and other perks. It’s a small company but I go for the interview.

When I get there it’s the grounds of a huge mansion. The interview is completed in the drawing-room and they offer to show me around. I assume we would be in an office or factory or working from home… I am wrong.

I’m taken out of the house to a small shack with no heating; inside are stacks and stacks of paper. When asked about this I am told the employer doesn’t trust computers… for a computer-aided-design based business…

Instead of running, I ask one final question regarding the perks: “Oh you get a Christmas dinner with us too and it’s compulsory and unpaid.”

I left so fast!

I got something far better three weeks later!

She Has Resting Fired Face

, , , , , | Working | December 28, 2021

We have a late application for a job vacancy; she applied the day before the interviews were going to start. She turns up just on time. She looks respectfully dressed, but this young woman has a constant sneer for everyone and everything.

Me: “Good morning, [Applicant], is it? I—”

Applicant: “Oh, good. I’ll have a coffee, white, with one sugar.”

Me: “Actually, we are ready to interview you now. I will see if someone can get you a coffee, though.”

Applicant: “Hmm… Okay, then.”

I walk her to the meeting room. She doesn’t talk to me on the walk over. She stops several times to look at notice boards or out windows, causing me to wait.

Me: “Please take a seat.”

She dusts some imaginary dust off the seat and finally sits down. Throughout the whole interview, she answers questions but only directs the answer to my older colleague. When I ask for my details, she sighs and treats each answer as an inconvenience.

We get near the end.

Applicant: “I think you will find I’ve answered every question satisfactorily.”

She fumbles in her bag.

Me: “Well, yes. Thank you for your time.”

She pulls out a cigarette. This is years after indoor smoking was banned. We stare in disbelief as she lights up in front of us.

Me: “There is no smoking inside.”

Applicant: “Ugh.” *To my coworker* “Can you believe this guy?”

Coworker: “I’m afraid he’s right; you can’t smoke in here.”

Applicant: *Almost to herself* “Well, I know who I won’t be looking forward to working with.”

Me: “Yes, I think that’s clear. Now, let me show you out.”

I didn’t hire her. No way could she work on my team. I wonder how she thought that was going to get her a job even if I wasn’t the hiring manager.

Not Slated To Be A Valued Member Of Our Team

, , , , , | Working | December 15, 2021

I interviewed a guy who looked good on paper, but in the interview, he came across as very full of himself. According to him, he was the best of class and best in his department. He boasted about what books he read, and all his interests were very pretentious. Generally, he didn’t seem very likable and or like a great fit for the team.

That being said, it wasn’t enough to rule him out completely. He got through the interview and seemed to answer most of the questions okay, and at the end, we asked him if he had any questions.

Applicant: “What are these values you mentioned earlier?”

Me: “Oh, they are the corporate values, integrity, teamwork, and acceptance of others.”

Applicant: “So, do you believe in them?”

Me: “Well, yes, the company follows a set of values in how we work and treat others.”

Applicant: “But do you believe in them?”

Me: *Pause* “Yes, we all believe in them, and we encourage others to do so. Was there a particular value you had a concern with?”

He thought for a moment.

Applicant: “Well, no. All of them really. I mean, it all sounds like a load of hippy, religious BS to me.”

Me: “I don’t think any of the values in any way—”

He cut me off.

Applicant: “I mean, if I don’t believe in all that, do I have to follow them?”

Me: “You don’t want to show integrity or value other people?”

Applicant: “I don’t mean that. I just don’t want some cry-baby complaining because I ‘offended’ them.”

He actually did the air quotes.

Me: “Well, yes, we do expect everyone to follow the values the company holds.”

He seems to think for a moment.

Applicant: “Well, that’s not very fair, is it?”

I hurried along the rest of the interview. It was pretty clear that he wouldn’t be a good fit. I sent him the rejection email, but it was my coworker who got the phone call from the guy, who shouted down the phone about how he was the right person for the job and how we were all stupid and prejudiced for not realising how brilliant he was. He called three more times — luckily, he was sent to voicemail — to shout at us and tell us how brilliant he was.

Funnily enough, that wasn’t enough to change our minds.

Those Lies Will Always Come Back To Bite You

, , , , , | Working | December 13, 2021

About halfway through a job interview, I had some major red flags come up about the company. They had no order book, no future plans, and nothing owned by the company. The role I was applying for seemed completely hashed together and they couldn’t really tell me what I would be doing.

They really tried hard to convince me that this was a good move and promised that the company was about to take off. They had new contracts lined up and told me that I would have a good future. No risk at all.

But I wasn’t sure, and I didn’t want to leave a good job based only on some promises.

A few months later, my boss asked the team if anyone knew [Interviewer] to give a reference. I said I recognised the name from somewhere, and he shared the CV with me.

I was surprised that it was one of the guys that interviewed me. 

Me: “Did he say why he was leaving his current job?”

Manager: “The company is closing, six months tops. Why?”

Me: “Not sure he has the integrity to work here.”

Manager: “Care to elaborate?”

Me: “I met him once. He lied through his teeth to try to get me to leave here.”

Manager: “Fair enough. That’s a no, then.”

He didn’t get the job.