Friday, March 26, 2010

What More Could You Ask For?

Now that I have a gig, I have to say, the interviewing world has really gone to a sad and scary place. I just got an email for a position that actually requested that I:
  • Send work samples of my past work - all of which, for the record, were very much online.
  • Write a summary of my accomplishments and why these documents represent my best work.

Really? Maybe I can also write an essay on the meaning of the company to my ongoing success as a human being. In addition to the resume and the cover letter that I submitted. And all this is before the interview even happened. I could give them a blood sample. Maybe I could even learn more than the 300 words they decided to type up on the position and their crazy startup company. 

The employment market sucks. I'll give it that. But, can you really say that the tables have turned so far that an applicant is required to write an essay before so much as a phone screen? Unless your url is, I'm afraid you're asking too much.


Capt. BS said...

I've always thought that interviews / application processes that B.S. around your actual qualifications, interests, and ability to interact productively with the rest of the team are a big red flag. Although you can almost -- almost -- make the argument that exercises like essay-writing and abstract word problems can be used to evaluate a candidate's abilities, assuming that said abilities under evaluation are highly relevant to the position in question, these drills are often a sign that the company has an inflated sense of self and has lost touch with its corporate humility. Is a company like Google allowed to put you through three grueling interviews in the name of selectivity? Possibly. Are they allowed to put you through five, six, or seven rounds, each of which asks you to spend a couple of hours calculating the number of Q-tips that will be consumed by the entire population of China from 2010 - 2014? Hellz no. What additional perspective of your resume, skills, and personality are going to be revealed after the second or third interview? Are there really seven people that have a professional life-or-death stake in your answers?

So, needless to say, if thinks that it is entitled to put you through this same wringer -- which is unreasonable enough even for a Google or a Microsoft -- what does that say about how management feels about themselve, their company, and their relative position in the markpetplace? And how exactly does that jive with reality?

(Oh dear. This wine is rather strong.)

Priya said...

You should turn in all of your grade school book reports while you are at it