Author Topic: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74  (Read 1376697 times)

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Jocelyn

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #5475 on: March 01, 2014, 06:58:09 PM »
 

I am curious, though, if that question is bad in general, or if it's just bad in context. I would really like to know whether firms or nonprofits are hiring their past interns, but I don't know how to get that information without asking.

I think that is a question that might be best asked of someone at your school (is there a placement office?) or AFTER you have established a reputation for being a good intern at the internship. :) At the interview, I think it is good to focus on the ways in which you can be a solution to their problems, rather than how they can be a solution to yours. That covers all sorts of things like asking about salary and vacation days, too. Perhaps you could ask about the partners and associates at the firm: have they been with the firm long? What sort of internships did they do prior to joining the firm? What are the job qualifications that the firm looks for in associates? If they hire their own interns, surely they'd mention that in response to those questions, and it makes the point that you're interested in their firm for the long-run, and you're interested in preparing to meet their needs, rather than just focusing on what they can do for you. :)

Giraffe, Esq

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #5476 on: March 01, 2014, 08:17:55 PM »
 

I am curious, though, if that question is bad in general, or if it's just bad in context. I would really like to know whether firms or nonprofits are hiring their past interns, but I don't know how to get that information without asking.

I think that is a question that might be best asked of someone at your school (is there a placement office?) or AFTER you have established a reputation for being a good intern at the internship. :) At the interview, I think it is good to focus on the ways in which you can be a solution to their problems, rather than how they can be a solution to yours. That covers all sorts of things like asking about salary and vacation days, too. Perhaps you could ask about the partners and associates at the firm: have they been with the firm long? What sort of internships did they do prior to joining the firm? What are the job qualifications that the firm looks for in associates? If they hire their own interns, surely they'd mention that in response to those questions, and it makes the point that you're interested in their firm for the long-run, and you're interested in preparing to meet their needs, rather than just focusing on what they can do for you. :)

Actually, it's not even that horrible of a question to ask at the interview.  It's that he contacted us before applying to ask it.  If you're asking that question before even applying, the implication is that the answer is necessary for you to even decide to apply.

As a 1L--actually, as a law student--I can't think of any question that's necessary to ask the employer before even deciding to apply.  Not to be callous, but in the current legal market, you need me way more than I need you.  Especially when I'm offering to pay you.  You should be able to decide whether to apply based on the employer's website, job listing, and "gossip" from other students and career office.  If you really can't decide if you want to work for the place, then apply and ask more questions in your interview so that you can know whether to accept.

After all, we're a small not-for-profit.  Everyone in the firm wears more than one hat and has too much work to do.  I'm in charge of the summer program, but I'm also an attorney with other assignments to do.  I have scheduled time for reviewing applications, setting up interviews, conducting interviews, etc.  I do not have time to give a live "pre-interview" to someone just so that he can make himself stand out on my radar.  Actually, he certainly did stand out -- just not in a good way.

Ceallach

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #5477 on: March 01, 2014, 09:42:20 PM »
 

I am curious, though, if that question is bad in general, or if it's just bad in context. I would really like to know whether firms or nonprofits are hiring their past interns, but I don't know how to get that information without asking.

I think that is a question that might be best asked of someone at your school (is there a placement office?) or AFTER you have established a reputation for being a good intern at the internship. :) At the interview, I think it is good to focus on the ways in which you can be a solution to their problems, rather than how they can be a solution to yours. That covers all sorts of things like asking about salary and vacation days, too. Perhaps you could ask about the partners and associates at the firm: have they been with the firm long? What sort of internships did they do prior to joining the firm? What are the job qualifications that the firm looks for in associates? If they hire their own interns, surely they'd mention that in response to those questions, and it makes the point that you're interested in their firm for the long-run, and you're interested in preparing to meet their needs, rather than just focusing on what they can do for you. :)

Actually, it's not even that horrible of a question to ask at the interview.  It's that he contacted us before applying to ask it.  If you're asking that question before even applying, the implication is that the answer is necessary for you to even decide to apply.

As a 1L--actually, as a law student--I can't think of any question that's necessary to ask the employer before even deciding to apply.  Not to be callous, but in the current legal market, you need me way more than I need you.  Especially when I'm offering to pay you.  You should be able to decide whether to apply based on the employer's website, job listing, and "gossip" from other students and career office.  If you really can't decide if you want to work for the place, then apply and ask more questions in your interview so that you can know whether to accept.

After all, we're a small not-for-profit.  Everyone in the firm wears more than one hat and has too much work to do.  I'm in charge of the summer program, but I'm also an attorney with other assignments to do.  I have scheduled time for reviewing applications, setting up interviews, conducting interviews, etc.  I do not have time to give a live "pre-interview" to someone just so that he can make himself stand out on my radar.  Actually, he certainly did stand out -- just not in a good way.

