Author Topic: How can I tell job interviewees that they're being inappropriate?  (Read 6156 times)

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Venus193

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Re: How can I tell job interviewees that they're being inappropriate?
« Reply #15 on: March 30, 2013, 04:34:46 PM »
I agree with Art; coaching them on job interviews isn't your responsibility.

This thread sounds like a reality show that should be called Professional Darwinism.  Because that's what you're describing.

laceandbits

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Re: How can I tell job interviewees that they're being inappropriate?
« Reply #16 on: March 30, 2013, 05:15:42 PM »
At the beginning of the year I was in charge of employing two people for a charity.  Here in the UK unemployed people have to "demonstrate to" the goverment that they are actively seeking work and have to apply for anything which they might possibly be able to do.  I had one full time and one very part time position.

I had well over 100 applications from one ad in a local paper.  I immediately rejected any who had any mistakes in their covering letter with the CV and that got rid of about half of them!  I also removed from the part time job application pile all the ones who had also applied for the full time job as they obviously would move on from part time as soon as they were able to. (One of them told me she realised it was silly to apply for both, but it's what she was instructed to do by the Job Centre.)

I then went through the CVs and took out all the ones with no experience in the field I was looking for - example, a qualified motor mechanic applying for my office job, with no typing or IT skills.

Eventually I whittled it down to about 15 for the full time job and from that pile we interviewed 10 and found a star.  For the part time job (which was more specialised), by the time I'd removed all the ones with no experience we were down to four, and again found a real treasure.

But my point is that I "wasted" hours going through all the emails, letters and CVs.  I contacted even the most hopeless to say "thank you for the application but..." as one of the complaints of the unemployed is that they send out hundreds of applications and don't hear back from them. All those applicants also spend hours sending off for jobs that they are never going to be suitable for to demonstrate that they want to work.  All enforced by the Job Centres so they can continue to claim their benefits.  What is the point of it all.  Even if they want to work, they obviously know they aren't going to get an office job if all their experience is in a warehouse or as a mechanic so why can't they just apply for jobs in their own field of expertise.  Nationwide, hundreds of thousands of hours spent on pointless activity from both sides.

I can't answer the OPs question except to say that they probably know they are inapropriate, and it's not your job to do anything but to thank them for applying - unless they ask.  But the few who ask are probably the borderline ones not the extremes, and your careful advice may just be what allows them to get the next job they apply for.  As for the rest? What can we say?

Pen^2

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Re: How can I tell job interviewees that they're being inappropriate?
« Reply #17 on: March 30, 2013, 10:35:11 PM »
Thanks for all the replies, everyone.

You're right: it's not my responsibility, even though I hate seeing people hold themselves back from employment. If anyone asks, I can steer them in the right direction with a toned-down version of, "unfortunately the way you present yourself in person is not what we are looking for," but otherwise I'll keep my responses neutral (I have to contact every applicant, like laceandbits).

The screening procedure isn't up to me, and I can't change it. What bothers me greatly is that you hear many stories of good, hard-working and qualified people losing their jobs, but what we've seen is an enormous glut of people as I've described. For whatever reason, bad economy = many more people like this unemployed. Instead of going through 100 resumes and ending up hiring 50-90 people, now there are 250 resumes and only 1 or 2 will be hired. It's scary.

Anyway. Not my job (as much as I want to help, and as frustrating as it is), and anyone who does bother to ask can be gently prodded in the right direction with a single comment and no discussion. Artk2002's "don't JADE" is a nice little mnemonic. Thank-you everyone.

reflection5

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Re: How can I tell job interviewees that they're being inappropriate?
« Reply #18 on: March 30, 2013, 11:25:53 PM »
Boggles the mind.  Flip flops? Tube tops? Open bottle of beer? (that one didn’t really want a job – alcohol on premises?  I don’t think so.)

I know I might be a bit old-fashioned, but even in high school these days they talk about proper attire for job hunting.  What happened to nice shirts, slacks, and shoes with socks (no sneakers) and skirts and blouses that cover up things that should not be seen?

Library Dragon

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Re: How can I tell job interviewees that they're being inappropriate?
« Reply #19 on: March 31, 2013, 01:09:01 AM »
They talk about it, but high school and college students often dismiss it as "old fashioned."

I belong to an honor society for women educators.  A frequent topic of conversation from the person who oversees teacher interns at the local university, asst principals, and other professional leaders is that new teachers think business casual is too stuffy and they should be able to dress how ever they want.  This includes jeans with holes, flip flops, etc.  Then they complain they cannot get hired, don't have their contract renewed, etc. 

I read a book where a character explained his dress style that I identified with: 1 click above.  Not over the top better, but just slightly more formal. Everyone else may be in jeans and polos at a meeting, then be in jeans and a button down shirt. 

