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<cite>By Aileen Pincus</cite>..When you are looking to make the Big Leap—the one that puts you closer to the power centers of a business or organization—the interview process will likely be different from what you've experienced before. The more senior the person or people you're interviewing with, the more definite their ideas are likely to be about what they're looking for. They know that their own continued success depends on hiring the best people...So how do you prove your readiness for the big leagues? By thinking like a big-league player. This interview will be different from others, but it will be your best chance to impress the decisionmakers, so there are some key points you want to be certain you get across. Here are tips to help you succeed:..
Is there anything worse in this world than looking for a new job? I know there are real tragedies to consider, but the insanity that one deals with while trying to find a new job is truly soul-rending. Here are the top reasons why looking for a job is the absolute worst:

Is there anything worse in this world than looking for a new job? I know there are real tragedies to consider, but the insanity that one deals with while trying to find a new job is truly soul-rending. Here are the top reasons why looking for a job is the absolute worst:

7.) Information asymmetry - First of all, the entire process is tilted in the employer's favor. You, the applicant, have no idea if the job you're applying for is even really available. Ever apply for a job so perfect for you that it looks like your name should be written at the bottom of it, but still couldn't get an interview? Welcome to the world of health care, where hospitals post jobs to their websites with no intention of actually filling it.  Actually, according to an article in the New York Times, that's the world everywhere:
Research from the National Bureau of Economic Research found that “recruiting intensity” — that is, business efforts to fill job openings — has been low in this recovery. Employers may be posting openings, but they are not trying all that hard to fill them, say, by increasing job ads or offering better pay packages.
Or maybe they do want to fill it, and already have the person that they want to hire lined up. Unfortunately, hospital policy states multiple applicants must be seen to avoid the appearance of favoritism. This despite the fact that nepotism reigns supreme, so even when you score an interview, you'll always be second choice to an internal candidate who's probably someone's nephew.  That reminds me, I need to go and yell at my uncles.

6.) Salary discussions - So an employer budgets for a new position. They know exactly how much they're willing to pay within a specified range. But do they publish this information? Of course not! On the off-chance that the job seeker was truly getting screwed on salary by their previous employer, they reserve the right to pay they least amount possible even if that is well below what they budgeted for the position. Notice how they always ask what you're making first?  Yup, let the screwing begin.  Things are so twisted that it's considered a faux pas to mention money too early in the interview process. That makes total sense. Why would I want to know how much money I'll be paid? I've had interviews that have required a litany of work experience, multiple certifications, and even graduate-level degrees. But when we finally got down to brass tacks, the salary was definitely not commensurate with their stated expectations. As I'm not a social worker, I expect to be paid! We'd save everyone a whole lot of time if you greedy bastards would just post the salary ranges online.

5.) Recruiters - Recruiters can actually be very useful provided they have a basic understanding of the businesses and positions they're recruiting for. However, it seems like 70% of these people have no idea what they're talking about. I've had to explain to several why I wouldn't be right for some specific position or other. They seemed surprised. It's so ass-backwards. The so-called experts are headhunting me for positions that aren't right at all. Or the positions are fine, but the locations are off. Clearly they aren't from NYC where most people don't drive. You people aren't going to pay me enough to work in Connecticut. Yesterday I actually had to explain to a recruiter that I wasn't willing to take a cab to and from Westchester everyday. The job was so far from any transportation it literally says Here, There Be Dragons on the Metro North Map. And incidentally, I'm not helping you with your search unless I'm getting a cut of the money. So stop asking me to forward my colleagues to you.

4.) Discrimination Against the Unemployed - Basically you need to have a job to find a job. Even though today it's technically illegal in NYC to discriminate against a person for not being currently employed, it's an open secret that employers don't like people without a job. Quite ironic, I know. Advertisments for jobs "must be currently employed" are commonplace. Failing that, you need to be able to explain why you've been out of work for longer than six months. Luckily, I've worked steadily as an adult but that bring us to the next point.

3.) The Inconvenience - Despite the fact that employers don't like people who've been unemployed for any length of time, they certainly aren't helpful in terms of scheduling. At my current career level, the positions I'm going for require multiple levels of interviews. So between meeting the entire C-suite plus the human resources representative, we're talking a minimum of four people. That means I have to take multiple days off my current job. How is it remotely fair to shun people without jobs but also make it very difficult for those with jobs to actually try to get better ones?

2.) Lack of Professionalism - I can't tell you how many of these interviewers expect perfection from interviewees, yet can't seem to be ready for the interview themselves. I can't count the number of interviews I've had that started on time on one hand. And why are you asking me for my resume? I've already been online, filled out the application, attached my resume to said application, and talked to HR. There's no reason why you shouldn't have a copy already. Not only should you have a copy, you should have already read it and have specific questions about my experiences. You know, the same way I'm expected to research this company. I always get the feeling that the first time they look at my resume is right as I sit down for the interview. Get it together people!

1.) Oh God, The Questions - I am now convinced that interviews aren't meant to elicit any useful information whatsoever. The questions come in two flavors:

  • a.) Annoyingly Stupid Questions - A little while ago I spoke with a surgeon regarding a position. Since she's a surgeon she believes that she isn't making nearly enough money on the procedures she performs. If you've never dealt with surgeons before, you should know that even though their average salary is substantially higher than "normal" doctors, they all believe that they should make even more money. Anyway, she describes this innovative procedure that very few surgeons even know about but doesn't think the reimbursement is nearly high enough. And I just want to scream: Dude, you've been doing this for 15 years. When has innovation in health care ever lead to more money for doctors? The answer is NEVER.

  • b.) Uselessly Broad Questions: Where do you plan to be in five years? How do you handle stressful situations? What are your strengths? What are your weaknesses? The answer to those questions are all the same: DRINKING!
But my favorite useless question is the one where they ask why are you looking for a new job. At this point I break out a few researched factoids about the specific position for which I'm interviewing. Maybe even throw in the old my current job doesn't have much potential in terms of promotions. If I'm really feeling generous I'll talk about how much more exciting this position is than my current job. But none of that is actually true.

I've mostly work for academic medical centers. The benefits packages at my level are all pretty similar no matter the hospital. I hate to disillusion folks who believe that this job (any job really) is so exciting, so full of interesting people, so brimming with societal resonance, that it doesn't matter what my salary is. Like if I hit the Powerball Jackpot, I'd still want to work here. But it's not and I wouldn't. I do have a mortgage to pay though. So the reason why I'm looking for a new job is money. Anyone who tells you it isn't about money is lying or deluded. They should also listen to Dave Chappelle. His bit on Coke and Pepsi is good interview primer.

Now if you'll excuse me I'm off to play the Powerball.

Originally posted to The Non Blogosphere on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 03:45 PM PDT.

Also republished by Unemployment Chronicles and Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (163+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dkmich, bgblcklab1, TarheelDem, Dr Erich Bloodaxe RN, jennyp, Free Jazz at High Noon, SteelerGrrl, asterkitty, Fairlithe, Tonedevil, FloridaSNMOM, richardak, a gilas girl, pat bunny, Naniboujou, nuclear winter solstice, Dirtandiron, The grouch, sfbob, Mayfly, Heavy Mettle, jamess, edg, Geenius at Wrok, SherwoodB, WI Deadhead, enufisenuf, dirkster42, wxorknot, serendipityisabitch, skyounkin, Liberal Thinking, donaurora, ksuwildkat, Calamity Jean, smileycreek, linkage, ArchTeryx, Thinking Fella, BlueMississippi, NoMoreLies, Anne was here, Ekaterin, Anjana, CSPAN Junkie, janmtairy, emeraldmaiden, urnumbersix, Bugsydarlin, HeyMikey, jck, oceanrain, SouthernLiberalinMD, Miggles, Youffraita, freesia, TexasTom, prfb, La Gitane, ladybug53, sawgrass727, skybluewater, chuckvw, dotsright, sebastianguy99, Brooke In Seattle, Crazycab214, chantedor, jes2, Shockwave, Trendar, The Gryffin, Lopez99, Funkygal, yawnimawke, Kit RMP, undercovercalico, dull knife, Omir the Storyteller, third Party please, Moody Loner, Diana in NoVa, Tailfish, Bruce The Moose, carolanne, run around, kathny, evelette, OleHippieChick, sb, tobendaro, quaoar, Turbonerd, techno, DeathDlr73, ER Doc, Imhotepsings, Throw The Bums Out, Velocity, xynz, Siri, fiddlingnero, northsylvania, Hirodog, Unitary Moonbat, Boston to Salem, Uosdwis, shortgirl, Lahdee, TLS66, annrose, joanil, Akronborn, wdrath, karmsy, on the cusp, absdoggy, maryabein, zerelda, Laconic Lib, JClarkPDX, Most Awesome Nana, JamieG from Md, Amber6541, Matt Z, MKDAWUSS, wader, catwho, PeterHug, akmk, Orinoco, Tara the Antisocial Social Worker, GeorgeXVIII, Al Fondy, Montreal Progressive, Sun Tzu, rhutcheson, Late Again, Julia Grey, orangecurtainlib, postmodernista, Knockbally, ModerateJosh, pragmaticidealist, Mr Robert, annan, RandRegL, slathe, I teach music, smugbug, ColoTim, Leeloo, IndyinDelaware, barkingcat, greenearth, radical simplicity, doinaheckuvanutjob, Gemina13, riverlover, kimoconnor, LibChicAZ, Dixiedemocrat, Regina in a Sears Kit House
  •  Yup (40+ / 0-)
    Welcome to the world of health care, where hospitals post jobs to their websites with no intention of actually filling it
    I've sent in scores of resumes, never even gotten an interview.  Just generic email ding letters.  Heck, I'd be thrilled if they would just honestly tell me in the letters why I didn't get the job.  Is there something so glaringly bad on my resume that I'm instantly being dinged?  Or was the position slotted to be filled internally, as you suggest, before I even saw it posted?  Just freaking tell me, so if the problem is on my end, I can work to fix it.
  •  Some of the things you describe are just (16+ / 0-)

    rude and I think most people would not want to work in any environment where that was considered ok.  

