Has anyone who has been unemployed gone on an interview lately? Its time I added my voice to this process. Typically when I send out my resume I get a decent amount of responses, usually from HR departments for screening. Since I work in sales the phone interviews with HR are pretty pointless, as they are unable to answer anything to do with selling strategies employed by the hiring company; how they judge success, other than ‘meeting your goal.’ As I have mentioned in other posts most hiring companies/recruiters/hiring managers tend to be very short sighted in that they are looking for an immediate replacement for who has left. This puts me at a disadvantage since I want to switch Industries that I sell to. Anyway, so that is hurdle one for me but many times I pass that hurdle because of my vast experience and have an in person interview with either the recruiter or the person I would actually be working for. I want to share a recent story and encourage others to do the same.
A few weeks ago I was contacted by a company and went through the phone interview/screening and then was contacted by the person who I would be working for. He was coming into NYC for a few days and was interviewing candidates. First he asked me via email what time what convenient, so I told him something like Monday – Thursday 10 – 3 (trying to be flexible but not look like I have too much time on my hands). He wrote back, and said how about Tuesday at 4:30. I said sure, ‘sounds great’ let me know where you want to meet. He had a vague answer of ‘somewhere in Grand Central Terminal’ So I picked a place, asked if that would be alright with him, he said yes so we had our time/place nailed down. I got there really early because I wanted to check out the Apple store there; then went to the bar I was to meet him in, probably about 20 mins early. For those of you non-New Yorkers Grand Central is not air conditioned so it can get warm on a hot day in the summer. As I waited I casually checked my iPhone, sent a few texts. I had no idea if this man was planning on eating an early dinner or drinks or what. I ordered water, glanced around to see if anyone was coming. I had seen his pic on LinkedIn so I had an idea what he looked like.
Then right at 4:30 a man sitting directly across the bar from me waved and called out my name. I went over, introduced myself. He told me I should get my water and come sit next to him. He proceeded to tell me how he was looking for a senior sales director who was comfortable working with SVPs, EVPs, CEOs, VPs etc, someone who knew what he was doing, could manage and grow existing business and hit the ground running. This describes me to a T; its exactly what I have done for many years. After talking about that for a few minutes, and my asking my researched questions; he started talking about the people who work for him. He started by saying one of his employees asked him what ‘prospecting’ meant, with a look of disgust he said he doesn’t even have time for questions like that. The he said while in NYC he asked the current sales staff to set up senior level meetings for him to go on. Then he proceeded to tell me that they had only made 3 appointments all week, and what a disgrace that was. Then he learned one of the meetings was with someone who was still in college. After talking a bit more, or I should say listening; I asked what happens next. He told me he was meeting a few other candidates and was going to make a decision soon, narrowing it down to 2 people and to keep in touch. As I left I was thinking I could easily do this job, then I realized he didn’t really ask much about me, my strategy, my successes; he really just complained the whole time. Then I realized, and this is small but important, he didn’t offer me anything to drink, while he drank a second glass of wine. Still I was enthusiastic about the job and the product; the next morning I sent a thank you email tying up how exciting the job sounded, what we had talked about and how my talents could be of great use to them and how I was looking forward to our next conversation.
Then nothing. No response. No form email from him or HR. Looking back its probably for the best since if I worked for him I am sure he would have been complaining about me to someone at some point. But, who do these people think they are? The audacity, the rudeness, the unprofessionalism. Yes, companies do have the upper hand now, but this kind of behavior shouldn’t be tolerated and is unacceptable.
And people like Newt Gingrich think unemployment insurance takes away your motivation to get a job.