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Venus193

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Re: How can I tell job interviewees that they're being inappropriate?
« Reply #20 on: March 31, 2013, 05:59:20 AM »
A few years ago when thongs became popular one saw a lot of "thong cleavage" as well as what can be called the "skin belt."  Made me batty because I can recall being called on the carpet over traditional cleavage.

Interview attire should be what you wear when meeting with clients.  If the company is less formal than that otherwise at least they know you will present yourself appropriately to clients when the time comes.

onyonryngs

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Re: How can I tell job interviewees that they're being inappropriate?
« Reply #21 on: March 31, 2013, 08:42:33 AM »
I would consult with an employment attorney so that you are aware of what you can and cannot say in an interview.

camlan

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Re: How can I tell job interviewees that they're being inappropriate?
« Reply #22 on: March 31, 2013, 10:21:53 AM »


The screening procedure isn't up to me, and I can't change it. What bothers me greatly is that you hear many stories of good, hard-working and qualified people losing their jobs, but what we've seen is an enormous glut of people as I've described. For whatever reason, bad economy = many more people like this unemployed. Instead of going through 100 resumes and ending up hiring 50-90 people, now there are 250 resumes and only 1 or 2 will be hired. It's scary.



I know you don't have the power to change anything, but this is something I'd be reporting up the chain of command. The fact that you are spending more than twice as much time and other resources and getting far fewer hires out of it should be made known to the powers that be. Otherwise, it may come back to haunt you, when the right number of new hires just aren't there. The process you are using, while it worked in the past, clearly isn't suited to the current state of the job market.

Either the ad for the job needs to be changed, or the hiring process, or both. While you can't do anything yourself, it might help your frustration level to pass the word up the line that things aren't working the way they used to.
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gramma dishes

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Re: How can I tell job interviewees that they're being inappropriate?
« Reply #23 on: March 31, 2013, 12:48:17 PM »
I agree with Laceandbits.

It sounds like many of these applicants know they aren't qualified for the job, but apply anyway at the urging or even insistence of those who make it mandatory for everyone currently on any kind of public assistance to demonstrate that they are indeed trying to find work.  So they keep applying as proof that they're trying.

Surely no one who actually wanted a particular job would go to an interview so inappropriately dressed (much less hauling around a bottle of beer)!  I think these people don't want that job.  There just meeting mandatory requirements.

The only way this could get fixed is if those entities who are sending in those applicants can somehow be made to understand that no one benefits from people applying for jobs they don't want or are horribly mismatched and unsuited for.  It just wastes everyone's time and energy.  Sadly, I can't think of anything you personally could do to convey this concept.

reflection5

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Re: How can I tell job interviewees that they're being inappropriate?
« Reply #24 on: March 31, 2013, 01:31:55 PM »
Quote
Surely no one who actually wanted a particular job would go to an interview so inappropriately dressed (much less hauling around a bottle of beer)!  I think these people don't want that job.  There just meeting mandatory requirements.

Yes, I was thinking they might be collecting unemployment (a benefit to which they're entitled), and they have to keep a record of jobs they applied for, but unemployment doesn't last forever.

Paper Roses

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Re: How can I tell job interviewees that they're being inappropriate?
« Reply #25 on: March 31, 2013, 04:12:12 PM »
Well, for the record, "all those applicants" and "the unemployed" aren't all sending out resumes just to "demonstrate that they want to work."  Most of them are doing it because they actually DO want to work.  And don't want to be on unemployment, no matter how long it lasts or doesn't last.  And I don't think there are nearly as many people out of work because they are bad workers as you imply.  There are many, many people out of work because of circumstances beyond their control - a lot more than you might think.

I'm sorry the OP is having a difficult time with her applicants, but some of these generalizations about applicants and unemployed people are rather offensive.

Honestly, I think you (or your company) should review your job listings to maybe try to figure out why you are attracting the kinds of people you don't want and how to attract the ones you do, rather than scratching your head over it.
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VorFemme

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Re: How can I tell job interviewees that they're being inappropriate?
« Reply #26 on: March 31, 2013, 04:36:32 PM »
I think that the generalizations aren't about MOST job applicants - only the ones who show up with interview killing stuff going on - an open bottle of beer, their driver comes in with them, a preschooler comes in with them, they are wearing beach shoes & a swimsuit top with a pair of short-shorts (and they aren't interviewing at a Hooters or Beach Babes restaurant & bar), or something else that lets the interviewer think that this person hasn't got a clue about what is really involved about getting THIS job.

Although there might be jobs where coming in with a toddler would help you get the job - offhand, I can't think of one.  Dressed like a beach bum doesn't work too many places, either......
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gramma dishes

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Re: How can I tell job interviewees that they're being inappropriate?
« Reply #27 on: March 31, 2013, 05:15:54 PM »
Well, for the record, "all those applicants" and "the unemployed" aren't all sending out resumes just to "demonstrate that they want to work."  Most of them are doing it because they actually DO want to work.  And don't want to be on unemployment, no matter how long it lasts or doesn't last.  And I don't think there are nearly as many people out of work because they are bad workers as you imply.  There are many, many people out of work because of circumstances beyond their control - a lot more than you might think.

