Job Interviewing and Dating:
I believe the process of job interviews and dating are very similar. I recently worked with a candidate who was applying for a specific job, and I just wanted to say I was proud of this friend and the outcome. As we went through the process, I kept on using the dating analogy to compare and contrast her interviewing process. Going through the interview process can be like going through the dating process. At the end of the process, you want a relationship with someone or a company where there is respect, you enjoy each other’s company, and feel like both sides are getting something out of the relationship.
Dating: You are excited about the potential, but you need to keep your guard up because there are still a lot of creeps out there. You want to be excited, but just like dating; you go through a lot of dates before committing to a significant other. This works for both sides.
Job Interview: It started with the ad. A job posting asking for a “do it all admin” specifically mentioning HR, Accounting, and the ability to get a refrigerator by Friday for $250.00. The ad also mentioned that the pay range was $30-$40K and that the company had both won awards in the industry and was profitable. All reasonable sounding.
Dating Ad: Good looking, well dressed, single HWP, male looking for a single female who is a go-getter and enjoys Jazz and R&B live performances.
Job Interview: After turning in her resume and a great cover letter, she got a request to “write an ad” for PR purposes. The questions were pretty sophisticated and not at all what one would ask an office admin to do. The other thing that was odd was that the homework was not on HR or Accounting like the ad mentioned. She is scrappy though and put together an impressive response. She was “one of 4 out of 170” applicants that were asked to come in and talk with the CEO.
Dating: It was as if the ad said they enjoyed Jazz and R&B music but the first date was going to be a Heavy Metal concert. Not a good first date choice!
Job Interview: After going through all of the efforts with the cover letter, resume and phone calls, our candidate had quite a bit of an emotional investment in the process and was excited about the opportunity. What do I have to lose, let’s check it out!
Date: It is that happy excited period during the dating process where hope and promise fill the air. Where you are waiting for him to call, wondering what you should wear on the first date to make the right impression, and maybe go get a haircut and manicure. You waver between shaving the legs or not.
Job Interview: After meeting with the CEO our candidate was excited about the position. The CEO was gracious enough. “BUT” . . .there were no benefits, no sick time, and the salary was at the very bottom of the range offered. It wasn’t discussed, but it is assumed based on the conversation that there is no parking involved for a position that will require a car in a downtown metropolitan area. $250 a month is the going rate for parking in this city.
Date: First date and HWP Male didn’t have a job or a car!!!! WTF???? These are the basics. You don’t post an ad without a car (benefits) or a job (parking when the car is required)! If you want a high maintenance woman, you are going to need to come to the party with some top-shelf alcohol and wear some expensive jeans. Gap jeans are not going to cut it here.
Job Interview: After going through all of the efforts with the cover letter, resume, phone calls and the interview, our candidate had quite a bit of an emotional investment in the process and was excited about the opportunity.
Date: The online ad and picture look good. I thought about an intelligent response, thought about our first date, wondered what he was really like, and despite all that can and usually does go wrong when meeting someone new, still very optimistic.
Job Interview: After the in-person interview (first date), our candidate was called back a week later and offered the position over the phone. She had a single interview with one person. She didn’t meet anyone else in the office. The offer was at the lowest end of the salary range listed in the original ad.
There were a number of yellow flags around this offer, including the lack of benefits, lack of parking which would cost her $5K a year, and the fact that the offer would “expire” within 18 hours. She was also asked to turn in her two-week notice to her job before an offer letter was delivered.
Dating Scene: You want me to be exclusive after the first date??? This is the year 2010. I haven’t met your friends. And I don’t want to bring this backup, but there is the little thing about a lack of a car (benefits) and a job (parking for a position where a car is required)? We won’t even talk about what the low-end offer implied.
Job Interview: To offer a solution to the salary she went to talk with the CEO and asked for a review in 3 months with the potential for an increase. She explained we were both putting faith in each other and both taking a chance. I thought the approach was very reasonable. She was told that it was company policy and that a 6-month review was the norm. It was explained that this was a great opportunity and that she would receive experience she would have on her resume for 10 years!!! It was also pointed out that the increase she was asking for was 15%.
Dating Scene: Communication and compromise.
Job Interview: It almost seemed as if this company wanted to take advantage of the economy and capitalize on some desperate candidate. Thing is, they picked a candidate that was employed by a Fortune 100 company. This was not a desperate candidate; this was the cream of the lot.
Dating Scene: This is the hot chick!
- No benefits for a profitable company in this day-and-age is just “weird”. Burger places offer benefits!
- Telling the candidate that the raise was 15% seemed weak. She was asking for this as a counter to the low ball offer and felt she was backed into asking for this because of the low ball offer.
- She was told by the CEO that they were not expecting to pay more than $30K. (they advertised $30K- $40K in the ad, and was offered the very low-end after they sifted through 170 candidates?)
- No sick time. This seems very short-sighted. To me, the message they are sending to people does not only do we not care if you are sick, we want you to come into the office and get everyone else sick.
In the end, the candidate declined the offer and I am really proud of her. This isn’t a company I would want to work for. There is a balance between saving money and creating an amazing work environment, but I think it starts with common decency. If you aren’t feeling right about the workplace in your gut as you go through the interview process, it probably isn’t the right place for you. Don’t be bullied by the employer, the HR person, or the CEO. No one is going to look out for you but yourself.
Dating Scene: The candidate called up the parents and asked them for their opinion. The parents were a little shocked at the lack of benefits, low ball offer, and the lack of sick time. Basically, the talk at the kitchen table and the first date didn’t go over well with the parents.
Don’t date a jerk and we will see you at the after party
nasty: an unreal maneuver of incredible technique, something that is ridiculously good, tricky and manipulative but with a result that can’t help but be admired, a phrase used to describe someone who is good at something. “He has a nasty forkball”.
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