Tales from the Job Search Circus

Would you describe your job search as a Kafka-esque adventure in total nonsense? Have you had your fill of confused employers, ridiculous interview questions, and mysterious behavior on the part of recruiters? Here are a few stories from applicants who have probably seen worse. This week, we asked some of the job seekers in our network to share their most amusing, confusing, and off-putting encounters with potential employers.

Incompetent Managers

“After I submitted my resume, I was contacted and scheduled for an interview the following week. Everything went well for the first fifteen minutes or so…until I realized that the interviewer had no idea what job I was I applying for. I had to tell him. He shuffled through the papers on his desk searching for my application and he couldn’t find it. I handed him a copy I had with me, but as far as I was concerned, it was too late. I need a responsible employer who knows how to run a company.”“The manager glared and blustered at me for the first few minutes of my interview (I’m an IT pro and this was a network management position). But as soon as I started asking questions about the company’s IT platform and the actual skills they were looking for, he had no idea what to tell me. He knew absolutely nothing about the job.”

Confusing Rejections

“I submitted my resume, I attended two rounds of interviews, and then the line went silent. I never received a call or an email with a clear yes or no. When I finally called the company to follow up, I was told: ‘You were nicely dressed, but we just don’t have any available positions at this time.’ What?“I was told that I didn’t get the job because “some of my remarks raised concerns.” I asked which remarks those were and I was told that this information was “confidential.” I was the one who made the remarks, but the company couldn’t share them with me.“I later found out that I was rejected because—seriously—my alma mater and the manager’s alma mater were sports rivals of some kind. Who wants to work for a company like that? I feel like I dodged a bullet.”

Strange Expectations

“The company put me through FOUR rounds of interviews only to present me with an offer and proudly tell me that they would be paying me in ‘exposure’ and ‘future opportunity’ instead of money. They were so self-satisfied as they delivered this news. I just said goodbye and hung up the phone.”“During the interview I was asked if I intended to take another job during the hours I spent away from this workplace. I said ‘I don’t know, I might, I’m not sure how that applies to this conversation.’ They told me they couldn’t hire me because they needed someone who would ‘fully commit’ to the company. As in, 24 hours a day, every day of the week. Once I got over my initial shock, I laughed all the way home.”

Laugh, Cry, But Don’t Give Up

No matter what kinds of absurdities you encounter on the winding road to your next job, stay flexible and keep your sense of humor. Don’t take rejections personally, don’t over-think each setback, and rely on the power of a strong, well-written, professionally formatted resume. Visit MyPerfectResume for the tools you need to stay focused and confident.