Now Interviewing For A New Interviewer

, , , , , , | Working | November 20, 2018

(I have been trying to get a job for over a month, with over sixty job applications, several interviews, and no luck. Today, I have a scheduled interview with a manufacturing company for a data-entry job. I enter the interview room after I am called.)

Interviewer: “Mr. [My Name], yes?” *takes out my CV and starts reading it* “[My address], huh? What, daddy didn’t give you enough money?”

(I am livid. While we do live in a rich neighbourhood, my life is nowhere near what would be considered rich. The only reason we live there is that we bought the land when it was still cheap and a normal neighbourhood. My dad has been retired for over a year, as well, and I was barred from getting a job before I finished my first year of university. I snatch my CV from the jerk’s hand and go home. When I get home and check my phone, there are eight missed calls from the same company. Then another call comes in. I pick it up.)

Man: “Is this Mr. [My Name]?”

Me: “What do you want?”

Man: “I’m [Man], sir, and I’d like to apologize for what my ex-colleague has done. His behaviour was completely unacceptable. I can assure you he has been dealt with. Would you like to reschedule another interview?”

(I end up declining as the traffic in that area was rather rough, but I was glad that the jerk didn’t get away scot-free.)

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Interviewee Who Lied On Resume About Microsoft Proficiency Excels At Wasting Time

, , , , , | Working | November 11, 2018

(I am a sales director at a manufacturing company, hiring for a position directly under me that does data entry and prepares quotes to send to customers. The position requires daily use of Outlook, Excel, and our basic data-entry system. I am currently in the interview with a woman whose stunning resume boasts several administrative office positions and high-level Microsoft office skills; in fact, based on her resume, she seems a little overqualified for the position.)

Me: “This all looks really great. So, this job entails sending quotes out to customers, and because of the products we deal with, these quotes need to be accurate, consistent, and done in a timely manner. We get 30 to 40 requests a day that need to be entered into our system, tracked, and responded to. It requires daily use of Microsoft Excel to create the quotes, and Microsoft Outlook to send the quotes and converse with customers. It requires a lot of time management, organization, prioritizing, data entry, and high-level attention to detail. How would you rate your skills in these areas?

Interviewee: “Oh, excellent! All my past jobs have been administrative, and pretty much all I’ve done is work with Excel and Outlook.”

Me: “And how would you rate your organization and prioritizing skills?”

Interviewee: “Fantastic. I really love a fast-paced job that keeps me busy, and I’m almost OCD when it comes to details and making sure everything is correct.”

Me: “That sounds great. What kind of manager do you like to work for? Do you like a manager that gives you in-depth detail on how to perform your duties, or do you prefer to make the job your own and tailor it to what works for you?”

Interviewee: “I prefer to make it my own. Once I know what to do, I like to find what works best for me and do it that way, so long as it gets done correctly.”

(I’m secretly very pleased at that; I HATE to micro-manage.)

Me: “Wonderful! I just have a final follow-up question. Let’s say that you have a task to do that requires you need get a cell in Excel to do something specific, but you’re not sure how to get the formula right. What would be your process for solving that problem?”

Interviewee: “I’d probably check YouTube, or Google, and try and figure it out. If I can’t, I might ask someone else, but you can find how to do almost anything on YouTube.”

(I’m silently cheering the answer; I love self-sufficiency.)

Me: “Well, that’s great. I think I have everything I need. Any questions for me?”

(I end up hiring her based on her fantastic resume and her saying she has all the skills I need. She starts work the following Monday, and I spend the day training her, going through the process. Then, I sit back and let her do one quote herself.)

Me: “Here is an email like all the others requesting a quote. Go ahead and download the files and set it up in the system.”

([Interviewee] clicks, “Download,” struggles to find the file despite it being right in the downloads folder, then struggles to unzip the file.)

Me: *trying to remain calm* “Okay, go ahead and generate the Excel quote, make the changes I showed you, and save it the way I showed you.”

(She struggles to find and open the downloaded Excel file, struggles to hide the columns not needed on the quote, struggles to widen a column so the quote text isn’t cut off, struggles to save the file as a PDF, and then proceeds to struggle to find the email in Outlook, where she doesn’t even know how to reply to an email.)

Me: “So… your resume said you were highly skilled with Microsoft Office, including Excel and Outlook. You also said that in all your previous jobs you used these programs and did this same kind of work.”

Interviewee: “Yes, yes. I’m usually better than this; I’m just nervous with you watching over my shoulder.”

Me: *not buying it* “I understand. Go ahead back to your desk and do this next one, and send me the PDF of the quote to review when it’s ready.”

(This process should take at the most twenty minutes. I can do it in less than two, but I give the new person a fair chance. An hour later…)

Me: “I am just checking up on you. How are you doing with that quote?”

(I notice she has her cell phone propped up so she can watch some kind of video while she works.)

Interviewee: “Oh, I’m just stuck on this. I can’t figure out how to enter the information here.”

