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Interview / Career objective feedback


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Hi all

Am looking for some objective insight into the whole job interview process. Am looking to move up - no opportunties where I am, so looking at roles in comparable organisations.

I seem to have a phenomenal ratio of applications to interview invites (50%), while a dismal record of interviews to job offers.

Just had an interview last week. Usual experience - a barrage of pre written questions, with a split second to provide the best example ever. No reference whatsoever to my CV or application, which at least one of the panel clearly hadn't read at all (and this is for a senior manager role). Feels like a popularity contest and little else... Needless to say, I didn't get it.

Is this everyone else's experience of interviews??

Edited by rantnrave
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15 minutes ago, Data Dave said:

Which industry? Do you ever ask how many applicants they have had apply for the roles your applying for?

It is a very competitive sector, but I have 20 years experience, including some that are hard to obtain. Going for interviews, I can usually check the amount of competition by how many visitors have signed in at reception that same day. Alternatively, during a test exercise, it's a given that other candidate's work is sitting in the recycle bin... Typically, I would say I am one of four candidates.

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On 19/05/2021 at 19:29, rantnrave said:

It is a very competitive sector.

On top of that most company's structures have more people lower down than in senior roles and takes on an inverted triangle shape....so by definition it must get more competitive purely though for any industry by this alone? 

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 19/05/2021 at 17:32, rantnrave said:

Hi all

Am looking for some objective insight into the whole job interview process. Am looking to move up - no opportunties where I am, so looking at roles in comparable organisations.

I seem to have a phenomenal ratio of applications to interview invites (50%), while a dismal record of interviews to job offers.

Just had an interview last week. Usual experience - a barrage of pre written questions, with a split second to provide the best example ever. No reference whatsoever to my CV or application, which at least one of the panel clearly hadn't read at all (and this is for a senior manager role). Feels like a popularity contest and little else... Needless to say, I didn't get it.

Is this everyone else's experience of interviews??

Have you read this?

https://www.theregister.com/2011/11/17/connor_on_interviews/

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On 12/06/2021 at 16:02, Will! said:

I would *love* to attend an interview where the panel produced even one bespoke question based upon what they had read of my CV. Typical experience instead is that an HR underling reads the CVs to shortlist for interview. The panel are all ultra busy / supremely confident types who then don't have time to read the CVs and arrogantly believe they can still identify the best candidate through whoever responds best to the same list of predetermined questions. Their gut feelings determine the outcome of what has then essentially become a personality contest.

While I am having a whinge about the whole process, a special mention also goes to interviewers who 'discover' who my current employer is halfway through the process and decide to grill me on details of their operations which have no bearing on my CV or the role I am applying for. I am not a ####ing free consultant. At this point, I know the game is up and they have lost interest in my answers to their standardised questions.

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  • 1 month later...
On 19/05/2021 at 17:32, rantnrave said:

Hi all

Am looking for some objective insight into the whole job interview process. Am looking to move up - no opportunties where I am, so looking at roles in comparable organisations.

I seem to have a phenomenal ratio of applications to interview invites (50%), while a dismal record of interviews to job offers.

Just had an interview last week. Usual experience - a barrage of pre written questions, with a split second to provide the best example ever. No reference whatsoever to my CV or application, which at least one of the panel clearly hadn't read at all (and this is for a senior manager role). Feels like a popularity contest and little else... Needless to say, I didn't get it.

Is this everyone else's experience of interviews??

The Register: What is your greatest weakness? The definitive list of the many kinds of interviewer you will meet in Hell

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On 13/06/2021 at 19:49, rantnrave said:

I would *love* to attend an interview where the panel produced even one bespoke question based upon what they had read of my CV. Typical experience instead is that an HR underling reads the CVs to shortlist for interview. The panel are all ultra busy / supremely confident types who then don't have time to read the CVs and arrogantly believe they can still identify the best candidate through whoever responds best to the same list of predetermined questions. Their gut feelings determine the outcome of what has then essentially become a personality contest.

While I am having a whinge about the whole process, a special mention also goes to interviewers who 'discover' who my current employer is halfway through the process and decide to grill me on details of their operations which have no bearing on my CV or the role I am applying for. I am not a ####ing free consultant. At this point, I know the game is up and they have lost interest in my answers to their standardised questions.

I say the below as a long time hiring manager in technology recruiting folks with 10-25 years experience.

CV's are written by the applicant, and while a good guide to whether they might have the experience one is looking for and could be a good fit, this is just to filter down the list for face to face I/V, or more likely initial telephone I/V. Any halfway decent applicant at that level is going to be able to write a great CV, because they have lots to fill it out with and have probably had lots of practice. So I don't place too much stock in them after initial filtering.

One kind of bad hiring manager asks lots of questions about the applicant's CV, projects they have been involved in etc, but few questions that test the candidates suitability for the role. Asking the applicant questions based on their CV means that the applicant is in their comfort zone and can waffle on for ages simply recounting what they did in the past. There are other kinds of band interview techniques of course, but placing the candidate in a position of moderate stress and pushing them out of their comfort zone is not one of them.

Pre-determined questions are designed to facilitate a reasonably unbiased comparison between candidates. If all you have done is talked to a candidate about prior experience and career anecdotes, then there is no basis for objective comparison with your other candidates. Also bear in mind that if the question list is genuinely pre-determined then presumably there are applicants who answer them better than you. Why might that be? Also possibly, your indignation at being asked such questions is showing through?

I will always ask CV related questions in addition to questions which are designed to more directly compare candidates, but even then I probe knowledge that I would expect candidates to have given their CV content, rather than just ask about historical career experiences. And when I ask such CV based questions I am looking at attitude and approach rather than just job skills.

I think you may benefit from re-considering your attitude to the process, assuming you want to move up, and also - wherever you fail to get hired ask for candid feedback as to why. Its the only way to learn and correct ones approach.

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