5 Ways Interviewers Make Job Seekers REALLY Angry

I recently got a great e-mail from a bright, talented, well-qualified job seeker who shared some of his oh-so-honest thoughts and feelings based on four long months of looking for a job. And let me tell you…he’s NOT a happy camper.  He’s had it beyond up-to-here with employers, interviewers and the entire hiring / job interview process!

He feels frustrated, angry and fed up with the way he sees job candidates – including himself – being treated during the hiring process by employers or employer representatives.  And I know he’s not the only one out there feeling this anger!

Why are job seekers so angry at interviewers & interviews?

I have a feeling  each and every one of you has at least one answer to that question – and no doubt the list of answers would go on and on page after page after page!  It’s unbelievably hard to have almost no control over something so critically important to our lives – something that can affect our entire future – as well as such basic stuff as paying rent and eating.

Matthew, the reader who wrote me, has been lucky since he’s actually getting interviews. (I think category one for our Anger List would have to be all the folks who never even get in the door to show how talented they are!)  But Matthew does get interviews – and it’s not that he screws up or blows his interviews…instead, it’s the interviewers who are driving him nuts.

Here to start off our Anger List are some of his “I wish they would just listen to me and change their wicked ways” points for employers (with a bit of editing from me). I think you’ll get a kick out of his sense of humor and perspective – but remember, when he wrote this…well…grrrrr!

1.  Our Time is Just as Valuable as Yours

“I finally landed a decent interview with a state employer who seemed eager to interview me. I arrived at the site 10 minutes early, and was ushered back into the “waiting room” to be left in peace to compose myself. I had a lot of composure time. Forty five minutes, to be exact.

I waited. And waited. Employers: don’t think that sending a harried staff member into what I now was calling the “Holding Pen” to note that “we need X here to interview you, and she is dealing with a crisis right now” is good enough.  At least offer me a damn cup of coffee!  Or better yet, use this as an opportunity to show me an interesting facet of the work. I don’t mind. If crisis intervention is part of the job, seeing some action along those lines would be more stimulating than figuring out how much of the peeling paint in the “Holding Pen” I would have to eat before I keeled over from lead poisoning and got some attention.

LESSON:  We show up on time ready to roll. Is it too much to ask that you do the same?”

2.   Please Don’t Bait and Switch

“Despite my urge to eat paint chips and claw out the eyes of the next person who approached me with any words other than “We’re ready now”, I made it through the interview. Two very similar jobs were posted, one with a lower salary that did not require a Master’s degree (which I have), and one which did. The job description I was handed was for the Master’s level position. I reiterated this during the interview, and yes, I was told I was interviewing for the latter position. We all smiled and went our separate ways.

Two days later I was offered a job – at the bottom of the pay scale for the non-Master’s position. I questioned the HR person, and she insisted that there was just ONE position, and the salary ranged over a $14,000 span. Hey nice lady…I have both job postings in front of me! $8,000.00 less than my last position, for doing much the same duties, and relocating 700 miles. FYI: I attempted to negotiate, but the offer was firm, and I ended up declining the offer.

LESSON:  Employers, please don’t assume that potential workers will “take anything” to be employed. We can read, and know full well when you are going beyond “thrifty” and “reasonable”, and are marching stubbornly into “cheap” and “insulting”. STICK TO THE JOB DESCRIPTION AND ADVERTISED SALARY RANGE. AND PLEASE DON’T TRY TO BAIT AND SWITCH.

BONUS LESSON:  I drove three hours to give a drug urine sample. If I have to pee in a cup for you, then I’d like to have a bit more respect and honesty.”

3. Do Keep a Scheduled Promise to Call

“We job seekers get very, VERY excited when we hear from you. But that excitement can quickly go sour if there is any unexplained broken “promise”. For example…

I scored a phone interview, and boy, was I excited. I was by the phone, ready to knock ’em dead long distance. Cue crickets, chirping loudly in the silence that was not broken by the phone ringing. I waited two hours past the appointed time, and even sent a tactful email inquiring if I had “misunderstood” the date or time. (Hell no, I had it burned into my brain). No reply.

The next morning there was an email from the potential employer apologizing and wanting another interview that day. I promptly replied, thanked her, and gave her a four hour window of time when I was available during the day. Again, no reply…but I waited by the phone for, well… five hours. Another round of emails, and this time she was not so nice: “I will be out of the office for three days, and will contact you next week.” I ended the torture via e-mail by declining to be interviewed by them after all. If this is how they handle their business, then it’s not the place for me.

LESSON: Schedules were created for a reason, and the employer made the appointment. As job seekers, we know you HR folk are busy people. But here’s the scoop:  SO ARE WE. You would be pissed as hell if you had arranged your day around a vital phone call that never came.  Please show us you respect us as you expect us to respect you.”

4. Don’t Air Your Dirty Laundry

“A certain well known human services agency was fairly persistent in wanting me to interview with them. I was called by one person, and told to call another person to set up an interview. I did so, and immediately was asked why I was calling her. I explained why, and gave the name of the referrer.

Well, I don’t care if you got yourselves a little feud going on, but don’t drag me into it, sister girl. She was fairly indignant that this other person had handled this the way he had, as she did not seem to know that she was the ultimate contact person for job seekers. Did I need to hear all this?

LESSON:  The title of this section says it all.”

5. Have Some Idea of Who We Are and What We Applied For!

“Nothing, and I mean nothing, is more demeaning or frustrating than speaking with a representative of your organization who has no idea who we are. You contacted ME!! I fully expect that it might take a minute, but for god sakes, DON’T LET ON YOU DON’T EVEN KNOW WHO WE ARE OR ANYTHING ABOUT OUR QUALIFICATIONS.

Upon returning a call from a potential employer, it was obvious she had no clue as to who I was. She said my name “sounded familiar”- oh…there I was…in her “pile”. (Thanks but no thanks.)  She then proceeded to do an impromptu interview over the phone. OK. I started getting excited. We were back in my comfort zone, so I fired off bright answers to her questions. The questions began to stray from the job description I had and then asked for my “RN license number”.

Excuse me? I told her that might be a bit difficult, since I’m not a registered nurse; I’m a social worker. Her response? “Social worker? Oh, I didn’t know we were hiring for those. We may have a few positions, oh no, they’re filled. I guess we have nothing for you at the moment?”

Lady, you answered your own question. I applied for the SOCIAL WORK JOB YOUR COMPANY ADVERTISED. If you are only hiring RNs right now, I’ll just go spend another four-to-six years and get THAT degree.

LESSON:  It’s OK to ask our names, and what position we applied for. It’s even better if you take a moment, put us on hold, and find us in your “pile”. Just scan the resume and job application if you need a refresher. But DON’T TRY AND STUMBLE YOUR WAY THROUGH. It only makes you and your organization look bad.”

I hadn’t intended to publish this much of Matthew’s e-mail, but it’s just so good. I think his words are something every employer should read. And I know it’s something a lot of you can relate to!

FINAL NOTE: On the other hand, it’s a buyer’s market and basically a job seeker has to brace himself or herself for unexpected emergencies – or even sheer incompetence – on the employer end.  I’ve been on the other side as a phone screener, resume screener and interviewer, and although I really did try my best to consider the candidate’s needs, I’m sure there were times when candidates were not feeling the love.

I know the system is imperfect, but when I’m on the job seeker side, my attitude is I’m here for me and I’m not going to let their stuff keep me from getting what I need and want.

Then again, if it’s Bozo City over there, forewarned is forearmed! 😉

What are your thoughts? Do you have any job interview stories to add to the list? We’d love to hear them!

Some Work Coach Cafe interview posts:

Dealing with Interview Stress

I Got the Post-Interview Temporary OCD Blues

12 Ways to Stay Sane After a Job Interview

What the Heck Goes On Behind the Scenes After a Job Interview?

Ideas for Handling Job Interview Questions and Answers

What’s Your Greatest Strength?

What’s Your Greatest Weakness?

Where Do You See Yourself Five Years from Now?

Handling Some Tough Interview Questions

Explaining Why You Left the Last Job So Soon

How Do I Interview After Being Fired?

How Do I Explain Dropping Out of Law School?

Job Interview Tips

15 Things I Look for When I Interview People

18 Practical Tips to Help You Ace That Job Interview

The Single Most Important Thing in Any Job Interview

Please Help Me Ace My Phone Interview!

Help! I Get Nervous When I Interview for a Job

=> Browse the Career Dictionary <=


About the author…

Ronnie Ann, founder of Work Coach Cafe, bases her real-world advice on her many years as an organizational consultant where she helped interview and hire people, added to a certificate from NYU in Career Planning & Development and her own adventures as a serial job seeker. She can also be found on her new blog, and on Google+.


  1. Terri Johnson says:

    Love what you do, Ronnie Ann. I share so much of it with my students. That was why I was why I was particularly chagrinned to see all the periods and commas on the wrong side of the quotation marks in Matthew’s e-mail. The rule in the U.S. of A., no matter what Style guide you use: Periods and commas always go inside closing quotation marks.
    Please help set the right example and edit the posts. Thanks, Terri

  2. Terri Johnson says:

    Oops! Phone rang in the middle and why I was why I was got carried away. I know proofing is hard. Gee, even I can’t do it!

  3. Ah! Thanks Terri for your kind words. Now I am chagrinned because I know the rule very well and actually considered “fixing” it. But quite honestly I often choose to not strictly follow the US rule since…well… I’m just not crazy about it. I think logic sometimes suggests a blatant disregard for the rule.

    Here’s an interesting post on that point:

    Quotation Marks: Where Do the Commas and Periods Go–and Why?

    Especially love the end note: “…it seems to be the result of historical accident. When type was handset, a period or comma outside of quotation marks at the end of a sentence tended to get knocked out of position, so the printers tucked the little devils inside the quotation marks to keep them safe and out of trouble. But apparently only American printers were more attached to convenience than logic, since British printers continued to risk the misalignment of their periods and commas.”

    And yet we still follow the rule.

    A similar reason I’m told by insiders as to why the New York Times uses “PC’s” instead of “PCs” – the latter being my preference because the apostrophe isn’t needed.

