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Interview Tales - trends, offers, rejections etc.

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[OP]
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May 4, 2010
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Interview Tales - trends, offers, rejections etc.

This thread is for those looking for employment, the purpose is to discuss your interviews and any trends you've noticed with the interview and offer stages. Here is my tale with one month of unemployment under my belt (I was looking while employed as well):

I've had approx. five interviews past three months including with recruiters, zero offers to date. Here is the breakdown:

Full Time Roles:
-Three interviews where the company ended up changing their minds about the role.
a) One was with an industry specific recruitment company. I was very qualified for the role they emailed me with and found out that the day before (when they still had a chance to contact me so we could both avoid wasting each others time) that their client had upgraded the title and job. I took the day off and commuted down. It was obvious to both of us that I wasn't qualified, it appeared the senior recruiter hadn't even looked at my resume and went 'its not like you have a TON of experience' well duh! that's why I'm not applying to jobs I'm not qualified for! they said they'd put me forward regardless and that it would be a 'tough sell' and I never heard from them again. Super unprofessional. Got prescreen and interview right away when I responded to opportunity.

b) One was with a company also through a recruiter (the most professional one to date) I had to lie and take the day off to commute two hours to this interview. Really probed as to why I was leaving current job and seemed suspicious. Got a call three weeks later and apparently according to lady on phone, I interviewed well but the job became p/t and went to someone internally. Prescreen and interview within a week.

c) One was a call I got today for another company where I did a prescreen with an HR Coordinator and a recorded Skype interview approx three weeks ago. They decided not to hire for that role anymore and now its more of an HR role, I was asked if I was interested but told them I wasn't. Was told they'd keep me in mind for they hire again for the original position in January. Three weeks for whole process, prescreen/Skype/verdict.

- interview where there ended up being a more qualified candidate, the process was long winded with a prescreen and two interviews including a test of software (excel, inDesign). Approx. two months total for whole process.

- interview with a company, where I filled out an application form on their website a month ago (and actually got a call back from it, shockingly enough!) the best phone interview to date. Then face to face with someone else. She is interviewing four other people and hasn't contacted my references yet. From my track record I'm not expecting a great response. Never heard back despite followup.

Entry Level Contract jobs:
-A group interview for a very entry level role. It went well but it was two hours long! We had to act out scenarios and go around and answer questions individually. Basically getting 'hired' means going on a call list for any opportunities. Got the opportunity to be on this companies call list for future shifts. One and a half weeks to get response.

Conclusion:
- Even while employed it's not easy to get an offer, it is easier to get an interview.
- Companies in my industry don't seem to know what their needs are, have junior level coordinators for prescreens that don't know the job
- If you're in a junior role be prepared to be treated like dirt, go through numerous loopholes to hear the final verdict weeks later.
- Third party Recruiters will most likely waste your time unless you have years of exact experience and are worth while to them. I will respond with resume if they initiate contact but I will be more cautious before meeting for sure.
- An interview is a good sign but doesn't mean much, it can go great but it means nothing until you have a written offer.
- A lot of companies and their recruiters/HR departments, hiring managers will say and do anything and it should be taken with a grain of salt.

Anyone else care to share? how many interviews to date? any strange interviews? interview questions? trends? etc.
425 replies
Sr. Member
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Jun 1, 2012
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The infuriating thing for me was, on more than one occasion I was called for an interview only out of sheer curiosity by the employer. They had no intention of hiring me. And they would often ask in the interview "how can someone so highly qualified be unemployed?". > :(
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Jun 29, 2009
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blackestnight wrote: And they would often ask in the interview "how can someone so highly qualified be unemployed?". > :(
Dang I was pretty sure this had come from Mark77 ... I guess he has an apprentice
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Nov 22, 2004
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sorry to hear about your ordeal...that really is just bad luck. hope you hear something good from the ones you haven't heard from.

mind telling us what's your experience/academic background and what kind of jobs you're going for?
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Realtor @ Royal LePage United Realty
[OP]
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May 4, 2010
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Im looking for 'early career' type of jobs. I have approx. 2 years of experience. I'm looking in the marketing/advertising industry where your academic background is pretty much irrelevant. People have degrees from all kinds of backgrounds - psychology, history etc. I do have marketing in my schooling but that's not what gets me interviews. Its my relevant experience first and foremost.