    I also think that some of what you describe is a function of the current job environment.  When the job market is bad, employers have the upper hand.  On the other hand, I've seen instances where there are not enough qualified people for a particular type of job, and in those instances, the applicant often is in a better negotiating position.  Employers who behaved in some of the way you describe would never get the applicants they want.  

    I have to say that the process is often just as frustrating from the employer's side.  Recruiting employees is an expensive, and time consuming process.  When you describe the qualifications you are looking for, it is just as inconvenient to get stacks of resumes and letters from people who clearly do not have the qualifications you want, but think that if they just can get a face to face meeting, you will be so charmed with their personality that you will give them the job despite the lack of qualifications.  I've seen people "fudge" (as kind a word as I can think of now) their qualifications in letters and resumes so as to get invited in for an interview, when they clearly are not what you want in a job.  When that happens, no, we are not happy.  That person cost us time and money.  

    As to the interview questions:  yes, a lot of them are pretty stupid, because people doing the interviewing (especially in a business that does not have people who do nothing but recruiting) are sometimes just as awkward as the people being interviewed.  But questions like "where do you want to be in five years" or "why are you leaving your present job" can often bring informative answers.  I've had times where answers to questions like that can make, or break, an interview.  

    As to the money issue, I've done a lot of interviews, and I've never been put off by people who tell me frankly that they are looking to make a move because of money.  It's important HOW you make that point.  "I just want more money" is not the way.  You need to make the point in terms of what you can do for the business -- and say you want to be compensated based on that.   "I've gotten to the point in my career where I bring a lot of value to the business and I don't think my current employer is fairly paying me based on what value I'm bringing to the business,"  along with facts to back that up, is fine.  That's a way of showing me how you will make money for our business - which is the point of hiring you, after all.  

    •  Well... (23+ / 0-)

      Well, I'd never tell anyone to lie on their applications or resumes.  But the process isn't really designed to elicit the truth from either party either.  

      The nonsense question "What are your weaknesses" just begs for a lie.  First of all, I'm not sure that people are the best judges of what their weaknesses truly are.  Secondly, let's say you're addicted to internet porn and meth amphetamine.  Definite weaknesses but you're not going to actually tell the interviewer that.  So what do you do?  You give them answer about some supposed weakness that's really a strength.  Or you highlight something you're already good at but want to improve even more.

      Similarly, if I ask them about the working for the department, they aren't going to tell me that Manager A is infamous for taking the credit for other people's work.  The entire process is an exercise in make believe.

      I wish I could have sympathy for the employer but I don't.  They're in the much better position.  

    •  Amen (6+ / 0-)

      Having sat on a number of hiring boards it is amazing what some people think will pass in an interview and on their resume.  

      1 - Resume lies:  If you are going to lie about past work try not to say you worked for someone who members of the hiring board know personally.

      2 -Outdated resumes:  Telling me you are proficient in Lotus 123 and dBase IV tells me you are not proficient in anything.

      3 - Interview WTFs?:  We tell you we are looking for people with a specific skill set in planning and you say "I dont really think that is a good way of doing things."  Why are you shocked when we dont hire you?  Yes, its all aboutthe money but when you start with "how much are you going to pay me?" and end with "how long do I have to work before I dont have to pay back my relocation money?" dont be shocked when we figure out you are just trying to boost your pay range for your next job.

      4 - About those questions:  I too have gotten some eye opening responses to "where do you want to be in 5 years."  When you say "working for someone else" we might as well end the interview.  When you answer "Why are you looking for a new job?" by trashing your boss, company and coworkers it makes you wonder if they are the problem, not the other folks.  

      It is well that war is so terrible -- lest we should grow too fond of it. Robert E. Lee

      by ksuwildkat on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 08:25:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Employer faith in recruiters is comicaly baffling, (0+ / 0-)

      and this is no small wonder:

      it is just as inconvenient to get stacks of resumes and letters from people who clearly do not have the qualifications you want
      I met with a recruiter who was screening for advanced technical positions, and she had been filling the racks at Macy's 6 months prior.  I chuckled my way through the meeting with her and never looked back.  I have found that recruiters do buckle quite easily though - ask them who they are interviewing for and what the salary is before you will release an updated resume, and I have yet to have one refuse.

      And, for fun, I suggest anyone who is not looking but is contacted by a recruiter with a potential offer to say "that salary is way too low!"  They might come back with a higher offer or might offer the next guy more money.  You are only hurting yourself by saying "I'm not looking right now".

      To any wingnut: If you pay my taxes I'll give you a job.

      by ban48 on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 08:11:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I Remember When the HR Types Took Over the (37+ / 0-)

    interviewing procedures at my university.

    I was applying for a different tech support job in another department. I had a similiar position, and I'd started at the university as a complaint taker which I'd stayed at for 3 years because I actually enjoyed the work.

    After the usual questions and answers about the department, the kind of work done by those I'd be supporting, technicalities, the HR person took over.

    First question: how do you deal with the stress of customer service?

    I said I was applying for my 3rd or 4th customer service job because I don't find it stressful, I enjoy that kind of work.

    --You have to answer the questions that we ask you. We need to know how you deal with the stress.

    I asked them what kind of orchestra they'd end up with if they only hired musicians who found all that racket stressful?

    I finally made up a bullshit answer and then they came back with another screwy question. I think these were about personality profiles because this was a time when they only wanted to hire similar personalities to others that hold the jobs.

    I got up and apologized but I said it would be a bad match for me to work for people who expected me to struggle to cope with the job.

    I was lucky to hire into one more promotion before the school began quietly purging older employees, and I have an artisan activity I could turn into self employment so here I am. No more interviews.

    I would love to earn my old income and do tech support work again, but there's no way anybody would hire me for it. My sympathies for all of you who have to put up with this crap.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 04:43:27 PM PDT

  •  Game the system in your favour (20+ / 0-)

    First, read the posting carefully. Take note of all of the key words and specific requirements.

    If there is an online application form, make sure that all of those key words and specific requirements appear somewhere in your application.

    If you don't, your application will likely never make it to the desk of an actual human being in HR. Especially in larger firms, their HR software (often hosted by their payroll software host) filters out applications that don't meet basic requirements (based on a scan of the key words in the online application).

    Don't copy and paste from an MS-Word version of your resume into the online application form. The formatting codes copy over and screw up formatting. Maintain a plain text version of your resume.

    Don't submit a resume in MS-Word at all unless specifically asked to do so. Convert it to PDF (free utility from Microsoft to do so). Keeps formatting better.

    Tailor your resume to each application. Yes it's a pain. Yes it takes a long time but it does improve your odds.

    Check, check, and recheck, spelling (including names of the company, officers etc), and grammar, and avoid cutesy formatting and fonts. A badly written cover letter, and the hiring manager is not even going to look at your resume.

    When the "what range were you thinking about for salary" question comes up, have your homework done and know what the average is for that position in that market. Start on the low side of the median, unless you know you are awesome, and make it clear that you are prepared to negotiate, hours, benefits, telecommuting, for salary - assuming you are).

    Yes, it is often a soul destroying activity and yes, the odds favour the house by a big margin but, like going to the dentist and our Happy 50th Colonoscopy, it is something we all must endure. May as well make the best of it.

  •  The "acting audition"... (11+ / 0-)

    ie. , answering those idiotic questions that have nothing to do with your ability, seems to be more important than your skills and qualifications these days.

    If you survive the mind fuck that the HR person puts you through, that doesn't make you more or less qualified than the person who gave a less satisfactory answer to "What is your greatest weakness?".

    The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness. -- John Kenneth Galbraith

    by richardak on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 05:24:50 PM PDT

  •  Waiting for a contract now (32+ / 0-)

    on a new job.....person quit, I was in the right place at the right time, spoke to the owner face to face. Called him, sent him my resume.
    He was going to be in my area so we set up a pre interview. I was as blunt and direct and concise with my answers. A  hour interview lasted 2.5 hours. They told me the salary and it was all I could do to not jump over the table and grab his ankle and beg for the job. He left, telling me he hadn't made up his mind if he was even going to hire somebody, but that some time mid July he would make a decision.
    Well, I got an email asking me to fly out to the mid west for 1 day, his dime.
    I show up at HQ and they start asking me the same questions. Tell me the COO wants to meet me. The tone of the emails leading up to my arrival were very encouraging, so I felt I had it in the bag. The COO starts with the same questions, " what do you like about your current company?" " How will you get business from XYZ who is our biggest competitor"? This lasted 5 minuets.
    The owner gets up and says it time to break for lunch and after lunch, the sales director will show me the software that the employees use.
    At 3 we all meet down in the conference room and the owner has a few reports in front of him. He asks me what I thought about the salary, not 1 to be shy, I asked for another 10k. He says that he looked over the numbers and that he could give an extra 20k over my counter offer.
    I was surprised my heart didn't give out.
    Know that my current company has taken a huge nosedive recently and my income has dropped considerably. Management has no clue on the industry or why we are losing market share to the likes of my future employer.
    Customer service, pricing, inventory, credit, owner involvement, all top notch. I will get my new contract next week, sign it, give my current employer 2 weeks notice and start August 1st.
    I still cannot believe my good fortune. I will work my ass off for these new guys, altho the job is cake for me.
    I write this not to gloat but to give hope that sometimes good things really do happen.