    But I’m glad you’re explaining to your students that standard U.S. grammatical rules do indeed require that “Periods and commas always go inside closing quotation marks.” See…in that case I agree. It’s important for them to at least know the rule.

    But mavericks like me like to break rules sometimes. 😉 Please forgive me and say hello to your students for me!

    ~ Ronnie Ann

  4. I’m very jaded about this process as well. I’d like to add to Matthew’s post:


    I’ve often sat in the “holding pen” waiting to be interviewed only to have the interviewer show up to tell me he/she hasn’t had “a chance to read my resume, so why don’t [you] begin first.” If you’re going to keep me waiting anyway, please take an extra 30-60 seconds to scan my resume before you speak with me. It will certainly makes things a lot better for both of us.


    Usually, when I have questions to ask about the job at the interview, the HR person tells me that they really don’t know and I should save those questions for my meeting with someone higher up. PLEASE give the HR person some details, other than a generic job description, about what I’ll be doing in the job. Otherwise, it makes me feel stupid (and ultimately, the HR person feels stupid) that I feel the need to ask questions to prove I have questions to ask, instead of saying “I’ll ask my questions of someone higher up (who actually knows more than you).”


    Over the years, I’ve interviewed with at least 100 companies. And, believe it or not, many of them are kind enough to send a “thanks, but no thanks” note within a month of the interview. But several of them have sent me notes 6-12 months later. REALLY? Did you think I was waiting around for you to tell me that you filled the position or it’s on hold due to budget constraints? After 1-2 months, please, don’t bother to tell me you’ve thought of me again, even if it’s not to hire me. Chances are, I haven’t thought about you after 1-2 months. At that point, your “sincerity” feels fake. And I also know that should the position become available when budgets do open up in six months, you’re not going to call me anyway, as too much time has passed, you’ve forgotten my name, and you’ve received hundreds of other resumes by then. I also know that you don’t want me harassing you by phone, email, Facebook – whatever, to find out if the position has re-opened.


    Okay, we’ve all heard this kiss-off one too many times. Don’t even bother saying it. It’s insulting. I’d rather have you be honest with me, tell me that I’m not a right fit for your company and give me a reason WHY, so I can do better for the next interview. Feedback is always appreciated.

    I’m sure there are other things I can’t think of right now, but I hope I’ve offered some insight as well.


  5. Hah! These are great Jocelyn. Thank you so much for adding this to our list. As for companies who wait 6 months or more to send a “no thank you” note – to quote a person I respect and admire – SHEESH!

    Just want to explain one thing. As someone who occasionally has helped with the employer-side of the process, I’ve actually said “We’re just beginning the hiring process” to people I was very impressed by trying to help them understand why it might take a while. I never imagined they might think I was kissing them off!

    Good to learn how my mean-to-comfort words might actually come off. Also good to note there is often absolutely no way to know what the heck anything means. 😉

    Best of luck, Jocelyn! Please feel free to share your…uh…process improvement suggestions as well as triumphs any time!

    ~ Ronnie Ann

  6. I have a story that I am currently dealing with, I had a phone interview with a company on the west coast and I live in the Midwest. The phone interview went great and instead of another phone interview they asked if they could fly me out for an interview.
    The HR person made all the arrangements and sent them to me. The next week I flew out and the flight arrangements were great. I flew 1st class on the way out, got my upgraded car with no problem and drove to the hotel.
    I went to check in and they asked for my credit card. I told them that the company was paying and it should remain on their credit card. Well they could not do that, so I put it on my card, $200.
    Got up in the morning and drove to the location, 10 minutes early. 30 minutes later the hiring manager came out and apologized. We went to his office and he said he was busy and gave me drawings to look at and said he would be back in 1/2 hour. Well he came back and asked me what I found. So I told him. I then went and met the next person, no problem, the 3rd person was another 30 minute delay, but the interview went well. The last person I interviewed with also went well, but now it is 1:00 and I was scheduled to be done at noon. The hiring manager then wanted me to meet with some of the individuals I would be working with. I had told him that I had a 3:30 flight. He said I would have plenty of time.
    I bet you can guess what happened next. I missed my flight by 10 minutes; it was the last flight to my city. I had to pay $50 and take the red eye. I spent 9 hours and 2 meals at the airport.
    Finally got home sent my email thanks, since they were going to meet on the position the next day. I waited and waited a few phone calls and emails. Finally 3 days latter I got a message that they were going with a different candidate I have a story that I am currently dealing with, I had a phone interview with a company on the west coast and I live in the Midwest. The phone interview went great and instead of another phone interview they asked if they could fly me out for an interview.
    The HR person made all the arrangements and sent them to me. The next week I flew out and the flight arrangements were great. I flew 1st class on the way out, got my upgraded car with no problem and drove to the hotel.
    I went to check in and they asked for my credit card. I told them that the company was paying and it should remain on their credit card. Well they could not do that, so I put it on my card, $200.
    Got up in the morning and drove to the location, 10 minutes early. 30 minutes later the hiring manager came out and apologized. We went to his office and he said he was busy and gave me drawings to look at and said he would be back in 1/2 hour. Well he came back and asked me what I found. So I told him. I then went and met the next person, no problem, the 3rd person was another 30 minute delay, but the interview went well. The last person I interviewed with also went well, but now it is 1:oo and I was scheduled to be done at noon. The hiring manager then wanted me to meet with some of the individuals I would be working with. I had told him that I had a 3:30 flight. He said I would have plenty of time.
    I bet you can guess what happened next. I missed my flight by 10 minutes; it was the last flight to my city. I had to pay $50 and take the red eye. I spent 9 hours and 2 meals at the airport.
    Finally got home sent my email thanks, since they were going to meet on the position the next day. I waited and waited and after a few phone calls and emails I got a message that they were going with a different candidate. With the explanation (sure wish companies would tell you so if there are changes I need to make I can)
    Well 4 weeks later I am still trying to get reimbursed for the trip $400 and no one will reply to my phone calls or emails. When you have been unemployed for 6 months and it is xmas time $400 is a lot of money! Sure glad I did not get the job now that I know how they handle people. Not a place I want to be associated with. This is no small company, they are well known.

  7. Hey Dave and Jocelyn-
    Thanks for bringing up some more good points related to the piece I sent Ronnie Ann. Jocelyn, I too have gotten those “rejection slips” long after the fact of the interview, and I just laugh. Like you, I had forgotten all about the interview and the company. However, trying to make up for a lack of a sense of urgency in this way IS idiotic. It’s almost as if a computer was fed some names and dates, and just spit out a bunch of letters. Sometimes late is not “better than never.”
    Dave- based on what you wrote, the hiring manager SHOULD have been busy- with YOU. If a candidate is clear that a delay is really going to mess up a major travel timetable, that should be respected, or they should have made alternative arrangements, and maybe paid for you to stay another day (on their dime, of course). And there is nothing worse (at least for me) to hear when I arrive all bright and shiny at an interview than “Boy, are we busy today!” I just know that is going to mean interviews (and not just mine) are going to be given a lesser priority. Now, I can sort of understand if the people doing the interviewing are front line staff, and actually working other jobs at the same time. But, a hiring manager? Come on… this IS his job.
    A few good things coming out of reading your posts: 1.) I realize I am not a lone, very cranky job seeker who has bad luck with his particular interviews. At least mine did not cost me extra money! 2.) In a very satisfying way, these experiences allow you to realize that it is the job seekers responsibility to PAY ATTENTION to the process, and not be totally focused on just the end product (getting the job). Jocelyn- if that company who sent the late “no thanks” letter called you today and asked you to come in for another interview, would you? Maybe so, but now you would have some healthy skepticism. Note that being a healthy skeptic is not the same as being “bitter”. 3.) I am finding that the more I interview, the more I am noticing when places GET IT RIGHT- whether or not I get the job. And for those places, I am most thankful.
    The best places I have worked have been those who handled the interview and hiring process like this: 1.) Started interview on time, and gave it their full attention. 2.) Gave some kind of reasonable time frame for a decision, and managed to stick to it. 3.) Knew who I was when I arrived, and came into the interview able to begin a conversation about my qualifications and background, and 4.) Rescheduled if they realized that some unusual event would detract from the process.
    Just my two cents, not adjusted for inflation.

  8. D Weathersby says:

    Has this happened to anyone else?

    I applied for a director-level position at a not-for-profit organization. Participated in a phone interview with the recruiter/consultant who stated he was very impressed with my credentials, experience and awards, and in a couple of weeks, he would provide me with an update (status). He never responded to my follow-up email or call. Months later, I received a press release, via email, from the recruiter’s company announcing the appointment of another person for the director position.

    I replied, “I applied for this position. Why did I receive the release announcing X’s appointment? Additionally, why didn’t you respond to my follow-up email and call regarding the status of the position?”

    Recruiter responded, “oh, you weren’t suppose to receive that release. I’ve been so busy interviewing candidates for the position; but, I meant to contact you. Sorry.”

    I replied, “I understand. I congratulate you and the company on selected a highly talented, well-respected candidate. I’m positive she will do an excellent job.”

    His response, “Thanks. Good luck in your job search.”

    Of course I laughed, and forwarded his email to my list of email connections/contacts.

  9. Ah, the joys of email. It has become so common and well used that we take it for granted. Someone (recruiter) forgot to check his contacts before hitting “Reply All!”
    I am sorry to hear that you had to find this out in this manner, but I am guessing you had already figured this job was not in the cards.
    Ironically, at least you heard SOMETHING.
    Grrr… at least you had the class to be cordial on the phone with him. He was probably mightily embarrassed- with good reason.
    Another “Top Reason” why the frustration level can run so high, and one I would have never guessed in a million years.

  10. D Weathersby says:

    The recruiter was embarrassed. He blamed his secretary for sending the press release to me. Seems like he would’ve acknowledged the mistake, own up to the error, and offered to work with me. Of course, I would’ve turned down his offer.

  11. Big rich post Ronnie! Let’s add the word feelings to the conversation. Our emotions fuel our motivation (what we do, how we prepare) for the interviewing process and how we “perform” once we get there. So essentially it’s an emotionally loaded situation from beginning to end. Experienced interviewers should understand this human dynamic and factor it into the process. Unfortunately, too many of them do not. In fact, many of them (I think mostly through their lack of awareness) do and say things that actually “trigger” job seekers – sending many of them into the hard-wired fight or flight response. The goal should be to create the conditions (and here I am referring to the emotional climate) to bring out the BEST in people – not spike their understandable anxieties.

