Archive for the ‘Job Hunt’ Category

Service of Unanswered Questions or None of Your Business

Monday, March 29th, 2021

Photo: theschoolrun.com

I hate to admit how old I was before I could parry an unwelcome question. Before you could find out real estate sale prices online a friend asked me what we got for our co-op apartment. My answer: “We got what we asked.”  These days I reply bluntly to intrusive questions. I’ll say: “I don’t want to talk about it,” or I change the subject.

“Going on an interview?” you’d hear in the workplace if a colleague who usually wore casual clothes was dressed to the nines.

Photo: nicolabartlett.de

And then there’s the nag who starts every conversation with “Did you get that job yet?” It’s especially grating when you’ve told the person you’ll let them know and to please stay off the subject.

There’s a health question on some job applications: “Did you ever have cancer, epilepsy, mental health problems?” to name just a few of the listed diseases. The applicant’s choice of responses are “Yes,” “No,” and “I don’t want to answer.”

Photo: womensweb.in

When a state adds to its list of vaccine-eligible citizens those at risk of Covid-19 due to underlying health conditions the nosy get to work. “Medical privacy has become the latest casualty of vaccination efforts, as friends, co-workers and even total strangers ask intrusive questions about personal health conditions,” Tara Parker-Pope wrote in a New York Times article, “‘How Did You Qualify?’ For the Young and Vaccinated, Rude Questions and Raised Eyebrows.”

If you check “I don’t want to answer ” to health questions on job applications will the reader assume that the answer is “Yes,” you have had one of the listed diseases? When you’re asked an intrusive question, do you feel obliged to answer? If not, what wording works best for you? What are other examples of questions you’d rather not answer?

Photo: boldomatic.com

Service of the Humbling Job Hunt That Doesn’t Have to Be

Monday, July 22nd, 2019

Photo: careerbuilder.com

I remember an interview at a major PR firm years ago. I left walking on a cloud even though there were no jobs for me. The HR manager was spectacular–he made me feel great about my career and my prospects and we laughed a lot.

Encouraging job-seekers is the gold standard and should be the mission of anyone responsible for adding staff or is in even the smallest part of the process. Unfortunately, it’s not the case as often as it should be. A positive approach and refusal also goes for decision-makers inviting vendors to bid on a project.

I’ve covered the tribulations of job hunting before, most recently last December in “Service of Employee Behavior” where I protested how important a simple follow up to a scrubbed candidate is, especially after the person has prepared for and gone through an interview process. If for no other reason, it frees the conscientious candidate from making repeated follow-ups to no avail. It is respectful and reflects well on the company.

Photo: mediabistro.com

There are exceptions: when the reply is a putdown the recipient would have been better off with silence. An example was the arrogant response to a friend’s outreach to a communications company which inspired this post. He was told he “wasn’t a fit.” [Actually, he was.] The reaction of a colleague, to whom I shared this incident, was “at least he got a reply. Most people don’t.”

Another friend arranges her calendar around the many telephone interviews that are essential to her job hunt. She waited for one scheduled call, rang the person when the phone stayed mute for minutes after the appointed time. Eventually she called him and left a  him a voicemail message.  She never again heard from this person. Outrageous.

A top editor told me, after she was laid off and had become a freelance writer, how sorry she was that she’d been so abrupt with or unresponsive to writers who’d approached her with story ideas after she’d experienced how it felt to be on the other side of the ask.

Is self-importance the rule or the exception for those in the hiring business whether for a job or a project? Have you come across exemplary people in these roles or outstandingly nasty ones?

Photo: integrativestaffing.com

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