Comments on life, the universe and everything from an aging Sixties survivor.

Location: Massachusetts, United States

Ummm, isn't "about me" part of the point of the blog?

Thursday, August 06, 2009

More pet peeves of the unemployed

There is this logic that says that a published job description should in fact describe the vacancy. The objective is to find the right person for the job and to avoid wasting the time of two people: the interviewer and the candidate.

Once in a while, this doesn't work out. Last week I applied for an editorial position at...let's just say it was somewhere in the well-known Longwood medical area of Boston. I applied because the published job description was a very close match to my skills. I got an e-mail this Monday, which led to a phone screening by the interviewer, who was also the hiring manager. Rush rush, can I come in Wednesday?

I did. It was clear within three minutes that the job they had in mind bore only a casual resemblance to the published job description. During the next dozen minutes the interviewer and I tried gamely to determine if there was the least reason for me to be there. At that point the interviewer suggested ending the ordeal moments before I made the same suggestion.

Note to hiring managers. You really ought to do this stuff during the phone screening. That is what screenings are for, to set out the basis of the discussion and make absolutely sure that you're talking to the right candidate. I would apologise for wasting this hiring manager's time, except that he wasted his own time with an irrelevant job description and a blown opportunity to actually screen during the phone screening. And do remember that the candidate's time also has value.



Blogger malevolent andrea said...

This wasn't perchance at a Partners Hospital, was it? :-) In mine, in my own department, the HR-mandated job descriptions are so tangential to what anyone actually does, it's almost funny.

I say *almost* because, yeah, the last time we were hiring, having that HR-written crap in the open jobs on the website led to about a gazillion resumes from, and a few interviews with, people who thought it was the kind of job where they were going to make 50k a year...when in reality it was a receptionist position. As you say, big waste of everyone's time and energy.

9:37 pm  
Blogger Uncle said...

No, it was a facility, shall we say, associated with a prestigious university across the river, but the contagion may be spreading.

(gasp) you mean I *wasn't* going to make 50k a year??

10:31 pm  
Blogger Uncle said...

Dang, I almost forgot. This--um, person actually said, "so tell me about yourself." At that moment I still had a faint hope I could retrieve things, so I didn't use any of my prepared answers to that bit of drivel: such as saying "wow, you're the first person who ever asked me that!" Or talking about the voices in my head, then cocking my head and remaining silent for five minutes, or...well you get the picture.

12:37 am  

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