Another Painful Interviewing Experience

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Parafreegal in Chicago, Illinois

36 months ago

I can't tell you how many strange, weird and/or inappropriate interview experiences I've had while being unemployed. The latest instance is a crushing blow. I am educated, experienced and relatively intelligent, but I have a gap on my resume that I just cannot get past that makes me feel I will never be employed again.

The latest instance of an odd interview was in a second interview I had within 72 hours of the first interview at the same place. The first interview went very well. I don't think I've ever had an interview go so well. I thought I had an excellent chance of getting the job. And then the second interview happened.

The second interview started off badly because the guy had not looked at my resume before sitting down to the interview and it was the first time he'd seen that I was unemployed. And that's when the fun started. This guy hammered away every way he could on my unemployment within the legal limits. Fully one-third of the interview was a beating concerning the how and why of my period of unemployment.

The other two-thirds of the interview were a constant pounding on my job experience, focusing mostly on what I had not done. The questioning and back and forth was entirely negative. It was almost like I was on trial and not in an interview. And the positivity I felt after the first interview was completely wiped away. I walked out of the second interview totally dejected and despondent. It upset me for three days.

I didn't think I had a chance at the job, but people told me stories about how they felt the same and then got the job, so I went ahead and wrote three thank you emails to the people with whom I'd communicated concerning these interviews, with the email to the guy who conducted interview two being very detailed to address the remaining loose ends from the interview and make my pitch to be hired.

Today, 12 days after the second interview, I received an email at 8 p.m. notifying me that I wasn't chosen.

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Parafreegal in Chicago, Illinois

36 months ago

I just don't know what to do anymore. Just getting a reply to a resume is a challenge. A first interview is a miracle. A second interview is the second coming. But on the two occasions I had second interviews recently, I experienced a brutal personality conducting it and behavior and questioning that were inappropriate.

These people did second interviews and called all of my references! And now this?

It all just makes a person feel worthless and like they'll never be good enough to ever get another job.

This latest experience has made me beyond angry. What's good enough anymore to get hired? It just seems insurmountable.

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designer bee in Waukesha, Wisconsin

36 months ago

It's interviews like that make you wonder if you want to work with companies like that. You have to wonder if the person is always a jerk or is just testing you. They have to realize that you don't know them and they are representing the company. Is this the way the company wants others to see them as? I don't get it. Why treat others with rude behavior?

The place I work at now had 2 good interviews with me and then came the third interview where it made me wonder what it was like to work for them. I couldn't tell if they were being serious with me with the strange comments or just testing me. I walked out of there not feeling that good about the whole thing. I wasn't even that excited about the job after that. I haven't had any problems with them yet since I started working there in Oct. No idea why they acted the way they did in the interview. It turns out the the owner has kind of a weird sense of humor where I can't tell when he's joking or not. I hate that, because I don't know what to think, but he often not there so I don't worry about it much. Everyone else has been nice so I can't complain. I just wish it was full time and not so far to drive.

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Bluetea in Texas

36 months ago

Parafreegal in Chicago, Illinois said: I just don't know what to do anymore. Just getting a reply to a resume is a challenge. A first interview is a miracle. A second interview is the second coming. But on the two occasions I had second interviews recently, I experienced a brutal personality conducting it and behavior and questioning that were inappropriate.

These people did second interviews and called all of my references! And now this?

It all just makes a person feel worthless and like they'll never be good enough to ever get another job.

This latest experience has made me beyond angry. What's good enough anymore to get hired? It just seems insurmountable.

It's soul crushing and its happened to all of us. Understand that many people have not been affected by "the economy" and hold little sympathy for those of us who have been.

Some companies will just pass on you, the minute they see "a gap" on your application. This is probably the more humane way of doing it as opposed to beating you about the head and shoulders.

When this happened to me, I began targeting smaller, less tech savvy companies. The Fortune 500s wouldn't touch me.

Finally, should this happen again, you are going to need to be prepared with a small memorized retort, thank them for their time and just walk out. I have done it.

