Interviews Work Both Ways

, , , , , | Working | October 30, 2018

(I have a job interview at 10:00 am in a call center. I’m there at 9:50 am, and when I enter the building, I realise I’m immediately in the working area. I find this odd but don’t think much about it since it’s a small company. It takes about five minutes before somebody gets off the phone long enough to talk to me, as there’s no reception desk. I say who I am and why I’m there. It takes about five more minutes before they can call the person who I have an appointment with. They tell me to wait a little bit further, at something I could call a bar, with no chairs, nowhere to sit, about two meters from the desks they’re working, right next to a staircase. I stand there waiting, and see the time going by. At 10:30, still nobody has come to get me. It’s impossible to ask anybody, since they’re all on the phone constantly. I keep waiting, and finally, at 11:30, the boss comes halfway down the stairs and just says:)

Boss: “Yeah, you can come up.”

(I go to his office, where he has already sat down at his desk. All he says to me is:)

Boss: “Okay, sit down. I have a lot of work to do, so I will take the interview while answering emails and phone calls.”

(The whole conversation is him basically repeating what was in the job offer on the Internet, and asking me a few questions to which he would have known the answers if he had read my resume. He doesn’t even listen to my answers, since he’s busy with his email, and keeps answering phone calls, interrupting me all the time. I can’t even ask questions myself, since he’s just not listening. After about twenty minutes of this, he finishes with this gem.)

Boss: “Okay, well, I told you everything I can think about, so just think about the job and call me in a day or two to tell me if you’re still interested.”

(I’m seriously annoyed by his rude attitude and decide I absolutely don’t want the job.)

Me: “Look. I won’t call you back. Just write down somewhere that I’m not a candidate for this job anymore. I’m not planning on working for somebody who can’t even plan his day, since you had to take calls and answer emails while you were having an interview. You didn’t even bother to read my resume, and didn’t even listen to my answers to your questions, or answer mine. I will also not work for somebody who thinks it’s okay to be an hour and a half late, and not even apologise for it. I deserve a little bit more respect than that. And you’re not even able to make a decision yourself, since I have to call you back to tell you if I’ll take the job or not. Sorry, not going to happen. Bye. I know the way out.”

(I didn’t wait for him to react; I just left. Note to employers: when you’re having an interview with a candidate, you might be judging them, but the candidate judges you, as well. If you treat a candidate like a piece of dirt, don’t expect them to want to work for you.)

Trust Me, Best Manager Ever, Like You’ll Never Believe…

, , , , , | Working | September 22, 2018

(I am conducting interviews for a management position in our company. We’ve had our fair share of bizarre interviewees, but this one by far stands out the most.)

Me: “So, what makes you the best choice for this position?”

Interviewee: “I’m an expert at screaming at employees! I have a voice so loud it’ll make them cower in fear every time they hear me! Oh, and I’m excellent at firing people, too. At my last job, I fired twenty people in my first week! Isn’t that exciting? I’m telling you, I will be the best manager ever!”

(It was very hard for me to keep a straight face for the rest of the interview after hearing that. We knew we weren’t going to hire her after her statement, but we followed up with her previous employer after the interview as part of the mandatory process. As it turns out, she had been fired from her previous manager position after just one week for — you guessed it — mistreatment of employees and repeated violations of company termination policy.)

They Just L-SAT There

, , , , , , | Learning | September 14, 2018

(I am looking for a summer job in law school and I apply to an LSAT tutoring company. They give me a Skype interview where I have to go through a practice problem as if I were teaching it to a student.)

Me: “So, do you want me to demonstrate the problem, or go through it in Socratic Method?”

(Socratic Method is where you ask the person questions so that they figure it out themselves.)

Interviewer: “Doesn’t matter to me, man.”

(I go ahead and demonstrate the problem, figuring it is a lot easier than trying to walk the interviewer through it Socratically. After I’m done, the interviewer says:)

Interviewer: “Okay, that was fine, but unfortunately we wanted you to teach it Socratically.”