I can't complain too hard, the fact that I'm getting the interviews that I am means I'm doing something right. Three out of five role changes from the company is not in my favour.

Anyone else in the same boat? Doesn't have to be in the same industry, I mean having employers change their minds last minute etc.
Sr. Member
Aug 30, 2008
875 posts
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ON
Well keep your spirits up. I finally landed a job after five months, was looking while unemployed as well. Here were my experiences...

1) phone interview: the company decided to freeze hiring until sometime next year even though the hiring manager (not HR) told my recruiter things went well. So the I learned to never get your hopes up, ever. :P I wonder if that was a nice way to reject me but guess I will never find out.

2) was told by a recruiter that a company is interested in me, but after a lot of back and forth follow up... The recruiter basically forgot about this entire job... I totally felt like he was leading me on for weeks, but maybe the client just changed their mind. Already learned my lesson from #1 so I wasn't disappointed.

3) got a phone interview with a job I applied for, followed by interview and offer. Surprisingly went super fast... I guess they needed people because they wanted me to start sooner than later. The job matches where I am in terms of skills and where I want to develop.. so...all is well except I have to move far from home.

4) phone screening interview: longest phone screening interview ever with a mix of generic questions and some harder ones. The HR staff also informed me that this job is actually a contract position, which they didn't advertise... I tried my best at this interview anyway and got a call back for an in-person interview. I was interviewing for job 3 at the time, so I wouldn't be able to make it. I was really surprised that a company would expect all their candidates (especially ones with a current job) to be able to take off a weekday, with less than two days notice.. I guess it's really an employer's market right now.

So yeah based on my experience employers change their minds all the time... I read an article that compares a recruiter's candidates as "inventory".. Pretty true lol. I guess I have learned to take nothing for granted. You just have to deal with a lot of rejection but remember you only need that one employer you want to say yes to you.
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Nov 22, 2004
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Edited post. Had a change of heart and didn't feel like sharing my SOB story. All the best, OP :)
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Realtor @ Royal LePage United Realty
[OP]
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May 4, 2010
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Thanks Clueless Fox and Stardustcross, I guess a part of this thread is knowing that people do manage to find work after a period of unemployment.

I'm also genuinely curious to hear about how many interviews it took for posters, what the process in your industries was like and any conclusions reached.


I just had another third party recruiter contact me, as stated above, I will remain cautious.
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Feb 15, 2008
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Umm, let's see. Local company. Hiring potentially 600 people. Puts up a job ad for an Electrical Engineer. Receives resumes, including my own, that match the required qualifications closely. Keeps re-advertising the same job on local and even national job websites, but doesn't even bother to interview myself or the other applicants.

I know the company is real. I even have a few friends in trades-type jobs who have been hired. But they keep jerking people around on the engineering roles.
[OP]
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I wonder what the reasoning behind that is? Are they just being super picky or they're trying to get the most out of their job hosting site (posting to make the most of the money spent on the ad), maybe its a marketing ploy to make the company seem like its doing better than it is to it's competitors. Perhaps they're looking for the purple unicorn at the end of the rainbow that doesn't exist.
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C_C wrote: I wonder what the reasoning behind that is? Are they just being super picky or they're trying to get the most out of their job hosting site (posting to make the most of the money spent on the ad), maybe its a marketing ploy to make the company seem like its doing better than it is to it's competitors. Perhaps they're looking for the purple unicorn at the end of the rainbow that doesn't exist.

