Job Interview Horror Stories: Tales From The Dark (Unemployed) Side

Lesson # 1: Knowing Someone On The Inside Doesn't Always Help

I applied for a job in January that I genuinely wanted & matched the qualification/experience/education for. I had a lot of contacts there & did some heavy favor asking. I was finally contacted about the job in March & had a really good phone interview, that was to be followed up with a second interview. They told me they were moving fast & that I would be in the next round of interviews, that they wanted to meet me because I came so highly recommended. They even told me to apply for another open position that they thought I was a good fit for. That was in March. Absolutely zero communication since then. I have written, called & emailed, all to no avail. I have no idea if the position was ever filled, although I assume it was.

I have a lot of contacts, some of which are very influential within their respective spheres. I reached out to one such person after I applied to two different jobs at their agency. I was qualified for these jobs, which my contact confirmed. I applied to both jobs & immediately got call backs on both, telling me that I was through to the interview round. The first interview was scheduled. I took the day off, showered, straightened my crazy hair, put on my big girl suit & spent my morning researching & preparing. ONE HOUR before my interview, they called & cancelled because they hired someone that morning. I have a good friend who does HR for a HUGE global company in town & she couldn't believe this. She said you never cancel an interview: A) It makes your company look bad (which it did); & B) You never know what other position that candidate may be a good fit for in the future.

Okay, so that was strike one. I was still slated to interview for a second position. I was told that this was their busy season & that they wouldn't get back to me until late June/early July. Today, TODAY, I received an email from them thanking me for applying, but no dice. Again, this was a position I was 'put up for', already discussed over the phone & told I was in the interview round, & I DIDN'T EVEN GET AN INTERVIEW. At the least, I should have received some sort of personal communication, which is what's appropriate WHEN YOU KNOW THE CANDIDATE YOU DIDN'T EVEN INTERVIEW.

Lesson # 2: Working There For 3 Months Won't Always Get You The Job

During my 6 month unemployment stint, I took a part-time job to get out of the house & to bring in some much needed income. A position above my meager part-time position came open & I applied. Why not? I was qualified & I was already working there. I applied, I interviewed (twice) & was told that I was a strong candidate & that the next step was a phone interview with Corporate. That was the last communication I received until I came into work one morning & saw someone sitting in the empty office. I ask who she is & am told that she's the new fill-in-the-blank-position-I-applied-for. So not only was I not told that my interview process was over; that they hired someone else, I had to find it out by literally coming into work & seeing someone sitting there. Professional courtesy much? Needless to say, when I gleefully realized that my tenure there was over, I just quit showing up. They finally emailed me to inquire about my whereabouts & I casually mentioned I found a full-time job & wouldn't be back. Because that's how the new Kim rolls.

Lesson # 3: Remember That Awesome Thing Called HR? Yeah, That's Gone Now

Here's part of the problem, companies are cutting their HR departments to save money, so you're being interviewed by yahoos who think all an interview is is asking someone where they grew up & how they would *chop a tree down in a forest, OR how old you are & when you plan on having kids, which I'm pretty sure is illegal to ask... I had the pleasure of being interviewed by one such yahoo. I'm a prepared person & had spent some time going over the job description, matching it to my skills, etc., but every time I tried to steer the conversation in that direction, I was waved off. Literally, hand in my face, waved off. All the man wanted to talk about was himself. I was not allowed to talk. At all. I have a bad habit of not hiding my emotions well, so my frustration eventually overcame me & I rolled my eyes & purposefully turned my head & looked out the window. For like 2 minutes. We never talked about the job, my qualifications, or me, for that matter.

*One of my fellow job searchers told me that she's been asked the same question in two different interviews at two completely unrelated companies: If you came across a tree down in the forest & you could only have one of two tools to get around it, which would you rather have, an ax or a chainsaw, and why? Seriously?!
I know, for a lot of you, this post came off as whiny & inappropriate, & probably makes you think I'm HORRIBLE at job interviews. I actually interview really well. At least I think I do... Shit! Whatever, the point is, these experiences are not exaggerated. In fact, if anything, they're watered down to stay somewhat elusive. Interviewing for a job right now SUCKS. And if you didn't already know that, well, here's your proof.

Now, go hug anyone you know looking for a job right now.

Job Interview Horror Stories: A Redaction

Mystery Geese