    " these are questions for wise men with skinny arms " Dothraki warlord Khal Drogo

    by ursofakingwetoded on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 05:47:23 PM PDT

  •  Having to eat sh...tuff (14+ / 0-)

    I've been insulted in job interviews (Once for being from New York) told i was "a lot older than the other employees". (yeah, now prove age discrimination without a recording) and more.

    And the part that sucks? You really want to tell them what you think, in short declarative sentences with pithy words. But you don't dare, because even if there's a ghost of a chance, you can't afford to alienate the jackass.

  •  I am really lucky not to be jobhunting (7+ / 0-)

    In fact it's been over 25 years since I tried interviewing as a potential external hire. The internals could be grueling but at least I generally knew the sort of people I was dealing with.
    My next career move will be post-employment; at that point my work history will have covered between 46 and 47 years so hopefully nobody will think I'm bailing early.

    In the course of my career, and in the relatively recent past, I have been part of interview committees. It speaks volumes about my colleagues that we have tried to put as much effort into conducting the interviews as the applicants did. It is my impression that our efforts are the exception rather than the rule.

    My partner on the other hand has been trying to change jobs for at least five years and is, at this point, guardedly optimistic about getting a favorable answer within the next week or so. During his job hunt he's encountered pretty much every one of the awful situations described above.

  •  Looking for a job is much harder than actually (12+ / 0-)

    working at a job--for sure.  I've been at both ends--a job seeker and another time a job recruiter.

    Fiscal conservative: a Republican ready to spend $5 to save a dime--especially if that dime is helping a non-donor.

    by Mayfly on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 06:37:04 PM PDT

  •  It's pretty humbling (23+ / 0-)

    4 years ago this week at age 59 I left my job for the last time, our jobs had been relocated to Europe and after 35 years I was a free agent.  For 2 years I scoured employment websites, sent in resumes and cover letters and despite some conversations with a few HR people nothing came of it.  First and most important I was 59, then 60 then 61; the only interviews (mostly phone) pretty much ended when it dawned on the person on the other end of the line that I had 35 years experience, not that I was 35 years old.
    Then there were a couple of vague offers of minimum wage jobs that actually required some pretty advanced credentials which I had.  Basically they were jobs where a management background was required because they had laid off their front line supervisors and department managers and needed people who could work unsupervised for cheap.  I found that approach to be completely dishonest and wanted no part of it.
    So today I collect Social Security, I'm rapidly drawing down my 401k to get the kids through school but the day is coming when everything will change.  I still need to work for 2 to 3 more years but I don't think it will happen.  Job reports like today's are of no help, they don't help the job market, there is no demand for my talents, for the 195,000 I'm happy but this doesn't help.  It's too little and yet it's big enough that Washington can continue to ignore reality.  
    Let there be no mistake; both parties have failed miserably, the republicans intentionally and the Democrats because they've moved on to other battles.

    •  Age needs to be considered (21+ / 0-)

      As part of diversity hiring. All ages, esp over 50 and 60 age.
      A lot to offer. Ageism is a huge problem. And yes, Washington is ignoring the reality of underemployed and unemployed.
      Here's to your getting employed. Hang in there- make some noise!

      Watch out for the UnderToad ~ The World According To Garp

      by donaurora on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 08:14:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thank you (7+ / 0-)

        I think the age discrimination is here to stay.  There are far too many young or at least younger candidates who need a job so badly that they'll be offered terrible pay and benefits but will have no choice other than to accept.

        •  The real challenge (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          annan, Dixiedemocrat

          is getting employers busted for age discrimination.  Very hard to prove. I'd like to see national legislation that enforces some kind of quota to hire qualified 50 and above employees. Really. Keeping more boomers employed as long as boomers want to be employed would save on social security and medicare.   It's a win/win.

          Watch out for the UnderToad ~ The World According To Garp

          by donaurora on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 12:59:04 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Amen again donaurora. (0+ / 0-)

            We need a revival of "The Gray Panthers".  Our current economy is all about $ and does not value older workers.  I like your idea.  

            "The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it." - Flannery O'Conner

            by Dixiedemocrat on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 01:18:21 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  This is sad. (0+ / 0-)

          I'm a paralegal and experienced in Employment Law.  The problem is that pursuing a lawsuit against an employer for age discrimination is often an arduous and expensive task.  I'm sure if Republicans were in charge of it all they would disband the EEOC altogether.

          "The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it." - Flannery O'Conner

          by Dixiedemocrat on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 01:16:55 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  AMEN donaurora! (0+ / 0-)

        I am being "transitioned" after taking an unpaid leave of absence to take care of my ailing and now deceased Mother.  Meanwhile, in my company those women who are bringing life into the world get 3 mos paid maternity leave and I'm now back at work and tasked with training a 21 y.o. who is pregnant and due soon and who - like the others before her - will get paid maternity leave and likely not return to the company.

        We live in an age of GREED.  Company budgets value $ over people.  

        "The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it." - Flannery O'Conner

        by Dixiedemocrat on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 01:15:14 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Have you considered contract work? (3+ / 0-)

      In IT especially there are frequently contract positions for 6 months, 1 year, etc.  They need someone with a crap ton of experience but they don't want a long term commitment, so they ought to be happy to take on someone who only wants to work a few more years at most.

      The Cake is a lie. In Pie there is Truth. ~ Fordmandalay

      by catwho on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 09:36:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Mike, so sorry to hear that but I get it ... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sandia Blanca, barkingcat

      I'm also over 60, without a job, in great health and still needing to work so I've been cobbling things together by consulting and doing short term projects.

      I keep thinking there's an opportunity here to re-imagine our elder years. It hasn't come into focus yet but I think there's something ready to emerge so we all need to keep thinking, talking and most of all keeping our imaginations alive.

      There are so many of us in the situation, surely we can find a way to work together to create something new.

      What will it be? I don't know but I sense that it's beginning to take form and we need to be prepared to seize the moment when whatever it is begins to emerge.

      "Let us not look back to the past with anger, nor towards the future with fear, but look around with awareness." James Thurber

      by annan on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 04:05:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  . (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I haven't seen any good economic policy come from either party in over 15 years.   The primary difference, I see, between the democrats and the republicans is that I have NEVER seen good, broad ranging economic/job policy from the republican party EVER.   Every vote, IMHO, for 'free trade' legislation and financial sector 'de-regulation' was a vote of treason...IMHO mind you.   The reason I loathe free trade policies so much (yes even no policy ie: china, is 'free trade') is because I understand it and what it means.  There is no historical precedent for such insane policies and are a good chunk of the root of the woes of the nation.

      "History records that the money changers have used every form of abuse, intrigue, deceit, and violent means possible to maintain their control over governments by controlling the money and its issuance." -James Madison

      by FreeTradeIsYourEpitaph on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 08:00:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I really, really suck at interviews. (23+ / 0-)

    Big time. Really. But I'm an excellent employee. Bonuses, promotions, awards, you name it. Once I'm in the door, I will help your company more than you can possibly imagine.

    But getting through the door has always been an uphill battle. That's why I'm the owner of a small company. I was willing to hire me.

    A waist is a terrible thing to mind.

    by edg on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 07:17:49 PM PDT

    •  Every job that I have ever had... (6+ / 0-)

      has been obtained without a formal interview. It's been both a blessing (my current and previous employers all hired me on the spot just based on my resume)  and a curse, as I'm now looking for a job without having any true past successes as an interviewee.  I've  just survived the most recent phone interview stage for one job, and I will have an in person interview in two weeks.  Previous phone and in person interviews that I've had have all resulted in rejection.

      The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness. -- John Kenneth Galbraith

      by richardak on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 10:35:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's all part of (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kit RMP, Constantine

    "The great lie of democracy, its essential paradox, is that democracy is the first to be sacrificed when its security is at risk. Every state is totalitarian at heart; there are no ends to the cruelty it will go to to protect itself." -- Ian McDonald

    by Geenius at Wrok on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 07:17:55 PM PDT

  •  Interviews etc. (12+ / 0-)

    1. Interviews are the worst way to hire someone. Very few if any people can do good interviews and almost always hire the right person. All the research shows ... don't rely on interviews ..... but for those of us looking for work ... what can we do?

    2. HR ... grrrrrr. the most hated department in most companies. Usually where people are sent  if they don't cut it in another department. (sorry HR people - apparently there are a few good ones)

    3. Volumes. The number of people one is up against these days is insane ... and because it is so tough lots of people apply for any job close to what they want and therefore the volumes are even higher.

    4. Connections ... the way most jobs are filled. Until this week I avoided LinkedIn (the thought made me want to puke). But after a few months of looking and getting nowhere ... signed up, added a few old contacts ... and surprise surprise may have found myself and opening. It has blown me away.

    There's room at the top they're telling you still But first you must learn how to smile as you kill If you want to be like the folks on the hill

    by taonow on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 07:19:57 PM PDT

    •  LinkedIn (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ticorules, Kit RMP, reginahny

      I avoid it.  Seems like an endless time suck. But sounds like the networking connections did what they are suppose to do for you?

      Watch out for the UnderToad ~ The World According To Garp

      by donaurora on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 08:19:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Why would you avoid LinkedIn? (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Kit RMP, taonow, catwho, CuriousBoston

        It's becoming one of the most essential business forms of communication and networking.  Not using it pretty much destroys your chance at effective networking these days.  I know quite a number of people in the SF Bay Area (where I'm based in) that used LinkedIn to get jobs (including one person out of work for a few months who snagged a Director of Marketing position at Levi's).  By using it, you're looking to connect with someone in your contact's connection list which you wouldn't know if say you didn't knew LinkedIn.  Referral process is common for getting positions much easier than to deal with the regular interviewing process, which is almost like getting set up on a blind date.

        •  I get more spam (0+ / 0-)

          from LinkedIn than any other service I've ever signed up for. It is astounding!

