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Sunday, December 21, 2008

Looking back: Why I didn't get offered the job.

my recent job quest, I have received several rejection letters. Nearly all of these rejections were based on qualifications (I assume) and not a result of a poor face-to-face interview. The face/face is pretty hard to come by these days. However, I did recently receive word that I was not selected for a job where I did have a face/face opportunity(s) and I have been assessing the situation.

The hiring process of this particular company was rigorous to say the least. I suppose I should be proud of the fact that I almost made it through their twisting maze of interview warfare but it is difficult not to feel disappointed and wonder what happened. What did I do wrong? What could I have done better? How can I improve the next time I am presented with such an opportunity? I managed to get some feedback from the hiring manager and felt pretty shocked at the response. "Not polished enough for their clients, could have been better organized" were the two biggies. I remember thinking, "What!?!" during the phone conversation and wondering is this person for real. Funny thing about the feedback is that I've always considered myself to be a great communicator and if anything I over prepared for this interview and worked diligently to be organized. So what gives? I guess the other candidates were just better. Maybe I was too relaxed. I've always been told to mirror the body language and communication style you are faced with and that is what I try to do. In other words, you don't want to be the energizer bunny when the person interviewing you is barely breathing. Right? Am I wrong here? I welcome any thoughts on the subject.

Anywho...I know I'm not making a complete fool of myself. In doing a google search on how to handle employer rejection, I came across this great web site called Not Hired. It is "dedicated to those who wonder why no one has called to set up an interview" and is designed to show you exactly why you are still unemployed. I am amazed at some of the bonehead moves people make during an interview. At least I can honestly say I'm not doing anything this stupid. Here is an excerpt of what you'll find on Not Hired:

  • * Said he was so well qualified [that] if he didn’t get the job, it would prove that the company’s management was incompetent.
  • * Stretched out on the floor to fill out the job application.
  • * Brought her large dog to the interview.
  • * Chewed bubble gum and constantly blew bubbles.
  • * Candidate kept giggling through serious interview.
  • * She wore a Walkman and said she could listen to the music and me at the same time.
  • * Balding candidate abruptly excused himself. Returned to office a few minutes later wearing a hairpiece.
  • * Applicant challenged interviewer to arm wrestle.
  • * Asked to see interviewer’s resume to see if the personnel executive was qualified to judge the candidate.
  • * Announced she hadn’t had lunch and proceeded to eat a hamburger and French fries in the interviewer’s office.
  • * Without saying a word, candidate stood up and walked out during the middle of the interview.
  • * Man wore jogging suit to interview for position as financial vice president.
  • * Said if he were hired, he would demonstrate his loyalty by having the corporate logo tattooed on his forearm.
  • * Interrupted to phone his therapist for advice on answering specific interview questions.
  • * Wouldn’t get out of the chair until I would hire him. I had to call the police.
  • * When I asked him about his hobbies, he stood up and started tap dancing around my office.
  • * Had a little pinball game and challenged me to play with him.
  • * Bounced up and down on my carpet and told me I must be highly thought of by the company because I was given such a thick carpet.
  • * Took a brush out of my purse, brushed his hair and left.
  • * Pulled out a Polaroid camera and snapped a flash picture of me. Said he collected photos of everyone who interviewed him.
  • * Candidate asked me if I would put on a suit jacket to insure that the offer was formal.
  • * Said he wasn’t interested because the position paid too much.
  • * While I was on a long-distance phone call, the applicant took out a copy of Penthouse, and looked through the photos only, stopping longest at the centerfold.
  • * During the interview, an alarm clock went off from the candidate’s briefcase. He took it out, shut it off, apologized and said he had to leave for another interview.
  • * A telephone call came in for the job applicant. It was from his wife. His side of the conversation went like this: “Which company? When do I start? What’s the salary?” I said, “I assume you’re not interested in conducting the interview any further.” He promptly responded, “I am as long as you’ll pay me more.” I didn’t hire him, but later found out there was no other job offer. It was a scam to get a higher offer.
  • * An applicant came in wearing only one shoe. She explained that the other shoe was stolen off her foot in the bus.
  • * His attache [case] opened when he picked it up and the contents spilled, revealing ladies’ undergarments and assorted makeup and perfume.
  • * He came to the interview with a moped and left it in the reception area. He didn’t want it to get stolen, and stated that he would require indoor parking for the moped.
  • * He took off his right shoe and sock, opened a medicated foot powder and dusted it on the foot and in the shoe. While he was putting back the shoe and sock, he mentioned that he had to use the powder four times a day, and this was the time.
  • * Candidate said he really didn’t want to get a job, but the unemployment office needed proof that he was looking for one.
  • * He whistled when the interviewer was talking.
  • * Asked who the lovely babe was, pointing to the picture on my desk. When I said it was my wife, he asked if she was home now and wanted my phone number. I called security.
  • * She threw up on my desk, and immediately started asking questions about the job, like nothing had happened.
  • * Pointing to a black case he carried into my office, he said that if he was not hired, the bomb would go off. Disbelieving, I began to state why he would never be hired and that I was going to call the police. He then reached down to the case, flipped a switch and ran. No one was injured, but I did need to get a new desk.
  • * Asked if I wanted some cocaine before starting the interview.

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