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A Little Research Goes A Long Way

, , , , , | Working | January 15, 2022

We have been getting a lot of bad job applicants lately; many don’t turn up, are completely unprepared, or clearly have no interest, despite all having a great (if a little similar) CV.

It’s a massive waste of all of our time. Three of us spend a day a week not actually doing our jobs and instead doing pointless interviews and all the paperwork that goes with it.

I’m confused as to why so many people just are so terrible. That’s when one of the team members tells me that, to get certain benefits, people have to be seen to look for work. So, by showing up and wasting our time, they can falsely claim that they are actually looking for work.

Not anymore.

The next two interviewees don’t show up. I tell Human Resources to categorically tell anyone who calls that they didn’t show. (Apparently, they weren’t doing this before.)

The very next guy refuses to give any answers at all and is rude about the pay (even though it’s on the advert). To top it off, he accidentally knocks over the magazine rack on his way out and just leaves it all over the floor.

Again, I tell Human Resources to just say he didn’t show up. They get quite a few calls, but I tell them to keep to the same story.

Eventually, I get someone at the door wanting to see me. It’s the most recent interviewee, and he looks angry. I go down to see him.

Interviewee: “Why are you lying about my interview? First, you don’t give me a job. Then, you lie so I can’t claim. I mean, you lie about me not coming.”

Me: “You weren’t present in the interview; you didn’t answer questions. You have no idea what the job was even for.”

Interviewee: “That’s a lie! I would love to work here. I just don’t do interviews well.”

Me: “So, you really want to work here, huh?”

Interviewee: “Yes!”

Me: “You are interested in the company and know what we do?”

Interviewee: “Yes!”

Me: “What’s the name of the company?”

Interviewee: “Err…”

Me: “What do we do?”

Interviewee: “Err… make things?”

Me: “If you want a job like you say you do, apply again and I’ll interview you. But turn up like you did, and I will tell them you didn’t show.”

He went away, promising that he would show me and that he would apply again. He never did.

Word must have gotten around because, while we got a lot fewer applicants, we only got people that actually seemed to want to work here. We filled the vacancy less than a week later.

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?

It’s Not Just The Résumé That Matters

, , , , | Working | December 30, 2021

My boss often asks me to look over prospective CVs (résumés), mainly just as a second pair of eyes in case I spot something he didn’t. He hands me a CV for a role in our department.

Me: “I wouldn’t employ him if I were you.”

Boss: “Really? He has such a great CV.”

Me: “Yeah, but the guy does the bare minimum. He’s a real ‘not my job,’ ‘they don’t pay me to care’ type of guy.”

Boss: “Are you sure?”

Me: “Oh, yeah. I worked with him. Wouldn’t help out others, left me in the s*** a few times when I needed help, and he just clocked out.”

Boss: “Fair enough.”

He screws up the CV and throws it in the bin.

A few months later, the “new starters” email comes out and it’s the guy we were talking about. He must have applied for another position and gotten it. The last few months were tough, and we couldn’t find anyone for the job, so everyone in the department was really busy.

Boss: “Listen, I’m not doubting you, but [Other Department] offered to lend us [New Guy]. I do have an interview later with a really inexperienced candidate. Are you sure we don’t want [New Guy]?”

Me: “Trust me.”

He reluctantly did. The interview went well and they hired the woman to take on the role. On the day she started, they fired [New Guy] for his attitude. It must have been bad as it was right when we were about to get really busy.

With so few candidates, we would have been really stuck if my boss had kept up the swap. The new woman did really well and was a great help in the months after

How To Prove Them Right

, , , , | Working | December 29, 2021

As a technical lead who has had the experience of hiring in the past, I deal with a lot of the vacancies we have, as many of our staff have worked here all their lives. It is a job in itself as people retire and leave the company.

I get a pointed email from a guy who says he has applied for several positions and never heard anything back. He states that his experience is perfect for the company and wants to know if he can talk to someone in the business.

I read through his CV (resumé), and it is pretty good. I recall passing it on a few times, so I apologise and tell him we normally do let candidates know the reason why they weren’t hired and that I will look into this for him.

First, I talk to the hiring manager, who remembers the CV; they passed it to Human Resources as a recommendation. Then, I speak to HR, who can’t remember exactly but say they would have passed it to the director to sign off; he would be the only person who could tell me.

So, I go to the director.

Me: “Excuse me, sorry. But I’m following up on a CV. The person tells me that they have applied several times and never heard back. Everyone has told me so far that they liked it and I’m wondering what happened.”

Director: “That’s odd. Can I see the CV?”

I hand it to him.

Director: “Ah, yes, I can tell you why. The guy is an a***hole.”

Me: “I’m sorry?”

Director: “Oh, yes. I worked with him before at another company. Overly negative, condescending… I actually fired him in the end when he publicly ridiculed an employee in front of everyone. You can tell him that if you like.”

Me: “Thanks? I will make sure he gets some feedback.”

I go away and wish I never promised him a reply, but I said I would, so I give him a call.

Me: “Thank you for your interest in [Company]; however, after a review, I have discovered that your applications are not being considered for employment here.”

Job Seeker: “Well, why not?”

Me: “Speaking to our director, [Director], he believes that you don’t have the right fit for our company.”

Job Seeker: “Oh, him. Well, if that Bible-thumper works there, maybe I don’t want to work there, anyway. F*** him and f*** you; f*** your whole company.”

Me: “I think we certainly don’t want you, either. Goodbye, Mr. [Job Seeker], please do not contact us here again.”

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.