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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Employers need to be careful how they treat a applicants on a job interviews.

In the past three going on four years I’ve been on a lot of job interviews. A lot. And while many employers I’ve met with have been professional and cordial others have been downright rude.

I’ve been on interviews where I’ve had my work experience dismissed by some managers. These were the kinds of employers who felt volunteer work wasn’t real work. In their eyes a job was a “real” job if someone collected a paycheck for it.

I’ve had my work experience ignored by others. These were the kinds of employers who acted like my work experience as a writer wasn’t real work experience, and my previous experience at other jobs wasn’t that important.

I’ve had to deal with surly HR people with bad attitudes. The kinds of employees who rolled their eyes, sucked their teeth and gave me evasive answers when I asked a question about a simple business policy or workplace etiquette. The kinds of people who thought it beneath them to answer a question.

I’ve had to deal with arrogance, sarcasm, and condescension. Rude receptionists and HR people who would snap at me. They didn’t understand how they left a negative impression of their business on me and how I could possibly tell others about their unprofessional business practices.

I’ve had to deal with HR staff who made no efforts to ask any pertinent questions. Instead they’d ask broad outdated interview questions like “Tell me about yourself” and “Why do you want this job”. They didn’t understand that by asking such poor questions it shows how little they care about me or about what I have to offer their organization.

I’ve had to deal with employers who would reschedule an interview on a whim. Others who scheduled an interview with me and didn’t even show up. Instead they had an assistant manager or a an assistant interview with me. They didn’t understand how that spoke volumes about professionalism and commitment in an organization.

What most employers I interviewed with didn’t understand is that the interview process is a two-way street. Just as the candidate is interviewing for the job, the company is interviewing for the candidate as to why working for their organization will be a good fit for them as opposed to working for a competitor. Both sides have to make a strong first impression on each other.

When employees at a company present themselves in an unprofessional manner it gives that candidate a negative impression of a company and its approaches to business. Employees being rude, condescending, and even sarcastic before an interview can turn away a potential candidate. If employees aren’t civil to someone during a job interview How will they treat someone when they’re working with them?

Managers being late to an interview or postponing or constantly rescheduling that interview can speak volumes about the leadership of an organization. If an employer can’t commit time to a candidate for an interview, when will they have time for them when they need them as an employee.

Managers asking broad or general questions can speak volumes about their organization and preparation. Someone who makes no efforts to read a resume is the same type of supervisor who will take no time to take your work seriously as an employee.

Moreover, it shows that a manager does not care. Someone who asks broad questions really shows that they don’t see a candidate as part of the business long-term and to not take business at the organization seriously.

All of these behaviors that could have a tremendous impact on a company’s long-term business.

What most businesspeople don’t understand is that the people they interview may be potential customers or clients in the future. The word-of-mouth they give about an organization can have a huge impact on a business’s long term health.

What most employers need to understand is that they don’t hold all the cards even during an economic downturn. People may be unemployed, but it doesn’t give them a right to treat them poorly because the job market is soft. The same person someone treats poorly at a job interview today could be the very same person a former employer could be interviewing with in the future.

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