(She is in our database where she needs to be to enter the customer’s information, the very first step of the process. She hasn’t clicked, “Edit,” to make the fields editable. Apparently, she has spent an hour clicking on the greyed-out boxes, not sure why she isn’t able to type in them.)

Me: “You need to click the big, green ‘Edit’ button up there at the top.”

Interviewee: “Ohhh. Also, I couldn’t figure out how to get the files from the email.”

Me: “It’s that big, red link that says, ‘Click here to download project files.’”

Interviewee: “Ohhh… Fuh.”

Me: “Okay… Send me the PDF when you’re done.”

(It was another hour before she finally came to me and said she couldn’t figure out the next step, uploading the project files to our server. This literally just involves unzipping the file, and then dragging and dropping them into the server. I had to let her go. I felt bad, but I don’t have time to teach computer basics before teaching the actual job. It’s also not my fault she lied on her resume and in her interview about her skills.)

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Seasonal Holiday Workers Surprised When Told They Have To Work The Holidays

, , , , , | Working | November 7, 2018

(It’s the end of September and the store where I work starts taking applications for temporary seasonal workers. My boyfriend and I are out on a double date with his best friend and his new girlfriend, when the topic of work comes up and I casually mention this fact. As it turns out, the new girlfriend has never held a job before, is looking to get a bit of experience, and asks if I could get her an application. The next day, I pick up an application after my shift is over and head back to the apartment my boyfriend and I share to find that his best friend and his girlfriend have stopped by for an impromptu video game night. I hand her the application, instruct her to fill it out, and head over to the store the next day to turn it in. As she isn’t interested in video games like the rest of us, she spends the evening filling out the application. I think nothing more of it until she has a question.)

Girlfriend: “So, what do I do about time off requests?”

Me: “What do you mean?”

Girlfriend: “I have plans to go back to my parents for the holidays this year. They’ve already bought the plane tickets, so I can’t exactly cancel on them. They’d understand, right?”

Me: “I’m sure they’d understand, but as you’re applying for temporary seasonal work, how long you’ll be gone may affect their decision to consider you. If it’s only for a couple of days for Christmas or something, you might be fine, but I would certainly bring it up if you get called for an interview.”

Girlfriend: “It’s… not exactly for a couple of days.”

(It turns out this girl is planning on going back home for a week for Thanksgiving, meaning she won’t be available to work Thanksgiving Day or Black Friday. She is also planning to go home for two weeks for Christmas and New Year’s, meaning she won’t be around for the last couple of shopping days before Christmas and any post-holiday sales or returns. Everyone knows those are the busiest times in retail, and it is because of the increase in business that stores hire temporary seasonal employees. I want to be tactful, but I end up blurting out the obvious.)

Me: “So, what you’re saying is you’ll be away for Thanksgiving Day as well as Black Friday, one of the busiest shopping days of the year, and you’ll be gone right before and after Christmas, which are always super busy?”

Girlfriend: “Well, yeah, but I’m fine with that. I’ve seen the videos, and I’ve heard the horror stories about Black Friday, and you’ve got to be crazy if you think I’d agree to work on a day like that for minimum wage.”

Me: *dumbfounded* “I should probably tell you that the job only lasts between ten to eleven weeks. If you’re already planning on being gone for three of those weeks, and those three weeks happen to be during the busiest times of the season, there’s probably a good chance they won’t consider you. I’m not saying you need to change your plans or anything, but I don’t want you to be surprised if you don’t get a call back for an interview. And that’s not just at [Store where I work]; that’s any retailer looking for temporary seasonal help.”

(The girlfriend submitted her application, anyway. No surprise that she didn’t get a call back for an interview.)

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Informally Informing You

, , , , , , | Working | November 6, 2018

(I’m hiring for a new position on my team. The salary is very attractive, as it’s a specialised role. I’ve offered to meet anyone who has any questions about the role before they apply. The meetings are informal, but I am shocked by just how informal some people are.)

Me: “So, do you have any questions about the role or the responsibilities?”

Applicant #1: “Well, could you start by talking me through the role? I haven’t read the job description yet; I just saw the salary and decided to apply.”

Applicant #2: “I don’t have any questions about the job, because I don’t care what I do. I just saw it’s Monday through Friday only; is that right?”

Applicant #3: “Would I ever need to travel to [Site #2 about one hour away]?”

Me: “More than likely, as the team there will be part of our core users. You’d probably need to be there once a week at least, but your expenses will be covered.”

Applicant #3: “Hm, is that negotiable? I don’t have time to be driving to the site.”

Applicant #4: “Will I be busy all day, or will I have downtime?”

Me: “Uh, well, the workload isn’t unmanageable but there will be enough work to fill your entire day, every day.”

Applicant #4: “Do you ever have quiet periods, like the way sales aren’t busy after Christmas?”

Me: “No, our workload stays consistent throughout the year.”

Applicant #4: “Oh, I was really hoping I’d have some downtime during the day.”

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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.)

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