I haven’t talked much about what I do for a living. At a very high level, I’m a staffing manager and supervisor. For the most part, this is a very fulfilling job. I get to work with a lot of different people from a variety of backgrounds and skill sets and help them move forward in their careers. It can be really awesome. I’ve had the opportunity to build my own team and have hired some unbelievable people who have been with me for 5+ years. It can also be really hard. People react in strange ways when they don’t get what they want and sometimes blame me for their lack of career growth (especially when they have very obvious performance issues). I’ve had to fire people, which is an awful experience, regardless of the circumstances. I’ve also had to watch incredible employees make the decision to leave for a lot of valid personal reasons. Ultimately, it is very worth it, and I continue to try to be thankful even at times when I’m being challenged and want to pull my hair out.
One of my primary responsibilities is hiring and resourcing new staff. I’ve conducted hundreds of interviews throughout my years in this role and, in doing so, have experienced a lot of crazy shit.
Now, before I go any further, I in no way want to belittle job seekers. I know it is a difficult time to find work, and a lot of people are struggling and trying their best to find jobs that will support them and/or their families. I pride myself in giving people a fair shot and recognizing that the interview process is incredibly stressful and nerve-wracking. I also don’t want to give the impression that I readily make fun of or pick on people. I maintain a strict anti-bullying policy at all times to which Chris and most people who know me well can adamantly attest.
BUT. There are days when I just have to take a step back and acknowledge the ridiculousness and humor in the present circumstances. Sometimes, that’s all that gets me through. On several occasions, I’ve felt like I was being Punk’d. I’ve had people tell me they don’t like working with others (what?) or that they will do absolutely anything to get the job because they really need it (sad but also kind of scary). When asked to provide an example of how she handled a difficult situation, one girl said she usually cries. Not exactly an ideal answer when interviewing for a job in a fast-paced and challenging industry. I once interviewed a woman with no front teeth. I did the interview, but in my head I just couldn’t. It’s a client-facing position. You just have to have teeth…right?
Today was one of those days. The poor candidate I met with today had to be interviewed over the phone because she was from out of state. The lack of face-to-face interaction is always tough, but English was definitely not her first language so the phone aspect just added to the difficulty of the interview. I had to repeat my questions multiple times for her to even begin to answer, and I honestly caught about every third or fourth word she said. All I kept thinking about was the scene in Mrs. Doubtfire where Robin Williams highjacks Miranda’s newspaper ad and calls with the repeated phony reply, “I am job.” At the end of the interview, she asked me how I thought she did in answering the questions (I picked that up after the third time she had to repeat her question for me). I don’t even remember what I said in response. I vaguely remember saying something about her needing to work on communication, but I’m certain there was some dead air on the line due to my complete lack of words. I had a nice chuckle for a good 20 minutes after that one because it was just so painful.
I’m a terrible person. There’s really nothing more to be said.