By Angela Rose, Hcareers.com
The U.S. job market is a tough one right now. In some industries, there are numerous available positions waiting for job seekers to fill them; in others, the pickings are slim. And in all, competition for the best positions is fierce. After submitting dozens of resumes and cover letters, and wrestling for hours with online application systems that are anything but user friendly, landing an interview can feel like finding the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Unfortunately, as the old saying goes, all that glitters is not gold. Consider the seven worst things about job interviews.
1. The silent phone
Because of the sheer volume of applications and resumes they receive, many employers find it necessary to screen candidates by phone before selecting the best for in-person interviews. Unfortunately, some seem to disregard the value of their applicants’ time, calling late or even failing to call at all.
2. The interviewer who runs behind
Every employer wants to hire a candidate who knows how to manage his or her time. Unfortunately, not all hiring managers are that great at time management themselves. In these instances, it is not unheard of for in-person interviews to run thirty minutes to an hour behind.
3. The interviewer who hasn’t read your resume
As ludicrous as it sounds, this scenario happens quite frequently. Maybe the person who was supposed to interview you is out sick. Perhaps the human resources department never passed on your resume. Your interview is now off to an awkward start.
4. The interviewer who loves “creative” questions
If you were a Popsicle, what flavor would you be? What is your favorite tree and why? If you could go back in time and kill one person, who would you choose? Questions like these rarely serve any real purpose, yet hiring managers who feel a need to get creative with the interview process ask them regardless.
5. The “just for show” interview
In some companies, the human resources department must interview a certain number of candidates before making a job offer to the chosen one. If you have the unfortunate luck of interviewing after they’ve already met their match, you may find yourself out the door in a flash.
6. The group interview
Maybe it’s the fault of reality television shows like Survivor and The Apprentice. Or perhaps the hiring manager is clueless and short on time. Whatever the reason, some job seekers will find themselves in the midst of group interviews, forced to answer questions and pitch their worth alongside competitors for the position.
7. The silent phone, part two
Your interview felt like a success. The representative shook your hand and said you’d hear from her with a decision in a week. Three weeks later, the phone is still silent. Like a boat that enters the Bermuda Triangle, some hiring managers are never heard from again.
While these are our selections for the seven worst things about job interviews, it’s unlikely that you’ll encounter them all unless you make a career out of job searching and have extraordinarily bad luck. However, you may experience one or two of these annoying situations. If you do, remember: This pot may be full of fool’s gold, but the next could be brimming with the real thing.
About the Author
Angela Rose researches and writes about job search strategy, career management, hiring trends and workplace issues for Hcareers.com.