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Parafreegal in Chicago, Illinois

36 months ago

I was hoping that the guy conducting the second interview was testing me with his hard line of questioning to see if I'd break. That's how I kept a modicum of hope about getting the job.

But I also felt he started firing tough and deep cutting questions because he'd not seen my resume prior to sitting down in the conference room with me. He was exasperated that I had a gap on my resume. And he attacked it relentlessly for 10 minutes. It was very, very uncomfortable for me, but I remained calm and answered the questions as best I could. Inside, I was embarrassed and seething.

Prospective employers can say whatever they want in an interview, within the legal limits. I don't think they care what you think about them or the company/firm based on how they act in interviews and how they communicate with you as far as setting up the interview and following up.

I've seen it all: employers not showing up for interviews, a 10-minute "interview," employers putting down my past employer, employers asking me impertinent personal questions, employers throwing work samples up in the air, etc. It's so very hard to stomach.

I'm just upset right now and tired of the games employers play. All I can do is forget about it and try to move forward, but this last couple of weeks and today's notice have been crippling to me. It will take a couple days to get back to normal.

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Parafreegal in Chicago, Illinois

36 months ago

This guy kept going on about how their firm was busy and growing when I talked about my gap. I went over what happened to my old employer. I also went over what happened to our sister firm, which went under, a friend's firm that laid off a sector of their employees and another similar firm that had farmed out an entire sector of employees. But I don't think this guy could ever understand.

I can't just walk out of an interview because who knows what will happen? I really, really needed a punching bag after that interview. I've felt awful after quite a few interviews, but this particular one really gutted me.

There are tons of folks out of work, and the industry I've worked in for all of my adult life has been annihilated job wise. I've tried to get back in, but I think I'm just beaten in this field. It's demoralizing.

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Bluetea in Texas

36 months ago

Parafreegal in Chicago, Illinois said: I was hoping that the guy conducting the second interview was testing me with his hard line of questioning to see if I'd break. That's how I kept a modicum of hope about getting the job.

But I also felt he started firing tough and deep cutting questions because he'd not seen my resume prior to sitting down in the conference room with me. He was exasperated that I had a gap on my resume. And he attacked it relentlessly for 10 minutes. It was very, very uncomfortable for me, but I remained calm and answered the questions as best I could. Inside, I was embarrassed and seething.

Prospective employers can say whatever they want in an interview, within the legal limits. I don't think they care what you think about them or the company/firm based on how they act in interviews and how they communicate with you as far as setting up the interview and following up.

I've seen it all: employers not showing up for interviews, a 10-minute "interview," employers putting down my past employer, employers asking me impertinent personal questions, employers throwing work samples up in the air, etc. It's so very hard to stomach.

I'm just upset right now and tired of the games employers play. All I can do is forget about it and try to move forward, but this last couple of weeks and today's notice have been crippling to me. It will take a couple days to get back to normal.

Yes, of course.

You handled it better than I would have. I would have told him to go f**k himself and left.

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Parafreegal in Chicago, Illinois

36 months ago

Trust me, I wanted to. He was beyond smug. It just wouldn't be wise for me to do such a thing. I could have somehow gotten lucky and snagged the job. And the community is kind of small, and people know other people. It wouldn't be wise for me to burn a bridge. Believe me, it is very hard for me to hold back and not bristle at all of this. It will digest by the end of this week. But now I am pretty desperate for a paying job. I'm in good financial standing and have great credit, but this will change very soon.

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dontwanttobea99er in Somerville, Massachusetts

36 months ago

I did 3 hours of driving each way and a $120 hotel stay for an interview in CT, and the interviewer basically told me that he just wanted to see if I'd do it. He dressed it up as "this position takes a lot of dedication" or some crap, but what he really meant was "gosh, I can't believe you're THAT desperate!"

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Parafreegal in Chicago, Illinois

36 months ago

Employers don't care about the time or money you invest into a job interview. A three-hour drive to an interview, to me, is a bit much. It's too much to invest into an interview, which all too often will lead to a big let down. An interview is hard enough on its face. Adding a drive and a big monetary investment is only going to make it more difficult on your psyche if you don't get the job.

