Adventures in Job Hunting (another rant)

This morning I’ve been on the phone with a job recruiter for a position within my industry. This is what is required for me to move onto the step of being potentially considered for an interview:

  1. Complete 35 minute personality assessment test.
  2. Provide 6 references (that’s right, 6) – including 2 former managers and at least two colleagues and cannot include personal friends
  3. In two-page written essay format, provide them answers to why I want this position and why I think I would be a good fit for their organization.

Obviously I have to jump through these hoops. Because, being unemployed, you don’t really get to decide which hoops will lead to something and which hoops are a waste of time. (Spoiler alert: for me, they all seem to be a waste of time) Nevertheless, setting aside the fact that this entire list pisses me off, I have a few questions of my own.

  • When did a generic online personality assessment test become more valuable to a hiring manager than a genuine character reading through face to face interaction?
  • Since you’re asking me job interview questions in a personality assessment test, if I make it to the interview process, what will you actually ask me in a job interview?
  • Isn’t six references a little bit overkill? It’s not like I’m applying for the Canadian Spy agency, here. Have you had that poor luck with people in this past that you require speaking to six references to ensure that I am who I say I am?
  • Why do you get the right to require references of me before you’re even willing to show an interest in interviewing me? Maybe I’m alone in this, but, the way that I see it, you should only be provided references once you’ve met and interviewed me and you’re looking to verify that my character matches that of which just sat in front of you and answered your questions proficiently.
  • Beyond teaching you that I check my spelling and grammar, what is my writing an essay going to teach you? Your company isn’t that special, nor is this job. If you’re hoping for me to beg or grovel in this essay, it’s not going to happen.
  • Do you believe that your company is special? Do you believe you’re doing something that every other company in the industry is lacking in right now? Because if so, how about you share that with me? It might make me feel like I’m selling my soul a little less when I write this, because so far as I can see, it looks like every other position on every other website listed.

I’m beginning to think maybe the best job out there for me these days is just to work at 7-11 as a cashier. Honestly, I doubt 7-11 would make me write an essay for a job.

#JustSaying

Adventures in job hunting

Shortly after I was fired from my last position I applied for a relatively large position within a relatively large company that’s head offices are in Canada but operates in 80 different countries.

In late January they contacted me to let me know they were considering me for the position and would like to have a phone interview. I know, amazing! Right?

I said Yes. We set a date for a phone interview, which happened to be the next day. I chatted with the HR Manager, and wowed him (or at least I thought that I did) so much so that he was talking about plane tickets to come for an interview and asked me if I could do a skype call with the Department head.

I said sure!

Another HR Manager contacted me one hour later. She wanted to set up a meeting via skype with the department head. I said ‘I am free, WHENEVER!’ Well, I said it with pizzazz, but without desperation. I was excited. The prospect of landing a job like this made me feel as though I’d be on an upward swing.

I had the Skype Meeting with the department head and I thought that it went really great. We chatted for quite a long time and she asked me everything under the sun. I thought I rocked it.

Given how good my chat with the HR Manager went in the morning, I thought they were, for sure, going to invite me out for an in-person interview.

The second HR Manager, the one who set up the meeting with the department head, told me ‘we’ll be in touch’.

A week went by, heard nothing. I sent a nice, polite, email asking if they wanted references. The second HR Manager said ‘we’ll be in touch’.

Another week went by. At this point I thought ‘I obviously am no longer being considered.’ I was bummed, but, the thing about job hunting is that you get used to rejection for no reason, and to companies unwilling to communicate with you about it.

Finally, three and a half weeks after my phone and skype interviews, I got an email from the second HR Manager that said ‘Thanks for your time Victoria, we’ve already hired for this position’.

I asked for some feedback of what I could do better next time around and I got nothing from her. I wasn’t surprised by this, but I had to try.

Naturally I was disappointed. This was going to be my upward swing. That being said, I needed to continue with my drawing board. For this whole three and a half week period I was applying for other jobs so I just told myself that I needed to continue that.

Last week, for shits and giggles, I submitted my resume to the “General Submission of Resume” section of their website.

I didn’t expect anything to come from it. I more-so just wanted to remind them of who they passed up.

Last night I got an email from the second HR Manager. The one who didn’t communicate with me for three weeks on end. She said ‘Thanks for applying for ‘said position I applied for in January’, we’d like to know if you’d be available for an interview next Tuesday or Wednesday.

Confused, because I’d already been passed up for this position and, this time around, submitted my resume to general submission, I immediately thought ‘They don’t remember interviewing me!’

I emailed her back and said ‘Just to clarify, because I submitted my resume to the general submision section, is this the position that I was interviewed for in late January/early February?’

I got an email back this morning that says ‘Right, Victoria! I will remind the department head that they’ve already interviewed you and ask if they’d like to do a second interview and that we can skip the first.”

THEY TOTALLY DIDN’T REMEMBER THEY’D INTERVIEWED ME.

THEY ALSO TOLD ME THEY’D HIRED FOR A POSITION THEY NEVER HIRED FOR.

WHY?

WHY?

WHY?

WHAT’S THE POINT IN LYING? You could have just told me the truth… you weren’t hiring.

