Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The truth is...you need to impress me too

This post has been a long time in coming (approximately 8 months of time), but I've put it off for various reasons. What if a future employer reads this and thinks I'm being totally a snob or unreasonable? Or what if that job I just interviewed for checks on my blog and sees that ... well damn it, I'd like to be treated like a person and not a piece of paper BEFORE I get the job offer.

But I can't hold it in any more people. I can't do it. There needs to be some kind of HR coup and I'm ready to get the ball rolling.

I spend a lot of time applying for the jobs - all the jobs, getting ready for interviews, making myself look as nice as possible (ie ironing!), and showing up on time to interviews. I rehearse things to say, I prepare questions to ask, I research the organisation. I google what makes for a good interviewee. I'm not saying I'm perfect, but I try to present my best self.

And yet, I hardly feel like the same courtesy is coming back to me. I've received rejection letters to Mr. Decoybetty (I have a very feminine first name!)...there are spelling mistakes in the position descriptions. Sometimes if I call to clarify something, I'm given the wrong information and it takes me even longer to apply for the job.

I think the majority of the time, the employer forgets a. what it's like being unemployed and b. that they're making an impression on the prospective employee with every single action.

If the position description says "call us to find out more" and then when I call all you do is say "email us a cover letter" that doesn't make me feel great. In fact, I probably spent time thinking up things to to say, insightful questions, and gathered a wheelbarrow full of bravery to pick up the phone. If you want me to just email you, that's totally cool. I'm fine with that, just don't waste my time and courage on a making the phone call.

I've gotten calls about getting an interview, have been super excited and then never received any  information at all about the location of the interview. In this instance, I actually had to call the organisation twice to find out where it was.

I've gotten calls an hour before an interview telling me that they need to reschedule. I've been made to wait 20 minutes before they'll see me.

After the interviews when they say "we'll call you on Thursday" and I don't hear from them until the following Wednesday...I understand that life happens. But couldn't one send a quick email just saying it's going to take longer or not say a day at all if their unsure?

Some of these jobs would have been life changing opportunities. Some of these jobs were The Dream Job. Some of these jobs were at organisations that I respect and if I had extra cash sometime I'd consider giving a donation. However, they seem to forget all these points. They forget that for the person applying for it might be their dream job, the one opportunity they've waited MONTHS for. They forget that they need to impress me to - that someday I might be a donor or a supporter and that I'll look back and say "they actually weren't that kind to me, I'm going to give my money to someone else."

Maybe it sounds petty, and maybe it sounds like just little things. All I want is some consideration to the fact that while this might be just another meeting in an employer's day, it's probably the highlight of my week. But just because I've been waiting for the moment to impress them, doesn't mean I can turn a blind eye to being treated like just another piece of paper.

20 comments:

  1. I've had someone email to cancel a phone interview 5 minutes before hand as a "test." My initial instinct was that she was crazy. I later found out she was.

    I hope you find a job that impresses you AND that you wow. And soon!

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  2. I've had someone email to cancel a phone interview 5 minutes before hand as a "test." My initial instinct was that she was crazy. I later found out she was.

    I hope you find a job that impresses you AND that you wow. And soon!

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  3. I believe an interview should go two ways...they're trying to figure out if they want to hire you and you're trying to figure out if you want to work for them. You should be interviewing them just as much as they're interviewing you. So you're right, they do need to impress you! Don't let them get away with thinking they don't have to!!

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  4. I understand that you just feel like a number in a long line of other faceless numbers. The problem is that they have probably got so many applicants and these get passed over to someone to sort through and then maybe passed over to someone to write rejection letters; this person just see's a pile of letters or e mails to write and doesn't consider the facts you've mentioned above. I suppose it's just about time and no consideration is given to you, the applicant, a human being with feelings. It's a sad fact of the modern world.I appreciate it must be disheartening but you are so much more than a piece of paper.

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  5. It's not pety AT ALL any of what you have said.. I felt exactly the same way when I was applying and going for jobe...its disheartening and rude.. xxx

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  6. I feel like I ran into this way too much last fall when I was job hunting as well and firms forget that it's a two way exchange. I hope you find one that is polite and nice and respectful of your time and I'm keeping my fingers crossed on your job hunt. Don't despair... it'll get better!

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  7. I don't think it sounds petty at all. I think it's very important for the company to put on its best face just like it is for the interviewee. I think you can tell a lot about a company by how they treat their prospective employees.

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  8. I think all these tell a lot about the companies' ethics and also what they could be like as potential employers for you. Hold on tight, something better will be out there for you!

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  9. A-freaking-men. All employers should read this. Some of them are so RUDE. Don't they know they're technically being interviewed too?

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  10. That is SO right on!! You are well justified in the writing of this post.

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  11. I agree with the others, and I certainly know the frustration associated with not feeling like I'm worth the time for an employer to get back to me.

    And even though you are usually interviewed by someone in the HR department, their attitude reflects the company's attitude. So, if said interviewer is rude, I would assume that the company doesn't have the kind of values (imagine the customer service!) I'm looking for in a place to work at.

    Keep applying, keep interviewing, and most importantly, keep your head up.

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  12. True words -- and I agree with M . . . how they treat you before you ever get offered the job tells you a lot about the company's ethics.

    Not that it makes it any easier dealing with those whose ethics SUCK, mind you . . .

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  13. i always go with the attitude that i'm also interviewing the company as well so if they treat me badly during this process when first impressions are the ONLY thing you go by (and people usually jazz it up for first impressions), then they'll like treat me badly as employee once the honeymoon phase wears off.

    so if they're being rude and inconsiderate, they likely treat their employees like that on a regular basis. nothanks.

    good luck on the hunt and hope you find something soon!

    -kathy
    Vodka and Soda

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  14. I have to agree with you D - there doesn't seem to be much in the way of Employer Etiquette these days. Like pnce, this woman from an employment agency sent me a text message to give her a call about a potential job and then got angry when I didn't call. I didn't call because it felt too much like paying someone to get you a job...that's what her commission from the hiring company is for innit.

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  15. This all makes so much sense! I think a potential employer, if they read this, would HAVE to respect you for being honest.

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  16. I've been applying for jobs overseas, which means if I do get an interview it's likely to be conducted over the internet. What annoys me in those cases is when they haven't really bothered to ensure that they have the technological capability of actually having an interview this way. I had a super disastrous time when I had to give a 30 min powerpoint presentation over skype and they didn't set it up properly so they couldn't even hear me. Sorry for the rant, I guess it was the long way of saying I completely agree with you! Hope you get something awesome soon :)

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  17. I'm so frustrated when I hear my students voice similar things. This past spring was especially silly for employers not to be on their best behavior. Not putting their best foot forward puts people off, or it should -- what is the organizational culture like? It's like you said...you will be evaluated not only by the words you say but also with how you present yourself. Same goes for them, and candidates can walk away if the employer comes across in a less than stellar light.

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  18. Oh my... I agree with this post 100%. It is frustrating and the interview process should be a two way street. They damn well need to impress US too!

    XO Lourdes

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