I'm sorry the OP is having a difficult time with her applicants, but some of these generalizations about applicants and unemployed people are rather offensive.

Honestly, I think you (or your company) should review your job listings to maybe try to figure out why you are attracting the kinds of people you don't want and how to attract the ones you do, rather than scratching your head over it.

No one has even remotely implied that most people seeking jobs really do want and need those jobs.  We're all very aware that the job market has crashed and even very intelligent, highly skilled, experienced and hard working people are having a heck of a time finding employment right now.

But those people also don't send resumes for jobs for which they know they obviously aren't qualified, nor do they do things at an interview that they know (or at least should know) would seriously jeopardize any chance at all for their actually getting the job.

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Re: How can I tell job interviewees that they're being inappropriate?
« Reply #28 on: March 31, 2013, 06:29:16 PM »
When we were doing the mass interviewing at work, even with a very explicitly worded help ad for qualifications and such, I still would take 30+ calls a day from the roughly 50 a day we got in the longest 2 weeks of my life that were just so wrong for the position that I had to wonder if they read or if they were just trying to get their quota of interviews to stay on state benefits (not implying anything but had numerous people we actually set up interviews for that said they did not want the interview, just for us to sign their paperwork, which we would not do).  And my experience with people on unemployment was they had the bar set way too high...an unemployed bank executive was not getting stock options at a small upscale retail store.  My boss wanted to set up as many interviews as possible, so some people got interviews that probably shouldn't (dear sir, playing pocket pool while leering at your interviewers chest is creepy and will NOT get you hired).  And just because you give someone a phone interview and think they did well does not mean that person is going to come in appropriately dressed or, in one case had someone else due the phone prelim for them and then came in and tanked the interview.  Hiring is like a blind date...they may look good on paper until you meet them and can't run away fast enough

JadeAngel

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Re: How can I tell job interviewees that they're being inappropriate?
« Reply #29 on: March 31, 2013, 07:45:43 PM »
Recently we have been hiring, and while we perform phone interviews and screen candidates carefully some just slip through the net.

We interviewed a young woman not so long ago and on paper she looked great, she had excellent experience in the field we were looking for. We interviewed her over the phone, she was bright and personable. We brought her in for a preliminary interview and she wowed us and was quickly promoted to the top of the list of candidates.

We brought her in for a second interview to meet the Director and that's when the wheels fell off. She never showed up for her interview time, and was not returning any of our phone calls before or after. In the evening after her interview time was long gone she rang HR with some garbled story about having 'fallen off a pair of platform shoes and hit her head' and wanting to reschedule. Against our better judgement (as it is my absolute policy that if you no-show for an interview that is the end of the road for you) we allowed her to come in the next day.

She turned up (early thankfully) but dressed in a rather inappropriate mini dress and killer heels (if you had fallen off your platforms the day before would you not opt for more sensible shoes?) She had no signs of bruising or other injury from her alleged 'fall', which she was never able to explain to our satisfaction. While she waited in the reception area she sat slumped in a chair texting on her mobile. It pretty quickly became obvious when she got into the Directors office that she was hungover, if not still affected.

The interview did not go well, and she was not offered the job. HR and I were mortified, she let us down but more importantly she let herself down. She was almost there, we were strongly recommending her as the best candidate and she elected to go out on the town the night before her interview and (we are almost certain) get herself messed up to the point where she was unable to attend the interview. When we kindly gave her a second chance she went out again the next night and was well and truly under the weather when she came to see us. In this case we can't say to her 'your partying cost you the position' but in all cases, if they are blase about the interview when they are supposed to be trying to impress, then they'll be worse when they actually come to work with you. I think in this case we dodged a bullet. If the candidate had passed the second interview and her issues hadn't surfaced until she was employed with us, it would have made things very complicated.


In regards to advertising we made a decision very early on. The company I work for is tangentially connected to the 'film' industry and we discovered very early that if the word 'film' appeared in the advertisements we would be inundated with resumes from 'model turned actresses', aspiring movie directors and people who generally wanted to be discovered... After our first office manager quit because she was expected to answer phones, collate paperwork and pay bills (even though she was advised all through the interview process that that is what she would be doing, she had googled the boss and formed the mistaken impression that she would actually be having lunch with Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman, lattes with Peter Jackson, leaving work early to slip into a designer gown and attend red carpet movie premieres every other night and flying to the South of France on the company dime to swan around at film festivals, and she was very put out when none of this came to pass), we learned to omit any mention of 'film' from the advertisement to make the recruitment process less time consuming and deter time wasters.