          •  Spam? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            LinkedIn gives you plenty of options to control spam.  I've never gotten a single bit of spam in all the years I've used LinkedIn, except maybe the regular e-mails I get from the groups I register in and for those people who want to randomly add me.

        •  OK Y'all have convinced me (0+ / 0-)

          to give it another whirl. I dunno why I've been so LinkedIN averse. In my neck of the woods, hasn't been an effective employment tool. But then again I don't use it that often...

          Watch out for the UnderToad ~ The World According To Garp

          by donaurora on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 12:52:07 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You can network effectively on LinkedIn (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            donaurora, Dixiedemocrat

            Think about it.  You go to a networking event and you meet two people who you develop a strong connection and you work to build the business relationship with them over time.  

            Next thing you know, in each of the people's contact list on LinkedIn, you notice they are connected to people who work at Salesforce, Google, Bank of the West or even Habitat for Humanity.  Whatever those connections in your contact's list mean to you, your contact can make an introduction on behalf of you and from there, that can be golden for you overtime.

      •  Time suck? (4+ / 0-)

        I find it the least time-suck of the social networking sites, in part because I only use it for utilitarian, useful purposes.

    •  Unlisted references (6+ / 0-)

      are consulted regularly. In interviews I've been a part of, if the candidate seems like a possibility, as soon as the door shuts after the interviewee leaves, the first question in the room is "Who knows someone who knows him/her?" And the calls always get made.

      I was shocked the first time it happened. Now I just worry about ever having to be an interviewee again. How do you prepare for that?

  •  Look Up the Salaries (6+ / 0-)

    I think you might want Indeed. If they asked how much you're looking for, I'd just tell them, "That depends on what the job requires, but most jobs like this pay..." and then I'd quote them the top of the range from research online. You should never tell them what you're currently earning. For one thing, it's irrelevant since they aren't hiring you for the job you already have. They're hiring you for something that, presumably, requires vastly more effort. So, it ought to pay vastly more (IMHO).

    The problem with finding a job is that the economy sucks. It sucks because it is national policy to ship wealth-producing jobs overseas and hold down wages. To beat the system, you have to be exceptional, because that's all that's left.

    That may mean networking with the people who might hire you outside the interview process. Use LinkedIn or whatever means you have to spot the people that might hire you and see if you can attend events where they would go. You might not meet them, but you might well meet someone better.

    Good luck!

    •  I have heard this advice a lot (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Julia Grey, radical simplicity

      I interview occasionally, even when I'm not looking for work, just to keep my hand in and see how easy it would be to get a job if I needed to.

      The last two times I interviewed, I tried this tactic of not telling them what I was making at the time. One of them responded with, "Okay, then, what are your salary requirements? I can't make you an offer unless I know at least one of those two numbers." We deadlocked there for a while, after which I sent her my salary requirement and she undercut me by around 15%. I sent back a note politely explaining what I thought 'salary requirement' meant, and they offered me exactly what I requested.

      With the other company, after I told them that I wasn't inclined to send them my current salary, the HR person sent me a very pissy letter telling me that they would not offer me a job unless they had a verified salary amount for my previous position. Since I wasn't actually interested in changing jobs at the time, I sent back a polite note to the HR person, ccing the hiring manager, thanking the interview team for their time and suggesting that they get back in touch with me once they had figured out what having the position filled by someone of my skills and abilities was worth to them. And also asking what in the world they meant by 'verified'. Needless to say, I never heard back.

      I think that advice may be useful for, say, upper management and corporate executives, but I believe that these days HR companies dislike troublemakers among middle management and individual contributors, and will therefore simply not offer positions to those who rock the boat in any way. Including those who refuse to answer questions about their compensation history.

  •  Thank you for posting this! (11+ / 0-)

    I've long said that unless you're rich (i.e. don't need the money) job hunting is among the most dehumanizing experiences anyone can go through.  It's all manner of ugly, but you do a very good job of spelling out the specifics of the ugliness.

    I'd add one other thing to it: networking.  Networking is something that some people can do quite naturally, or is a necessary part of their job, but to a lot of us, it can be its own brand of hell.  The idea that you have to sidestep the whole system to get someone to be your patron to get a job?  It just reinforces the whole corrupt megilla, IMHO.

    But I'm doing it anyway, and trying to make the best of it.  (I'm a molecular virologist by trade).  One good thing I will say about it: you meet a lot of interesting people when you start trading business cards in earnest.

  •  My pet peeve (6+ / 0-)

    in the job search is the lack of post interview feedback about why you did not get the job. I always try though so I can get insight into how I might improve for the next attempt.  Unfortunately the only time I had candid feedback was for a couple of government jobs where I placed second to an internal candidate. They stated there was nothing wrong with my credentials, my interview, or my general fit for the position.  

    Trickle Down Economics 101: They get the golden parachute, we get the golden shower.

    by NoMoreLies on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 08:53:58 PM PDT

    •  Most employers won't give you feedback (8+ / 0-)

      because it opens them up to liability for their answers. It's too bad, but it's a reality. The wrong words can land employers in all kinds of trouble, so answers along the lines of most candidates being very qualified, but having to finally make a difficult decision -- are the best most can offer.

    •  What Elizaveta said. (5+ / 0-)

      It doesn't necessarily mean that all employers are illegally discriminating, either: a lot of it is because the job listings were fake to begin with.  The dirty little secret of the employment world, particularly if you are a mid-ranked professional, is that many job listings aren't real.  They already have their (usually internal) candidate in mind, but are required to list the job anyway due to state or federal law, and go through the process of wasting everyone's time.

      That employers are almost universally flouting the intent of those laws is why they aren't ever going to speak up voluntarily about the reasons you didn't get a given job.  IMHO, I think it is the problem with the laws themselves: since nothing is going to prevent employers from giving the job to a networking contact, the boss' nephew, etc., then why require them to list the job?  Either give those laws some serious teeth (which would open up its own Pandora's Box) or get rid of them.

      Then at least we'd know that the listings we see on career and company websites were real.

      •  Hmm (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        First off, I wonder what laws you're referring to? Do you have some examples? I assume it involves companies that do business with the government, or companies specifically wanting to hire one particular H1-B person, or something like that, because I know that it is not only perfectly legal but is quite common in (e.g.) the computer industry to tell everyone on a team that you're looking for someone, ask them if they know anyone qualified, and then interview one or two of those people, without there ever being a job posting of any kind.

        Second off, it's probably worth pointing out that the same argument regarding the laws can be made against, e.g., the ENDA. Even if it were passed tomorrow, it would be essentially impossible to ever successfully sue someone under it. The standards of proof are similar to the laws prohibiting sexual harassment and discrimination in the workplace, where the vast majority of people who wish to bring such a suit cannot even get a lawyer (because the lawyers believe they have no realistic chance of winning), and, of those which are actually brought to trial and adjudicated, less than five percent actually are ruled in favor of the plaintiff.

        Nevertheless, I think we would be better off with the ENDA in place. It's good to have standards by which the companies that do care about such things can behave, even if the companies that do not care about such things continue to misbehave.

        •  IANAL, but... (0+ / 0-)

          ...I've seen an AWFUL lot of these companies posting for internally filled, nonexistent jobs.  So I'm assuming that they're following one law or another in doing so, because they wouldn't be doing it otherwise.  It's not to their advantage to post fake job listings, unless all they want to do is collect resumes.  (Which some certainly do - all the better to sell off all your resume data to spammers!)

          But some companies even go so far as interview people for the fake positions.  WHY would they do that if there was no law forcing them to?

          And laws like ENDA aren't the real problem.  There's no real inherent advantage to discrimination - it's just corporates being assholes.  So even if it has no teeth, it doesn't really hurt the playing field or the individual job seeker, and in fact works to their advantage.  But there's a huge DISADVANTAGE to job seekers by job sites being inundated by fake job listings.   It's that specifically I have a problem with.

      •  Where I work (0+ / 0-)

        we rarely know who we are going to hire, and we aren't required to list any opening. But we don't respond to "why didn't you hire me?" questions simply because of liability - words get twisted and can come back on you. Answering a rejected applicant's request for feedback is opening an unpredictable can of worms for the employer.

        Most of the rules about listing jobs belong to the world of government employment or corporations who have established those sorts of policies.

        As an individual, I've wished I could have offered more helpful information to applicants who didn't make the cut, but it's not a smart move, unfortunately.

  •  "I don't want to lose my job (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kit RMP, mommyof3

    but if we're not hiring much, then they won't need me. So if I just stop after picking who i want, then my usefulness has ended. But if I keep this process going as long as possible, then they will think theres too much work to be done without me!"

    at least, thats what I think one of the big issues is. Who wants to chance losing a job in this economic climate?

    "Trust not the words of a poet, as he is born to seduce. Yet for poetry to seize the heart, it must ring with the chimes of truth."

    by kamrom on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 09:26:05 PM PDT

  •  The "personality test"... (8+ / 0-)

    The safe way to reject someone who is the wrong age, color, sexual preference, or body type.

    "According to the results of your test this position would not be a good fit for you. We are really concerned that you would not be happy in this position."

    What are the metrics? Who decides how to weight the metrics? When HR was made a "profession" things really went to hell.

    Most truths are so naked that people feel sorry for them and cover them up, at least a little bit. --Edward R. Murrow

    by chuckvw on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 10:13:59 PM PDT

    •  wrong political or religious bent is high in the (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      chuckvw, radical simplicity

      rural West

    •  Meh (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I've been a hiring manager at several points in my life. I never liked it much. But I always asked some 'fluff' questions. They are actually useful in getting insight into how interviewees handle themselves under stress (and I was always hiring for stressful positions), how they deal with other people and how good they are at explaining themselves (and I was always hiring for positions that involved them interacting with a wide variety of people across the organization), and so forth.

