I have processed about five thousand job applicants in last two years (that's about 7 per day) and I gotta tell you this - most of them stink !
Not literally of course - but when it comes to methods of stupidly & unnecessarily blowing a "no-brainer" interview process to get selected for a "no-brainer" job, then my cleaning agency has just about seen them all !
DO YOU QUALIFY ? I really didn't think we were asking too much. Applicants needed to be able to do housework. They needed a car & a license to drive it. They needed to read, write & speak English. Okay, they also needed a resume, but it didn't have to be full of spectacular cleaning-related careers - any kind of checkable work history was fine.
Likewise, application procedure was also (we believed) not too demanding. The applicant telephones us. We have a chat to them about job requirements and ask them if they fit above qualifications. We ask them to make copies of their resume & references and then we schedule them for an interview in about 3 - 6 days. We interview them for about 40 minutes (though about 30 minutes of that is us doing talking - a fierce interrogation it ain't). Within a day or two we start giving them cleaning jobs. Fairly simple, we thought.
Unfortunately for my agency's collective sanity, most of job applicant population saw it differently.
To start with most basic of errors we encountered, quite a number of people making initial phone call didn't have a driver's licence, despite our job advertisements clearly stating this requirement. Or if they did have a licence, they didn't have a car. Or if they did have a car, it wasn't actually theirs and they have to share it with several other people. Or if they did actually own car, it was broken down & was undergoing lengthy and extensive repairs.
Still, this major obstacle was attacked with determination by almost all car-less applicants. It usually went something along lines of "But my husband can drive me" or "I can take public transport" or "I can ride my bicycle". What a revelation ! Now why didn't WE think of that ? These applicants are sitting there thinking "This employer has only paid out good money to insert 'CAR & LICENSE ESSENTIAL' in huge letters in job advertisement because I was not around at time to point out other possibilities"
Hint for jobseekers (1) - If a job advertisement specifies a requirement, and you do not have that requirement, DON'T bother applying for that job, EVEN IF you think you have an alternative that employer hasn't thought of yet. It's a bit like a prospective surgeon saying that he's hopeless with a scalpel, but is VERY handy with a butter-knife. **** DON'T INTERRUPT Still at initial phone-call stage, another fundamental error is not allowing employer to do his spiel. You are not only person ringing up about position. You are more likely to be 75th person, so please assume that employer has his routine all worked out. He does NOT need prompting to fill you in on all details - he knows what you need to know and he will tell you in his own good time.
The correct time to ask questions is when he finishes explaining what job is about & what application procedure is and when he finishes asking YOU questions.
Hint for jobseekers (2) - Let employer talk. Do not interrupt. Taking over a conversation and putting your potential boss on back foot is not going make a good impression. **** DON'T GET LOST Okay, so about 25% of people make it through gruelling 2 minute phone interview and are then scheduled for a "real" interview.
To deal with simplest situation first, approximately 50% to 80% of these applicants do not show up at appointed time and are never heard from again. While it's annoying, and as employer I never really get used to fact that people go to a lot of trouble to apply for jobs they don't actually want, at least that person is out of way and we can concentrate instead on serious people.
But it's not that simple. There are a number of variations on "not showing up" trick that conspire to further annoy & waste valuable time of prospective employer.
For example, those people who have had 5 days notice of interview, but neglect to look up actual location of interview until they are hopelessly lost in a neighboring suburb with only 2 minutes to go. They ring up from a phone box asking for directions. They invariably arrive at interview flustered & late.
Hint for jobseekers (3) - Make sure you know exactly where interview is being held. If you don't know, do a practise run day before. **** DON'T BE LATE Even worse than people who get lost (who at least deserve a tiny amount of sympathy) are those who turn up 20 - 40 minutes late for no apparent good reason. "Oh hi, I'm here for interview" "Which interview, 3 o'clock or 4 o'clock ?" "The 3 o'clock. I'm a bit late"
This type of applicant doesn't see a problem with being late, probably because it's not a problem for THEM. However an applicant needs to understand that businesses are constantly running to deadlines, and punctuality is vital. If we sit around waiting for a late applicant and start an interview later than planned, it means NEXT interview is going to be delayed and, more importantly, whatever I had planned for AFTER interviews is going to be delayed, and possibly even postponed until next day.
Hint for jobseekers (4). Time is money. Don't be late for an interview. No matter how dazzling you may be in interview, main thing employer will remember next day is that you were late, and therefore probably unreliable. **** ONLY APPLY ONCE Then there are what we term "serial-applicants". These people are constantly applying for jobs over an extended period of time, to extent that they actually apply to us more than once, perhaps several months apart.
Here at agency, we sometimes collectively shake our heads at nerve of these people who fail to show up for a scheduled interview, and then a couple of months later apply again, expecting us to welcome them with open arms.
Hint for jobseekers (5) - If you apply for a job and don't get it, don't apply for exactly same job later on. They don't want you. **** DON'T BRING THE FAMILY So let's suppose an applicant makes it through complicated business of turning up on time.