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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.

Apparently, “Withdrawn” Doesn’t Mean All That We Thought

, , , , , | Working | November 26, 2021

I had an interview with a company that initially went really well, but it became clear that the company just wasn’t what I was looking for in job security, development, or any real long-term future. I withdrew my application a few days later and thanked them for their time.

A month later, I had interviewed and accepted another job when I got a call from a familiar area code. I was busy so I let it go to voicemail. I got a message, and it was a woman from the first company. I applied directly, so I knew it was about the job. I wondered if they might be trying to win me over — not that it would change anything. When I had time, I called back.

Me: “Hi. I got a missed call earlier. It’s [My Name].”

Woman: “Oh, yes, that was me. I was ringing to let you know that you have been unsuccessful with [job role]. We keep details of all applicants on file and may consider you for other roles.”

Me: “Thank you for ringing me. I do appreciate that. But can I ask you not to keep my details on file, please? I won’t be interested in any roles with [Company].”

Woman: “I don’t think that is the attitude to take.”

Me: “No, I think you misunderstand. I withdrew my application weeks ago. I don’t think [Company] offers what I looking for. So, I won’t be interested in any position, thank you.”

She muttered something and hung up without a goodbye. No loss on my part. I thought no more of it, other than a funny story to tell.

Nearly two months later, I got another phone call from the same woman, offering a chance to “re-do” my interview for the same position. I declined and this time blocked the number.

Flattery Will Get You (Almost) Nowhere

, , , , , | Working | November 19, 2021

Outside of my former workplace is a strip of stores and restaurants that I would go to on my break to get a bite to eat. For some odd reason, there would always be girls there collecting signatures to promote some kind of environmental or political cause or trying promote a charity organization. Each one of them was very passionate about what they were representing, and if you weren’t careful, they would happily talk your ear off while showing you various pictures and information slides. Even if you weren’t up for signing up to donate monthly, they still felt it was their duty to make you aware of their causes.

This got to be a serious problem when I was on my freaking lunch hour!

Regretfully, I’m one of those people who are afraid to offend others or say no, so more than once I spent a good portion of my lunch hour listening to some girl babbling about an air pollution issue.

I soon discovered a remedy for this. When approached by one of them, I would continue walking while loudly saying, “My God, you are absolutely beautiful! You need to make a portfolio; there are plenty of modeling agencies looking for people like you!” It would catch the girl completely off guard and stun her into an awkward silent spell — sometimes with a stuttered, “Thank you!” — allowing me time to escape.

Fast forward to the health crisis. Unfortunately, I lost my job. I managed to score a job interview coincidentally in a building near the same strip of businesses. As I hurried into the lobby, a lady approached me with a notepad and what appeared to be a stack of pamphlets. Uh-uh, no time for this! 

Lady: “Excuse me—”

Me: “Lady, you are absolutely gorgeous. You should be modeling for Vogue magazine! How’d you get your hair so perfect?”

I rushed into an elevator as it closed. I went up to the floor of the office and let the receptionist know I was there for my interview.

Receptionist: “She’s actually waiting for you in the lobby. A water pipe burst in her office so she has to interview you there.”

Oops.

Yeah, it was her, all right. I noted that she maintained a bright smile throughout the interview, and at the end, she remarked that she didn’t feel I qualified for the particular job I was applying for, but she DEFINITELY would call me should a more fitting position become available.

Gosh, That Does Sound Perfect!

, , , , , | Working | November 1, 2021

I’m leaving my current job, soon to be starting another. I’ve taken down my CV from all the websites, but I still get the odd call from recruiters.

Recruiter: “Hi. I’ve seen your CV online and think I have a job for you.”

Me: “Sorry, I’m no longer looking. I’ve since taken down my CV.”

Recruiter: “Hear me out; this is an urgent vacancy and we’re hiring immediately.”

Me: “Again, I’m sorry, but I’ve already committed to a new role.”

Recruiter: “Have you signed the contract? Because you can still take other jobs.”

Me: “I’m not sure how I feel about doing that.”

Recruiter: “Just hear me out; the job is perfect for you and the money is excellent.”

