By Jack Kelly
I hear from candidates every day who are upset with the interview process. They don’t openly complain on social media because they don’t want to be blacklisted or for their boss to notice that they are looking for a new job. However, privately, job seekers freely share their opinions with me. To say that they’re not happy is an understatement. Spoiler alert: people who are looking for a new job are furious with the poor treatment that they receive during their job search. Here are just some of the grievances that they have shared with me.
- The application process is horrendous. People claim that the online application is fraught with glitches and lengthy questions that require too much personal data. Job seekers find the applications to be duplicative since people are simultaneously required to upload their résumé that contains the same exact information. To add insult to injury, the companies that post the job advertisements don’t even have the courtesy to provide a computer-generated email confirming receipt of the application. The companies, except maybe in a rare occurrence, don’t bother to have a human contact the people who have applied to their job listings. Candidates are left feeling as if their résumés and personal information are lost in some corporate black hole.
- The job description provided is long, riddled with corporate jargon and buzzwords and contains too many unrealistic bullet points that don’t even offer what it’s really like to work at the company. It is all about what they want from the person, but not anything about what the company could do for the potential employee. The compensation listed, if listed at all, is almost always far too low—relative to their demands.
- Many accuse companies of being one-sided when coordinating interviews with candidates. Interview times are dictated by corporate representatives without any sensitivity to the applicant’s time and current work responsibilities. The candidate’s time is not valued.
- The new trend is having introductory phone calls instead of the traditional in-person interview. Job seekers complain that it makes the process feel cold and impersonal. They say that if the company is really interested, why wouldn’t the person be invited in to meet directly with the human resources professional and the hiring manager? It feels, according to many, that this reflects poorly on companies, as they cannot even be bothered to expend the time and effort to conduct meaningful, face-to-face interviews. Interestingly, people tell me that the phone interview is often time blown off. Whether on purpose, due to forgetfulness or attending to another more important matter, the company representative either cancels the call or just doesn’t make the call or is unavailable when the candidate calls for their appointed time.
- It is commonplace not to receive any feedback or constructive criticism after an interview.
- Job seekers are pushed into meeting with 5-to-10 people over a 3-to-6-month period of time. In between interviews, there are long periods in which they don’t receive any communications from the company. It’s not unusual for weeks to go by and then receive an email requiring an interview the next morning at a certain time, regardless of the applicant’s prior engagements and responsibilities.
- Even after attending multiple interviews, job seekers are ghosted. They never hear back from the company. Email and phone calls go unanswered and the applicant is simply ignored and forgotten.
- The company is cryptic about the actual pay, why the job is open, what happened to the last person who held the role and the future growth path; however, they demand to know specifics about what the candidate would accept for a salary and every detail about their work-life experience.
- After a lengthy and stressful interview process, including conversations about compensation, a low-ball offer is presented.
- Some companies make it a practice not to provide a written offer unless a verbal offer is accepted first. It is accompanied by intense pressure to say “yes” right away—without time to deliberate on the offer.
- Oftentimes, senior-level executives claim that they are subjected to the whims of very young and inexperienced professionals who don’t seem to know much about the role. These executives also say that company representatives are afraid to get on a phone call or in-person meetings, as they rely on emails and texts, almost as if they’re hiding behind technology. They’ll tell me that they feel the corporate personnel are rude, dismissive, demanding, insensitive and pompous. They won’t follow up on things required of them and fail to apologize when they make scheduling errors and other mistakes. They feel that the younger employees are not so subtly discriminating against them, due to their age.
Hopefully, by sharing these stories, some light is shined on the candidate experience.
I’m not trying to hurt anyone’s feelings. These are just a portion of what I have been told. To be fair, of course, candidates who don’t receive job offers could just be venting—or projecting. I recently wrote a piece about the ridiculous things job seekers do that sabotage their chances of getting a job. People could just be upset that they put all of this time into the interview process and don’t have anything to show for it—except for a bruised ego. There are rude, inconsiderate and self-important candidates that are dreadful. It’s a two-way street in which both parties need to put their best foot forward and respect one another.