And employers don't care about how desperate you are. There is no empathy.

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Bluetea in Texas

36 months ago

Parafreegal in Chicago, Illinois said: Employers don't care about the time or money you invest into a job interview. A three-hour drive to an interview, to me, is a bit much. It's too much to invest into an interview, which all too often will lead to a big let down. An interview is hard enough on its face. Adding a drive and a big monetary investment is only going to make it more difficult on your psyche if you don't get the job.

And employers don't care about how desperate you are. There is no empathy.

When it comes to interviews, I have been on some doozies myself.

One happened about 12 years ago and it was priceless. I arrived at 9:00 am and I see two other candidates. All of us were ushered into a conference room where we waited about 20 minutes.

A guy walks in, sits down and asks the first candidate a question. Then he looks at me and says, "And you, how would you answer that? Mind you, we are all sitting next to each other. It was like being on the old game show - The Dating Game.

After about 10 minutes of this, I was reaching my boiling point. I was hot, I was sweating and I was angry. I got up, excused myself and walked out. That was the first time that I walked out during an interview.

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dontwanttobea99er in Somerville, Massachusetts

36 months ago

I would have asked that interviewer "if you were a vegetable, which vegetable would you be?" =D

I'm not made for most workplace environments...

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Bluetea in Texas

36 months ago

dontwanttobea99er in Somerville, Massachusetts said: I would have asked that interviewer "if you were a vegetable, which vegetable would you be?" =D

I'm not made for most workplace environments...

Er, actually the question was, "If you were a flower, what kind of flower would you be and why?"

Interviewing is not for the faint-of-heart.

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dontwanttobea99er in Somerville, Massachusetts

36 months ago

I had an answer for that one, but I decided it's too raunchy for here. =D

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Parafreegal in Chicago, Illinois

36 months ago

I think maybe I'd walk out of they were interviewing three at a time as well. Then again, maybe it's a test and they give a regular interview to the last man standing or even hire him.

So many unnecessary games played by prospective employers. I get that it doesn't help that there are tons of unqualified people sending resumes they have to wade through, but they should have a bit more respect.

For one, they could review a person's resume for at least five minutes prior to an interview. Since that didn't happen, this guy wasted my time, humiliated me and has really gotten me down. Outside of this interview, had I met this guy socially, I would have laughed at him.

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Bluetea in Texas

36 months ago

Parafreegal in Chicago, Illinois said: I think maybe I'd walk out of they were interviewing three at a time as well. Then again, maybe it's a test and they give a regular interview to the last man standing or even hire him.

So many unnecessary games played by prospective employers. I get that it doesn't help that there are tons of unqualified people sending resumes they have to wade through, but they should have a bit more respect.

For one, they could review a person's resume for at least five minutes prior to an interview. Since that didn't happen, this guy wasted my time, humiliated me and has really gotten me down. Outside of this interview, had I met this guy socially, I would have laughed at him.

I take it that you wouldn't go out with him? Heh!

Then there was a recent interview where I arrived right on time and was told when I got there, that they had to reschedule. I drive all the way home, take off my "interview uniform" and make a cup of coffee.

Ten minutes later, they call and say, "Er, would it be possible for me to come back that afternoon?".

I did but I still didn't get the job.

Yeah, I'd rather have a root canal than go on an interview anyday.

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Parafreegal in Chicago, Illinois

36 months ago

If I were a woman, I certainly wouldn't date this individual. I'd give you a link where you could see his photo, but that would be going too far. I have to let it go.

I've had an experience or two similar to your rescheduled interview.

Once, I went in, the assistant said the boss wasn't there and asked me if I could come back the next day. So I did.

The next day, the boss isn't there so I meet with the guy I would be replacing. He shows me around and starts introducing me as the new guy to everyone. Then, we get back to his office, and he says he wants to start me on some work. Whoa. Um, no. I haven't been hired as yet. The guy didn't know.

So I sit there waiting for the boss. After two hours, I just get up and leave. I'm 10 minutes away, when they decide to call me. I don't bother picking up. The end.