  12. Good point, Louise.
    One recent interview included the interviewers saying: “We want you to be relaxed, and feel comfortable.” This made a lot of difference to me.
    I suspect that some employers MIGHT ratchet up the anxiety level to where it usually is for the position they seek to fill- as a gauge of how well the applicant “fits in.” Personally, I don’t think this is a good way to go about the process, but they might use it as a “behavioral” marker to weed folks out.

  13. Hi Matthew, I think you are right about uninformed interveiwers who rachet up the heat to “test” prospective employees. Unfortunately it reflects a complete lack of knowledge of recent neuroscience which clearly shows that these emotion states place us in a kind of mindlock. Not to mention the overall physiological stress. Unless they are interviewing for battlefield readiness (and even that is being questioned by scientists these days) no human performs optimally under these circumstances!

  14. These 5 “mis-steps” are errors that organizations and companies can easily make that creates one main result: the perception that the hiring employer is not exceptional. Implementing the “opposite” of these errors are basic strategies that can be consistently implemented during the new hire/on-boarding phase that can reinforce to potential employees and job-seekers that this employer is indeed an employer of choice, a preferred employer — an exceptional employer. Everybody wins. More successful employee-employer matches are made. Employees stay employed. Businesses stay in business. Prolonged. Productive. Profitable.

  15. So true. I interviewed for a place (in NY, when I was living in DC) that made me pay to come down and see them in person twice, took up two full workdays with interviews, then couldn’t be bothered to let me know when they chose the other candidate.

    Meanwhile, my husband-elect just went on an interview where they had him sit waiting for the person he needed to meet for two hours, then finally decided the guy was too busy to see him and sent him home.

  16. I recently interviewed for a senior level position, meeting first with the CEO (the position reported to this person. A second interview included a variety of other staff and a second conversation with the CEO. The CEO told me I’d be coming back as a finalist before the end of the interview, and even asked me when I was available to come back the next week. “We’ll be in touch.”

    The middle of that next week, I contacted the HR person who had set up my first interviews and was told that this second round of interviews was taking a little longer to complete but they’d contact me the next day.

    Three days later I checked in by email and was told they were just wrapping up and would be done by Monday (this was on a Thursday.)

    During all of this time, I was researching like mad to prep for the final round. I’d been told that it would include some kind of presentation and the CEO had actually pointed out some specific things that I would want to address. The final presentation info was supposed to come with the call to set up the final interview.

    Several days later I finally received a call from one of the other senior staff involved in the interviews to tell me they had selected two finalists but I wasn’t one of them. I was so stunned I was actually speechless for a long moment of silence. I then explained that I was rather taken aback since I’d been told I was a finalist already. This person was clearly embarrassed.

    I have done a lot of hiring myself and I believe if I’ve talked with a candidate in person, s/he deserves to hear from me, personally.

    I’m filing this under the “this isn’t someone I’d want to work with” category. And I’ve been pretty honest with many colleagues who knew I was deep in this interview process, so the company has lost some credibility.

    Finally, I just remembered that they still have my portfolio, which I now need to retrieve.

    I guess misery at least likes company, since hearing other horror stories shows my experience is not unique…

  17. Wow. I’ve really been enjoying the discussion. Almost afraid to break in because it’s doing great without me!

    Dave…since this is no mom & pop shop, they should reimburse you for all your expenses, even those you incurred because of their scheduling. Keep bugging them and don’t be afraid to revert to shame. 😉 Good luck finding the right job for you.

    TEB…great to hear from you. Wish your husband-elect much luck. Please send me a note sometime. Would love to catch up. For TEB’s success story:

    How a New Resume Got Her the Job Interview!

    Donna and Louise…right on! Thank you so much for your comments. You’re so right about perception, Donna. And Louise, thanks for sharing some of your cool understanding of emotional intelligence.

    KB and D…I can only wish you good interviews ahead and great jobs. Goes for all of you.

    And if you noticed I left Matthew out…I expect he’ll be telling us some special news pretty soon. I’ll leave it for him to announce. (Is that too much of a hint?)

    Thanks again everyone. Keep it coming. If it can help even one other fellow job seeker, it’s worth sharing.

    ~ Ronnie Ann

  18. By the way…when I see some of these comments, I can’t help wondering if interviewers have gotten ruder. Or was it always this way?

    Is part of the story our jam-packed, high-productivity, multi-tasking mentality now? And have employers more and more forgotten what it means to be human-centered?

    ~ Ronnie Ann

  19. Hi Everyone:
    Boy, the more I read here, the more I want employers to read this blog more (and not just for this thread).
    It really is a vital point that our first impressions may be lasting ones.
    Ronnie Ann brings up an interesting point. I don’t know if things have sped up so fast today that some basic courtesies are getting lost. It is a lot easier to weed out and do a sort of “production line” hiring process when you don’t often need to even hear a persons voice, much less see them in person. Takes the “personal” out of it, and may make it easier to cut corners on the manners. But a fair chunk of what I have seen here IS in-person interactions which are off the chart rude. I cannot imagine waiting for an interview for two hours, and then being dismissed. Or not getting refunded for travel changes that the company incurred… and so on.
    I really got steamed with KB’s post- another example of “the right not knowing what the left is doing.”
    However, maybe we can count ourselves as lucky in a way. While these are terrible situations to go through, by having them happen BEFORE we sign on, we might be saving ourselves a lot of grief. Just think of the poor people who DID get hired- they are now saddled with representing a company which has a questionable reputation. Maybe they don’t care, or don’t know. But stuff like this comes back around to bite all employees in the *** sooner or later, as it is indicative of an ongoing mindset.
    And yes, I did get some very good news yesterday: I finally got a job! And it is beyond any expectations I ever had in terms of working environment, salary, and security. And this was one employer who did not “drop the ball” at any point in terms of the process (which has taken three months almost from first contact to offer). So some places DO get it right. This place put all the others to shame.
    Hint: if you are ever in the enviable position of having two interested employers vying for your services, drop a polite and well placed call or email to the one you prefer and let them gently know of a possible “competitor”. I did this just yesterday, and had an offer from my first choice by COB.

  20. D Weathersby says:

    Congrats, Matthew!!!!!!! Now, that you are employed, I hope you don’t forget about US. LOL

  21. Not by a long shot. Having gone thru this very trying period, I learned to look towards any and all support I could find. It will be a bit before I am on board with them, as I have to do a fingerprint check, physical, and credential check. So I am looking at about four weeks from now. And this is in a different state, far from where I am at now. So the logistics alone are mind-boggling. As I am sure all of you are experiencing, money has been non-existent for the past three of four months (another dismal HR policy- not letting employees cash out unused vacation time upon separation. I had over 150 hours that was simply erased. Good for business, bad for public relations). But right now, I will just relax and let the good thoughts flow through.
    I like coming to the WorkCoachCafe, and will continue to do so as long as I am breathing! Everyone here has been helpful, and has a story to tell that might help others. And that is what it is all about.
    Hmmm… maybe I should write about when the process GOES RIGHT, and what to look for when you find quality…
    Thanks for the good wishes.

  22. D Weathersby says:

    Matthew, perhaps you should speak with an employment attorney regarding your former employer’s policy of “not letting employees cash out unused vacation time upon separation.” Doesn’t sound legal.

    Just a thought.

  23. Well, DW- I did a little research online, and found that only 24 states are required to include accrued vacation pay (i.e. unused time) in an employees final check. Mine is not one of them. I also found that any employer in any state can withhold this pay if the employee signs an agreement agreeing to this. Who would sign such a thing, you say? Most of us, when we sign that nifty little bit of paper that says we “received and agree to abide by the Employee Handbook.” This effectively covers the employer from paying out, if it is a stated policy in the handbook. The last state I worked in full time (NY) always paid out upon separation. But about 10 years ago, an increasing number of places began to put a “cap” on the number of hours owed (usually up to 200).
    Another interesting note: There is no federal law that requires ANY employer in the US to give any vacation time at all! But most would go out of business if they did this. Turns out vacation “payouts” (and vacation itself) is a privilege, and not a right.

  24. And as for my current state: unless you actually worked and did not get paid, you have no other legal grounds to complain or go to the state for assistance ( the following is from www. workplacefairness.org):
    “You cannot file a wage/hour or labor standards claim in Alabama unless you have worked and not received your pay. Alabama does not enforce any wage and hour laws other than the state law pertaining to the payment of wages.”
    Time to move outta here…

  25. Ronnie Ann, after interviewing with a company 13 times, I would second #1 in this article. I would add if a candidate says to recruiting that they have another job offer, to take the higher road and say, “We like you but we know you have bills to pay. So take that job and we’ll figure out how to continue interviewing you around your work hours.” This kindness wasn’t paid to me, and it would’ve gone a long way. It would’ve been more appropriate than leading me on, not giving me the job, and costing me a job that would’ve started to pay my bills.

    I will keep my promise to the company that interviewed me 13 times that I will not discuss the part of their interviewing process that really got to me. But I want to remind employers that there are true feelings behind every job seeker. Don’t provoke them. For instance, if a guy is black, don’t ask him how he plans to network within your predominately white organization. You laugh, but many companies are this ignorant. Strive to not be ignorant and to remember who your audience is. Fact is if they are in the job market, they may be 1.)discriminated against, 2.)in a not so good financial situation, 3.)you fill in the blanks…


  26. Many recruiters don’t understand that the employment contract actually starts way before the offer. And it really is like dating – you wouldn’t consider marrying the person who treats you badly at the first and second date – there wouldn’t be a third…

    So starting that employment contract with good manners at the start tells the candidate that maybe they’ll get some respect from at least part of the organization as an employee.

    I do find so many “first responders” are just too clueless to think about these issues and their larger/longer implications for the “marriage” that happens when a company hires someone.

