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.)

Drowning In Complaints

, , , , | Right | November 11, 2018

(Our state has recently been impacted by a hurricane. Our office headquarters is in the western part of the state, so we got some pretty bad rain but no flooding or power outages. Some of our eastern locations were hit pretty hard and many are still closed or recovering. For the last week I’ve gotten at least a dozen calls that went something like this:)

Me: “Thank you for calling [Office]. How may I direct your call?”

Caller: “Yes, I want to know why my [Office] location isn’t open.”

Me: “Which location would that be, ma’am?”

Caller: “In [City affected by the hurricane].”

Me: “Well, ma’am, that area was hit pretty hard by the hurricane, and many of our locations are still recovering.”

Caller: “But the storm is over! Why aren’t they open?”

Me: *quickly checking the map location online* “Unfortunately, I’m pretty sure that location is still inaccessible.”

Caller: “What the h*** does that mean?”

Me: *pause* “It’s still underwater, ma’am.”

Caller: “Well… they… they should still find a way to be open!” *hangs up*

Me: *head-desk*

(Don’t get me wrong; I’m very concerned for the people still dealing with the effects of being hit by a storm that severe, but you would think that a building still being nearly submerged in flood water is a good reason for that business to not be back open yet.)

A Mistake In Assigning The Mistakes

, , , , | Working | November 9, 2018

(I’m in my first job after college. I’ve been in the job for a little over a year. I have recently bought my first ever car and am, of course, ecstatic. Everyone keeps asking about the car because they know that I’ve been walking to work. I overhear a couple of coworkers talking about me and how, due to my excitement about having a car, I am not paying attention to my job and am making mistakes in my highly-detailed data-entry job. Later in the day, one of them has decided to confront me about these mistakes.)

Coworker: “I know you are excited about having a car, but you really need to calm down and pay attention, because you are making a lot of mistakes.”

Me: “Okay, can you tell me what mistakes I’ve made?”

(The coworker gives me a list of the three mistakes. After she leaves, I look them up. I then walk back to her office.)

Me: “Well… [Mistake #1] wasn’t me. That was done about three weeks before I even started this job. [Mistake #2] also wasn’t me. That was the week I was on vacation, so I wasn’t even here. [Mistake #3] was me, but that happened two weeks after I started the job.”

They’d Love To Be Able To Ditch This Scammer

, , , , , | Right | November 8, 2018

(I am helping my friend out at his service business. They are having A LOT of trouble finding a suitable secretary. I used to be a receptionist, office manager, and customer service rep. I have to be at the office with all the other employees before six am. The phone rings:)

Me: “Good morning. [Business]. How may I help you?”

Caller: “I am calling to complain. My husband just got run off the road by your service truck! He is in a ditch now!”

Me: “Ma’am, are you sure you have the right company?”

Caller: “YES!” *screaming now* “He said he got the name and phone number off of your truck! You better send someone out there right now and pay for the damage!”

Me: “Ma’am, I think you must have the wrong company. There is no way it could have been our truck, because it has not left the parking lot.”

Caller: “Well, it must have, because it ran him off the road only thirty minutes ago.”

Me: “Ma’am, it could not have this morning.”

Caller: “Oh, really? And just how do you intend to prove that to the cops?”

Me: “Quite easily. You see, the truck is parked right outside the window next to my desk, next to my own vehicle.”

Caller: “Maybe it was taken before you got there and then returned.”

Me: “That is not possible, because I have been here for over two hours; plus, the keys for the truck are locked in my desk.”

Caller: “Well, I am just calling you to let you know it was your truck! I expect—”

Me: *interrupting* “Not likely. We have security cameras that have taped evidence to show that the truck has been there since yesterday afternoon when I took the keys from the driver and locked them in my desk. Good day.”

(I hung up. I figured out the woman was just trying to set up a scam to get money. Apparently she had tried it with several companies with trucks driving around town. I’m happy to report that she didn’t get anything but a visit from the cops.)

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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