Also, if I wasn’t qualified for this job (in your opinion) for you a month and a half ago, why would you consider me qualified now?

Life and times and unimportant things.

My thoughts are all over the map tonight. I just need to write some of this down to get it out of my head.

If I could sum up job hunting frankly, it is a lot of trying to prove your worth and value in this world to people who really don’t deserve your time.

I was denied Unemployment Insurance due to receiving a severance payment from my last employer. It really doesn’t matter that I paid 1,000 or more, per year, every year for the past decade to Unemployment, for (god forbid) an instance in which I did find myself unemployed. They took my money and now I don’t get it back. Oh well, I guess that’s the way the cookie crumbles. What I have left is what I have left until I find a new job.

I was also red-flagged medical insurance from two separate providers. See, here is the flaw in the system. When you don’t get medical insurance through an employer, you’re required to fill out a lot of forms and explain a lot of things about who you are, what your health is like and what your family history is like. So when they ask for me to list every medication I’ve been prescribed in the past 12 months I’m given a giant red-flag to the company. They’re not telling me I can’t have insurance, they’re just never going to tell me I can. Oh well, I guess that’s the way the cookie crumbles. I will pay for what I have to until I find a new job.

I’ve been struggling a lot lately. Job hunting is really weighing on me. The Hiring Manager for a job that I was passed-up for well over a month ago has been revisiting my LinkedIn page and I can’t help but want to send him a message saying ‘You know I can see you’re viewing my profile repeatedly, right?’ That’s a definitely struggle I have with the older generation. They can’t seem to clue into these simple concepts. If you’re going to turn me down for a position with no explanation or reasoning why, after you’ve told me I’m one of the final two candidates, why are you reviewing my LinkedIn page three days in a row, over a month later? Feeling bad about the person you hired? Or do you just genuinely not know that I can see you’ve viewed it?

My mom seems to be in good spirits the past few days, which is nice. I wouldn’t wish on anyone what she’s been going through and I know there are people in this world who have it so much worse and have had it so much worse. I’m glad to see her spirits lifting, and I’m glad to see a smile on her face again, even if it is only for a few fleeting moments at a time.

Derrick, the aforementioned roommate, has continued on his streak of making stupid/bad decisions this week. I’m beginning to think that he just prefers to make stupid decisions so that people take pity on him and do things for him. I could be way off, but it seems like he’s mastered the art of getting other people to do things so he doesn’t have to.

I’m still annoyed/bummed/frustrated that my autoimmune blood work came back negative. Though I was exceptionally anxious for the results, I was most definitely hoping for a diagnosis. At least with a diagnosis, I could finally know what is wrong. At least with a diagnosis I could learn what to do to fix, or minimize the issues I’ve been having. But no, now I have another test that says, on paper, I’m an otherwise perfectly healthy human being.

I got really pissed off at a rude Hiring Manager the other day. She was being exceptionally callous on the phone and I was trying to, as they say, ‘kill her with kindness’. It wasn’t working. It reached a point where she said ‘Tell me why you deserve this job’. I responded with ‘How about you tell me why you deserve my talents, expertise and intellectual property?’ It’s safe to say after a response like that that I won’t be hearing from that company again. Oh well, employers who take the high-and-might platform aren’t that great to work for anyway. #JobHunting

I broke my toe a few weeks back and I’ve really been having a frustrating time waiting for it to heal. I’ve been trying to not walk too much, but now that it’s finally spring, I really want to get outside and enjoy the nice weather. It’s not too too cold in Canada, so it’s time to take advantage of the fresh air. Heal toe, heal. (No pun intended)

Unrelated – I want to find friends, or at least acquaintances, who watch Jane the Virgin. I’ve been obsessed with that show since it first came out. Now that the final season has just started airing, I need someone to gossip with about the show and make predictions as to what’s about to happen. If there’s any Jane the Virgin fans out there – holla at me!

Does anyone else struggle, at times, with simple actions? This morning I had a really difficult time just crawling out of bed. I’ve been feeling myself slip deeper into a depressed state as the months go on, but I’ve been trying to fight it. Today though, today was a rough start for me. I wouldn’t say that I’m suffering from depression itself, I would just say that I’m struggling to cope right now. I need an outlet, or a sign from the Universe to let me know that everything is going to be okay.

Okay, I think that’s enough confessions for one night.

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.

I didn’t get the job.

That’s right, I didn’t get the job. Which is crazy to me. Because I nailed the interview, was absolutely overqualified and made them laugh and smile quite a bit.

Today hasn’t been a good day. And I mean, you have to have bad days in order to have a good day… I know this. But it still sucks.

I got an email this afternoon that says “We’re unable to hire you”. Unable, or unwilling? Regardless, I didn’t get the job. I honestly can’t even fathom what I did wrong.

So, where do I go from here? I don’t know how to feel about this all, really. I mean, I mentioned the other day that this particular job wasn’t one that I overly wanted – but I still put forth the effort. I still worked damn hard because I told myself beggers can’t be choosers. I told myself that I could do this job and I could do a damn good job of it. I made a real effort and it’s frustrating to be rejected with no reasoning why.

Rejection sucks. Nothing feels right, not right now. Back to the drawing board…