  27. A friend forwarded me this post. This is my first time visiting this blog and promise it won’t be my last. I’ve been working for over 25 years and have been out of work for the last year. I have NEVER seen such rudeness and lack of consideration in all my life as I have seen in the last 12 mos. Here’s just 2 especially bad examples:
    I had 13 interviews over the course of 3 mos. During that time several interviews were cancelled/scheduled at 7PM at night for an 8AM meeting the next day. Towards the end I made a light-hearted comment about interviewing 13 times and a few folks laughed and said “is that all – I interviewed for 6 mos for my job” – Really? Was that suppossed to make me feel better? I was told I was the favorite of 2 final candidates and I would here back shortly. Even though this job had come through a recruiter, the company HR person always contacted me directly. In the end they notified the recruiter that they decided to take the position in a different direction.
    #2 Bad experience
    Had a great screener phone call with the corporate HR person. She has me do 2 online assessment tests over the weekend because they want “to get me into the CEO asap”. The position reported to the CEO. An interview is scheduled for the following Tuesday. I am advised to ask for the office HR person when I get there. I drove over 2 hours to get there, HR lady says she has “a few things to do” and asks me to wait on a couch in the middle of their call center. I am then brought back to HR lady’s office where she asks me if I have a copy of my resume for her? Ofcourse I do and hand it to her. She waves her hand over my resume and says “tell me about yourself”. The entire meeting lasts 20 mins, she asks me no questions about my experience and I am escorted out a back door, never seeing the CEO. The next day I get an automatic HR email and in the subject line it says “Declined” – DECLINED, what am I? Several people encouraged me to contact the CEO or the corporate HR person directly but I was SOOO disgusted by the experience I knew the company wasn’t right for me.

    Does anyone think there’s some age discrimination going on also? Or is everyone treated equally rude? Just continues to reinforce the type of Leader I will be in my next job and what behavior I will not tolerate in my employees.

    I tell anyone who will listen – “HR folks – most employees that you interview are your own potential customers, or at very least brand advocates/detractors. Treat them as you would a potential customer.”

  28. D Weathersby says:

    I’ve never heard of anyone receiving an email after an interview stating, “Declined”. Wow, that’s a new one for me.

    IMHO, I don’t think their rudeness pertains to age discrimination; only unprofessional behavior on the HR employees representing the company.

    I would not contact the CEO or corporate. You may come across as a disgruntled job applicant who did not receive the position, and want to complain about it. Not worth the time or effort. Eventually, the people you’ve encountered will eventually “reveal” their rudeness and unprofessionalism.

    Seems like you don’t have problems securing interview, so, I suggest you move on to the next one.

  29. Hi Laurie-
    “Declined”? “DECLINED”???
    Now I agree with DW- I have never seen that before. That is the epitome of rudeness and thoughtlessness. The whole process for your second example sounds horrible. I am sorry you had to go through that. But I am glad to see that you now know how you WON’T behave when you are on the other side of the fence.
    Now I totally get that people are busy, want a ‘snapshot’ of you, and may very well act more on their “gut feelings” than on a professional level- and sometimes that is not a terrible thing (see Ronnie Ann’s post re: handwriting as an example.) But in your case, I think the company did several things very wrong, right from the start:
    1. Acting “overly excited” and saying they were going to “rush” you “right in” to the CEO. It sounds like this was mentioned to the HR person, and she probably had a fit. So whoever you first spoke to set you up for disaster. I can hear the HR persons thoughts: “Who are they to bypass me and rush anybody in? I wonder if the applicant pushed for this? She goes thru ME- and I’ll put her in her place.”
    2. She acted on her anger, rather than giving you a fair shake. You had nothing to do with the issue. Not even making up a reasonable excuse for starting late: This is all so beneath her that she makes it clear the interview comes after “things she has to do”.
    3.) She made her point very clear by ushering you out the BACK DOOR.
    4.) Put a nasty period on it by making sure you felt bad by the subject heading in the email.
    This sounds like a toxic workplace. And you know the kicker? I bet she never even addressed her anger with the person it needed to be directed at. She took it all out on you.
    I don’t feel sorry for this person, but rather for those she needs to work with. In my short time job searching, I have seen several examples of office infighting that have threatened to spill over into the hiring process (but not nearly as vicious as your example).
    So now that we are clear that you did nothing wrong, know that if you had gotten this job, you most likely would have been targeted in some fashion, and probably not too happy there.
    Again, the stuff I hear just makes me cringe. And I thought I was the only one…

  30. I love the blogging community. So much good stuff…all I need to do is stay silent! 😉

    Thanks everyone for the great discussion. “Declined”? Oh Laurie…this is so unnecessarily cold I can’t even wrap my brain around it. Aaargh! And don’t even get me started on HR departments that rely on assessment tests to do their screening!

    As for Matthe…who of course inspired this post…all the best in your new adventure! Please stay in touch. And just between us – shhhhh! – I may wind up being on the same coast later this year. More when I know.

    Happy new year to all. Here’s to a fabulous 2010!

    ~ Ronnie Ann

  31. Thanks, Ronnie Ann. I am off on the final “vetting” leg of the trip TODAY. Will be on the “other coast” all this week. That is, provided that my airline flies today (and a sarcastic “thanks” to the person who walked the wrong way thru security at Newark airport).
    I will check on things when I get back. And I won’t tell a soul about your possible journey. LOL

  32. I find that I am getting responses to my resume, but find it hard to get past the phone interview stage. It seems that I am being phone screened by very junior level “recruiters” who say “walk me through your resume” so you do that & they don’t as much as offer any comment or ask any questions, just let you go on. Then when you are finished, they just want to get off the phone without even telling you anything about the company or position or asking any questions or letting you ask any questions.

    I just had a phone interview the other day that went like that. I was able to get in some questions, but only received simple one word answers like she didn’t want to tell me too much. She ended the conversation with “I’ll be sending your resume and my notes to the hiring manager and will be in touch with you regarding next steps”. It just seems to me that for HR positions, I should be speaking with the HR Hiring Manager (the Director or VP or head of HR) and not just a recruiter who doesn’t understand much about HR.

    My problem is that I am in HR so I can’t get around the HR person unless it’s a smaller company & I can deal directly with the President or CEO.

    One of the worst things to happen to me was with this one company that I had a phone interview with the recruiter which went extremely well (she loved me), 4 actual in-person interviews with probably about 12 different people. The hiring manager who I would be working for loved me, the rest of the HR department loved me, most of the other people that I met loved me (these were the business leaders that I would be working directly with). My last interview with 2 business unit directors was kind of strange. They asked me strange questions. I asked them questions about what was the most challenging issue they faced, what qualities they were looking for in this position, etc. which they were very vague about. The hiring manager was all set to make me an offer and everyone was very excited to have me join the company. It would have been the perfect position for me. I would be handling all of the HR functions for about 3 sites in NJ but would report into the Corporate HR Group in NYC.

    Then I received feedback from the recruiter that the 2 guys I met with last didn’t think I had enough experience to handle the issues they were dealing with. I told her that was interesting because I specifically asked them what specific issues they were having (the company had recently acquired another company & the merger presented issues of “us vs. them” mentality, which I had faced and overcome at my last job which is why they thought I would be great for this role), they really didn’t answer my question, instead being very vague. I think something just didn’t “click” with them and myself and that was the problem. I guess it just wasn’t meant to be.

    It makes me feel better to see that it’s not just me, that others of you are having the same problems. I thought maybe I was doing something wrong in my interviews, but I guess there are just so many candidates for them to choose from, they are being extremely “picky”. I have received “no thanks” e-mails and letters for positions that I felt I was a perfect match & then see the same position posted again & again. I guess they are going to hold out for the “perfect” candidate who has ALL of the qualifications they are seeking instead of going with someone who has 9 out of 10. It kind of makes me wonder why they need these positions filled if they aren’t too anxious to fill them.

  33. Thanks Matthew for the discretion. I wish you the best of luck!!! Look forward to hearing good things.

    Hello Linda! Glad this helps you know for sure you are absolutely NOT alone. I just recently wrote about screeners:

    Who the Heck is Screening Your Resume?

    So good for readers to see that even experienced HR folks go through the same madness. And of course, being in your field means you can’t even go around HR!

    Appreciate your sharing your thoughts and experience. Although it’s a buyer’s market (making networking all the more critical), there are still jobs to be had and I am hopeful you’ll have one of them soon. Just really let them see the talented, creative, energetic, helpful, positive, resourceful, problem-solving, pleasant person they’d get to work with day-in-and day out! 😉

    Please let us know what happens. And feel free to offer additional insights to your fellow job seekers.

    ~ Ronnie Ann

  34. I’ve noticed that nobody has named the employers who have been downright rude or disrespectful. Is there a downside to naming names here? How can a firm improve if it doesn’t know about its flaws?

  35. Hi Linda-
    I would love to “name names”- but given the litigious world we live in, I could see some of them coming back with libel suits. Sounds farfetched, but I am sure it has happened before. Additionally, I would not want to drag Ronnie Ann into a mess that I might have made. That being said, I would also wager that none of the places I have applied to and had issues with would even THINK to come to a site like this. An interesting site where you CAN see what people think of a company, and can post “reviews” anonymously is at: http://www.glassdoor.com
    Some interesting stuff there.

  36. D Weathersby says:

    Hey, Matthew:

    How’s the job? Better yet, how does it feel to earn a bi-weekly paycheck and receive benefits!

    I’m happy, but extremely jealous. Hopefully, I’ll have good news to share in the coming weeks.


  37. Thanks Matthew for the wonderful answer to Linda’s question. I’m sure she’s not the only one who was wondering that. Cool to know about glassdoor.com; I’ve seen them mentioned a few times lately.

    Oh…and just so you know D, I believe Matthew is in transition and pretty sure he’ll report back when he has some answers. Meanwhile, we are all wishing YOU much luck – so we can be jealous of you. 😉

    ~ Ronnie Ann

  38. D Weathersby says:

    Hi, Ronnie Ann:

    Here is an update on my job hunt.

    Last week, I interviewed for the fourthtime with a Fortune 500 company. The department’s senior vice president (SVP) conducted the interview. If hired, I will report directly to him. During the entire conversation, he repeatedly stated, “oh, I REALLY like you! We think so much alike! Yep, that’s the same thing I would do. Exactly!”

