Applying for jobs is a frustrating process.

I miss the days when you could walk into a place of employment and ask for an application. The wonderful soul working there would hand you a piece of paper and you could fill it out. That’s it, that’s all. And then, your ability to get an interview was measured based off what was listed on your application.

Those were the good ole days.

Yesterday I spent one hour and fourteen minutes submitting an application for ONE PLACE. ONE PLACE. They had my resume and cover letter submitted through LinkedIn. Once that was submitted I was sent an email exclaiming that I needed to “apply” and that those who applied had a 60% higher chance of getting an interview.

I thought that I had applied – silly me.

Nevertheless, I bit the bullet, clicked the link and started to ‘apply’. What followed was more than thirty minutes of every question that could, and should, actually be asked during a job interview. What would you bring to our team culture? If we have a staff game night, what game are you bringing? What is your biggest weakeness? And on, and on, and on.

This got me thinking… if you’re asking these questions to candidates during the application process, what do you actually ask during a job interview? Or do you even host an interview? Maybe you just make candidates jump through so many hoops that whoever is left standing at the end, you think ‘yeah, they put up with all that shit, we better hire them’.

Following the thirty minutes of job interview questions that I had to fill out, I thought ‘I’m done. Thank goodness’. I went on to researching more positions I’m qualified for and just a few short minutes later heard my phone beep with the email noise.

It was this company, again.

‘Please complete the pre-interview cognitive assessment test’, the email read. ‘Candidates who complete this test prove they’re intelligence and ability to work and therefore have advantages over candidates who don’t complete this assessment.’

Well, shit. I don’t want to have gotten this far into it and not completed the application now. So, I caved… clicked the link and started the test.

What I got was thirty minutes of infuriating math and pattern questions that have nothing to do with marketing, communications or public relations. My ability to determine what symbol comes next after a row of 20 symbols, that’s going to make me a better public relations specialist? My ability to remember the ‘FOIL’ technique to do timed math equations, that is going to make me a better marketer?

I don’t understand this company. I don’t. An ability to answer math questions or complete pattern recognition does not measure my culpability in an office environment. It does not tell you if I can write press releases, it does not explain whether or not I can handle stress. It tells you that I paid attention in math class when I was in school.

Job hunting is infuriating. When did it get this why? Why did it get this way? What is the point of even having a resume and cover letter anymore if all that really matters is how well you can jump through these hoops for a potential employer? What is my actual education and experience worth right now if pattern recognition is what makes me a beneficial employee to an organization?

I’m ranting. I know that. I know that I just need to suck it up and deal with it. I swear though, I swear right now that if I ever become a hiring manager or have a role that involves being a part of the hiring process in an organization EVER, I will make it simple. It will be basic. We will measure candidates for their qualifications and their education and we will be efficient. I’m not going to waste the time of job hunters. That pisses me off. I will do it better.

Okay, I better go back to my job hunting now. Crossing my fingers that it’s a little less infuriating today.

Side note – is instagram down right now? I can’t get on mine at all today. Or perhaps, maybe my account got blacklisted? I don’t know.

Okay, bye.

15 thoughts on “Applying for jobs is a frustrating process.

  1. I totally agree about job applications. I have received some that have wasted my time too and in the end, I never heard. So much for improving my chances, if I filled it in.

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  2. Couldn’t agree more. I spend so much time on tailoring my CV and cover letter for one job and then…no response. It is so rude and frustrating. Hang in there sister, we got this.

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  3. I just had one of these pattern recognition math quizzes and emotional intelligence ratings things the other week. I spent an hour doing all that and the result was an email the next day that I wasn’t a good fit for the organization. Being out of work sucks, the system is broken and has become impersonal. I found something after four months. Keep at it and something will come along.

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  4. I do miss those days too. It took so much courage to walk into that store and ask for the application. To fill it out and turn it in was such a moment of pride. At least that’s how I remember my first few years working during high school and early college. It’s easy to hide behind a computer these days and send anything in to anyone.

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  5. As a 54 year old mom who has not worked in 27 years, but may need a job at some point, the thought of going through such ridiculous hoops to beg someone to hire me makes me furious and also terrified. So many thoughts. I think someone should design an app to complete this crap for you. Is it this way with small companies as well, or mostly corporations?

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    1. Unfortunately, it’s like this for small companies too. Quite honestly, the whole scenario is a bit ridiculous. What I’m finding in Canada is that some company somewhere has created an application page and sold it… so I’m having to fill out the same stupid application with the same stupid questions of “What would you bring to Friday night staff game night?” etc everywhere. It’s banks and oil companies, mom and pop shops, restaurants – they’re all buying into whatever this application platform is. If/when you do start applying, I hope you’ve saved up a lot of patience for that time. It will be exhausting!

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