      One of my favorite questions is, 'Come up with a process that you know well, but make it something non-technical. Making lasagna, building a bevel joint, training for a marathon, whatever. I'll give you ten minutes to make some notes, and then I want you to explain it to me. Assume I don't know anything about it.' I flat guarantee you that more than half of my interviewees thought that was the stupidest question they'd ever heard, but it actually gives me a lot of information about how they think, how good their documentation would be, and whether they can explain something to someone who isn't well-grounded without losing them, getting frustrated when they don't understand, or being patronizing.

      If the person interviewing is still employed elsewhere, I also like 'Why are you leaving your current job?' I've had several people tell me, "They aren't paying me what I deserve," and I think that's a perfectly fine response. A lot of people aren't willing to say that, and there are plenty of other reasons to leave jobs anyway. But you can tell a lot about a person by how they talk about their current employer. Even if they really don't like them, how much tact they are willing and able to bring to the table tells you a lot about how that person will interact with teammates.

      Techies aren't easy to get along with under the best of circumstances: all of us seem to think we're the best at what we do, and probably at what everyone around us does, too. That kind of environment makes tact and other communications skills vitally important. And you can't get information from asking how to fix a broken network topology or write a code fragment.

      •  Meh right back at you (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        radical simplicity

        You're describing conducting actual interviews, not paying an online vendor to provide "personality testing"...

        I've also been in hiring positions and have conducted many interviews. The HR industry - testing services, "total quality" consultants, and academic programs - are largely parasitical, add little value, and are worker unfriendly. I stand by my original comment.

        Most truths are so naked that people feel sorry for them and cover them up, at least a little bit. --Edward R. Murrow

        by chuckvw on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 04:45:18 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  This country's #1 economic issue is jobs. D.C. is (4+ / 0-)

    ...not nearly engaged with the issue as they should be. The Republican Party has handed the Democratic Party a huge issue and the Dems are afraid to seize full advantage because they know it is going to take $$$ to address the issue.

    From President Obama on down, I would give the party a solid D+ on the issue. They need to go bold and long on the job issue. They should make it so the media gets angry at them for continuing to raise the issue and then double down. There are too many gettable votes out there if the issue is approached properly.

    The politicians may be bought, and the system corrupt, but it is our duty to fix these things.

    by sebastianguy99 on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 10:23:12 PM PDT

  •  One would think (13+ / 0-)

    that on line applications would be more convenient and easier to complete. They aren't. They can be extremely time consuming and not very user friendly.   Many of them "force" you to include information (such as your recent rate of pay) or they will not accept your application.

    The prospective employer,  generally, almost always has the advantage.  When they ask what you expect to be paid, you will certainly risk undercutting yourself or out pricing yourself.    When they make the offer, it is often insultingly low.  You are then challenged to engage in diplomatically negotiating and you aren't even sure if they will negotiate.  

    Spending days on end completing on-line applications and within minutes or hours getting a notice that they have decided NOT to fill the position your spent hours applying for can be frustrating and soul crushing.

    I would note that a good many people doing the interviewing can be extremely condescending and arrogant.  Despite the fact that folks can no longer expect to work 30 to 40 years for the same employer and retire with a gold watch any more,  the interviewers behave as if they are offended by people who have changed jobs to seek better opportunities.    They will insult you and to your face call you a job jumper---in this wretched economy!  

    How  can anyone in their right mind  criticize a person for taking a job in a safe working environment when the  previous employer has removed basic safety measures in order to increase profits.  I don't know, but interviewers will do it.  

    God help you if you have ever been fired by a precvious employer.   The applications ask that question and they caution you that anything construed as to be in anyway untruthful will be reason for termination, as soon as they find it out out.

    God help you again, if you were fired for refusing to commit fraud or some other illegal activity.   Tell an interviewer  that and they don't  want anything to do with you.  You are viewed as a trouble maker and as NOT being a team player.  Many people would appear to be uncomfortable with someone else's integrity..  

    Sometimes folks stay in utterly wretched jobs with wretched coworkers and supervisors, because either they lost so much ground financially while unemployed, or they had a hard and desperate time finding work the last time.

    Being unemployed and searching for a job can be so very unpleasant.

  •  Probably why the temp industry is exploding (5+ / 0-)

    Bottom line is, no interview will give an employer all they need to find the right candidate, no resume, or interview.

    Pretty much gone are the old school bosses who hire by gut, now just a bunch of algorithms, evaluations, and "personality" tests.

    Temp to hire can suck, but can provide a good foot in the door to the right job.

    “Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.” ... Voltaire

    by RUNDOWN on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 10:41:20 PM PDT

    •  My last employer before... (5+ / 0-)

      ... I became disabled pretty much did away with the conventional hiring process and used temp work as their screening method. Once they hired me, I was shocked to discover they did this even for the lowest 2-3 levels of management.

      The upside for me was employment while continuing to look, until deciding I really liked working for them around the same time they decided to hire me full time.

      "Have you come here for forgiveness? Have you come to raise the dead? Have you come here to play Jesus, to the lepers in your head?" ~ U2 "One"

      by WereBear Walker on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 03:51:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The big problems with temp to hire... (2+ / 0-)

      ...are lack of benefits (especially HEALTH INSURANCE), and landlords, for those that have to rent.  Most landlords will not accept a month to month lease right off the bat, and short-term "executive suites" are very expensive.  It can be an insanely risky move to take a temp to hire job.

      •  Some temp agencies offer benefits (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        The big temp agency here in town offers health benefits to employees who have worked with them for more than three months, and who are working at least 30 hours a week most weeks.  Their health insurance plan isn't great, but it's better than nothing.

        The Cake is a lie. In Pie there is Truth. ~ Fordmandalay

        by catwho on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 09:41:09 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The ones I've seen are literally NOT (0+ / 0-)

          'Better than nothing', that is.

          The temp agency I was with, way back when, offered a health insurance plan that cost $150 a month and paid a maximum of $5000 per year... but that $5000 was divided into several sub-categories, each of which had its own maximum, and there was a $250 deductible, so chances were that even if you ended up owing $250k for medical care in a given year, you'd only get about $2500 from your insurance.

          From what I understand, they pay the temp agencies to offer the health insurance, and then just rake in the money from people who don't know any better. From what I understand, they've had to restructure their insurance somewhat under Obamacare, but otherwise can go right on doing this without any trouble, because Obamacare doesn't restrict you from offering utterly useless health insurance as an employer, it just has strict guidelines on exactly what ways it's allowed to be useless.

  •  Can't win situations--stupid interview games (11+ / 0-)

    Did a two-person team interview for a project manager position.  Worst interview evah.

    Interviewer #1 was distracted most the time checking his email.  Useless to the interview process.

    Interviewer #2 was a last-minute addition. She read questions from a list.  "What would you do in this situation...?" and she'd read the situation.  I gave a concise answer hitting all the basic points.  

    She followed up with, "Is there anything else you would do?" Okay, I used to teach PM courses so I could summarize or expand as needed.  I expanded on some of the areas.  She asked again, "Is there anything else you would do?" Okay, I picked a couple of other areas.  And she repeated for the third time, "Is there anything else you would do?"

    So, she's playing a game here.  I asked if she wanted me to  focus on any particular area and she said no, anything I might say is fine.  I explained that I could occupy all the available time exploring different facets of the situation but felt I had covered it well enough and was ready for the next topic.  But I knew the interview was dead.

    A friend in the department later told me that the feedback was that I was "trying too hard to come up with perfect answers."  

    I hate stupid interview games.  I understand the value of hypotheticals that can help assess creativity, communication skills, dealing with stress, etc.   But most interviewers are not trained to do such assessments and instead fly by the seat of their pants, by their "gut" about what they subjectivity feel are the right and wrong answers.

    And all questions should be relevant to a person's skills and job requirements.  I've been a hiring manager for a long time. Instead of asking stupid stock or bizarre questions,  I'll make the effort to base a question on something that might realistically arise in a person's job role.

    Not lazy, stupid questions like, "How can you stop a speeding runaway train with just a paper clip?" Unless, of course, the job involved stopping runaway, out of control trains.  

  •  The dark side of bad recruiting--bad hires (3+ / 0-)

    Just as good candidates never have a chance, more preposterous is how bad candidates get hired.   My armchair analysis is that the more neurotic the hiring manager, the worse the hiring decisions are.  

    Was the right-hand advisor to the owner of a small business, and he would want to hire someone literally on the spot of first meeting them.  Sometimes I could influence the process, sometimes I'd be too late.  "Who is the new programmer?" "Oh, I met him standing in line at the post office."  For real.

    In larger organizations, it seemed that bad hiring managers tended to hire people who most reminded them of themselves.  Small companies too.  And these bad hires would persist because who wants to fire someone that reminds them of (a) the bad hiring decision they made, and (b) reminds them of themselves?

    And in all cases, bad hires created more work for those around them--mistakes to fix, teaching unqualified people, etc.

  •  After eighteen months of fruitless job hunting (10+ / 0-)

    with only one temp position working nights for Wal-Mart to show for it, we finally swallowed our pride and went to apply for SNAP and TAFDC.

    They took one look at my cane and said "disabled".  What the hell, means six months before I have to show progress in a job search. Maybe I can get a retail job by then.

    Then they sent me to an evaluation interview. The evaluating doctor, after I stopped screaming and crying from when he poked my back, pointed out that I couldn't straighten my fingers. It took three hours before I got what I formerly considered to be full use of my hands back.

    So, it turns out I'm disabled. Considering the deterioration of my condition in the past five years, especially the past eighteen months, I'm beginning to fear another little mid-40s side effect of my bone disease called osteosarcoma. I'm casually curious as to how they could manage to amputate my spine.