    Prior to the interview, I received a writing test, which I passed with flying colors. He reviewed it and agreed with my rationale regarding where to send it.

    Before leaving the 1.5 hour interview, he introduced me to his staff. I was extremely relaxed, but professional. The SVP told his Admin, “Make sure that D’s on the schedule for next week. I want her to meet with everyone on staff.”

    Yesterday, I received an email from Headquarters inviting me to a fifth interview with the same staff I met before exiting. LOL.

    Hours before receiving the email, I followed up (phone call) with the Admin regarding a confirmed date and time. I also wanted to know more about the department (i.e.: number of staff, other locations, etc.) Well, she accidently let it slip, “right now, there are three of us in this department. But, when you join, we’ll have four people. I mean, right now there are just the three of us, and soon, we expect a fourth person to join us. In the meantime, you should receive an appointment from Headquarters.”

  39. Terri Johnson says:

    Sounds like good news for D! Keep us informed and good luck!

  40. Seconding Terri’s comment. Fingers, legs, and eyes crossed for you, D!!

    ~ Ronnie Ann

  41. Go D!! I wish you all the luck in the world. Actually, luck had nothing to do with it…YOU created your own “luck”, and now it is starting to pay off.
    Ironically, my hopefully soon to be employers did the same thing to me- “Now, when you start, get ready for…” then “Well, whoever we hire will have to be ready for…” so this is a very good omen. That, and the fact that they are promptly following up with any implied and stated “promises”.
    Yes, I should receive the “final word” by Thursday regarding my job search, and if it has ended (i.e. that pesky offer letter-nothing else counts for me right now).
    I will check in when I hear more.
    Again, good work, D!

  42. D Weathersby says:

    Hi, All:

    Another update:

    Today, I interviewed with the two staff members (see thread above). Yep, interview numbers 5 & 6 with the same company.

    Although they had the job description on hand, they asked what the SVP said my role would be. Not sure if it was a trick question, I stated, “combination of things including public relations and strategic planning.” I figured whatever the SVP and I discussed regarding my role, this is something he should make clear to them. On the other hand, I reassured them whatever needed to be done to accomplish the job, I’ll do it (team player).

    They talked about how they are sometimes overwhelmed due to the small staff handling a global company’s department.

    I smiled and said, “What you described, I experienced at the majority of my former positions in which I was the ONLY person responsible for A, B, and C, while traveling almost 60 percent of the time. Additionally, I covered 11 offices in 10 states interacting with elected officials, not-for-profit organizations, lenders, grass-root organizations, and consumers. So, yes, I’ve been there, handle the stress and exceeded expectations.”

    Yep, they smiled.

    The 1.45 hour interview was very informative, relaxed and eye-opening. As a matter of fact, during the interview, one of the staff member asked if I was told about “the wonderful company benefits.” As he began to tell me about them, the other staffer stated, “that’s something HR will tell her about. I mean, that’s something the person hired for the job will hear from HR.”

    Staffer 1 replied, “well, looks like to me, we found the right person. And, she’s very friendly. I like her”

    Staffer 2: “Well we don’t know if she’ll accept the job. We need to leave that to HR.”

    Overall, the interview went well.

    Next step? I think receiving a job offer letter from HR.

    I’ll keep you updated.

  43. D Weathersby says:

    Hi, Matthew:

    Thanks for the great words of encouragement. Really appreciate it.

    You will receive your offer letter sooner than anticipated.

    Like others, my eyes, toes, arms, legs, fingers, and anything else, are crossed.

    And, to you, GOOD WORK, M!

  44. For my experiences these 5 don’t come close.

    -It’s the 1st face to face, we have been talking for 1hr. We talk about base salary and agree then we start talking about back end compensation and equity. I follow up for the next step Radio Silence

    -Recruiters- call me to come to your offices for an interview during the interview tell me that there are 2-3 jobs I would be perfect for. Ask me if it would be ok to send my resume to them. Sure then Radio Silence nothing

    This has happened to me 7 times.

    Maybe I missed something when I interviewed people.

    1st I never discussed compensation in the first face to face even if I thought they walked on water(I managed an 80 person group).

    I gave positive feedback to folks only if I thought they had a better than 70% of getting the job.

    What gives?

  45. Thanks Matthew and D! Love the mutual support. Don’t I have the best readers? 😉

    D…let me know when it’s soup. So happy for you. All remains crossed, of course.

    Matthew…we all await that beautiful piece of paper in your hands. 😉

    John I hope that’s a rhetorical question, because I’m stymied by the way you and others just on this post alone have been treated. Then again…I take hope from comments I’ve been getting from readers who have been treated well and got the offer – even though it took ages for the miracle to happen. 😉

    I wish more interviewers were like you. Please…think of it as dating. You may have dozens of rotten ones, but when you find the right one – no matter how long it takes – it’s worth it! Meanwhile, check any areas that may need brushing up and network, network, network.

    In fact…(for you or anyone else this might interest) just got this wonderful comment related to networking:

    Best of luck to all of you!!

    ~ Ronnie Ann

  46. Ronnie Ann

    Thank you for the compliment. Actually the firm I work in for 22 years gave training classes at all management levels on how to conduct an interview and even 2nd and 3rd ones. Also always respond to a candidate. Even if you didnt hire that person we were taught to treat everyone like a possible customer in any interaction.

    I wish I was embellishing however I am not. Most of the friends who are interviewing are interviewing for senior spots COO, CFO(hedge funds and service providers).


  47. Training? Valuing and respecting the candidates as a policy? What a strange concept, John ! But seriously…really good to hear that firms make the time and effort to provide training for such an important process.

    I’ve mentioned the idea of an Interviewee Bill of Rights on other sites. Sounds like your company could help write some of the policies.

    Please let us know how your search progresses. Good luck to you and all your friends. As someone who long ago graduated with an MBA in Finance and well understands how some of these places work, I feel your and their pain!

    All my best!

    ~ Ronnie Ann

  48. D Weathersby says:

    Here’s the final update:

    Yesterday, I received snail mail from the SVP stating they went with another candidate. After five interviews, and excelling on the writing test, I was not offered the position.

    No specific reason given. But, I know my credit report was the main reason.

    Since leaving my last job, I’ve dealt with several issues beyond my control including:

    1) an 18-month severe illness in which I almost died. (I paid for my medical insurance, $600 per month);

    2) attempted short sale of a rental property. The lenders, which received bailout money, did not want to agree to a short sale;

    3) Tenants refusing to pay rent. Eventually, they were evicted;

    4) Tried to renegotiate the terms of a business loan with a lender who received government/taxpayers bailout money. They did not want to renegotiate; and

    5) Due to the horrible economy, I lost almost $30,000 in my 401K (stocks). By the time I could sell the stock, it was worthless.

    Prior to these incidences, I had excellent (A1) credit. Never missed or was late paying a creditor.

    Initially, I was upset. But, after an hour of “feeling sorry for myself” I remember situations occur for a reason, and to look at my current blessings:

    1) I am still able to pay the mortgage on my home. Never missed a payment;

    2) I’m healthier. Regained 30 pounds, and look/feel fantastic!

    3) Companies continue interviewing me.

    4) My parents, grandparents (maternal AND paternal), 5 siblings, and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins are alive and well.

    5) My husband is extremely supportive, and he spoils the heck out of me, especially when I don’t want to receive his hugs, kisses, and presents. (Actually, I do, but I pretend not to want them.)

    6) My 8-year-old Husky gives the best and sloppiest “kisses”.

    7) During my illness, my faith in God strenghtened.

    As stated, initially, I was upset. My life continues to progress beyond this company’s decision, which does NOT determine my direction in life. This temporary set-back will NOT prevent me from moving forward and succeeding.

    After I obtain another position, I will work on improving my credit score. I’m not a deadbeat; only someone who has experienced a “temporary lane change” in life.

    Now, it’s time for me to get back onto the express lane of life.


  49. Terri Johnson says:

    D, Your attitude is great! I know how hard it is to maintain it when you have something fall through that you really thought was a great opportunity. Hang in there. You will land something even better. What the heck does credit score have to do with how good an employee you are? A friend just bought a new house and went through a real nightmare to do so because his credit report said he worked for a firm he hadn’t worked for since 1980 and had additional misinformation. These things should be outlawed. I had to pay more for my car insurance because of my “credit score” which was negatively impacted by a fight with a health care provider over the state’s inability to pay in a timely manner. We consumers need to do something about the use of these in inappropriate ways. Give the Husky a hug for me and think about a better tomorrow.

  50. What Terri said, D. 😉

    I am with you all the way. We all are. Best of luck!

    ~ Ronnie Ann

  51. D, you are an inspiration to me. Just keep moving forward! This week has been especially frustrating for me. I’ve had two employers say they would contact me via phone at an agreed upon time and both did not follow through. I have decided that these companies are probably not the ones I’d want to work for anyway. It is annoying and I do think employers should keep a promise to call when they say they are going to do so. I also agree that employers should read Matthew’s blog.

  52. D Weathersby says:

    Hi, Lane Zane:

    Thank you for your comment. I really appreciate it. I’ve moved on in my search, and look forward to other opportunities . I refuse to allow anyone or a company prevent me from succeeding in life.

    Sure, you’re annoyed because they didn’t call as promised.

    Sometimes our busy schedules make it difficult to keep “a promise” to others. But, you can’t take that as a personal attack. How often have you “promised” someone you would call them “right back” while talking to another person? Remember when you “promised” to pick up something at the store for someone; “promised” to drop the added pounds after discovering the dryer/dry cleaners shrunk your favorite outfit? How about “promising” your spouse you would not purchase another pair of shoes, handbag, dress, etc.

    Provide due diligence! Follow-up with the person who stated s/he will call you. This shows not only initiate, but also interest in the position.


  53. Thank you D! Love the mutual support. I like to think for every rude and thoughtless employer out there, there’s also a good one out there too – ok, maybe the ratio is a bit skewed lately, but the good ones do exist!!

