In honor of Halloween week, I thought it would be fun to commiserate and share some job search horror stories! The goal is to share tales from job seekers (so you know you’re not alone) AND from hiring managers, so job seekers can learn what things might NOT work.
So, welcome to “Horror Story Week” on Keppie Careers! I appreciate my Twitter friends for helping to pass the word that I am looking for stories, and for passing along some ideas for my series. Thanks also to Peter Shankman for HARO – Help A Reporter Out, for help finding additional sources! (It’s not too late to share your story! Send it to me: miriam(at)keppiecareers(dot)com.)
I guess that I wasn’t too surprised to learn that some of these horror stories may have had different endings had the job seeker taken a different approach. NOT that this excused rude behavior on the part of the hiring manager, but it is important to learn something from these stories…
Todd shared this story:
So, this so-called executive recruiter sends me a questionnaire (10 pages BTW) and says complete it and schedule an “interview.” Well, in full disclosure, I only completed half, but went ahead and scheduled the meeting. After all, I was an executive and my resume was what I wanted to talk about. So, while waiting in the lobby of this firm, some guy walks out to greet me. He’s wearing some ridiculous looking suit with tennis shoes and showing off a shiny keychain that says “Hyundai” and acts like he’s doing me a favor by taking the time to meet with me.
The guy walks me to some conference room, throws the half-complete questionnaire on the table and begins to yell at me–literally. He proceeds to tell me that I’m a loser and have no future. I couldn’t believe it!
So, I stood up and said I made a mistake. Then–THEN–he calls me an “a-hole” as I walked out. All I said was, ” Back at ya!”
Following this, eh em…episode, I landed a job as an executive for an online brokerage firm in Texas. I always wanted to call the guy and rub it in, but why stoop to that level.
So, what can we learn here? Clearly, Todd wasn’t very interested in this job! The fact is, if he was not willing to fill out the application (no matter how long), he should not have bothered to apply! As a job seeker, it is your responsibility to follow directions regarding the application if you want the job!
On the other hand, if you see what seems like a ridiculous application process, consider it a red flag. Maybe this company has policies and proceedures that are not likely to mesh with your preferred way of doing things. Evaluate it and decide NOT to apply! Even if you are desperate for a job, you know, deep down, you are unlikely to be happy working for a place that sets up what you consider to be an absurd hiring process.
In this case, obviously, the hiring manager was a bit “off.” It’s never appropriate to yell and swear at an applicant, and you have to assume an employee would receive the same treatment. So, it was lucky for Todd that things worked out the way they did!
What do you think? Share your comments below!
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photo by peasap