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Old 01-04-2016, 01:52 PM
 
1,250 posts, read 3,001,045 times
Reputation: 1842

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Had a strange, but alas not all that atypical phone screening interview today...

Interviewer called ten minutes late. Seemed unprepared, and didn't really ask me to talk about my experience or qualifications. She just wanted to tell me about the job, and the kind of person she DIDN'T want for the position. The interview was all about her and her needs ("I need to present the boss with five decent interview candidates by the end of the week" - literally she said this) I didn't even get much of a chance to sell myself. But then again, was she really looking to buy? No, she was looking to rent-an-interviewee apparently.

On one hand I don't begrudge the HR person for wanting to quickly slam the door on anyone who might be wasting her time. But I kind of felt like I was a waste of her time from the word go, and that she really was looking for a body to fill her candidate quota.

Other stuff- "Is X an hour okay with you? Because it probably isn't. I just want you to know that this is not the kind of job where you will ever get a raise. I don't want to hire anybody who will just be looking to move up." (Actually X an hour was fine, but her attitude and what it said about company culture wasn't.)

Oh, and yes of course, this would be a job working for a Dragon Boss who wanted you to be an expert in a particular software (but they were never ever going to pay you more for excelling at your job, should you excel).

Other gems- "Everyone's been here forever, we're all happy, and we don't want to bring in anyone who will not be happy [with high expectations and stagnant pay]"

Throughout the whole interview I got the sense she thought I couldn't hack it, yet she asked me to set up a time to come in and talk further. (I won't be doing so; in any case, I am not an absolute expert on the software they require.)

My question is: When does this sort of a prickly HR recruitment attitude stop being beneficial for a company and start hurting it by driving interested, perhaps qualified candidates away?

Obviously this company must be a paradise if everyone is happy and has been there forever and no one ever leaves. Or is it? Well, I'll never know.
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Old 01-04-2016, 02:01 PM
 
289 posts, read 348,672 times
Reputation: 328
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeromeville View Post
When does this sort of a prickly HR recruitment attitude stop being beneficial for a company and start hurting it by driving interested, perhaps qualified candidates away?
Right now, apparently, because you're a seemingly qualified candidate who was driven away by it. Maybe that was the intention all along. I mean, maybe they're priming so-and-so's sister Debra for the job, but HR has to go through the formality of interviewing 5 candidates, and the attitude is to dissuade anyone from trying to compete with Debra for it. Or maybe they really think that highly of themselves (as evidenced by saying how happy everyone is there) that they can talk to people like that and still have candidates throwing themselves at HR's door. Whatever the case, that was by no means professional, and if the things this lady said are true, then you sure dodged a bullet by finding out about it before taking an offer.
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Old 01-04-2016, 02:13 PM
 
1,250 posts, read 3,001,045 times
Reputation: 1842
Well, "fortunately" I legitimately don't feel qualified on the software they want (she stressed this very hard), so that was enough information to make me want to withdraw. But I kind of left this interview with my head spinning in a sort of meta-way, because... this company has a reputation for "great place to work, and low pay." (I knew that going in) Yet there's this three-headed dragon outside the gates, trying to do everything possible to keep you from wanting to join.

I know who they're looking for: someone who wants to become a "lifer," not caring about pay or advancement in any way. It seems to be a company of "lifers" that somehow is in expansion mode, and they don't really want anyone ambitious, just someone hard-working for whom office parties and X dollars an hour is enough. And I get that, I completely do. (My last employer was exactly the same kind of place - utterly comfortable, very cozy, full of people who've been there forever.) Maybe this HR person is frustrated because she somehow keeps hiring people with a pulse ;-) people who think hard work should be rewarded with the hope of another dollar an hour someday. No wonder she's so cranky.

Maybe it's the depressed job market I live in, maybe "lifer-ism" is such a pervasive way of life, that everyone is so terrified of what's on the outside, that I will never find a tolerable job here. I don't know. It's a bit depressing because I keep running into inept interviewers who are way too open about their company's flaws, and you only seem to be there to fulfill an interview quota, and it's almost like they're not even looking for talent.

It's just... most places pay squat and are stingy with raises; I know that. But is it really the HR person's business to crush all hope before you even enter? I don't think that's a productive strategy.