See, there's no professionalism or common courtesy out there. And that's just one of many ridiculous interview stories I have. I'm tired of it.

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Parafreegal in Blue Island, Illinois

36 months ago

Would someone like to tell me why, oh why, references would be contacted between a Monday first interview and a Thursday second interview? Shouldn't they be contacted after a second interview, if one is conducted?

Contacting my references between the two interviews gave me so much hope that I was getting the job. Two out of my three references contacted me to let me know they gave me a good reference. I'm sure the third reference also gave me a good reference.

Seriously, why not wait until after the second interview. I'm just crestfallen over this but am working it out of my system.

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skyfall in Biglerville, Pennsylvania

36 months ago

[QUOTE]

The second interview started off badly because the guy had not looked at my resume before sitting down to the interview and it was the first time he'd seen that I was unemployed. And that's when the fun started. This guy hammered away every way he could on my unemployment within the legal limits. Fully one-third of the interview was a beating concerning the how and why of my period of unemployment.

The other two-thirds of the interview were a constant pounding on my job experience, focusing mostly on what I had not done. The questioning and back and forth was entirely negative. It was almost like I was on trial and not in an interview. And the positivity I felt after the first interview was completely wiped away. I walked out of the second interview totally dejected and despondent. It upset me for three days.

Who interviewed you, Tony Soprano? What is up with the rudeness? From now on, I'm not writing any more thank you notes and not "going the extra mile" on the online apps. If they ask for a resume, that's what they'll get. Period. No cover letters. No "optional documents". Doing it "one last time" for that "one last job opportunity" will not help my chances. These bloggers and "career coaches" are obviously not out there NOT getting jobs with their own advic

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Parafreegal in Blue Island, Illinois

36 months ago

I honestly don't think thank you letters carry much, if any, weight anymore. With the way prospective employers act, in my experience, and with everything being electronic now, I just see the thank you note as carrying little weight and being basically passe. I wasted my time writing my thank you note to this guy when his mind was made up as soon as he saw the gap on my resume. Not before the interview, when he should have seen it. Right at the interview.

Also, online job applications are a waste unless they are directly on the employer's website. If you see third party software, run the other direction to avoid Chinese water torture and a waste of your time.

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Bluetea in Texas

36 months ago

Parafreegal in Blue Island, Illinois said: I honestly don't think thank you letters carry much, if any, weight anymore. With the way prospective employers act, in my experience, and with everything being electronic now, I just see the thank you note as carrying little weight and being basically passe. I wasted my time writing my thank you note to this guy when his mind was made up as soon as he saw the gap on my resume. Not before the interview, when he should have seen it. Right at the interview.

Also, online job applications are a waste unless they are directly on the employer's website. If you see third party software, run the other direction to avoid Chinese water torture and a waste of your time.

No book on interviewng gets published without a chapter on the importance of the Thank You card. The truth is that in today's job market, a Thank You card/email is important if you just interviewed with your mother!

We hire people all the time who don't send anything.

Yes, send them if you want. Hell, bake them a German Chocolate cake and deliver it in person, if you want to be remembered but don't think any of this has a bearing on a hiring decision. This is nonsense.

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nick in Somerville, Massachusetts

36 months ago

Thank you cards have never gotten me anywhere with anybody.

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designer bee in Waukesha, Wisconsin

36 months ago

A thank you card never got me a job. All the jobs I've gotten hired for weren't because of a thank you card. Some I never even sent one to. I usually send one, but these little places that employ 6 people could give a rip if you send one.

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Bluetea in Texas

36 months ago

designer bee in Waukesha, Wisconsin said: A thank you card never got me a job. All the jobs I've gotten hired for weren't because of a thank you card. Some I never even sent one to. I usually send one, but these little places that employ 6 people could give a rip if you send one.

Even if they employ 6,000 they could give a rip. Send them if you want but don't think you have an edge by doing so. We hire people all the time who never send anything.