    I wish you, Lane and everyone all the best. I’ll be away for a couple of weeks, but I’ll be sending my best wishes anyway. 😉

    ~ Ronnie

  54. Cindy Johnson says:

    I’m tired of interviewers saying they will contact me regardless in a few days, but don’t call. Even with the phone interviews to get a face-to-face. I followup by email and they still do not respond. My last phone interview, I was told that I would be called for a face-to-face regardless. Should I followup or just assume they don’t want to hire me?

  55. Lane Zane says:


    I’ve had the same experiences. Employers hold all the cards now and can do anything they want. Recently, I drove to an interview which was far from where I live. My interview lasted about 10 minutes! Even though he took my resume and references, I don’t expect to hear back. You really just have to move on. I don’t count on anything anymore. The job market is just too competitive.

  56. Please excuse the absence. I’ve had my own waiting game going on related to a consulting contract as well as a heater repair guy. Busy week and more to come. But, although I had to put my policy of NOT ANSWERING EVERY QUESTION OR COMMENT into practice, I have NOT forgotten any of you. 😉 It’s just that I do this in my spare time and sometimes there just isn’t any!

    That said…this past week’s post was inspired by your comments. And despite the title, it is meant with love and exactly the words I tell myself!

    Don’t Let a Whiner’s Club Attitude Screw Up Your Interview AND Career Chances!

    And you also might enjoy John’s comment on another post.

    Please know I have probably felt and reacted as you have, but in the end, all that matters is what will improve your own chances of getting that job offer! I wish you the best of luck and hope to hear good news soon. 😉

    ~ Ronnie Ann

  57. I LOVED this post and I can totally relate to Mathew. I lost my first job straight out of undergrad (for which I had to move 1000 miles away from home), and ended up having to get 3 part-time retail jobs to survive. I was stuck with a 12 month lease on a new apartment (for which I had not had the chance to even furnish with a bed), and I was going through the 7 stages of grief. I was working in finance, so I interviewed for a personal banker position at a major bank in the area. When I tell you I left the interview PISSED, I mean I was P-I-S-S-E-D. First of all, I was interviewing for a job I was over-qualified for. Then the smug bastard interviewer was such an ingrate the whole 5 minutes the interview lasted. I had to wait 30 minutes past my interview slot to even start. During the interview he asks me where I work and I tell him. Then he asks “Well what does that have to do with banking?” I wanted to throw a chair at him instantly, but I politely explained how certain skills I used, however simple, would contribute to the position I was applying for; mainly customer service and getting credit card sign-ups. So he asks me what I say to convince people to sign up for the cards. I do the speech, then he starts talking about how him and his wife only shop at the place when their kids need something “cheap” to wear and how most of the sales associates he encountered at the retail store were brainless and incompetent. In my mind, I’m thinking “…or perhaps you don’t get good customer service because you’re an @$$hole.” But instead, I smiled pleasantly as if it was no biggie. Then he abruptly tells me the interview is over and would I like to be considered for a much lower position. I reiterate the fact that my interest is in the position I applied for. He gets an attitude and says “Well, we will certainly take into consideration that you have refused an alternative offer. Goodbye.” And that was it! Mind you, its freaking 32 degrees below zero outside and I had to trek through snow and take the bus for two hours to get there! I was so full of complete RAGE leaving the interview! I’m thinking to myself “Did I run over the guys mother? What was THAT all about?” Like Mathew, almost two years later I am still going through the interview process. I have done countless applications and been on several interviews all for which either the recruiter was a jerk, I never heard from anyone, or they hired someone with a GED and beauty school experience over me. Staying positive is extremely hard and recruiters who are complete jerks do not help the situation.

  58. Lane Zane says:

    I can relate to what you say Chantey. I have seen a total lack of professionalism from potential employers. Recently, I drove about 14 miles one way for an interview that lasted about 10 minutes! The interviewer didn’t tell me anything about the job. Now he might have been a pre-screener and yes, maybe he wanted a certain type of person and maybe I wasn’t what he was looking for. All he said was “Well, thanks for driving up here for the interview”. It made me mad because usually my interviews last a lot longer. It wasn’t even an interview! I’ve seen all types lately but I notice a lot more unprofessional people. Maybe it’s because it is an employers market right now and with so many people out there looking for a job, they have the upper hand. It’s very frustrating but you have to move on. You have to think of the interview as a “learning experience”. I’ve been in the job market since January and have sent over 100 resumes out but have had few interviews. I agree it is a difficult time. I try to stay positive and yes, it is extremely hard. But, I also think if I’m treated in a negative way during an interview, do I really want to work at this place? That helps me move forward. Good luck to you!

  59. Thanks for adding so nicely to the conversation Chantey and Lane!

    Glad you didn’t throw the chair, Chantey, but I can well understand why you felt like it. My word…so sorry your search has gone on this long. No wonder you feel the way you do. I wish there were something we could do to help. Hope a nice surprise is around the corner – and hope the corner comes quickly. 😉

    Good thoughts, Lane. Best of luck to you both!

    ~ Ronnie Ann

  60. Wow those stories are tough. It amazes me that these people dont realize the negative publicity they generate for their firms.

    I been unemployed for over a year. I went on an interview for a financial adviser role(good base plus commission). Met with the branch manager who was so rude and nasty that after he told me in this office my opinion doesnt matter he will tell me my opinion.

    I got up and said I am late for another appointment. This is a known name and you can bet this story will be repeated to friends, associates, people on the street.

    However know their true professionals out there.

    A CEO(looking for a COO), was looking for a different skills went on to compliment on my cover letter.

    Another firm actually sent me an actual hard copy rejection letter.

    I will speak highly of these firms and if I can and if in the position will give/direct business to them.

    I think these times will actually breed more professional people and managers

    Never quit , work every angle, lead, anything

    Luck is made

  61. Thank you for sharing this, John. My mouth is still open in amazement over the rudeness. You’re so right…no way does it serve that c0ompany or that person in the long run.

    You have a great attitude and I hope someone soon realizes they need to make you an offer. 😉 I wish you all the best. Good luck!

    ~ Ronnie Ann

  62. Here’s an interview that made me mad. Through a personal contact who had a client looking for someone I submitted my resume and the person phoned. The interview was in Hamilton, 75km away – tomorrow only. There were 2 timeslots, 2pm and 4pm. I could only make the 4pm by reworking my day including putting off a doctors appointment for which I paid $150 to cancel last minute. The person complained/joked that I would be keeping her at work “making” her stay til 4pm. Which gave me pause. Next day I raced like a demon through major city traffic to get 75kms to this place, found parking, and made it with 5 minutes to spare. I was seated outside her office and listened to her conversation… a sort of low level whining about how busy she was, how she had to hire someone, what she was having for dinner tonight, what grocery store she liked and why. Could her baby sitter stay until 6 as she was so stressed and busy at work. I sat and listened to her non work related phone calls until 5pm, watched the receptionist go home – no one offered me a drink or acknowledged me. Then this person comes out of her office, asks me how my drive was and tells me how busy she was and that she has to cut the interview short. She asked a few desultory questions indicating she had not even looked at my resume and then tells me I have too much experience for the role. So I drove home, it took me an hour and a half. Her credit union suffers from lack of market share from her half-baked campaigns, poorly designed materials and ill positioned products and this person has a job and I don’t. I had spent the night before researching & mocking up a campaign addressing one of their products which has potential. I didn’t show the dimwit it. I’m so sad. It felt like she enjoyed being in control and playing with me.

  63. Linda,

    First…I apologize for taking so long to answer you. It was a holiday weekend here and I gave myself some time away. But your story makes me fume!!!

    I actually am sitting here with my mouth open not even sure what to say. No I am sure what to say: There is nothing ok about what happened. And yes…some power-tripping appears to have taken place. GRRRRRR! I wish I knew someone above her in the company to share what you know about how to fix their lack-luster marketing. Sadly, I do not.

    Does anyone out there have anything to add?

    Oh Linda…I am asking the universe (not that I have a direct line) to send you something extra special to make up for this. At the very least, maybe you can pitch it as an article somewhere. You sure told it well.

    Thanks for taking the time, Linda. I think many readers will use your story to help them know they are not alone. A lot of jerks out there for sure…but luckily, a lot of good folks too. May your job search bring you to a few of those very soon. 😉

    Best of luck. PLEASE stay in touch.

    ~ Ronnie Ann

  64. Thank you so much, it is the nicest thing to have your supportive and warm comments and such a generous gesture to send a thought on my behalf. Love your site!

  65. D Weathersby says:

    Ronnie Ann:

    Ya know I gotta add my $20 worth of advice to Linda, and here it is:


    Thank goodness you did not have to endure more time with that inconsiderate nincompoop!

    Count yourself lucky that you do not have to return for a second interview only to hear more of HER personal drama.

    I can only imagine what could’ve/would’ve happened if you were hired, and reported directly to her.

    She would have:

    1) taken credit for your work;

    2) whined, whined and whined about her overwhelming job, lack of a baby sitter, ruined dinner, inconsiderate drivers making HER late for HER appointments;

    3) complained about “doing everyone’s job” including hers;

    4) given you horrible annual reviews because “you could do better.”

    Linda, you’re so lucky to miss this bullet.

  66. Yes, we all know it’s a hiring dream market out there, but it doesn’t give the hiring departments and recruiters the right to treat people like dirt!

    The examples above scream “unprofessional” on any level of a company. In most cases if the HR department acts like that you really don’t want to work there no matter how bad your situation is.

    I hate the “bait and switch” the most. Many recruiters try to pull that one.

  67. Chantey says:

    Update! I thought I’d share an update with everyone here in hopes that it will inspire someone. If you scroll up, you can see my story about my horrible experience with searching for a job for two years. Everything has changed for the better. First, I got into graduate school and I’m now double majoring in finance; the very thing I wanted to do upon graduating from undergrad. Then, I finally got the bank job I wanted with the company that I wanted. It’s amazing how perseverance and determination can make things happen. It took a very long time but I finally got where I wanted. Those of you still looking for employment, or anything else to happen for you in life, DO. NOT. GIVE. UP. Plenty of days I felt like I was just sinking into darkness no matter how hard I tried to swim. Then out of nowhere, a lifeline! Please know that there is a break out there for you somewhere. It’s not always visible, but it happens with determination and persistence. Of course, I still have to pass my 90 days on the job, so I’m still on eggshells, but this time, I think everything is going to work out for me. Websites like this are golden because the day I wrote my previous post, I was upset, frustrated, and sooooooooooo angry. I needed this place to vent because I felt like no one else quite understood my pain. Sharing my success story is my way of saying thank you all for the outlet. Thank you all so very much for listening and responding. It really, really helped me get through everything. Best wishes and God bless!!