Me: “I guess it couldn’t hurt.”

He explains the details, and to be fair, it does seem like a job I could do easily. The money isn’t what I would call excellent. But then he mentions something tiny but really specific.

Me: “Wait, you’re not talking about [Company], are you?”

Recruiter: “I can’t divulge that information.”

Me: “It’s just something you said. If you check my CV, you will note that I am actually leaving that position.”

The recruiter hung up. He was trying to get me to interview for the job I had just quit — for less money. Clearly, he didn’t bother to read my CV at all.

Illegal Questions And Questionable Hiring

, , , , , , , | Working | November 1, 2021

I’m a proposal writer. A few weeks after the health crisis hit the US, I was laid off by my now-former employer. Several months later, I was still out of work. I’d been cranking out job applications right and left, and I FINALLY heard back from a technology company that looked good on paper, and the job description was almost identical to what I’d been doing at my last job. But the red flags started popping up almost immediately.

First, their hiring manager emailed me asking for basic information that had been included in the application. Fair enough; I figured they wanted to make sure I wasn’t a bot. Then, they asked for a copy of my resume, which I had included with my original application, but again, whatever.

Next, [Hiring Manager] reached out to me on Thursday, asked when I would be available for a phone interview that upcoming Monday, and gave me a list of open time slots. I specified my preferred time slot and [Hiring Manager] thanked me and said his colleague would call me on Monday during that time slot. Maybe two hours later, [Colleague] emailed me and said he will call me tomorrow — Friday, not Monday — at a completely different time slot. I replied to [Colleague], CC’ing [Hiring Manager], asking for clarification. [Colleague] emailed me back to say he’d be calling me for my phone interview on Friday during the time slot he’d indicated.

Okay, now I was annoyed — thankfully, my schedule was open on Friday — but decided to be a professional and see this through.

Then, I realized that [Colleague] had also emailed me the ENTIRE email chain where he and his colleagues had decided they should interview me. Again, this was at a technology company, where they should have had at least some idea of information security.

The next day, [Colleague] called me — on time, surprisingly — introduced himself as the owner of the company — I checked after the call and he was — and opened the “interview” this way:

Colleague: “Now, [My Name], I’m guessing you don’t know anything about [Company], so I’m going to tell you about us and what we do.”

Cue a fifteen-minute-long (not exaggerating) rambling lecture in which he told me his entire life’s story and a (very brief) history of the company. He never once talked about the role I had applied for, their clients or industries their clients were in, or anything even remotely related to the job. Once he wrapped up, he dropped this on me.

Colleague: “Now, [My Name], are you married?”

I responded with shocked silence. In the US, employers are not allowed to hire or fire based on your marital status and legally aren’t even allowed to ask you that question. At that point, I decided nope, I’d see the interview through, but I was absolutely NOT going to accept the job if offered.

[Colleague] started stammering, probably realizing that he had just screwed up big-time.

Colleague: “Uh, I ask that question because this is an on-site position and I need to gauge how open your family would be to relocating.”

Me: “Uh, no, no, I have no problem relocating to Florida.”

Colleague: “Okay, that’s good. So, as a Proposal Writer, you’ll be responsible for [literally reads me the job posting word-for-word]. Now, do you have any experience writing government bids?”

Me: “A little on the state and local levels, but not federal. Almost all of my experience has been with private-sector clients.”

Colleague: “Okay, most of our work is with government entities, but that’s no problem. Well, thank you for your time, and we’ll be in touch with an offer.”

And that was the extent of the interview. At no point did [Colleague] discuss my job history (outside of the aforementioned responding to government bids) or my skills or experience. I figured that was that, and shortly afterward had another interview with a fantastic — and much more professional — company. They made me an offer which I accepted.

But the story’s not over just yet. Oh, no. Two weeks after I accepted my current job, [Colleague] emailed me back to offer me the job — at an insultingly-low salary, too! I wrote a very polite and professional email explaining that I had accepted a different offer. [Colleague]’s response was, and I quote:

Colleague: “Okay. Well, when that doesn’t work out for you, give us a call.”

Yeah… not happening in this or any other lifetime.