Last edited by Jeromeville; 01-04-2016 at 02:29 PM..
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Old 01-04-2016, 03:09 PM
 
Location: SF Bay Area
13,343 posts, read 17,504,546 times
Reputation: 19655
Or maybe she's just a bad recruiter and there's nothing else sinister about it.
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Old 01-04-2016, 03:16 PM
 
1,250 posts, read 3,001,045 times
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Well, if so, she isn't the first bad recruiter I've run into lately, which... says something not very flattering about ME, I'm afraid.

Some other things that recruiters/interviewers like this have said to me:

--"The person you'd be working for is impossible/crazymaking/hard-driving/goes through employees like buttah"
--"You'll be dealing with angry customers on the phone, because you know, everyone hates our big bad company/hates our industry"
--"Everyone's been here forever and some of them think they know everything"
--Talking about "other" types of employees at the company in a disparaging way ("you have to hold the call center employees' hands because they're in the union and they're sometimes babies" or "the sales staff are another breed of person entirely" or "you'll have to deal with the IT people and they can be hard to motivate")

This sort of "letting it all hang out" strategy just doesn't seem normal; you'd think an HR person or recruiter would have something good to say about their company or industry or fellow staff. I don't get it.

Last edited by Jeromeville; 01-04-2016 at 03:25 PM..
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Old 01-04-2016, 08:29 PM
 
Location: Laurentia
2,914 posts, read 1,295,100 times
Reputation: 6566
Sometimes, it is just a matter of the recruiter trying to be very upfront and honest with the person in a limited time period--and it just comes off wrong. I had an HR Generalist who worked at corporate that did this and was wondering why we were not getting many people who wanted to come to our site for in person interviews. I actually did not find out why until a candidate who had been interviewed by the corporate recruiter called our site to ask me if the site was as "horrible" as he had been told. After learning more about how she was conducting the screenings, I gave her some training on how to do them and also moved all recruiting to our local site...

Other times the recruiter simply thinks that every candidate is just dying to work for the company and that they are doing you a favor by calling you. This of course can lead to them dominating the discussion and being kind of condescending...in this case, avoid the company by all means. After you go for the onsite interview and meet the people, it will be pretty easy to detect this attitude.
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Old 01-04-2016, 08:39 PM
 
17,006 posts, read 20,788,969 times
Reputation: 34000
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeromeville View Post
Had a strange, but alas not all that atypical phone screening interview today...

Interviewer called ten minutes late. Seemed unprepared, and didn't really ask me to talk about my experience or qualifications. She just wanted to tell me about the job, and the kind of person she DIDN'T want for the position. The interview was all about her and her needs ("I need to present the boss with five decent interview candidates by the end of the week" - literally she said this) I didn't even get much of a chance to sell myself. But then again, was she really looking to buy? No, she was looking to rent-an-interviewee apparently.

On one hand I don't begrudge the HR person for wanting to quickly slam the door on anyone who might be wasting her time. But I kind of felt like I was a waste of her time from the word go, and that she really was looking for a body to fill her candidate quota.

Other stuff- "Is X an hour okay with you? Because it probably isn't. I just want you to know that this is not the kind of job where you will ever get a raise. I don't want to hire anybody who will just be looking to move up." (Actually X an hour was fine, but her attitude and what it said about company culture wasn't.)

Oh, and yes of course, this would be a job working for a Dragon Boss who wanted you to be an expert in a particular software (but they were never ever going to pay you more for excelling at your job, should you excel).

Other gems- "Everyone's been here forever, we're all happy, and we don't want to bring in anyone who will not be happy [with high expectations and stagnant pay]"

Throughout the whole interview I got the sense she thought I couldn't hack it, yet she asked me to set up a time to come in and talk further. (I won't be doing so; in any case, I am not an absolute expert on the software they require.)

My question is: When does this sort of a prickly HR recruitment attitude stop being beneficial for a company and start hurting it by driving interested, perhaps qualified candidates away?

Obviously this company must be a paradise if everyone is happy and has been there forever and no one ever leaves. Or is it? Well, I'll never know.
Well it's up to you but I had a similar situation and I reported it.....LOL. Felt great doing so, I actually got a higher up on the phone live and without being emotional told them what was said, they apologized and had no idea it was occurring.