This exactly.  It's not the question itself that makes him SS, it's trying to get special treatment in the recruitment process that makes him SS.   The initial stage isn't a "Q&A session" for the applicant, the initial stage is to send in your application and the employers decides if they are interested in pursuing it further.   Then when you're interviewed that's your opportunity to ask some questions.      I have posted in the past how I pretty much ignore applicants who instead of actually applying either call or email with lists of questions for me.  I'm too busy to deal with that.  If it was a reasonable question based on crucial information missing from the advertisement I would completely understand, but it never is, it's always SS who think they are standing out by getting personal attention.   But it's exactly as you say above - they stand out, just not in a good way!
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Winterlight

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #5478 on: March 04, 2014, 11:35:40 AM »
Managers for many years saw "working the computer" as a lower-level secretarial function.  Computers were looked on simultaneously as just improved typewriters AND as mysterious, complicated contraptions that one could blow up simply by clicking on the wrong button.   Just as managers didn't need to learn how to use a typewriter, so they didn't need to learn how to use a computer.  And it would be better if they didn't, because they were certain to press that wrong button.  ::)

I worked with one of those a while back. He was a semi-retired law firm partner who insisted that his secretary print out his emails and give him hard copies, then he'd dictate his answers.

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And how, and when, and where.
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TeamBhakta

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #5479 on: March 04, 2014, 11:37:28 AM »
I had a job interview today. It turned out to be the kind of interview where you sit with one hiring manager, then get sent to a second manager if you do okay in the first one.

First PD: I was filling out an application with a pen I brought. Mr PD comes up and says "Excuse me can I have that pen when you're done ?" "Pardon ?" "Can I have that pen when you're done ?" "Oh. No, sorry, this is my pen I brought. They probably have pens at the front counter, though, if you ask them. I'm sure they'll give you one." At which point he rolled his eyes, sighed and stomped his feet so loud everyone turned around. At least one of the hiring managers saw this. Someone did offer him a pen, although I didn't see him get interviewed (Which was a requirement. They weren't taking applications unless you sat down for an interview)

The second PD: A whole bunch of people who dropped inappropriate information during the interviews. There are certain things employers here cannot ask you about (age, marital status, religion, etc), and thus you should not mention. And yet people kept throwing that information out. Also lots of people bringing up things like "*angry tone* I'm so mad at my current job. They never promote me whenever I apply for it. I've had it with them" and "(List of current life mistakes & character flaws)...But I'm gonna work on that and fix it. I'm gonna just focus on planning my wedding and getting married -- and working here!" As you can guess, those people were not sent to the second interview.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2014, 11:39:43 AM by TeamBhakta »

goldilocks

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #5480 on: March 04, 2014, 01:24:26 PM »
I just interviewed someone for a manager position.   He'd be roughly my equal, just over a different area of responsibility. 

During the interview he mentioned that he was "good friends" with one of our senior VP's.   

Okay, I like SVP, but do I really want one of his buddies around all the time?   I put a call into SVP for a recommendation, and depending on the outcome of that I may veto him.

And if SVP actually knows the guy! How many people have pullet the "I know the owner" trick? Maybe not in your specific situation, but "good friend" might mean they just frequent the same golf club and chatted once..

SVP told me that the name "sounded familiar" but he couldn't say he knew him. 

Sophia

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #5481 on: March 04, 2014, 01:25:51 PM »
In an interview, I remember once accidentally mentioning some info that they weren't allowed to ask about, then I apologized.  The response was that they weren't allowed to ask, but it wasn't a problem for me to volunteer.  I think it was in relation to the question if travel would be a problem, and I mentioned being single with no kids meant that it was easy for me to travel.  I did get the second interview, and a job offer several months later. 

The rest does sound like PD though. 

Slartibartfast

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #5482 on: March 04, 2014, 02:40:39 PM »
In an interview, I remember once accidentally mentioning some info that they weren't allowed to ask about, then I apologized.  The response was that they weren't allowed to ask, but it wasn't a problem for me to volunteer.  I think it was in relation to the question if travel would be a problem, and I mentioned being single with no kids meant that it was easy for me to travel.  I did get the second interview, and a job offer several months later. 

The rest does sound like PD though.

It's not even that they're not allowed to ask - it's that in the US, they're not allowed to base their hiring decision on that type of information.  So most companies avoid asking questions which would require divulging membership in a protected class in order to answer, so they can protect themselves from potential lawsuits.  That doesn't mean that they can't guess, infer, you can't answer, they can't ask, etc. - just means if they refuse to hire you and you can *prove* they made that decision based solely on one of those characteristics, you can sue.

Granted, lawsuits are such a pain in the you-know-what that most companies want to avoid having to defend against them, even when they know they'd win  :-\

YoginiSaysYes

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #5483 on: March 04, 2014, 04:12:30 PM »
Speaking of applicants, some people really not know how to behave when looking for employment.

At my former job I was reception and it was baffling the number of people coming in for interviews who were flat out rude to me, either on the phone prior or in person at the interview. Don't you realize the second you hang up/leave I'm going to go over to the person who interviewed you and say, "I did not like him, he was disrespectful" and they're immediately going to toss your application in the trash? Be nice to the lowest person on the totem pole, it matters.

