Unfortunately for all of us, there are numerous necessarily evils that we have to encounter in our lifetimes. And through these usually surfaces sheer idiocy and monumental stupidities. Nonetheless, there is nothing that can be done but keep our eyes closed and go through with it.
Interviews — they are the bane of my existence. Although I understand why the concept of interviews came to be, I have difficulty accepting the fact that it has become an annoying, insincere and utterly fake protocol. So much so that I can't help but wonder how it has evolved into a process not far from initiation and pledging. I would think that the idea of an interview is to get to know a potential employee. Plain and simple. Almost like an interesting and engaging conversation. You know, get a feel of his or her personality, skills, capabilities and such.
But no. As a matter of fact, I more or less equate interviews nowadays into a tedious and rigorous process that will simply drain the life out of you. I never understood the need to prolong interviews to as much as eight to ten phases — only to find out that you weren't good enough on the ninth. Obviously, interviews can be stretched out to a hundred phases and one will still be unable to make certain that the candidate is the perfect one. After all, it takes a lifetime to get to know oneself; moreso a complete stranger who just wants an honest job with a paycheck attached to it every month.
And then there are those tests. Admittedly, there are some professions and industries where tests are necessary and I accept that. I can understand why aspiring journalists need to show samples of their work or take a writing test. Or perhaps why engineers need to get certified and also why lawyers need to pass the bar. However, I do not quite agree with asking an administrative assistant to take a math test involving algebraic and trigonometric problems. Or asking a consultant to estimate how many ping pong balls can fit in a Boeing 747. Or — get this — asking an entry level analyst which famous people he or she would take during a scavenger hunt. And those cheesy brainteasers — seriously… why?
So if I happen to know why the person only takes the lift up the twentieth floor even though he really lives on the twenty-fourth floor, that makes me a better fit for a job?
I once had a job interview where I was asked to estimate how many flights there are all over the world on a daily basis. As I tried keeping my eyeballs from popping out of their sockets, I was silently shitting myself in my seat. I mean, where in the world do I start? Whatever happened to those overplayed questions where they ask you to name three strengths and three weaknesses?
“How about I look it up online?” I asked cheekily knowing full well that I have probably bombed the interview already anyway.
“But that's not the point of the exercise,” my interviewer countered.
“Oh I know,” I said. “I know you just want to know how my brain works. And trust me, it works that's why I'm asking you if I can just look it up online. I'm smart, I know how to make things easier.”
He sighed. “Fine, let's try another one,” he said clearly not impressed. “Can you estimate the world's population in a thousand years?”
“What do you care? We'll all be dead.”
Needless to say, I didn't get the gleaming job in the prestigious firm. But hell, if I have to go through nonsense like that to prove myself worthy, then no thanks. Having the talent for knowing useless things will not grant me a better career. These days, it seems that the more bull we know, the better chance we stand to bagging our dream jobs.
On a more serious note, interviews truly are an important portion of recruiting and finding a job. It's the only real way to get to know someone and to gauge whether he or she can do the job. And naturally, we put our best feet forward when being interviewed. The only real way to find out if a person truly is a good fit is to give him or her the job — and hope for the best. We win some, we lose some. Recruiting employees is a massive trial and error feat.
However, the creation of a department dedicated to recruitment has decided to make themselves feel important by asking applicants to go through hoops just to clinch an interview. Otherwise, they send an uber-impersonal email or letter lying about how genuinely sorry they are for not being able to grant us an interview. I cannot believe there is an industry solely devoted to this cause.
Looking for a full-time job is a full-time job in itself. It is one that is most depressing and is simply complete torture. Going through interviews is the validation of our crushed self-esteems. I can imagine how much better it would be to roll around on rock salt after rubbing our bodies with sandpaper. Bagging that one job is the sweetest victory — and an added bonus if we actually don't mind doing what it entails.
At the end of the day, aren't we all just prostitutes that accept whomever takes us as long as they are willing to pay us? We go where the most money is.