    But at least I don't have to look for work. I was going to go with a "there are worse things than unemployment" route, but no. No, that's not it at all. I think the stress and depression from long-term unemployment put me here.

    •  . (0+ / 0-)

      the stress and demoralization from long-term unemployment can be debilitating and god knows how it destroy someone's health.  I've been there but managed to escape to a decent job.  Then the extra stomping comes from media that trivialize or ignore how bad it really is.  The 'conservative' meme about their concern about unemployment during the last presidential election cycle was one of the worst... they used it to try to gain votes when, in fact, in my entire working life I have never seen the broader economy thrive with conservatives in the political majority not that I think the democrats have been very good for many years now.

      "History records that the money changers have used every form of abuse, intrigue, deceit, and violent means possible to maintain their control over governments by controlling the money and its issuance." -James Madison

      by FreeTradeIsYourEpitaph on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 09:28:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  What do you think you will bring to this job? (11+ / 0-)

    An espresso maker.

    Maybe my dog, if I get a dog and ye'll let me....

    My old saying:

    The only thing worse than having a job is looking for one.
    It truly IS insanity.

    The even nuttier bit is some places hiring really DO NEED people and the process encourages and rewards somebody like me for grossly misrepresenting myself.

    My education and resume are for real, but I dress up of r ajob interview, tie my hair back, real shirt, tie, all of it.

    Anybody who knows me doesn't even recognize me.

    Once i get the job, the Real Doc starts coming to your place.

    However - just got laid off for the 6th friggin time in 20 years.

    I'm 53 in a couple months: I cannot keep getting jobs and keep getting laid off. I should be near retirement and I'm still check to check.

    I just got approval to provide counseling to the military via Tricare. A direct provider: not working for anybody, no middle man.

    See people, files claims, take ALL the money.

    And do work that needs to be done.

    •  That's a completely legitimate question (0+ / 0-)

      If I'm looking to hire, and I have more than one applicant, the applicant needs to be able to express to me why he/she would be better for my business than other applicants.

      There are lots of ways to answer that question. You point out specific skills that you have that others may not have.  You point out an experience in your employment history that will be a benefit to my business (like, "in my last job, deadlines were very important for x, y, z reason [give examples], so I'm particularly aware about meeting deadlines"; or "in my last job, budgeting was one responsibility I had, so I think I'm good at making sure we don't waste the business' money" or "I understand this is a job where meeting the public is important, and I'm concerned about first impressions and think I can be a good face for the company" or "I am focused on advancing in my career, and so I'm willing to work to increase my skills [and give examples of how]" or "I've always been a detail-oriented person [give example], and I'll bring that focus and attention to this job.

      People who are interviewing for a job need to look at questions as an opportunity for them to sell themselves to the interviewer.  That's how you get jobs.  

    •  . (0+ / 0-)

      I got laid off 3 times in 5 years around the turn of the century and woke up to the fact the economy is a wasteland due to the globalization meme that dominates the political system.  To this day, the political system is still trying to convince people thru media and other means that "we're turning the corner" when, in fact, I cannot detect a single true indicator that anything has happened that is positive.... it is more like the nation is simply treading water after crushing the economy and finances of the nation by allowing outsourcing and de-regulation of the financial sector... they have not revoked any of the worst policies in the nations' history.

      "History records that the money changers have used every form of abuse, intrigue, deceit, and violent means possible to maintain their control over governments by controlling the money and its issuance." -James Madison

      by FreeTradeIsYourEpitaph on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 09:38:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  A big part of the problem (8+ / 0-)

    is the requirement many big companies have to post the job in the first place.

    Typical situation:  Your department needs to hire a person for position "x."  You happen to know someone in your city who would be perfect.  You know this because you worked with that person for 10 years at your last job.  You spent hundreds of hours watching that person be great at the skills needed for position "x."  Additionally, you know that person is an all around good human being, and has the right personality for the job.  You invite that person to lunch and broach the subject of whether s/he would be interesting in coming to work at your company.  The answer is yes.

    Problem solved?  No.  Despite the fact that there is now a 99% chance you're going to hire the person that you know is the perfect fit, the job now needs to be posted by HR because the company does not allow direct hiring decisions by managers in other departments.  HR will read through a zillion resumes and start sending a bunch to you.  Often these will be completely unsuitable candidates, since HR doesn't have nearly the breadth of understanding of what's required for the position that you do.  Then you'll go to the interviews, and waste time speaking with other people whose time is also being wasted.  Many candidates do look like they'd be good for the job, but the interview is the first time you're meeting them and there's no way to really be sure they'll be a good fit in the same way you're positive the person you want will be.  Finally HR sends you the resume of the person you wanted to hire in the first place (who is all too familiar with the need to go through the HR routine).  Surprise, a perfect fit.

    My perception is that a large chunk of open jobs are like this - the candidate has been chosen before the job has been posted.  If big companies let more non-HR leaders directly hire people they know are good, the company's job postings would be significantly reduced to only include jobs that are actually open and actually need a new person (who is not presently known to anyone at the company) to fill the job.  Would save all involved a lot of time.  It's also the reason why everyone who provides advice on finding a job describes (correctly) how important networking is.

  •  All true (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I we t through this a while ago when I had a 2 year contract that came to an end, dumping me on the job market right as the economy was imploding. It was by far one of the most demoralizing experiences I have ever had.

    It is difficult for people to face a dilemma regarding which is more demoralizing: staying in their current job which they really want to leave, or going through the process of looking for a new job.

  •  Before outsourcing..... (4+ / 0-)

    There was a balance between people and the jobs to be done.  An interview was to put a face with a resume and see if there were any obvious problems (alcohol on the breath?).  More furtively, whether the face had an appropriate color of if the candidate was of a compatible religion.

    But work had to get done, slots had to be filled and "contractors" were an expensive way to get the job done. "Can you start next Monday?" was heard more often than "where do you see yourself in 10 years?".  

    Work was less automated, and the machines that did do the work needed to have people to run them.  Computers didn't "generate" payroll; clerks with adding machines calculated paychecks and figured out the deductions.

    It was a different world of work 50 years ago.  There was still a lack of housing, although the post-war boom in construction was tailing off.  Freeways were the transportation of the future and they needed to be built.  Factories were still being built and imports (except maybe for those well made cars from West Germany) were of an inferior quality.  Women were not in the workforce in great numbers.

    Today in the United States, there is no work to do.  And with lots more women in the workforce, there are more workers competing against each other for those scarce jobs.  Oh, there are jobs that should be done; bridges should be repaired before they fall down; pipelines should be replaced before they spring a leak; fossil fuel power should be replaced with renewables -- but the levers of power won't let loose with the money for these projects.  And if by some miracle one lever does slip and a few cents trickles out, Chinese steelworkers show up to install Chinese steel because that's the low bid.  The economy is now going through a FIRE sale: anything that isn't Finance, Insurance, or Real Estate is being outsources to the lowest foreign bidder.  Manufacturing is being exported to be replace by "rent seeking".  So if you have only your labor to sell and no capital to seek rents with, you're SOL.

    Things that can't go on usually don't.  Like this rant.

  •  good answers to dumb questions (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    quaoar, Ticorules

    If you gave those answers esp 'drinking' in a govt hospital you might get management position.  Nearly everyone here states career goal as survive until retirement.

  •  Job searches are tough (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I have been through several of them myself.

    One resource that helped me to estimate salary ranges is a website called  It can give ranges for salaries in a given field and in a given city or geographic area.  There are probably other websites that are more health-care specific.

  •  True story: (5+ / 0-)

    my spouse applied for a permanent management/engineering position at a well known company through a recruiter's ad in the Telegraph (the main paper for technical jobs in the UK). Recruiter was pleased with his CV, and sent him two interviews within the company. The first interview went swimmingly so he then went to interview his potential boss. He was somewhat nonplussed after that interview and didn't hear back from them for some time.
    Eventually the recruiter called and said they would consider a three month probationary contract "to see how things work out, since you've been in management for the last six years and not engineering (he was managing engineers!). After three months during which the boss was only in country for a week, the boss said he hadn't had time enough to make up his mind and gave him a one month extension. After three weeks, the boss admitted that the job really didn't exist. He (the boss) wanted to build up a whole new department and hoped MrSylvania would do good enough work to convince his boss a new department was necessary. If this asshole had said something to the effect to start with, or put that in the original advertisement, he still would have applied for the job, but things would have been a lot clearer and easier to deal with. Some people are such schmucks.

    Each person stands on a shadow. Bill Reynolds

    by northsylvania on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 06:31:45 AM PDT

  •  Excuse me?? (6+ / 0-)

    "As I'm not a social worker, I expect to be paid!"

    Well I'm a social worker, and I DO get paid! I make a very good salary with excellent benefits that allows me to live a solid middle class life. My license also allows me to see people in private practice which would supplement my income considerably. I also belong to the National Association of Social Workers:

    NASW is committed to advancing professional social work practice and the profession and to promoting human rights, social and economic justice, and unimpeded access to services for everyone.
    Membership to NASW gets me access to additional benefits including malpractice insurance, life insurance, employment opportunities, an assistance network, etc.....

    But the best part of being a social worker? I do work that helps members of my community in very real and tangible ways. I do work that promotes social justice, and helps people live their lives better.

    Don't ever think a social worker is a good example of someone getting the "short end of the stick".

    Far from it.

    Lisa :)

    All Kossacks are my allies, but if you can't express your thoughts in a civil and kind manner, I won't be engaging in a conversation with you.

    by Boston to Salem on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 06:38:09 AM PDT

    •  Congrats on being a well paid social worker (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      However, BLS says the median salary is 42K.  That seems low considering the Master Degree which was the point I was driving at in the post.  

      I wasn't shitting on Social Workers because they aren't valuable members of society.  Just making a joke about how they don't get paid a lot relative to their graduate degrees.