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designer bee in Waukesha, Wisconsin

35 months ago

If that's all they base their decision on, then they aren't looking at the important things. I think thanking in person is good enough.

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designer bee in Waukesha, Wisconsin

35 months ago

I've wasted many stamps sending thank you cards only to never hear from the companies again.

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Bluetea in Texas

35 months ago

designer bee in Waukesha, Wisconsin said: I've wasted many stamps sending thank you cards only to never hear from the companies again.

I don't bother with this anymore either. Save the Thank You cards for baby showers. That's where they belong.

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beginagainla in Modesto, California

35 months ago

I was asked to fill out my application and send it back before the interview, which I did. A day before the interview, I am e-mailed by the HR person saying that instead of having my interview take place on a particular floor of an office building, I will be meeting someone at a coffee shop within the building.

I get to the interview at the coffee shop, and the woman offers an excuse for the location change. She said that it would require too much security to have the interview inside the actual office. Yeah, right. She expects me to believe that she's going to be spending the entire day conducting back to back interviews in a coffee shop of an office building rather than an actual office?

Another thing: I'm not providing my SOCIAL SECURITY number on applications any more.If you haven't even interviewed me, you don't need that information. Who knows how these applications are being stored and who has access to this information. Sometimes I wonder if companies are just collecting data and really have no interest in hiring anyone.

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Parafreegal in Chicago, Illinois

35 months ago

I think I'd want to skip an interview being held in a coffee shop rather than a real office. I really wouldn't want to discuss my background in public. And it just seems too informal to hold an interview in a public place outside of the employer's office.

I agree that employers asking for SSNs in online applications is wrong. But if you don't provide it, many times you can't keep filling out the application. Or, if you don't provide it, they won't even consider your application. So you pretty much have to do what you have to do to get the job. If I'm in an office filling out forms, that's different. I don't feel uneasy giving it under those circumstances.

I take it you blew off the interview?

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beginagainla in Modesto, California

35 months ago

No, I did not blow off the interview. The person who interviewed me immediately launched into an apology/rationale as to why the interview was changed to this coffee shop. She told me she had other interviews lined up that day as well.

Mind you, when they e-mailed me about this change in location, I cross-referenced the address and called the office building to ensure that the company did actually exist on that floor. Why they would be bringing people all the way to the company and sending them down to a coffee shop to interview, I don't know. I don't buy that it has anything to do with security as the interviewer suggested.

Through Linked-in, I discovered my interviewer and person who set up the interview were only with the company a few months themselves. I will no longer give personal info out to a company I haven't established is a legitimate business.

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Parafreegal in Chicago, Illinois

35 months ago

That's definitely shady. Good job on doing your homework. I've had bizarre interview experiences, but I haven't been asked to hold one in a coffee shop - yet.

Keep moving forward. Good luck.

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beginagainla in Modesto, California

35 months ago

Thank you so much. The best of luck to everyone. It's not all about experience unfortunately, or most of us would be employed. We need a little luck too....among other things in this market.

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TryingHardToFindWork in Arlington, Virginia

35 months ago

Parafreegal in Chicago, Illinois said: I agree that employers asking for SSNs in online applications is wrong. But if you don't provide it, many times you can't keep filling out the application. Or, if you don't provide it, they won't even consider your application. So you pretty much have to do what you have to do to get the job. If I'm in an office filling out forms, that's different. I don't feel uneasy giving it under those circumstances.

Some places I've applied to asked for it, but gave the option of giving a fake one, like two random digits plus your phone number (not including area code), and you could provide the real one if you were contacted for an interview.

And as for a coffee shop interview, the only time I feel it's appropriate to have an interview at the coffee shop is when you're applying for a job at one. That's ridiculous that the interview was held there.

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designer bee in Waukesha, Wisconsin

35 months ago

Bluetea in Texas said: I don't bother with this anymore either. Save the Thank You cards for baby showers. That's where they belong.

LOL that's a good one. I have to admit I was surprised to find out about 10 years ago that I was required to send a thank you card. I worked for many years in a factory before moving on. It's a lot different in the professional world.