I look it like as the rude receptionist in the doctor's office, you know the kind that acts like they're the gatekeeper to the doctor, or talks down to people because they think because they work for a doctor they have the same medical knowledge. Many times the doctor is too busy to even know this is going on unless a patient speaks up.

If you're not interested and it's not going anywhere, find out who is in charge of HR and send off an email or make a phone call. You will feel better and be doing others a favor.

That's why so much of this goes on today, so many are afraid to speak up.
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Old 01-05-2016, 03:54 AM
 
298 posts, read 206,349 times
Reputation: 778
she was horrible. After I've had enough I would have just cut her off and ended it. Negative NEGATIVE. And you haven't even seen anyone there yet. Cut your losses. I wonder how they would be in person. Probably worse.
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Old 01-05-2016, 05:57 AM
 
2,183 posts, read 1,742,694 times
Reputation: 1834
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeromeville View Post
Had a strange, but alas not all that atypical phone screening interview today...

Interviewer called ten minutes late. Seemed unprepared, and didn't really ask me to talk about my experience or qualifications. She just wanted to tell me about the job, and the kind of person she DIDN'T want for the position. The interview was all about her and her needs ("I need to present the boss with five decent interview candidates by the end of the week" - literally she said this) I didn't even get much of a chance to sell myself. But then again, was she really looking to buy? No, she was looking to rent-an-interviewee apparently.

On one hand I don't begrudge the HR person for wanting to quickly slam the door on anyone who might be wasting her time. But I kind of felt like I was a waste of her time from the word go, and that she really was looking for a body to fill her candidate quota.

Other stuff- "Is X an hour okay with you? Because it probably isn't. I just want you to know that this is not the kind of job where you will ever get a raise. I don't want to hire anybody who will just be looking to move up." (Actually X an hour was fine, but her attitude and what it said about company culture wasn't.)

Oh, and yes of course, this would be a job working for a Dragon Boss who wanted you to be an expert in a particular software (but they were never ever going to pay you more for excelling at your job, should you excel).

Other gems- "Everyone's been here forever, we're all happy, and we don't want to bring in anyone who will not be happy [with high expectations and stagnant pay]"

Throughout the whole interview I got the sense she thought I couldn't hack it, yet she asked me to set up a time to come in and talk further. (I won't be doing so; in any case, I am not an absolute expert on the software they require.)

My question is: When does this sort of a prickly HR recruitment attitude stop being beneficial for a company and start hurting it by driving interested, perhaps qualified candidates away?

Obviously this company must be a paradise if everyone is happy and has been there forever and no one ever leaves. Or is it? Well, I'll never know.
I'm sure she aced her personality assessment when they hired her. Sounds like she possesses those dynamic people skills that companies demand today as well. The hubris, involved in interviewing/hiring a candidate who must be an expert to fill a position yet being functionally incompetent in your own, is staggering.
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Old 01-05-2016, 10:55 AM
 
1,250 posts, read 3,001,045 times
Reputation: 1842
I sent her an e-mail this morning declining an interview and thanking her for the opportunity, explaining that after further consideration I didn't feel I had the specific qualifications for the job (which is true, so her spiel was informative in that regard). Withdrew application, wished her success in filling the position, etc.

It was so strange because it felt like *I* was writing the sort of "thanks but no thanks" reply that as a job seeker you would hope to get from a prospective employer who didn't choose you. So odd and backward... yet since most of the interview seemed to be about her and the employees she didn't want... what else could I say?

Believe me, I'm not a picky job seeker, I *am* okay to go as low as X per hour if it means I can start over in a good company in a field that I want to get into... but I just felt I was being brought in as an interview slot to satisfy her quota. I suppose every strange/unsuccessful interview brings you closer to knowing who you yourself are and what you want/need. And I can't be wholly critical of this interviewer because I was left with no question that this job would be a poor fit for me (and I didn't even feel likely to get it after an in-person interview). However, some of the information she conveyed, she probably didn't mean to convey. :-)

Last edited by Jeromeville; 01-05-2016 at 11:33 AM..
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