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The good, the bad and the ugly of surviving on the job

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8 Worst Practices for Conducting Job Interviews

job interviews, hiring managers, job applicants, career advice, bad interviewers

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If you’ve been following me on my blog, I’ve been doing posts about the bad conduct of job interviewers and the politics involved with hiring managers who taunt you with a job and then pull the rug out from under you. These are my personal chronicles– the worst practices for conducting job interviews and I’m sharing them because I think it’s important to call out bad behavior. So many career sites fail to address this repeat pattern of obnoxious and cruel hiring practices. Seriously, how many articles do you need that tells you how to dress for an interview?

Unemployed people need truthful and honest look at what is going on, not thinly-veiled hustle for page views or job coach clients.

I’m willing to bet that companies will start instituting better hiring practices if more people called them out on their thoughtless hiring practices. Believe it or not the first five offenses was committed by one guy, in one company, in the course of one phone conversation.

1. Not reading the resume/cover letter of the job applicants

I sent in an application for a community manager’s position at an online dating service modeled like the Meet-up groups. The owner of the company, let’s call him Dopey, sent me an email asking for some links to my writing samples and links to my social media accounts. Funny because I had included them all in the cover letter I’d submitted. So I re-sent the requested info. After few email exchanges, the guy agreed to do a phone interview with me. He asked me to call at a mutually agreed date and time— 12-noon the next day.

2. Forgets about the interview and loses my resume

When I called, a man who sounded like he was just waking up answered the phone. I introduced myself, reminded him of the interview and Dopey, finally remembering, put me on hold so he could get my resume. When he returned he said he couldn’t find it but just wanted me to tell me about myself. I did a verbal resume rundown of my past experiences.

The Ladders - Find a Great Job Now

3. Asking illegal questions

He told me a little about his company and suddenly he asked me how old I was. Generally employers know that they are not allowed to ask job applicants their age during a job interview.

Lawsuit anyone?

4. Picks a fight

When I told him I’d rather not answer the question he gets pushy. “Why are you being so defensive,” he asked. I told him that my age wasn’t relevant to the job. He said age did matter because people who work at his company often go out for drinks after work and he needed to hire someone who would be comfortable with late hours— older people don’t like to hang out. Of course this is jerk-speak for “I want to hire only young and hip people.”

5. Gets pushy and insulting
Even after I remind him that it was illegal for employers to ask job candidates their age during an interview he still keeps pushing. “Are you so old that you’re embarrassed to reveal your age?”

At that point I just hung up on him. Clearly the guy was a jerk and why would I want to work for jerk?

<<Next page, low-balling the salary>>

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Reader Feedback

6 Responses to “8 Worst Practices for Conducting Job Interviews”

  • Chris says:

    Great Article, It is nice to hear that others have experienced this kind of unprofessional behavior. I went to a third Job interview once, where I met the “team” I would be working with. Later that week I had an MRI scheduled for an issue with my knee which was just out of place so I had a limp. During the interview I was asked by one of the team Why I had a limp and did I think my limp would prevent me from working. Illegal question due to it could have been a disability. The team jumped in and stated they should not have asked that question and tried to distract me from the question. It was a social service counseling place

  • Ji Hyun Lee says:

    @Chris. They broke the law and what’s worse, they admitted it!

  • jrandom42 says:

    Here’s one: A company I had applied to, had me in for several highly sophisticated, in-depth technical interviews with their senior IT staff. I was asked a larger number of very detailed and specific questions concerning upgrading and managing several parts of their IT infrastructure. After the fifth day-long interview, I didn’t hear from them for a couple of weeks. Then they started putting me off, saying they had to go through their process. After another 9 weeks fo frustration, they finally admitted they hired someone else 6 week ago, at 1/3 of the salary were posting for the position! Needless to say I was a more than a little miffed, that they simply pumped my brain for ideas, and hired someone else to do the work for a fraction that I would have been paid.

    I did get some measure of revenge. The company reposted the opening again 5 months later, altering the job description just enough to lead me to believe that whoever they had hired was unable to perform the most critical parts of the upgrades, and that they needed someone to come in, clean up the mess, and start over. I smiled, because there was no way I was going to go in and bail them out after they way they treated me.

  • Ji Hyun Lee says:

    @jrandom– I’ve seen this happen and I applaud you!

  • Tracy M says:

    How about an executive director scheduling a phone interview and not calling me because – it turned out – he was in Alaska out of cell phone reach, and he’d already hired someone else?

  • Ji Hyun Lee says:

    @Tracy,that’s pretty obnoxious what he did. Of course I’m not surprised.

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