Tired of One-Sided Interviews?


checkersIf you are in the market for new employment, you may have noticed a trend lately that has made the selection process a bit one-sided.  The applicant and the employer should be taking time during the interview process to jointly evaluate that the fit is mutual.  Yet if the actual interview process is one-sided, then the applicant is cut out of the process or worse yet brought into it late.

Applicants create online profiles and post resumes to advertise their experience and capabilities, and potential employers can review these without the knowledge of the applicant.  At the same time, the employer can post a position and the applicant can evaluate the company and begin to look at the advertised role for a potential interest.  So in many ways there is a certain level playing field before people actually connect with each other.

However, once the recruiter contacts the potential applicant, or the applicant completes the application, the shift begins and the company is in control of the process.  While an applicant can ask questions during an interview, what happens when assessments are used before interviews to weed out data driven undesirables?

Companies that have online applications have learned to use screening questions to see if the individual has the required knowledge to even be applying for the job.  Personally I think these are a great idea, because they eliminate the people who just complete every application they can get their hands on.  But I also think that if you are moving on with my application because of my background and the answers to the screening questions, then you owe me a brief introductory conversation.

Recently I completed a lengthy application to a position that was titled and sounded like a match for my experience.  I spent a lot of time with the application, and was pleasantly surprised to receive an email that I was being asked to complete an assessment.  Well I passed the first assessment, was asked to complete a second, passed it, and was then asked to complete a third.  When I was notified I had passed the third one and was ready for number four, I asked how many were there to go?  Dead silence.

I began the fourth assessment and started to wonder about what appeared to be 4 different assessments, and what I was really interviewing for.  I examined the job description again, compared it to what the assessments were testing and realized I had read too much into the description and it was not the kind of work I wanted to do.  I emailed the recruiter and asked that my name be removed from the list and why.  If she and I had talked briefly about the role after the application was approved, it would have ended there instead of wasting everyone’s time for the past 6 weeks.

If the employer wants to have complete control over the interview process, then they need to accept that they may be working with someone who will never land up accepting an offer for their opening.  This seems to be a waste of time, but maybe efficiency is not the primary motivator.  Are you tired of one-sided interviews?

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