Me: “Okay, but I asked you specifically at the beginning if you wanted me to, and you said I didn’t need to.”

Interviewer: “Hm… I don’t remember that.”

Me: “Well, do you want me to teach it Socratically now, then?”

Interviewer: “Meh, sure. Go ahead.”

Me: “Okay, so, starting from the beginning, what’s the first thing we need to figure out about the problem?”

Interviewer: “I don’t know.”

Me: *slightly taken aback, I go even simpler* “Okay, so, what information do we know from the problem?”

Interviewer: “I don’t know.”

Me: *getting frustrated* “Okay, starting with the first sentence, what does it tell us?”

Interviewer: “I don’t know.”

Me: “Okay, the first sentence says, ‘[Sentence],’ doesn’t it?”

Interviewer: “I don’t know.”

(The entire rest of the interview proceeded like this, with the interviewer never answering anything other than, ‘I don’t know.’ He made me basically go through the entire problem myself without making any attempt to role-play as a student, meaning that I basically just ended up demonstrating the problem all over again but much slower. I should also note that this was a tutoring position for LSAT, which means that all of the students I would have been tutoring would have at least three years of university behind them. If any of their students were as dumb as the interviewer was playing them to be, they don’t deserve to pass the LSAT.)

A “Couple” Of Scheduling Issues

, , , , , | Working | September 12, 2018

(I’m a guy who has been trying to get a job at the same place my husband works night shifts, on the same shift as him, which I made clear when I first applied. Attending the drug and alcohol test, the recruiter made it clear that that specific shift was unlikely to have any openings in the near future, and suggested another night shift, finishing and ending two hours earlier.)

Recruiter: “So, these are the hours; it’s only two hours difference to [Husband].”

Me: “Let’s do it. It’s better than waiting for months, but I wanted to have the same rota as him.”

Interviewer: *looks confused*

Me: “So we can have the same days off?”

Interviewer: *seemingly completely baffled* “Oh… Why?”

Me: “So we can… do things together?”

(He was seriously confused by the concept that a couple would want to share their days off. I don’t want to know what his relationships have been like for that to be such a foreign concept…)

Not All Fatherly Advice Is Good Advice

, , , , , , | Working | September 4, 2018

(I’m soon graduating university with a degree in computer science. Simultaneously, I’m also working as a working student — a concept in German academia where, rather than working in an unrelated side job, you’re working part-time in your future field of study to gain some experience and build a network, and are paid slightly less than someone with a degree. While the chances that they’ll hire me afterwards are rather high, my dad feels the need to help me get a job. He tells me a friend of his is searching for someone like me. I’m not too eager to apply, but it won’t hurt, either. Calling his friend, I learn that there’s no official job posting yet, and that I just should send an application with my experience and a salary expectation. I do just that, being careful to include a request to keep my application in confidence, and am invited to an interview.)

Interviewer: “First things first. Your salary expectations are a bit high. If [Dad’s Friend] wouldn’t had insisted, we likely wouldn’t have invited you.”

Me: “I think they are more than fair. It’s actually slightly below the average entry wage for someone with my degree, but I’m willing to compromise. What did you have in mind?”

Interviewer: “Something in the ballpark of 14€ an hour.”

Me: “That’s actually even less than I’m currently earning as a working student. I’d be willing to go down to 20€, but that’s about it.”

Interviewer: “I don’t know what to tell you. We simply don’t have that money in our budget for a graphics designer.”

Me: “Wait. What? I’m a computer scientist specializing in UX design, not a graphics designer. That’s a totally different area of expertise! I’m afraid I’m not the right applicant for this job.”

(With this I got up, said good-bye, and went home frustrated, suspecting they didn’t read more than my salary expectations. The next day I went to work and my boss called me into his office. Apparently, they’d also ignored my plea for confidence and contacted my department for a reference without my permission. Thanks, Dad!)

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