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Most companies seem not to have updated their recruitment practices since the 1980s. Unfortunately, that doesn’t change the fact that job seekers need, well, a job. So how do you gracefully endure those painful interviews? Writer Melissa Ligertwood‘s got the scoop.
Interviews are stressful at the best of times. Besides finding the perfect outfit to simultaneously convey confidence and humility, there’s the mental preparation for infinite interview questions and scenarios.
And that’s not all. You are expected to do homework, too.
Because memorizing an employer’s full history and corporate value statements is truly an indicator of future success, #amiright?
Writer and influencer Liz Ryan is the founder and CEO of Human Workplace. In a LinkedIn article entitled, Is your company screening out the best candidates? (Answer: yes!), she writes, “Most recruiting systems, even in small organizations, are designed to hire not the best candidate but the most pliable, docile and obedient one.”
Ain’t that the truth.
Employers have a lot to learn, I’m afraid. In the meantime, here are a few ways to save your dignity, keep your sanity and avoid potentially working for a bad employer.
Disrupt the interview process
Liz Ryan would tell you to get your interviewer off script. Rather than play along with the same old boring dialogue, you can disrupt the interview early on by asking an important question about the role.
Ryan says flipping the typical scenario on its head allows you to learn more about what the manager really needs.
You learn about his or her pain, as she puts it. From there, take the driver’s seat and turn the usual interrogation into a discussion about how you are going to solve their problems.
Remember, it’s not personal
Never burn bridges. Based on some of the crap I’ve heard said to people in interviews, I know this can be difficult.
Too many interviewers seem to revel in the power of being The Decider. The good news is, you don’t have to work for a company that thinks it’s ok to bully and insult interview candidates. You always have the power to say no.
“Most recruiting systems, even in small organizations, are designed to hire not the best candidate but the most pliable, docile and obedient one.” – Liz Ryan
But before you go home and politely withdraw your name from the competition, remember, this is business. Maintain your composure. Smile. Answer their inane questions to the best of your ability, shake hands. Walk away.
There are great employers out there, you just have to find them. And scoping out employers has never been easier. We’ve got LinkedIn, we’ve got Glassdoor and even Indeed has an employer review platform.
Personally, I’m not a fan of the word “networking,” so whatever you want to call it, get out there and talk to other people in your industry. Find out where the progressive corporate cultures are and how to gain entrée. Reach out to a colleague on LinkedIn and open the conversation.
Then, you can set your sights on a workplace you are passionate about. It all takes time and patience, but it’s far better than the alternative.
Melissa is a professional writer with a background in psychology, environment, industry and Aboriginal relations. Based in Calgary, Alberta, her company Content Lime Communications specializes in digital projects, social media, web content and technical writing.
What’s your worst interview experience? We’d like to hear from you! Share your experiences in the section below.