Adventures in job hunting, continued.

Oh, job hunting, how I hate thou.

Is it just me, or do companies really not give a shit about the people they’re supposedly trying to hire? They lack consideration, basic manners and the ability to properly communicate… all together.

On Friday I received an email from a man proclaiming that he was the Hiring Manager for a certain company that I applied with. He asked, by email, at 12:20 pm, if I was free to do a half hour phone interview at 2:00 pm. Knowing this was going to be a huge pain in the ass, I agreed to it anyways and ended up pawning off my babysitting onto someone else knowing I couldn’t take this call with children running through the background.

2:00 pm rolled around, no call.

2:05 pm, no call.

2:15 pm, no call. I emailed him to ask ‘What’s up?’ in a very polite, professional manner.

2:45 pm, I am at this point already moved onto something else with my afternoon when the phone rings. As I did not have this individuals phone number, I couldn’t phone him. I presumed he forgot, or got busy, and I went on with my day.

3:11 pm, my phone rings with a number I do not recognize. I answer the phone and I hear ‘Hi, this is so-in-so calling from ‘x’ company’. It’s him. The man who scheduled the call for 2 is calling me at 3:11.

I started to chat with him anyway, trying to be extremely professional and not let it bother me that he called over an hour late. As I was talking to him though, I got an iffy feeling. Things didn’t seem on the up-and-up. This man claimed in his email that he was the Hiring Manager for the company, so I thought I was speaking directly to someone who was involved with the hiring process. As he continued talking, though, he didn’t seem much like a hiring manager at all. He stumbled on his words, on his thoughts, on the basic ability to maintain a conversation on the phone. He seemed to be struggling in a big way, and he wasn’t comprehending the industry lingo that I was providing, consistently asking me to explain – though they were things he should already know.

Nevertheless, I continued on. When you’re unemployed, you kind of need to go with the flow, no matter what happens with respect to job prospects, because you don’t get to pick and choose. I think that employers definitely take advantage of that. It shows in how they treat their potential employees… not well.

At around 3:30 this call was wrapping up and ‘so-in-so’ said “Thank you for speaking with me today.” I returned the comment, thanking him for his time. Then he said “I will give this to the hiring manager.”

This confused me. As he said he was the hiring manager. I responded with “Oh, you’re not hiring for this position? I thought your email had said you were the hiring manager”.

His response: “I’m not the hiring manager. The hiring manager doesn’t conduct preliminary interviews like this. He’s far too busy.”

My response: “Oh, okay, thank you for letting me know. May I ask, what is your position? Your email had mentioned you were the hiring manager, so I am just curious.”

“I’m the summer student,” he said.

THE SUMMER STUDENT.

Suddenly, it all made sense. I was talking to the summer student. That’s why he struggled with speaking, with understanding what I was saying and with conducting the phone interview in general. Nothing against him, he was likely just thrown into the job and not given much of any information to go off, but HOLY FUCKING HELL.

You’re having your summer student conduct preliminary interviews for you? How? Why? On what planet is this a good idea?

Pardon me for being of the belief that a hiring manager should never be ‘too busy’ to hire people. That’s the very basic core of their job description.

You’re putting the preliminary phase of the hiring process in the hands of someone you’re not paying, who has minimal industry experience, who won’t be at the company in four months time because he’ll be going back to school and is lacking professional experience to do the task you’ve given him? Everyone has to start somewhere, I get that. But if you want to teach him, hop on these calls with him. Don’t make him conduct these calls himself.

That is a sign of a bad boss, in my opinion.

  1. If you say you’re going to call someone at a certain time, call them at that certain time. There is a small leeway for if one gets busy or if something happens at the office. That leeway is not extended beyond an hour later. Sorry, but that’s not right.
  2. If you’re going to hire someone, don’t put the summer student in charge. It’s not fair to him and it’s not fair to the people who are applying for positions within your organization. A summer student works these positions to get professional experience – to get shown the ropes, not to ‘sink or swim’.
  3. If that’s how you treat potential employees, I really have to wonder how you treat actual employees.

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?

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.