The Startup Show Off

On the top of the list of my failed job interviews the ‘promising startup’ stands tall. An arrogant recruiter asking silly questions, while having unnecessary attitude towards a quite stressed jobseeker trying to impress the person holding their future on the other end of the line.

If the paragraph above didn’t make sense, you’re not alone. I was quite astonished by the questions of this interview, which included my all-time-favourite ‘how to make a peanut butter and jam sandwich’. Never thought that sharing my midnight snack shenanigans would land me a job in tech and in fact, it didn’t.

For archive purposes, though, here’s my answer:

Explain how to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich
Best bread is yesterday’s baguette that absorbs the perfect amount of jelly, while leaving room for the crunchy peanut butter to strategically land its crunchy bits among the seasonal relish. But, why make it a sandwich when you can make PBJ muffins and have the glorious breakfast in a tasty mouthful?

I seriously don’t have a clue what a recruiter wants to find out asking this question. It was quite surprising, though, that they called me for a phone interview, so there should be something that caught their attention there. But, then, why the interviewer was rude?

I guess I’ll never find out as there was no feedback after my phone interview except an email of rejection. All I gathered from this interaction was that I am no Shoreditch startup material, unless I get a beard I suppose and be cool without opening my mouth to instruct interns on how to spread jam on toast. I’m more than fine with this and certainly ready for the next interview!

No Ring No Deal

Why on earth recruiters schedule phone calls with jobseekers and never deliver?

I am in the process of looking for my next career move and currently applying for various roles. The first stage is always the phone chat.

The recruiter is supposed to quickly talk to you for a few minutes and see if they would like to meet you in person. Sounds fair and you make the necessary arrangements to accommodate their schedule as you are adjustable and committed to the opportunity. You have your fully charged phone in hand, you are in a quiet environment and you wait. In an ideal situation, they should call you on time. In case they are stuck in a meeting, they will attempt to get you on the phone 10 minutes later. Etiquette and professionalism require a quick heads up by text or even an automated email notifying you that they are stuck in another call, meeting, task. If they can’t get you on the phone 15 minutes after the initial appointment, the should send an email to apologise and reschedule.

However, none of the above happens. Paraphrasing what Becca said on ‘The Ring’, you start to play it schedule the call and it’s like somebody’s the jobseeker’s nightmare. Seriously, why on earth any recruiter bothers to schedule a call and then being seriously late or not make it at all?

After almost ten failed phone interviews, I started to question the professionalism and integrity of the companies that hire those recruiters to handle employment. What kind of recruiter would ask me with a straight face to give an example of a time that I dealt with a demanding situation in a professional manner, when they cannot even properly handle a phone call, scheduled to their convenience? I am in full employment, as I need to support myself, and it is ridiculous to be expected to have all the time in the world to cater to their lateness and cancellations.

So, is it appropriate to send an email and nudge them about the call or brush it off and wait? In our challenging times when everyone is disposable and recruiting is done via video interviews and assessment centres, nobody will bother to call a candidate twice. If I was a recruiter, I wouldn’t bother either, but I would definitely not waste their time and show my respect to their dedication and cooperation by sending a simple email.

In all honesty, I prefer to work for Starbucks, who’s coffee I really like, and get the job by dropping my CV at my local branch, than go through all this procedure with high-profile recruiters that only want to have the job done.

For now, even though I despise the process, I keep applying for roles that require a phone chat as the first point of contact with the employer and I pop a bottle every time the phone does ring!