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Examine the expectations and inferences underlying selected job positions. Consider timely topics in career preparation and the struggle for fulfilling employment. Analyze what could be improved in either situation. If this blog reminds you too much of work, then peruse my namesake blog for lighter fare.

Fuck UWM and all universities! UW-Milwaukee and their brethren are mediocre. Click banner ads on ClixSense instead; it's a better use of time than a college education in the UW System.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Interviews, Insults, and Interruptions

(Un-)Funny Job Interview Dialogue (Dark Humor)

Interviewer: Why do you want to leave your current position?

Interviewee: Being a professional job interviewee doesn’t pay too well.

Interviewer: What a shame -- it really is your calling!

Interviewer: What happened to your business?

Interviewee: I’m good at what I do -- but had to close my business for lack of selling ability.

Interviewer: You ain’t selling yourself too well, either!

Interviewer: Why don’t you want to be self-employed anymore?

Interviewee: Because I’m a [techie | artisan | craftsman], not a salesman.

Interviewer: And a p*$$ p00r job interviewer!

Interviewer: Why don’t you [earn another degree | go back to school | further your education]?

Interviewee: Because I don’t want to get burnt again, investing time and money but without a job to show for it.

Interviewer: That’s the most intelligent thing you’ve said during the entire interview!

Interviewer: Why should I [hire | choose | waste another breath on] you?

Interviewee: I’ll make you more money than the other candidates for this position.

Interviewer: Prove it! And I ain’t giving you the chance to -- good-bye!

Bonus: Job Interview Interruption Comic!

Hand-drawn cartoon about a job interview question - hilarity ensures!

Friday, October 3, 2014

Hiring Managers Should Read the Bloody Employment Applications!

I mean “bloody” in the British sense of exasperated emphasis, of generic intensification. The discerning reader will therefore realize the employment applications to which I refer contain no more DNA than O.J. Simpson's scarf. (You know, an item of clothing he didn't wear on June 12, 1994.)

My call to action is for those conducting the job interviews to actually read the employment application of the candidate s/he wants to interview so as to comprehend whether that applicant has prior experience doing a similar job. Otherwise, the receptionist might play the role of “interview coordinator” without being qualified to do so.

To elaborate on this distinction: No one should be an interview coordinator unless s/he also participates in conducting the interview! As a corollary, no hiring manager should ever leave the examination of a job application to the interview coordinator alone, for chances are that an underling would judge too permissively, only to waste everyone’s resources.

Would you let your receptionist schedule an interview between an unqualified applicant and the more discerning interviewer, without the interview agent or hiring manager first setting strict guidelines on must-have work experience for each type of position?

Land’s End is one of the organizations that apparently would call in an unqualified applicant to interview for a position s/he clearly has no prior experience doing. In my defense, I had applied for a customer service job, NOT a production position!

The next time a company offers to interview me for a position different than what I had applied for, I will require the receptionist to explain why the interview team wants to examine my qualifications for a job that my employment history shows I’ve never done.

Land’s End isn’t known as a “train to hire” organization; they only want those who’ve done similar work elsewhere. So why bother speaking with an inexperienced person, other than to be entertained with how he addresses his inexperience?

You goons in human resources get paid no matter how much time you waste interviewing throwaway candidates, but the candidates are not reimbursed for their time. “It’s such a privilege to walk into your office!” If you believe that line, then you have no grasp of sarcasm.

“I want to work here because I believe in your products and because there is room for professional development.” By such an individual have those words never been spoken more ironically! Here’s why:

I’ve read many complaints about the consistency of Land’s End products, and even your “best qualified” customer care agents anger buyers and lose potential repeat customers. Employee turnover plagues warehouse and office alike, for you expect so much from employees in return for so little.

They have only themselves to blame for fueling such a hyperactive pace of work. Rather than wasting time with candidates for warehouse worker who had applied for customer service positions without any warehouse production experience, they could use the time saved to roll up their sleeves and sling boxes themselves!

Oh, wait -- they aren’t “best qualified” for that! But they are well qualified for being paid to waste time.

If you’re that hard-up for actual workers, as opposed to the plentiful talkie-talkies in human resources, then hire more people to make the pace of work more manageable. The cost savings of worker retention will outweigh, within 3 years, the brief hike in total compensation resulting from the slightly higher headcount.

A person with simple, effective ideas like the one above evidently has no place in Land’s End. I’ve no reason to ever apply again. Never again shall I condign to touch your filthy, gilt doorknobs; nor shall I deign to handle your shallow, ill-fitting merchandise!

Statement of Withdrawal

Hi, [name redacted]!

I understand it is customary to send a thank-you note after interviewing. But more than thanking you for the privilege of walking into the Land's End headquarters, I must reiterate that every worker starts somewhere.

And if the office workers at Land's End generally started as warehouse associate - having tested their physical stamina and sense of urgency via trial by fire - then all the more so I can do the job.

I can imagine myself picking orders with the same speed and accuracy as someone from the front office; not necessarily any better, but certainly not any worse.

Certain people have been occupationally bred to be the ultimate order picker and therefore work in the warehouse for many years instead of segueing into clerical work. These appear to be the "best qualified" candidates to which you referred during our interview.

Although my work history does not evince such a thoroughbred approach to being raised as a manual laborer, I bet no one else in the [redacted] area does the wrist exercises that I do! (It's a highly unorthodox, self-made program but effective for building stamina.)

The physical fitness aspect alone puts me in the second tier of candidates in terms of, "Could the person do the job reasonably well?"

All that needs to happen now is for at least one of the best-qualified candidates - those with more experience - to turn down an employment offer at Land's End to make way for me. I'm fully aware of Land's End turnover issues, so that is to my advantage.

Granted, all the best-qualified candidates could find work elsewhere before accepting offers from you, but that doesn't mean you would budge. In fact, you're probably feeling disgusted that I wrote this ponderous email, so I withdraw from the applicant pool.

If prior production experience is what you're looking for, then you could have read my employment application that I had completed during the Open House.

But as it stands, you decided to waste your time and mine by ignoring my intent to work as Customer Care Associate, opting instead to see what ridiculous answer I'd give for production experience regarding Warehouse Associate - knowing fully well from my job application and résumé that I lack such experience!

So if you feel over-worked, then you have only yourself to blame for interviewing non-candidates for positions incompatible with their work history. Look at the employment application first! Why bother interviewing inexperienced applicants?

"Good luck" finding decent people.