Nothing takes away the excitement of going for a job more than gaining insights into your prospective employer’s true colors before a deal is even made. Having gone on numerous interviews with surprising results this past summer, I’ve encountered some situations where even my career councilor has said, “It’s actually great you didn’t get the job because I would never want to work for a company like that.” Here’s my list of what’s the worst things companies can do to you during the hiring process:
7.) Never Getting Back to You After the Interview
You hear back from the hiring manager, and are brought in for an interview. It looks like they loved you and are very interested. They tell you when they’ll get back to you by. You feel great. You send them a ‘thank you’ email as soon as you get home, along with following up with them at the appropriate time, if asked. Yet nothing; you never hear anything back. Ever. You agonize in job limbo furthermore, more tortured by the lingering questions of “what did I do wrong?” and “why don’t they have the decency to get back? even ‘no’ is better than this!” It plain out sucks.
You’d think this issue would be number 1, but this issue is a lot more common than you’d think. In fact, though it doesn’t feel that way, 9/10 times the employer never getting back to you isn’t because you did anything wrong. Some workplaces are so busy that with applicants and interviews that it’d take too much time to contact all the candidates back. Furthermore, sometimes complications arise with the position itself, and it may be delayed or done away with. I never had this happen to me until this year, and it’s the worst, but you can’t take it personal most of the time. However, if the employer asks you to follow up and you do, and they respond but don’t give you a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer, then that’s just plain rude. And yes, it’s happened to me. The response? “Thank you for sending this.” So unprofessional!
6.) Calling You in For an Interview Less Than 48-24 Hours
The only exception to this rule is if it’s a situation where the job needs to be filled ASAP. I’ve had this happen to me two times, and one was because of the exception, so it was perfectly alright. However, if you as an interviewer and employer email someone at 7:00 p.m. or later asking them to come in the following day and not giving them at least at few days notice, then you’re totally unprofessional and disrespectful of not only your job candidates, but their current jobs if they have any, too. One day is not enough time to call out to go for a 5-15 minute interview. Unless it’s the job of a lifetime and they’re going to give it to you on the spot, it’s not worth it. So unless it’s an emergency or the role needs to be filled ASAP and there’s not enough time, this spells rude with an R on Capital Hill.
5.) Having a Full Blown Conversation With Other People While the Interview is Supposed to be Going On
It’s common to have more than one person interview you or at least sit in on the interview. Most times, they’ll engage in small talk with each other and yourself. It’ll relieve some tension and make you feel comfortable. That’s totally normal. However, what’s not normal is if those people break out in dialogue over issues that have nothing to do with you to the point where you’re invisible. Then, they won’t even ask you about yourself, and you feel like you have to insert yourself in, but don’t want to be rude and they look at you the way the Plastics look down at everyone in Mean Girls. Like, why would you bring me in and waste my time hearing your mini workplace reality show? Sorry, that’s 50 shades of nope screw this.
4.) Claiming Flexibility When Actually Being Rude and Inconsiderate
It’s common for places to give you an interview time(s) that don’t work and you need to coordinate your schedule sand move things around together as a team. Interviewer and interviewee. Most times, hiring managers and interviewees will find common ground on another date and time if the original proposed one doesn’t work out. On the other hand, you have hiring managers who claim to be flexible, but then give you attitude if you need to do another day for a legitimate reason. For example, one place got back to be and did reason 6, which already is a bad sign. Then they asked me about another day that didn’t work, and I said I could try, but I had a doctor’s appointment and don’t want to rush anything and not make it in time. Also, God forbid I don’t feel well because those are eye tests the last thing I should do is hop on a train to Grand Central and start running around the city. Therefore, I asked a different day. Know what they said? They forced me to make Monday and said they’d “work around me,” that the other day “hurts me.” I’m sorry, I didn’t know this was more important than my health. So, I got back asking for a time, explaining I’d need time to get into the city and never heard anything back. There’s strikes 1,2 and 3, 3 I’ll get to later since it’s reason 2 on this list. So if this happens and they don’t get back, don’t sweat it. However, if they do get back later on, like the day before or the day of, too bad. Don’t be afraid to be discrete but also be professional, poised, and well-mannered about it. Just say, “I’m sorry, I did not receive a confirmation in times and have work related matters I need to attend to.” Simple as that.
3.) Attacking You and Ignoring You Over Job Description Details in the Midst of Trying to Schedule an Interview
This is not your fault– this is theirs. If someone isn’t qualified for the job, forget about bringing them in, don’t even look at them. I had this happen to me. I applied to a position and had the necessary experience except for one platform. However, it seemed like they overlooked that, and the hiring manager was coordinating bringing me in for an interview. It was weird; a date was set, but no definite time. It was supposed to be a Monday. The Friday before I get a nasty email saying, “I see you don’t have experience in…., this is correct? If so, why? What’s the reason?” So, I got back politely that while I didn’t have that platform experience, I was nevertheless a fast learner and very easy to train. I never heard from him ever again. Disappointing, but not overly upsetting since he also…
2.) Never Confirming an Interview Date and Time
…which is the cherry on top of the cake of ultimate insults and rudeness. It’s customary for the interviewer to suggest a date/time for the interviewee, the interviewee to say yes/no/confirm, and then the interviewer confirms back so both parties are set. Unfortunately, I’ve had this happen to me twice. Once was the time above, and another was before that. The interviewer reached out to me with a date and time that worked perfectly, and I told her it worked great. 3-4 days went by, and I didn’t hear anything back. I told my career advisor, asking her what I should do, and she was very angry. She said sometimes employers respond within 1-2 days, but 3-4 something is wrong. Long story short, it took having a third party (my career advisor) reach out to the hiring manager to basically force her to confirm the date and time. There are two best parts to this whole story. The first part is that she offered no apology for not getting back and said, “actually that doesn’t work anymore. Can you do….instead?” So, I had to take off work and rearrange my schedule to do so, but I was polite and said of course. That’s part one. Finally, part two to this messed up situation which leads to most disrespectful thing numero uno…
1.) Not Showing Up to Interview the Prospective Employee…
Yes, after all that, she did not show up. Bear in mind, life happens. People get sick, there’s work/family emergencies and, as dramatic as it sounds, people die. However, if someone just goes AWOL that’s another story. I showed up 10 minutes early, as an interviewee is supposed to, and she’s wasn’t there. A co-worker went off to get her, but after 3-5 minutes of searching, he said, “I’m not sure where she is right now, so I’ll just interview you instead.” I’m happy he did, he was a nice, professional and well-rounded man who knows what to do in weird situations, plus he did a great job interviewing me. But it still bothered me that my original interviewer never showed up. Which leads to honorable mention disrespectful reason part two to this reason…
…Along with Rejecting the Candidate and Pretending Like You Met Them
Yup, I have no words. When I saw, I was literally speechless. I asked my career advisor for advice, and she said to get back polite thanking her, but zing her with, “Hope to see and hear from you soon,” since I was at least told that if there were any other openings in the future that my resume was on file and they’d keep in touch. Never heard from them again, though I’d love to work for that company, just a different department and not with that woman. I feel bad for anyone who has her as a boss.
That’s it for this list, hope you enjoyed it! If you have any questions, comments, or interesting interview or prepping for interview experiences, feel free to share, get the word out and let everyone know. Maybe if we all get our stories out there, some hiring prospects can change for the good.