Sirius

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #5484 on: March 04, 2014, 04:26:45 PM »
Someone who is rude to a receptionist or the janitor is a rude person.  I've worked as a receptionist, and I've seen both ends of that spectrum.  Had one person tell me where all their pains were, and then ask me what I thought it was.  I explained that I wasn't a credentialed therapist and as such couldn't give any opinions as to someone's physical condition.  They then asked me, "If you're not credentialed, then what good are you?"  Gee, thanks.  But I made sure my boss heard about that little exchange.  (Had a great boss.  He didn't allow his people to be mistreated.)

Ceallach

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #5485 on: March 04, 2014, 07:13:32 PM »
Speaking of applicants, some people really not know how to behave when looking for employment.

At my former job I was reception and it was baffling the number of people coming in for interviews who were flat out rude to me, either on the phone prior or in person at the interview. Don't you realize the second you hang up/leave I'm going to go over to the person who interviewed you and say, "I did not like him, he was disrespectful" and they're immediately going to toss your application in the trash? Be nice to the lowest person on the totem pole, it matters.

My absolute favourite was for awhile when we were growing rapidly and hadn't hired enough reception/admin staff to keep up, I would sometimes answer the external line myself.   So I'd have potential applicants be absolutely rude as anything to me, only to find out moments later that I was in fact the person they needed to speak to!       I took great pleasure in putting on my coolest, coldest tone with them.   You could almost hear the disappointment in their voice when they realised the person they'd just been aggressively addressing with their demands (because they are so very important) was actually the person considering their application.   Awesome.  It made me quite angry to realise how rude they were to people who they *thought* were unimportant though.   

Sadly I see that with clients too - they are rude to my staff, but when I call to follow-up on complaints they are sweet as honey.  Another reason why I love being management...!
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Elfmama

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #5486 on: March 04, 2014, 07:50:28 PM »
Young ladies (and gentlemen) might do well to remember how their dates treat the wait-staff.   As a PP said, someone who is rude to a person they perceive as "inferior" is a rude person, who will eventually treat YOU like that. 

I remember DD1 landing on her young son with both feet, because he was rude.  Her son said, "But Daddy says it's OK, because she's just a waitress."  ::)  Yeah, there's a reason that Daddy is Mommy's EX husband. 
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KenveeB

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #5487 on: March 04, 2014, 09:42:10 PM »
Speaking of applicants, some people really not know how to behave when looking for employment.

At my former job I was reception and it was baffling the number of people coming in for interviews who were flat out rude to me, either on the phone prior or in person at the interview. Don't you realize the second you hang up/leave I'm going to go over to the person who interviewed you and say, "I did not like him, he was disrespectful" and they're immediately going to toss your application in the trash? Be nice to the lowest person on the totem pole, it matters.

Any time I'm in a position to mentor students or young workers, that's always always the information I pass on. (I usually say "secretaries rule the world." :)) Anyone who treats my staff poorly, I will know about it and it will affect my opinion of you. Support staff are hugely important and can make your life so much easier or so much harder after you're hired too! Always maintain a good relationship.

MommyPenguin

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #5488 on: March 04, 2014, 11:52:06 PM »
Can a school commit professional Darwinism?  I don't know if this quite fits, but I don't know where else it would.

My MIL is a teacher at a private school.  A month ago, she received a group email, sent to all the teachers, that said that it was the last day for one of the teachers.  She was surprised, as she hadn't heard anything about him leaving (although she knew he wasn't performing all that well).  Turns out he'd been given two days notice.  Even with a teacher who isn't that great, schools usually prefer to keep them until the end of the year to give the students continuity, and then they don't renew the contract.  So it was surprising.

So then this past Friday after school, she received another group email saying that it was the last day for another teacher.  She couldn't believe it, because just that *morning* she'd been talking to that teacher about something they were planning for next week, and he hadn't let on.  So she went to see him, and asked him what was up.  He had no idea what she was talking about.  She asked him if he'd read his email.  He hadn't.  She gently told him what was in it and encouraged the shell-shocked man to go see the administration and figure out what was going on.

Seriously?  You email the entire teacher list to tell them that somebody is being fired... before the person is told?  And you don't tell the person until the end of the day on their last day on the job?  As far as my MIL knew, he didn't have any performance issues major enough for other teachers to know about.  And it's March!

Somehow I don't see good things for this school's teacher loyalty/retention in the future.  I don't know if it will lead to the end of the school, but something that shakes up the teachers and maybe causes the best of them to look elsewhere is not generally a good way to keep your school going well.

Sophia

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #5489 on: March 04, 2014, 11:57:54 PM »
...(I usually say "secretaries rule the world." :)) ...

They really do!  I remember one time in college chatting with one of the department secretaries while she rearranged my class schedule for me after classes had started.  Another student came up, ignoring that she was already doing work for me, and demanded that the secretary rearrange her class schedule for her.  Of course she had no way of knowing that the secretary was already doing precisely that for me.  The secretary said completely deadpan that it was completely impossible since classes had already started.  Stranger then walked into the department heads office and demanded that her scheduled be rearranged.  Head asked secretary if it was possible, and she said no.  The head shrugged his shoulder and went back into his office.