  68. Thanks D Weathersby and Miss Displaced for the wonderful comments! I’m with you all the way on this one.

    Hi Chantey! This is GREAT news. Wuhoo!!! Thank you so much for sharing it with us. Job searches are so strange because it can feel like absolutely nothing is happening until it does. 😉

    And to quote Chantey:

    DO. NOT. GIVE. UP.

    Best of luck Chantey! Your story may inspire a post in the not too distant future. 😉

    ~ Ronnie Ann

  69. D Weathersby says:

    Congrats, Chantey!

  70. Hi, Ronnie Ann, I’ve recently found your blog and I found it extremely helpful and I’ve some questions hoping that may be you could help, as last Monday I’ve an interview with a company and the interviewer said that they will contact me back within a week and I know today is only Saturday but I’m just wondering if I still do not hear a reply from them by Monday or even Tuesday… is there anything I could do? I knew they often take longer time than they said….

    thanks for taking time to help, and sharing things to us, god bless~ =]

  71. Chantey… Congratulations !!! Truly… this is the only place where none of us gets condescending BS totally useless advice like all other places on the internet run by so called “experts”. And this is one of very few places where your feelings and experiences are actually validated.

  72. Yes, congrats Chanty! your comments hit home for me because I too had my “dark” times. I mean just really depressed, just back from teaching abroad, stuck with my parents in a different state to which they moved while I was gone, and just feeling totally trapped with nothing to do and no money coming in. I never thought it would take so long, I’m in to the search over 6 months, I know a lot of people have been struggling much longer but I’m young, I have a degree, I was a Peace Corps volunteer for 2 years and I was naive enough to think I’d have no problem. I was actually worried about finding a job too fast before I had to readjust to the US and living with my parents again. HA! what a joke. Resume after resume after cover letter after cover letter, I lost count long ago. When I finally started to realize how not easy this was going to be boredom and feelings of useless eventually got me pretty down. For a while I’d hang in ok but then every so often I’d just crash because the mental battle to stay sane got to be too much. I was so crushed after getting my first reject email following an interview. I wanted that job so bad, it was in DC, the city where I feel I need to be. I prepared furiously too. In the email the guy said, “you’re well qualified, but I offered the job to so and so and she accepted, she has skills that I never thought I’d find.” That last bit stung big time…tell me that I’ve been rejected and that other person is just so magical..isn’t that precious? So that was back in April..about 4 months into my search, my only thought was who else would give me a chance? If not this guy who called in the first place because we have the Peace Corps in common, then who? I thought maybe he’d give me a shot. But no. Anyway, it wasn’t until the end of May that I got another bite for a company where I’m living now, in Arizona, a state that I never thought I’d find anything even remotely close to what I want to do, but magically enough it exists. We’ve been moving fast and I’ve interviewed twice and got fabulous feedback the second time. The interviewers actually recommended me for a position that I didn’t know existed so yesterday I interviewed for that one and it’s even better than the first. I’m closer to a real job than ever and it’s exciting…well, I’m cautiously optimistic. It’s hard not to feel really confident after the boss tells you you’re most interesting to him and a lot of people around here like you. I’ve interviewed with 8 staff members already. But my point is, like yours, is that it’s amazing how things seem to finally pop up or happen after so much nothing and disappointment. I was just about sure I didn’t get the first job I interviewed for with this company but was told yesterday a final decision hasn’t been made yet, so I’m still in the running for that one too, although I doubt I’m the top candidate for it. But still, 2 staff members including the boss actually asked me which position I would prefer..hypothetically of course. I don’t know how common that is for them but it sure was refreshing and promising for me. Chanty, what makes your story particularly exciting is the fact that you didn’t just finally end up with a job, you got what you really wanted too. That’s what this would be for me, something I could get up in the morning and be happy and proud to do. And as I’ve expressed to Ronnie Ann several times this site really is a haven, I just wish I had come across it long ago when I was really down.

  73. Hi Angela! Yes…you may be jumping the gun a bit. Things often take longer. Give them until next week to follow up if you don’t hear from them before that. If they can’t remember you that long, I’d be pretty surprised. Good luck!

    Jonny…if I ever win big in the lottery I will hire you at a HUGE salary to do my publicity. 😉 Awww….shucks. Thanks.

    Mallory: As always, thanks for the kind words and for sharing your thoughts with all of us. Clearly there is a prolific writer in you! Fingers, etc. crossed for you.

    ~ Ronnie Ann

  74. Paul Di Nardo says:

    Wow! And I thought I had bad experiences! Of, course, I had to travel to Cleveland for a job interview once, and they did not even really read my resume! Now, to be honest, I did have a phone interview first, and the position was more than enough of a match to excite me. But they were bemoaning a certain aspect of my experience as lacking once I got there. AND I HAD TO PAY FOR THE TRIP! Even trying to make lemonade out of lemons can be hard in such a case.

  75. If the company is smart and considerate and must insist on “face to face”… why don’t they suggest a webcam interview? I mean, that is more than fair and adequate is it not? Forcing someone to travel only to basically trash them in person is truly inconsiderate in my view and how could they possibly turn out to be a great employer?

  76. Wow. Thanks for sharing that Paul.

    I second what Jonny said!!! 😉

    As always, thanks Jonny for the solid advice. And Paul…good luck finding a job that deserves you. Please feel free to stay in touch.

    ~ Ronnie Ann

  77. what makes me crazier than any of these is interviewers who tell you

    “We’ll call you by (day) whether or not you get the job.” When they already know they aren’t going to be calling you, or who specifically tell you you’ll have a second interview and don’t deliver
    . Yes, i want a job, but I don’t want to work for a manager who makes empty promises. You have no obligation to tell me I will be getting a call or a second interview, and I know there are a lot of candidates interviewing for the job. So just don’t tell me you will call me if you’re not going to. SIMPLE. You can still decide to call or not call, but now you haven’t lied to anyone.


    I’m on a blogging break so I won’t be answering comments. But couldn’t leave without letting you know how much I appreciate your visits. See you in November!

    Please feel free to help each other in the meantime. Oh…and if you’re wondering why the break:

    Blogging Overload: Do You Give Yourself a Break?

    ~ Ronnie Ann

  79. I love this website so much! I have stumbled upon it as I was researching answers to a famous ‘pat question’, “Where do you see yourself five years from now?” Since, I have spent a lot of time reading questions and answers on here.

    I have read “Matthew’s” unfortunate interview experiences and can understand his frustration. But on the other hand, he has at least been getting some response from potential employees.

    My situation is following: I graduated from university in June 2010, and have been looking for a job since. Since the summer 2010, I have applied to more than 200 places in my city and surrounding area. Guess how many interviews I landed? None, Zero,Nada! I understand that experience plays a large part in this, (which I don’t have) but hey I am a new-grad with new perspectives, ideas, talent etc and I know that interviewers would be more than satisfied with me. But no, I never got a chance.

    What I did then, is swallowed up some of the pride that I had and applied to volunteer in a company that I really liked. They called right away and I passed with flying colors. After 2 days of volunteering, they offered me temporary part-time position which I accepted. The director said, “We were afraid to loose you as a volunteer as we recognize how great of a worker you are.” (And that was only after 2 days of work!) I am happy right now that I am getting all this experience and am thrilled to be working with such an amazing team (they are like a family to me and we all get along so well).

    My contract is expiring in one month and while my employer is on a budget and is not sure whether any new positions will be created, I started looking for new job again. This time I applied to a company that I always dreamed of working for, and 2 day after I sent my application I got a response to set a date for a phone interview. I am so thrilled now as I wait for this coming Friday.

    I would like to ask you what would be the best thing to say if they ask me why am I leaving my current employer? Should I be honest and say that as much as they would like to keep me that my employer can’t commit to any future employment promises and that they have supported my decision to start looking elsewhere? They also are willing to provide great references…

    Also, if my interview with the new company goes really well and I pass next interviews and hopefully get the position, then when should I inform my current employer that I would be leaving them? If my contract expires at end of March, is 2 wks enough time? The reason I am asking is that my employer has expressed huge interest in retaining me there as long as they can, even though they are not in a position to offer FT job.

    Could you please share your insight regarding this? I am so eager to move on to new challenges and land that first full-time job. This would be my 2nd official interview after graduation 🙂 Even though I waited and hoped for so many months to get that phone call, I never let anger or depression or moodiness take over my mind or body. I just know that my time will come soon and I couldn’t be more ready for it.

    Thanks in advance to anyone who shares their opinion.



  80. Oh Gaga!

    That’s a LOT of questions for this little comment space. 😉 I’ll try to offer some thoughts on a few of them. (Thanks btw for the kind words.)

    First…you did GREAT. Congratulations. says a lot about you. Also a good reminder for other readers that the energy from volunteering and/or taking part-time work can bring other opportunities. I don’t know why…it just does.

    You should definitely be a honest about your reason; it’s a good one. As for when to tell your current company, I’m not sure why you can’t mention now that you’re looking since they have nothing to offer and are like family. Or might they come up with something if they were sure you’re leaving? If they can manage magic…good to know. If they can’t…then they will wish you well. All around, honesty is your best friend.

    Good luck making your own magic happen!

    ~ Ronnie Ann

  81. Brittany says:

    i must first start out by saying fabulous article, the job market right is tough, but you cant give up hope! a miracle happened today, i had applied for a job i thought i wouldnt get and i did called in for an interview, and funny enough it was an application mixup! (they called the wrong person) but they were still nice enough to give me an interview and you know what? I GOT THE JOB!!! finally after being unemployed for a year! the manager was wonderful, and believe me i have met quite a few @$$hole recriuters over this past year. what im trying to say is yes, there is a lot of rude employers out there, but there is still good recruiters, and to Paul any company that is that inconsiderate of you is not one you want to work for, you deserve better. this website has really helped me not to give up hope and i hope it will continue to inspire people as it has inspired me 🙂

  82. This blog is coming to me at just the right time……feeling pretty low after a 2nd interview that I strongly suspect is not going to result in an offer. I really like the supportive tone of the blog. It’s hard being your own cheerleader over and over.