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Bluetea in Texas

35 months ago

designer bee in Waukesha, Wisconsin said: LOL that's a good one. I have to admit I was surprised to find out about 10 years ago that I was required to send a thank you card. I worked for many years in a factory before moving on. It's a lot different in the professional world.

Anybody who says that they got the job because they sent a Thank You card was interviewed by his mother.

This has no bearing on a hiring decision. I don't care what the experts say.

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nick in Somerville, Massachusetts

35 months ago

I remember when I was working at Lowes, the HR managers actually thought that thank you cards/follow-up calls were an unseemly act of desperation. Remember that most of these HR-types are spoiled little children who haven't known what it's like to be out of work for a looooong time, if ever. They think getting a job is as easy as applying for it, and they think anything after the initial application is trying to be a kiss @ss.

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designer bee in Waukesha, Wisconsin

35 months ago

I read a job hunting book written by a former HR manager. It said that sending a thank you note won't make a difference most of the time. Either they like you or they don't. A thank you card won't change their mind. You already had a chance to make a good impression in the interview. If you failed to impress them, a card won't help.

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Bluetea in Texas

35 months ago

designer bee in Waukesha, Wisconsin said: I read a job hunting book written by a former HR manager. It said that sending a thank you note won't make a difference most of the time. Either they like you or they don't. A thank you card won't change their mind. You already had a chance to make a good impression in the interview. If you failed to impress them, a card won't help.

No Killer Resume book gets published without putting a bit in about the importance of a Thank You card.

Hell, if you want to reiterate a few "key points" and check your status, bake them a cake and deliver it in person.

Thank You cards are for baby showers.

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KB in Chicago, Illinois

35 months ago

Sending a Thank you card is just another piece to get buried on the desk with all the other clutter they have. Postage is now 45 cents, sending one each interview can buy you a Happy Meal, make yourself happy, not them.

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designer bee in Waukesha, Wisconsin

35 months ago

I've read that some interviewers actually expect a thank you card. It's like they think they are god and deserve all this special attention. Then they pout when they don't get a thank you card. Then they can go brag to their coworkers how many thank you cards they got this week.

Really, I don't think most will care if they get one or not. It won't change their mind 99.9% of the time.

Isn't thanking them in person enough? Why do I have to do it twice?

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Julie in Plano, TX

35 months ago

Parafreegal,

How long have you been out of work that I've notice in a few of your posts that you have a big gap in the time between work?

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flygirl in Kenosha, Wisconsin

35 months ago

Although I agree that sending a thank you note is probably not a deal breaker in deciding WHO gets the job, it is still a point of etiquette and good manners.

The point of the thank you note is that you want to express gratitude about receiving the interview. What the receiver does with the information is their business.

:D

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Bluetea in Texas

35 months ago

flygirl in Kenosha, Wisconsin said: Although I agree that sending a thank you note is probably not a deal breaker in deciding WHO gets the job, it is still a point of etiquette and good manners.

The point of the thank you note is that you want to express gratitude about receiving the interview. What the receiver does with the information is their business.

:D

Send them if you want. Even better, bake them a cake and deliver it in person. Er, to express your gratitude.

Just don't think that all this has any bearing on a hiring decision. That's nonsense. People are hired everyday and most of them never send anything anymore.

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ZoeySnap in Orange County, California

35 months ago

I had an interview last Friday, and I thought it as going really well. However towards the end of the interview came the question I dread the most. He asked me how much I expect to be paid. Now after 7 months of job searching, I kind of have an idea what they are paying graphic designers at my skill level these days... and it's not much especially if you have no web skills. So, I just threw out a number that I thought would be palatable to him. He just looked at me, chuckled and said, "That's it?"

Well on the drive home, I was pretty much smacking myself in the head thinking I just shot myself in the A**. What do you do when they ask you this question? I'm always afraid to ask for to much and be eliminated when in reality I would take the job for much less.

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Hotdigitty in Ajax, Ontario

35 months ago

I absolutely hate that question too. If you ask for too little, they'll think you're too junior and inexperienced. Ask too much, and they'll move onto the next candidate for fear that you'll walk away from them at the first opportunity for more money.