Hard to imagine that they're 'super picky' when they're not even making inquiries of individuals who match the required qualifications.

I suspect they've already picked someone, but are just leaving the ad up to hedge their position until the person is actually on-the-job, and fully committed to the company.
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Jun 1, 2012
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damnos wrote: Dang I was pretty sure this had come from Mark77 ... I guess he has an apprentice
I dont consider myself highly qualified, nor do I feel like I am entitled to some great job. I had some experiences like that, so I thought I would share them.
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Sep 18, 2011
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AURORA
I had a bad incident this summer actually in August.....
So I'd applied to this company in FEBRUARY and they somehow looked over my resume and contacted me in JULY. They are based in Montreal and they wanted to have a Skype interview with me. So I decided and went ahead. Put on a nice shirt and a tie, eventhough it was a skype...just trying to look my best. Had a script with me and i did very well. in the end of the interview she decided to proceed to the second interview. She said she'll email me and give me a date when the next person to interview you is. She did and the next person was some VP Operations or some sort. Thats cool!
But heres the flip.... having the Montreal-French-Quebecois mentality...she forgot that she put me in at the Civic Holiday. They have one office which is in Montreal and then satellite offices which basically are a room or so that they share with a few other companies in Toronto - Airport Road to be exact. Since they dont run their office, they cant open it on a holiday and thus.... they must do it at a coffee shop. So whats the coffee shop they decide...Tim Hortons..
Not a problem right?
I google map the tim hortons (which was on Airport Road in Toronto) to find out its a drive through. Ok, so where would we sit?
I kindly messaged the lady in Montreal to inform her about this issue, citing its a drive through and suggesting that we meet across the street..only a 26 second walk to a Hilton Hotel where we can sit relaxed in the front without any problems.
She messaged me back saying to figure it out with him in the morning. The Interview was at 930am on a Civic Monday. What was cool was that no one was on the highway at that time so it was a breeze to pass and get to the airport on time.

I come there, prepared, waiting for him and about 10 minutes before the interview starts, he calls me and says that he JUST REALIZED that it was a drive through (even though his satellite office is right down and im assuming any typical office worker would go down to get coffee from timmys) and that there is another timmy's down Airport Road where we can sit comfortably. Fine...so its about 9:27 now I rush back in and get to the other timmys. The VP of Operations is his car, I get my suite, put everything on and do the interview. He gets coffee and ofcourse, tim hortons is always packed so it takes like 5 minutes to get the order. He was nice enough to buy a small coffee for me. We sat down and got the interview ready - eventhough their was a lot of rokus in the background from people who have their day off as well as Airport employees having their morning break.

In brief, he came from St. Catherine's in the morning. So he left his place at like...6-7ish. The reason why they didn't reschedule it is because the job requires a lot of travel and travel from Sunday/Monday to Friday (including my potential postion) so he was basically prepared to take off or sit around the GTA until he has his flight later on in the day.
- He didnt read my resume.
- He was bittchin about the flight and work lifestyle of the company.
- He wasnt prepapred.
- Didnt ask any, meaningful, relevant questions other than why should we hire you (3x in different forms).
- He cut me off and said he had to go.

In the end, I got a reply from the lady in Montreal saying i got shortlisted and thank you but no thank you.....
The only thanks I got was missing out on a Long weekend, but thank you.......you guys were wonderful! Free 1.25 coffee from this company...what a time to be alive!
[OP]
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May 4, 2010
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wowww, that sucks. Just be glad you didn't end up working someplace so disorganized.

I think a lot of people tend to forget that hiring is a two way street (as hard as it can be to imagine if you need a paycheque) that you're just as much trying to determine the environment through the hiring process. You can learn A LOT and it can make or break your decision to join the company should the opportunity be offered, I think more companies need to get this.
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Same company just advertised the same position (Electrical Engineer) at the local university, even though they're already sitting on many resumes and haven't even bothered to interview people.

:( .

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