    My situation is that I’m in a dead-end job with a lot of other undesirable aspects which I won’t go into but suffice it to say I’ve been trying to find another job for 15 months.

    During that time I’ve applied for about 15 positions and had one phone interview, two separate individual interviews, and this most recent experience of getting a 2nd interview for the job I’ve wanted the most out of all the ones for which I’ve applied. This was THE job, though I know I shouldn’t put that kind of pressure on one opportunity. But you know what I mean.

    To get this job, I gave up 3 days of work, $150 for new interview clothes and makeup, probably 20 hours in addition to the days off work preparing, and put my family through the stress of it all.

    Also, this particular employer has the most tedious, demanding application process, which I didn’t include in the above prep. It includes transcripts and 3 current letters of reference, just to apply.

    Then, when you interview the first time, you have a “task”. In this case it was a 10 minute marketing presentation.

    Here’s the kicker: 7 years ago, I got to the same point with this organization – did the “task” which was extremely time-consuming, knocked it out of the park, was extremely qualified and a good match for the position, 2 interviews….then I didn’t get the job. Here I am 7 years later, same scenario. AND, last time they used my ideas that I presented in the “task”!!!

    I am sure my marketing ideas will be used this time, as well. I was very thorough in my presentation and had great ideas.

    I guess I’m just venting a bit…..
    I will know in a few days whether I’m offered the job, but I could tell at the 2nd interview that the interviewer was distant, removed, not giving credence to my background and experience, fairly dismissive.

    It is hard not to give up searching, but the negative realities and stress of my current job force me to confront the need to keep applying.

    Thanks for listening.
    I would love to know everyone’s opinion on these “tasks” which cull great ideas from candidates you aren’t going to hire.

    The organization in question is still the #1 place in my area for which I’d like to work. But I dread applying for more jobs there because of the above.

  83. This is an excellent website! The information provided here I have not found elsewhere and has been really insightful as to the job interviewing process. Thank you so much!

  84. Thanks, Al! Best of luck!!

  85. This is hilarious but true. There are lots of rude, insensitive, arrogant interviewer scattered around the world. I had one yesterday, this [edited] bastard who thought he was god by asking me legal term that he even didn’t know..grrr.

  86. Anonymous says:

    Oh yes. Once I had a recruiter contact me directly after finding my resume on one of the big job boards to talk with me about a position they were openly recruiting for. I hadn’t heard of the company or position, but scheduled a time to talk with her on the phone. After exchanging pleasantries, she asked me what had made me apply for the position. I answered “well, I haven’t actually applied. You found my resume and contacted me.” Needless to say, it went downhill from there. Tip to recruiters: make notes in the candidate’s file if you found them, when and where! This way, you have the appropriate script to pull from, if you use one.

    • chandlee says:

      Thanks for sharing your perspective on what annoys you.

      That being said, I think this could have gone differently (if you had wanted to). Regardless of how you find out about a position, employers want to see genuine interest in the company and the job — as they don’t want to extend offers which may not be accepted. Recommend that if placed in a similar situation in the future, you:

      1. Research the company and the job
      2. Prepare an answer to the questions, “why this job and in this company?”

      Good luck and all the best,

      • That’s not the point, it was the interviewer who screwed up. I am fed up with the recruiting processes of certain companies as well. I know job seekers do make a lot of mistakes, but recruiters do too. I recently was interviewing for a job that came with no benefits, but the corresponding Internet ad said it did. To me, there is no difference between employers lying on a job ad me lying on a job application. Needless to say, I ignored her phone calls offering me the job.

      • I meant to say there is no difference between
        employers lying on a job ad and me lying on a job

      • Nick,

        From my perspective, what is lost when anyone lies on an application or an ad the same thing is lost — integrity. Keeping your integrity is something that no employers can take away from you.


  87. The most frustrating habits that I occasionally come across in the interviews that I have had are:

    1. Employers with the “red pen” syndrome. They approach you with the intent of trying to see if you will mess up. I find this to be common in younger interviewers who probably like the feeling of authority. I think it is important for employers to want you to do well. The two worst cases that I encountered with this was that I ran into an interviewer who was kind of ghetto…she was smacking her lips and trying speak over the other interviewer (who also seemed annoyed). The other scenario was when I answered a question and the interviewer says to the other interviewer “why do all the candidates always mention……” then tried to correct herself by saying “….not that we are interviewing anyone else for this position or anything. other positions, that’s what I was talking about, other positions.”

    2. Employers that make you lead the interview. I had an interview and the FIRST question was “so do you have questions for me?” without an introduction to who I was talking to. The interviewer seemed like a great person tho but seemed a little confused about the interview process. It felt like HR ushered me into an interview and he was probably like “oh, why is this person here?”.

    • Court,

      Two thoughts here:

      1. On employers with the red pen system and who don’t seem to get along with one another: This actually gives you potential information about the employer — would it be a healthy work environment if hired? If you get the offer, I’d talk to others who work there before accepting.

      2. On leading the interview — I think it’s actually a great opportunity for both the interviewee and the interviewer. Starting the interview with “What questions do you have for us?” skips past the “can you do this job?” I’d take it as a compliment instead and use the opportunity to ask questions that show you’ve researched the employer — and clarify your understanding of the job. If they tell you what they are looking for, it gives you the opportunity to show how you can fit their needs throughout the rest of the interview.

      Good luck and all the best,

  88. Andrew K says:

    Here is another example of how interviewer managers or Presidents etc. act like real jerks. I applied for a job in the newspaper looking for a post secondary school graduate with 2 years or more education to be a hearing aid apprentice. OK, so I applied in the newspaper and got an email regarding an interview. I drove for about 1 hour to the interview. This is a family based business. The first thing that happened was I was taken to an office and talked to a middle manager who asked me about my background. I told her that I have a Business Management diploma 3 years course and a Computer Electronic Repair Certificate and 1st Year Apprentice Electrician course and have experience fixing various electronics and checking voltages and various other things such as interference. The next thing that happened I was taken to the Presidents office where he and his brother the vice president of this company started talking. The vice president asked me, “Do you have any letters of recommendation?” Before I can say anything he got up and left his chair and then his brother the President of the company started talking, I brought my diploma as I usually carry stuff on me to prove that I am not a liar or making it up and secondly I had employers who looked at me in the past as if, “You don’t look like…” I started talking to the President and he said to me “Do you have 70 or more college credits?” I answered yes I took a diploma course in Business Management not a certificate course. Even my resume shows diploma not certificate. I showed hm my diploma from a college called “Humber College.” He then started to all of a sudden changed countenance and attitude and started talking like a goof. He then started to say, “I never heard of this college it must exist.” Then all of a sudden another person walks in and said, “It’s a fake, it’s a fake, look at him.” (First of all those people who don’t know Humber college it is a well known college for Business and Funeral Services in Canada.) Th employer then said “Do you have more then 70 college credits?” I said I sure do as this is a diploma. After a short conversation on electronics the President of this company said,”You have a gift for electronics but you probably are not a good seller and you have a Go given gift.” I left knowing that I will not get the job, hmm then what do they teach at Business about selling not about acting like a goof like these people.

    • chandlee says:


      Sorry you had this experience. Here’s what I recommend.

      1. Find out what Industry Based certifications are needed for Hearing Aid Apprentices need. In the U.S., you can find this information from a government site, MyNextMove.org that offers the ability to get information on jobs by occupation (I would imagine that Canada has a similar site.)

      2. Contact your institution and let them know what happened…See if they would be willing to follow up directly with the employer. If yes, perhaps you could get a letter to send them — or have them contact the company directly.

      Even if they aren’t considering you for the job and — if you don’t want to work for them anymore — it’s may feel good to stand up for yourself. Your school may have some tips on other companies they have relationships with as well — so I’d let them know what happened even if you decide not to follow up with this particular employer.

      Overall, avoid assigning negative names or adjectives to anyone. Avoid saying “jerk” and instead say this is what happened as if you could see it through a camera.

      Good luck and all the very best,

  89. Michael Bane says:

    It’s no use complaining about when an interviewing company treats you poorly.

    They don’t care. They’re the ones with the job you want and need. So they can – and will – get away with it.

  90. Andrew Kelly says:

    I had been to a few interviews and the employer was impressed with the answers. Then sometimes they blurt out things, “You don’t have a drivers license.” Or, “You don’t have a Business Diploma.” Or, “you don’t look like.” At other interviews the employer looks at me and my resume and just says, “I will call you if I need you.” One time one employer said just when I was walking into his office, “I don’t want you wasting my time.” Bangs his fists on the desk.

    I am wearing pressed shirt and tie with pressed pants and polished shoes clean shaven. Now is it because they are scared because my voice may be a little bit rougher due to my mild cerebral palsy or because I have mild walking trouble due to tendons tighten up as part of cerebral palsy. If I don’t look like the thought dujour of these employer delusional thinking, how the heck they hire non speaking English people who can’t be understood over the phone or in person, or people with a nose ring looking like some bull. You are telling me that some person who can barley say his name or speak English is qualified over a native English speaking Canadian?

    Employers say no skilled Canadians so one takes a course then employers say no experience or it is just related experience. It is like this. Two people walk in and the job is for hammering nails in a door frame.

    Candidate 1) Has 15 years experience using a regular hammer doesn’t know why he is hammering the nail in the wood or for what reason he just knows to hit the nail in the wooden door frame
    And doesn’t speak English.

    Candidate 2) Has 3 years related experience using a power hammer plus he knows the concept behind putting the nail in the wood and went to school about nail wood theory. Was born in Canada.

    Candidate 2 has once in life time skills walking in. Because he understands what the mechanics are and the theory behind it. Now, employers reject #2 because they can get away with paying #1 at a cheap rate as he has no concept but do that one thing, where as #2 they don’t want new ideas and understands his job. Companies can’t grow with new ideas and ways.

Speak Your Mind