I have a friend that works for the Steelworkers as a contract negotiator.
He said to never divulge salary expectations until an offer is on the table.
It's apparently a power-play tactic to gain the upper hand over a candidate's worth.

I looked it up on Google, and there's loads of articles about how to defer the conversation without annoying the interviewer.

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Bluetea in Texas

35 months ago

Hotdigitty in Ajax, Ontario said: I absolutely hate that question too. If you ask for too little, they'll think you're too junior and inexperienced. Ask too much, and they'll move onto the next candidate for fear that you'll walk away from them at the first opportunity for more money.

I have a friend that works for the Steelworkers as a contract negotiator.
He said to never divulge salary expectations until an offer is on the table.
It's apparently a power-play tactic to gain the upper hand over a candidate's worth.

I looked it up on Google, and there's loads of articles about how to defer the conversation without annoying the interviewer.

Those articles are out-of-date if you applied using an online application.

If an online application asks you for your salary requirements, it isn't to make conversation. An app like Taleo or Kenexa compares you to the the market rate and the applicant pool.

You want to be on the low side because you are competing with everybody else that applied.

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Bluetea in Texas

35 months ago

ZoeySnap in Orange County, California said: I had an interview last Friday, and I thought it as going really well. However towards the end of the interview came the question I dread the most. He asked me how much I expect to be paid. Now after 7 months of job searching, I kind of have an idea what they are paying graphic designers at my skill level these days... and it's not much especially if you have no web skills. So, I just threw out a number that I thought would be palatable to him. He just looked at me, chuckled and said, "That's it?"

Well on the drive home, I was pretty much smacking myself in the head thinking I just shot myself in the A**. What do you do when they ask you this question? I'm always afraid to ask for to much and be eliminated when in reality I would take the job for much less.

First know the market rate because companies know the market rate. Salary.com and payscale.com can give you an idea. However, I have found them to be on the high side.

Second, if you are employed, shoot for a 10-15% increase. You have a job so you have nothing to lose.

If you are unemployed, shoot for the low end of the scale. Everybody looks at prices!

When I got this job, I wasn't their first choice. I was however, the low bidder. I found this out later. Their first choice turned them down. Heh!

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ZoeySnap in Orange County, California

35 months ago

Bluetea in Texas said: First know the market rate because companies know the market rate. Salary.com and payscale.com can give you an idea. However, I have found them to be on the high side.

Second, if you are employed, shoot for a 10-15% increase. You have a job so you have nothing to lose.

If you are unemployed, shoot for the low end of the scale. Everybody looks at prices!

When I got this job, I wasn't their first choice. I was however, the low bidder. I found this out later. Their first choice turned them down. Heh!

Well I am unemployed so maybe this will work to my advantage? I don't think what I asked for was all that low. The job was advertized as "entry level", but I know I am not entry level. Entry level graphic designers around her are like $10-$14 an hour and I sure did not aim that low. And I did shoot for a pay increase based on what my last job was paying me so I would be happy getting what I asked for.

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Hotdiggity in Ajax, Ontario

35 months ago

Bluetea in Texas said: Those articles are out-of-date if you applied using an online application.

If an online application asks you for your salary requirements, it isn't to make conversation. An app like Taleo or Kenexa compares you to the the market rate and the applicant pool.

You want to be on the low side because you are competing with everybody else that applied.

Oh, I've done my fair share of Taleo applications.
But I rarely come across salary expectation questions online unless its for a junior position.
Then, I just low-ball the figure and hope the HR stooge cant read between the lines on my resume about my experience.

Unfortunately, it hasn't worked yet because I never get called on those jobs.

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beginagainla in Los Angeles, California

35 months ago

If you bid too low, this could trigger a red flag in their mind as to why you'd sell yourself so low. It could be a turn off. Do as much homework as possible as you can on the range for that particular position at that particular company. Skirt the issue altogether if you can until you're directly asked in a face-to-face interview. Even then, you are always negotiable.

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