      •  master's degree not required (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        The BLS includes "direct service" social workers, which do not require a master's degree and often are not licensed, in with master's level (and above) social workers. Social workers with master's degrees make a higher average wage.

        Also our job prospects are looking VERY good over the coming decades.

        Lisa :)

        All Kossacks are my allies, but if you can't express your thoughts in a civil and kind manner, I won't be engaging in a conversation with you.

        by Boston to Salem on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 08:00:09 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  What? (0+ / 0-)

          Social work is well known to be quite poorly paying considering the amount of education and workload involved. It's a perfectly fine job if it is your passing/calling/etc., but you'll never be able to pay off the loans required to get an MSW with the kind of salary those jobs offer. Certainly social workers deserve to be paid more, and sometimes I think that the degree requirements are onerous considering the nature of the work (if anything, social workers should be hired out of college and MSWs should be payed for by emloyees while the junior-level hires study at night).

          The last thing one would want is for someone to pursue social work thinking that it is a gateway to a middle class life when it is nothing of the sort.

          •  What? Are you a social worker? Should not post (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Boston to Salem

            about a profession you know nothing about. "Social work is well known to be poor paying, etc." Payed=paid. Tellinbg a social worker about any aspect of her profession is over the top.

            Social workers are badly needed. Will be needed more as baby boomers age, as resources for the aged and disabled are cut, as more jobs do not provide benefits.

            Help Senator Warren. Encourage people to co-sponsor her bills, & the bills she has cosponsored. Elect Ed Markey.

            by CuriousBoston on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 12:20:00 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Thank you! (0+ / 0-)

              Thanks CuriousBoston. One of the things that annoys me the most about DKos is when one person tries to inform another about that person's own lived experience.


              Lisa :)

              All Kossacks are my allies, but if you can't express your thoughts in a civil and kind manner, I won't be engaging in a conversation with you.

              by Boston to Salem on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 02:32:15 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  But... (0+ / 0-)

      's poor form for someone who managed to get a decent-paid position 20-30 years ago to laud the virtues of going into a profession now when tuition is through the roof and the public isn't willing to pay good money for the profession. Sure, if MSWs were essentially free (or at least paid for by the state employer), that would be fine, but they're not. The amount of debt required to get an MSW is life-altering and for a profession that is, once again, no one's idea of well-paying.

                •  asdf (0+ / 0-)

                  I work alongside "brand new" social workers, and they are making competitive salaries and getting their pay raises just as I do.  Hell, two of my coworkers you have been out of grad school less than 5 years are already setting up private practices and will likely be making more than I do in a few years.

                  And you seem to be assuming that I am in the same job or working for the same agency that I started with 20 years ago, which is not true. I've moved jobs several times over the years and each time landed a good job with good pay and excellent benefits. And again - there is nothing special or unusual about my career track here in my part of the US

                  Not trying to be unkind, but you don't seem to know what you are talking about when it comes to the "reality on the ground" for social workers. You seem to be making lots of assumptions.

                  And I have to say it's a little annoying that you have continued to tell someone who is a social worker what it's like to be a social worker. If I opined here about the career prospects, etc.... for architects, and then had an architect post and share about his experience I would assume he had a better "take" on it than me and I would listen and learn. I wouldn't continue to tell him that I (a non architect) know better than he does about being an architect.


                  All Kossacks are my allies, but if you can't express your thoughts in a civil and kind manner, I won't be engaging in a conversation with you.

                  by Boston to Salem on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 05:23:59 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

          •  Are you serious? (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ModerateJosh, radical simplicity

            Because I have been a social worker for approaching 20 years and made enough money *the year I graduated* to start paying off my grad school loan and paid it off with no problem at all YEARS ago. It was the best financial investment I ever made.

            I work a 40 hour week and my yearly income is considerably closer to 100K than it is to 50K. I have gotten a pay raise every single year I've been employed (granted these were "only" 2-5% raises, and we don't get bonuses).

            When my child is a bit older, I'll likely start taking private pay patients an evening or two a week and could reasonably charge $125 an hour in my market. And there's nothing unusual about me, or my career path.

            Now I'll admit that social workers' salaries vary from place to place, and licensing requirements can be different place to place but there's nothing unusual about that.

            And given that the demand for social workers is expected to grow significantly as the baby boomers age (we are in desperate need of geriatric specialists right now as a matter of fact) I think it makes a lot of sense for someone to explore whether social work might be a good career path for them.


            All Kossacks are my allies, but if you can't express your thoughts in a civil and kind manner, I won't be engaging in a conversation with you.

            by Boston to Salem on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 02:30:09 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Not a joke. You didn't make your point. n/t (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Boston to Salem

        Help Senator Warren. Encourage people to co-sponsor her bills, & the bills she has cosponsored. Elect Ed Markey.

        by CuriousBoston on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 12:14:27 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  solving the wrong side of the problem (3+ / 0-)

    The Powers That Be are (dimly) aware that there is a problem with qualified job seekers being unable to find the jobs for which they are qualified.  The solutions (almost) always attack the wrong side of the problem, however: the solutions try to help job seekers seek jobs. Supposedly, job seekers are very bad at seeking jobs, so we end up advising them on how to network, how to do job searches, how to format their resumes, etc.  

    We don't pay much attention to the flip side of the problem: employers are not as good at recruiting employees as they think they are.  In fact, as some of the other posters on this thread have noted, employers do a  terrible job of recruiting employees.  They also aren't very good at training and retaining the employees they already have.

  •  Try an interview (4+ / 0-)

    with a tech company. Ever gotten a question like this:

    How many windows do you think exist on all the skyscrapers in Manhattan?
    The "think on your feet" type questions, also known as "fucking with your head" type questions. I dutifully answered those questions once, but since the first time I just walk out of the interview. If the interviewer (as a company representative) isn't going to ask questions that predict performance, then the job itself is probably equally maddening.

    I bring my resume to interviews, but must agree that being asked for it is really a sign of improper preparation on the interviewer's part. Combined with the surprisingly common act of being late for the interview, even by 5 minutes, makes the company not worth my time. I have literally been stood up for phone interviews, then called back later to reschedule it. Like hell!

    •  I was asked once (2+ / 0-)

      "swap two variables, using only three assembly language statements."

      That was a better puzzle than manhole covers or silly things like that, because at the time you still had to think about tricks to optimize real-world code.

      (I got the job. Left six months later because they were idiots, but that's another and uglier story.)

      The thing about quotes on the internet is you cannot confirm their validity. ~Abraham Lincoln

      by raboof on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 08:32:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I hate questions like that... (0+ / 0-)

        you either get them or you don't, and they have only a single correct answer.

        Company I work at now used to do puzzle questions (before I started working there), until they determined they didn't predict performance on the job.  Now we mostly do coding, algorithms, and systems questions.

      •  . (0+ / 0-)

        I have had many interviews for programming jobs where they ask a bunch of technical questions like that and I cannot stand those interviews.  Having programmed in multitudes of languages and operating systems and, without a doubt, literally at least a million lines of code over a 25 year career in various industries (one test system was probably 175k lines that I wrote and had working like magic) when I get asked the questions I feel insulted and assaulted at the same time.  One interview it seemed they wanted somebody who had years of experience in each of 10 programming languages even if the language didn't exist and it was for software quality assurance job... totally ridiculous.

        "History records that the money changers have used every form of abuse, intrigue, deceit, and violent means possible to maintain their control over governments by controlling the money and its issuance." -James Madison

        by FreeTradeIsYourEpitaph on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 09:59:25 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  They want to hear your thought process (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      radical simplicity

      The correct answer is, "Well, let's simplify it.  Let's go with the top 100 tallest buildings.  Let's assume they have an average of fifty floors.  Each floor has four walls.  Each wall has ten windows. 10 windows times four walls is forty walls per floor.  Forty windows a floor times fifty is 2000 windows a building.  For the tallest 100 buildings, that's 200,000 windows."

      Doesn't matter if the numbers are BS (which they are.)  They want to hear how you attack that kind of problem.

      The Cake is a lie. In Pie there is Truth. ~ Fordmandalay

      by catwho on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 09:44:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I once had a "technical interview" (3+ / 0-)

      that included a 35-question timed grammar test.  I did the test since I was already there.  But after discussing it with a friend that evening I decided to withdraw my application.  A grammar test for an engineering and programming job?  I figured the company was run by crazy people at that point and I had no need for that kind of runaround.  Life's hard enough.

      I appreciate your low standards ;)

      by Cameron Hoppe on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 10:32:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Couple of thoughts. (2+ / 0-)

      Bringing your resume: Good idea, especially if you're going through a recruiter. Once -- almost four decades ago -- I went to an interview and discovered that the frickin' recruiter had completely re-written my resume without telling me, and it was largely a work of fiction. So here I am in the interview and the interviewer is asking me questions about stuff I've never heard of based on my purported resume. Fortunately, I had a copy of my real resume with me, but it was still a major embarrassment. That's the only time that has ever happened to me, but I still make sure I have a copy of my resume with me.

      Think on Your Feet questions: Yeah, these can be a PITA. Though on occasion they can be fun; depends on the interviewer. I think you're seeing these less and less: Google, for instance, explicitly forbids them. Though if you are applying for a technical position you do have to be prepared to handle some technical questions. At any decent technical company, at some point in the interview, someone is going hand you a marker, point you at the whiteboard, and ask you how you'd go about solving a problem. You'd be surprised by how many people get offended/upset by this. Personally, that's always my favorite part of the interview.

      •  Being asked (0+ / 0-)

        technical questions is certainly expected. I've been in front of a white board a few times ...

        The "think on your feet" questions though are just out of bounds for me. I refuse to answer those anymore. I think they exist specifically to give a sense of superiority to the interviewee, and I refuse to acknowledge that.

