Friday, April 8, 2011

"Overqualified"- The Comic for Job Seekers.

**Disclaimer- Art is not a professional strength of mine.  If anyone has any tips or articles that I can use to learn on my own, let me know.

The comic above comes from a combination of actual experiences I've had in the post-interview period.  Many examples come from the answers of "Where do you see yourself" or "How much experience do you have in..."  Technicalities make anyone mad.  Being asked to work for free is just insulting...And needing to know where you'll be in 20-25 years?  Difficult and unlikely.

Cartoon #5517  - used with permission.

Just last week, I got an interview with the place I was volunteering because they found out that I had current teacher certification.  I love volunteering there because I worked with inner-city kids of all races and there weren't any school politics, mandates, testing, or anything of that source.  Just pure "kid" time.  The administrator called one day and said, "We loved you and I went to my boss and found out some bad news.  We had to re-evaluate our budget and we can't hire you.  We were wondering, however, if you would do the job for free."  I was so bummed, confused, bewildered.  I will, however, continue to volunteer there.  This seems to be my new reality: interviewing and then for some reason, the offer falls through or the position is no longer available due to "hiring budget".  This is about the third time I've had this happen.

While employer confidence in the economy may be the root of the problem, this type of problem can surface in a few ways.  The three situations I've been in are:

  •  The company changes the description of the job after the interview.  The kicker I got once was something like: "We loved you, but we're looking for someone who'd like to be a lifer as more of an administrative assistant versus a coordinator, not someone who has dreams of promotion down the road."  I'm not sure I could have less honestly answered the question, "What professional area do you think you see yourself in eventually?"  (I am not knocking the profession of administrative assistant- it just isn't what I wanted either after I heard that.)
  • The company or organization no longer has the budget to hire.  There are so many articles I have read on this and every time I share this with a friend, they aren't surprised.  Many departments are in a position to grow, but because of a loss or miscalculation end up combining the position with another that someone already has, or making a current employee do a "lateral shift", meaning someone works two jobs, essentially, or someone moves into that position-  a sort of anti-climactic promotion.
  • The company or organization has hired a referral from an employee or manager.  From my personal experience, this is especially common in school districts, and since 30-60% of jobs are received through referrals (I've heard up to 72% but couldn't find it cited), it's not surprising.  An intern, student teacher or great sub gets a job.  And why not?  Someone already knows their work ethic and can attest to their skill.  A mentor teacher at my school mentioned that "you have to assume they already have someone in mind".  I've entered interviews knowing that I had to try harder to convince them that I was better than someone the hiring manager had in mind.  Sometimes, if it is someone who was referred, it's very likely you never had a chance AND that person may very well be completely unqualified.  Be assured that it's okay to feel jilted.  It'll motivate you in your next interview to convince the next manager they'd be making a mistake by missing out on you.  In any case, it was a great chance to discuss your strengths.  
  • The hiring manager/team mentions a qualification that someone has that you didn't, however it wasn't in the description or mentioned as a necessity to do the job in the interview.  When I do get an interview and am rejected, most of the answers I get from rejections is that, "They're looking for someone with more experience." One manager mentioned  "The person they hired had more experience in sales." While very well "sales" could have been a preferred qualification, no questions that I recall related to sales and it wasn't in the description.  AND it's kind of hard to get experience if you can't get a job!  So while I can't completely judge the process, to me it seemed a little subjective.  But when you have a bazillion candidates, I guess you can be.  :) 
I'd have to say that through all of this hullabaloo, I've been able to take rejection gracefully, learn better from feedback and learn how to self-market.  When our economy grows in strength, this process will be a big fat piece of German Chocolate Cake.  

Any other personal stories about job rejection out there? 

ANYWAY... I hope you enjoyed it!

1 comment:

  1. Ahh that was great! I love your little comic! Too cute!
    Keep it up! :D