Hello from the other side
As some of you might know, in the last couple of months I was very actively searching for a new full-time job — now I switched to freelancing :). I sent some applications and waited for answers. Now, here starts the “funny” part: I got all kind of replies (when I got one), either telling me that they found someone who is better suited for what they are looking for — more on this later — or asking different questions.
So here we go …
1. Your favorite …
When you apply for a job, you usually have to answer some questions regarding your experience, location salary expectations etc. And after those, there is the “your favorite …” field that you have to complete. I had to answer questions like:
- favorite tweet
- favorite animal
- top three, all time authors of the human literature
- top three, all time painters.
Why on earth would be these questions helpful for a job interview? Have no clue yet.
2. Why are you awesome
Another field that was somehow common was the one where you have to explain “why are you awesome/unique/best fit for us”, usually with a 160 characters limit. It seems like even awesomeness has a limit, in the end.
3. Include [word/sentence] in your application so we know that you read this
Some of the employers asked to include a specific word in the application, so they can be sure that you read the whole job description. The problem was the either this word was upfront at the beginning of the job description, or at the end — places that usually check even if you didn’t read the whole thing. So yeah, good one.
4. Almost the same rejection email for everyone, in which:
And back to the rejection emails, as I said in the beginning.
A lot of rejection emails I got — when I got one — were almost identical. I get that you don’t have time to send a specific answer for every candidate, but at least change those default settings to something different than what others already have.
The usual rejection email consists of a part where they say that they get a lot of applications and will continue with someone who is a better fit for their needs and a part where they thank you for applying — not necessarily in this order. Something that it’s logical in the end — if you found someone who is better for what you are looking, you’ll hire that one — but after a couple of weeks/months you see the exact same job opening from the exact same company.
Also, sending a general email, usually you don’t give any feedback on why you were rejected. In some cases, you even get the email from a no-reply address. The funniest thing was when in one email they said that if I want a more detailed feedback on why I got rejected, I can send them an email, but the email was a no-reply one. Yeah, good try.
5. Why do you want to work for us?
This is the question I was somehow most afraid of. Usually, if it’s not a very renowned company — the one you actually dream of working for — you want to work there because you found the product interesting or the team or maybe the position they are offering and also so you can have a salary, so you won’t starve. But sometimes, those who take the interviews are looking for a more colorful answer, in which you explain how you actually have a dream working for their product, almost for free. So once, I was rejected for a job because they had some candidates who showed “more commitment and affinity for the product”.
6. The task
If you pass the first step of the interview, you usually get to do a small task (for free). Now sometimes small, it’s not that small in the end. I really understand the necessity with this thing — you have to see if there is a good fit — but it would be really helpful if that small task would be something that won’t require a full day or two — you really can see a designer’s work in his portfolio. So, I think usually about these tasks as more as a way to see how you can interact with the designer and how he/she approaches the problem; not necessarily a deliver a pixel perfect thing.
Also, it would spear a lot of time-wasting if at least a salary range would be discussed before this step.
7. Getting interesting offers
While searching for jobs, I shared a short update on my Linkedin account so maybe someone will see it. It seems that some people actually saw that message because I got some messages on Linkedin, for all kind of opportunities, like front end developer or even furniture designer (you know, product designer = furniture designer).
I start to think that somehow this whole recruiting thing gets out of hand. All kind of weird questions and expectations, but in the most cases they forgot that in the end, we both are human beings, not just a resume with some text on it.
So dear recruiter, please be a little more human :).
PS: Thanks for those of you that went that extra mile. You are awesome :)