        Other sources for TOYF questions might be HR. In general having HR prescreen for tech jobs is insanity. For example, HR at my work has recently moved to a system of asking candidates to video record themselves answering a round of pre-typed questions. Basically a candidate gets an email asking them to answer a series of questions while recording themselves, then sending the recording back in an email. That's the prescreening process where I work now. Immensely impersonal and not helpful, and good luck if you don't have access to equipment necessary for this. I hope they get a freaking VHS in the mail.

        •  Agreed. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          In general having HR prescreen for tech jobs is insanity
          I have on several occasions suggested that applicants are better off applying to small companies because they don't have this huge HR organization making work for themselves. (The company I currently work at has one full time HR person and another person who helps out, whereas when I was at Apple in the 90's -- pre JobsII -- something like 20 percent of the company worked directly or indirectly for HR).
  •  This one: (7+ / 0-)
    Lack of Professionalism - I can't tell you how many of these interviewers expect perfection from interviewees, yet can't seem to be ready for the interview themselves. I can't count the number of interviews I've had that started on time on one hand.
    has made me want to tear my hair out on more than one occasion.

    They disrespect your time. They insult your qualifications. They don't appear interested in your answers.

    Some of these people are so condescending, you'd think it never occurred to them that they might be just exactly where you are, next year at this time, if not in six months.

    It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

    by karmsy on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 07:31:37 AM PDT

    •  Psycho switcheroo (0+ / 0-)

      Yes, I hear you. I had a job interview a couple years ago so demeaning I put their rejection letter on my wall in my study as it strangely motivates me to do better...

      The VP of the agency interviewed me instead of the whoever it was was supposed to, as he said, since the job interviewer never came back from lunch. The VP asked me questions that made no sense, like what kind of personality tests would you run for drug/alcohol treatment patients... There are a number of diagnostic tests and other tests for those patients, but not personality tests... He repeatedly ridiculed my degree and license but did so with a pretense of respect. He offered me a laughably low salary and told me I'd have to get extra accreditation in the field for it. It was an amazing experience that still continues to baffle me as to how a person could act in such a way.

  •  Not intending to fill a position isn't just in (7+ / 0-)

    health care.

    Welcome to the world of health care, where hospitals post jobs to their websites with no intention of actually filling it
    I've interviewed for jobs in academia, gone through the HR interview, the department head interview, the security interview (you're working with kids, you have to pass a background check), the "guest" lecture to see if you are any good. Then the two month wait until you get the letter on 80 lb. paper with the embossed heading that informs you that the college has decided to not fill the position at this time!!

    It's all a scam. They got the budget approved for X number of positions. They don't fill them, the money still stays in the budget and they use it for something else.

    Thank goodness I am retired and only tutor when I feel like it.

    "May the forces of evil become confused on the way to your house." - George Carlin

    by Most Awesome Nana on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 08:28:33 AM PDT

    •  The other thing that happens (3+ / 0-)

      is that larger companies in particular often have policies that say all open positions must be publicly posted. So you'll get a situation where a team leader wants to bring someone into his group so he opens a position for that person. That position is then publicly listed, even though there was never any intention to fill it from outside the company.

      •  Happens in colleges, also. (0+ / 0-)

        They have an adjunct professor they really want to keep so they devise a course for that person to teach. But all new courses have to be publicly posted.

        And they are; just no one ever intended to fill it with an outsider.

        "May the forces of evil become confused on the way to your house." - George Carlin

        by Most Awesome Nana on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 11:01:41 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  It sucks because *everything* is a knock (6+ / 0-)

    against you. Went back to school? Not enough experience. Didn't go to school? The job requires an advanced degree. You went out on your own and took some risks? You're not committed. Looking for work straight out of school? We need more experience. Low credit score? We won't hire you. What's the gap on your resume? You worked in an unrelated field?

    All this to start at 35k.

    I'm living in America, and in America you're on your own. America's not a country. It's just a business.

    by CFAmick on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 08:37:53 AM PDT

  •  And then when you do get hired, you eventually (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    catwho, akmk

    wonder if you were hired by accident or by mistake...

  •  What are your weaknesses? (6+ / 0-)

    The most useless question ever asked in an interview.

    I'm convinced that the question is only designed to see how well the person can avoid answering a question.

    “Wall Street had been doing business with pieces of paper; and now someone asked for a dollar, and it was discovered that the dollar had been mislaid.” ― Upton Sinclair

    by gjohnsit on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 09:31:37 AM PDT

  •  Re Recruiters (4+ / 0-)

    I've been through the recruiter mill. Dealing with them, one needs to remember a few things:

    1. They get paid on commission.

    Tell them your required salary range; anything below that reject immediately and tell them not to bother you with such interviews again.

    They will try to maximize your salary within limits. (well, most of them*.) A low commission is more than zero commission. How much they balance churn vs. individual maximization varies a lot. Keep your eyes open.

    2. They do not, as the diarist says, give a shit if the job is actually a good fit for you.

    Give them a quick and loud NO the first time they try to stick you into a bad interview. That will reduce the chaff they send at you. If you don't give them that first NO they bombard you with crap.

    3. They don't care if they waste your time

    running around to useless interviews, after all that's your time not theirs.

    4. They only get their commission if you stay a certain amount of time.

    If you end up accepting a bad match be prepared for lots of follow-up phone calls subtly pressuring you to stay for a year to "see if things get better".

    5. and finally Don't be afraid to switch recruiters.

    If they are throwing you chaff and no wheat, find a new recruiter. There are lots of them out there, and some are definitely better than others.

    Of course all the above is in the face of a bad economy. Do what you have to.

    * I had this once recruiter pencil in a third of my required salary into his forms. Not much more than minimum wage. After about 2 minutes of back-and-forth, I told him not to call me. I've no idea what game this guy was playing, but a recruiter pushing minimum wage? That rat stank.

    "What could BPossibly go wrong??" -RLMiller "God is just pretend." - eru

    by nosleep4u on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 09:54:39 AM PDT

  •  Hey now (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CuriousBoston, Flying Goat
    As I'm not a social worker, I expect to be paid!
    I resemble that remark!

    I shall die, but that is all that I shall do for Death; I am not on his payroll. - Edna St. Vincent Millay

    by Tara the Antisocial Social Worker on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 11:51:59 AM PDT

  •  favorite salary description: Depends On Experience (3+ / 0-)

    DOE has nothing to do with your work experience and everything to do with your salary negotiation skills.

    Another favorite I've seen is "Market". This is usually followed by a ridiculous laundry list of qualifications that will get you the job. Why would I apply for a job that requires stellar qualification on my part when they are only willing to pay going market salary?

    When I cannot sing my heart. I can only speak my mind.

    by Unbozo on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 01:33:44 PM PDT

  •  Don't get me STAAHTED on recruiters. Nowadays, (3+ / 0-)

    they're usually Indians, hiding behind names like Jack Armstrong--as if one word out of their mouths won't give the lie to that. I've been sorely tempted to tell "Jack" that my name is Prithvinder Chakravarti, just for symmetry.

    Indian or not, it's annoying to get form letters (often with my name missing, e.g. "Hello, _! I saw your resume and thought you'd be a perfect fit!", and especially annoying to get contacted about a job for which I have no experience. I have no experience being a database administrator, for example, yet time and again, I get a note about the great DBA position So-and-So has for me.

    What really turns my crank, however, are the perky articles about what to do and what to avoid--as though there were so many jobs out there, one could handle making a few mistakes, or one's background was so wonderful that the only real worry was making a goof. I had a friend tell me he'd applied for a number of jobs for which he was a perfect fit, only to be told he wasn't what they were looking for. I'm sure the fact that he's 55 didn't help. But according to the perky articles, there's no age discrimination out there.

    Biggest beef of all is with the "Don't ever be negative" stuff. "Don't ever, ever, EVER say a negative thing about your previous employer! If you do, the recruiter will wonder what you'll say about HER company!" etc. etc. Oh, I see! My previous job featured a hostile environment, managers who couldn't find their heinies with both hands, and impossible workload, etc. etc., but all we're allowed to say is transparent dissembling like "I wanted a better match for my skills"? What utter, evil bullshit.

  •  5 years looking for a job years ago (0+ / 0-)

    The thing that struck a note with me was the lack of professionalism of the interviewers. "Sorry, haven't had a chance to read your resume." Groan!

    The only thing that worked for me was dumping the entire search process and volunteering at non-profits. Director of volunteer ushers at a symphony orchestra introduced me to hundreds of people and they all think I'm the cat's whiskers. Employers are impressed with my volunteer duties. I eventually had a paid job with the symphony until I moved on. I know you can't afford to do that but how much are you earning on the standard work search?  

    Another thing that worked to my advantage was to take a low paying job (in spite of my two degrees) and work my way up. It took me about five years to work my way from lowly secretary to media writer at a PBS station. In later years having PBS on my resume was the one thing that got me interviews. A small publisher actually made me a book editor where I learned graphic arts on the job. Now I incorporate my graphic design skills into my new job.

    The traditional route never worked for me.  It was like some kind of deranged karma. I just wished it hadn't taken me so long to realize it. I never made a lot of money but at least I had steady employment in diverse fields.

  •  Thank you Ticorules! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Your diary inspired me to write MY diary, FMLA: Babies are Cuter Than Your Ailing Parent.  

    After having taken time off to see my Mama, and as it turned out my best dog, out of this world - I find myself being "transitioned" out of a job.  I am tasked with training my 21 y.o. replacement, (who is pregnant),  doing MY job, and looking for another job.   Your diary offers us all an unvarnished look at the current state of "employment" in this country.  I very much thank you for it.

    "The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it." - Flannery O'Conner

    by Dixiedemocrat on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 01:09:03 PM PDT

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