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Thursday, October 11, 2012

Job Hunting: Week 2


My second full week of job hunting is coming to a close and the only two places that have called for an interview are insurance companies. That want me to sell insurance. One company, I have no idea where they got my resume, because I've never heard of them. So that's a bit on the creepy side. And no offense, but selling insurance is not something I'm willing to do. Clean houses? Yes. Work part-time in retail at Christmas? You betcha. Be a waitress? Okay. Insurance, car sales, and port-a-potty cleaning is where I draw the line. A very large, very thick line. Sprayed with lots and lots of Febreze.

My current beef with job hunting is the online portion. I understand that it may save paper for large corporations, or even smaller businesses in some cases. I understand that it's completely awesome for me as I can job hunt in my pajamas and no make-up while I watch reruns of random shows like Leverage, Criminal Minds, and Ghost Hunters. It saves me the hassle of getting pretty so I don't scare the real world out of its wits.

HOWEVER


Here's where I can't stand it. Many large corporations now have assessment tests that you have to take in order to be "qualified" to hire. They tell you to answer honestly to such questions, so you answer as honestly as you can - and in which your only two options are to "agree" or "disagree". Questions like: You think you've had more bad luck than others. You do/don't handle stress well. You are a glass-is-half-empty kind of person or a glass-is-half-full person.You often feel depressed.

While I do understand the basis of this line of questioning, it's also stupid. I personally don't think I've had worse luck than the world and I also don't believe the world is out to get me. I usually handle stress well, at least as well as the average person can. I'm typically a glass-is-half-full kind of person, but I have rare days where I wake up on the wrong-side of the bed 5th wheel and see it as half empty. Just like all normal people. Anyone can answer those questions how they think the company wants them to be answered, even people who suffer greatly from depression.


Another thing is that you have no contact person in which to follow up on your application. You don't have a store manager that you can show your face to and nag until he hires you just so he can have some peace and quiet. Nor does he have to call the cops because you're loitering on the company's "property", nagging him to give you a job, any job.

After you fill out your online application, take the assessment test online and finally submit the application to the company (or companies), you better not hold your breath waiting for a callback. It could get ugly. Being that you generally have no real contact person, you are at the mercy of some computer system that weeds people out so that only the "right" people's applications get sent to the manager of said store location of said company. More often than not, if you fail this assessment test, you are not qualified for an interview, let alone a job. I worked for a company in college, a national chain retail store, for three years. I somehow managed to pass the test I took in person and got hired. I have since applied to said company last week . . . took their newer assessment test online and submitted my application. I'm definitely qualified to work there and it's really not the worst company to work for - and they offer benefits for part-time employees. Holla! Anyhoo, this company (like so many others), doesn't tell if you passed or failed. Therefore, you wait on pins and needles and the company doesn't give a shit.

How many good people are being weeded out because of this? (I mean, besides me) Tons. If I don't answer their question how they think they should be answered, I fail and therefore am not qualified to work for a company that I am full-on qualified for. And have already worked for.

Does this make any sense? NO.

Also, I can guarantee this process does not weed out the crazies. I have lived it. With this retail store I worked for in college, a few people were hired on that simply did not work out. Some were just lazy. Some were just ignorant and couldn't get or do anything right. And others were fucking drug dealers. I'm so not kidding. We had this one guy who, at first, seemed okay. I had an instant disliking of him, but I couldn't put my finger on it. He was a bit defiant in his training at the register (I was his trainer). However, a few co-workers came to me at different times and told me this guy had come up to them while putting stock on shelves and said, "Hey, if you need some good shit, let me know. I got connections. I got good shit." And it wasn't pot. Later, he threatened the assistant manager in the office in the presence of two employees and all three of them were scared shitless that this guy was going to come back with a gun. And he qualified via the assessment test that he was a "good employee".


Really, I just miss the days of actually going in, asking for an application, filling it out, stapling my resume to it, and going back into the store and returning my application and resume to the manager in person so I know who the hell to nag to give me a job. It used to be so simple. Now it's complicated by assessment tests online so a computer program can filter me to a person or to the garbage.

I'm not saying that people are any better at eye-balling the crazies, the ignorant, and the lazy, but I think first impressions are extremely important. One of those should be handing your application and/or resume to a manager/owner of a business, dressed like a professional. I like having a face and/or the name of a manager to nag to hire me. It helps. It will either get me a job somewhere or a restraining order. I'd prefer the former, just so we're clear.

While I will continue to job hunt in person and online, just know how much I really don't care for the online portion of my new past time. Somehow, some way, I will persevere and find a job.

Until then, it stinks.


18 comments:

  1. Argh job hunting is the worst thing ever. I can honestly credit some of the worst days of my life to the disappointment of being ignored by jobs I've taken the time to apply for. As far as I'm concerned, it's just plain rude not to give someone a yes or no.

    as for online interview qualifying methods, I couldn't agree more about their stupidity. They never ask the right questions.. I applied for a writing job last year and one of the questions was 'have you previously been employed as a writer in a full time capacity' my answer was no because I hadn't, but there was no space for me to tell them that I have a degree in journalism and spent the last two years freelancing as a writer on top of my full time job, so I wasn't considered.

    With store jobs, i personally would do the online application, and then go into the store and introduce myself with a copy of my resume anyway, it shows initiative I think (and that way you can meet the person you need to stalk for answers) :)

    Good luck!!

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    1. I agree, everyone deserves a yes/no. And they leave no room for you to explain answers or experience, which allows them to interpret as they will which means they usually get it wrong.

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  2. I can't even imagine the frustration you are going through!!! I'm a stay at home Mom, but I did apply on line for a freelance writing job (obviously I wasn't qualified as a blogger because I never heard back). However, some insurance company somehow received my resume and called me for an interview just like you mentioned. They must be hard up because none of my college degrees have anything to do with insurance sales.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. They are always looking for people and they don't care what your degree is in. They are always looking for some sucker.

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  3. Sorry it's getting to you J, I know your pain. It's finally coming around for me as I had 2 interviews this week (fingers crossed). Only took 5 months! Yargh!

    Also selling insurance, in this market, AVOID!

    Chin up and stay positive.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Trying to stay positive, but some things are just aggravating. Two interviews? Yay! Keeping fingers crossed for you! And I will avoid selling insurance in any market, never fear.

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  4. Dead on with that. Oh, and don't forget the job sites that just want to herd you to the "university of Phoenix" or those that, as I learned, sign you up for premium memberships in the fine print that you don't see until they yank $30 dollars out of your account. Or the spam e-mails about making $3,000 a week from home. Lovely how a bad economy makes fake-jobs sites a booming business.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's a whole new post. Possibly multiple! lol It's all so aggravating!

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  5. These work assessment questions remind me of horoscopes, and have just as much credibility.

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  6. Oh darlin'... job hunting sucks. It's a different world than when I was in HR... and even then it was so hard to find the good ones.

    The PO is always hiring on the rural side... it's good money, but long hours and crappy work. But at least it's not a port-o-potty.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Eventually they are shutting down the sorting center that's in Redding, otherwise I may have applied there.

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  7. I miss the days when it was easy. :/ Hang in there!

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    1. Well, it was always tough. I think that this online crap just makes it that much harder to really "sell yourself" to an employer.

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  8. Those tests are total bullshit. Good luck!

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    Replies
    1. Yes, yes they are. And thanks! :o)

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  9. I do not look forward to a day when I have to job hunt again. Hopefully it is a long long time before that happens.

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    1. I hope so, too! It really is no fun. Hell, it's no fun in a GOOD economy.

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