Saturday, December 17, 2011

Resumes and Interviews are stupid

Lately I have been getting some of these spam e-mails, that tell you what to write in your resume and what to say in your ob interview and got me thinking... I have seen books that tell you how to be an effective Human Resources Manager, what questions to ask, how to browse through hundreds of resumes and find the perfect fit for the company. At the same time I have seen other books telling you how to pass the resume keywords system (gasp!) and what to write, what not to write and how to respond to well known interview questions.
Do I smell a scheme there?This kinda reminds me the whole dating scheme and why it fails miserably. First dates are all about withholding bad info and sharing stuff that you are not remotely interested. "No I don't spend much time on my looks, this is how I look in the morning...", "No ,of course I don't like watching sports and play World of Warcraft!". Do you see where I am going with this?

In other words, if you wanna get the job, you better lie and read a lot of "new" advice of what to put on your resume and what not to say in an interview. New you will ask? Yes, some say do this and that, and after a year they say, this is so 90s and you shouldn't do it anymore. There is no way someone will know if you are good at what you do, from a piece of paper and 30 minutes of chit chat. But let's start from the beginning!

RESUME

 There are companies out there that will actually write your resume and cover letter for you... if you pay them a handsome fee. Which brings me to... If I wanted to work there, can I as them to write my resume? Jokes aside, resumes are ineffective because there is no way to see if someone is a fit for the job from a piece of paper as I already mentioned. Only thing it proves is if you did your research (is this another word for cheating?), if you used the keywords that the filter uses so your resume will actually get some priority number along with other 100 of them for someone to check it. If you are just a bit late and even if you have the best resume most likely someone that was faster than you will get the interview. Don't expect em to interview 100 people. Do you have an idea of how busy HR people are? Because I don't.

"Don't write down what you did in your previous job but rather your accomplishments". Really? People that start have a very limited set of responsibilities. Meaning room for creativity and accomplishments is very limited. If you work as a new salesman I doubt you can call an accomplishment something that other more experienced salesmen do every day. It might be an accomplishment for you but not to them. Also how can you actually check it if you work in HR? With all the hype about privacy I doubt anyone is willing to give someone info about you or your "accomplishments". Now don't get me wrong I am sure some people make a difference but the advice these books and sites give is for everyone not just them. 

Then they say do this, say that and so on but you only have two pages to do it. when I was making my resume I only had 5 years of experience and with my 2 degrees, seminars and info it took 2 pages to fit them all in. Someone with 15 years of experience will probably have a problem. Unless 15 years of experience (or what the HR wants) is one year of experience multiplied by 15. Meaning you learned how to do something in that one year and you kept doing the same for the next 15 years. I can barely call this 15 years of experience. For people like me that try to be creative and improve their skills its hard to fill just 2 pages.

So the solution to the resume problem? Case study. Tell me what you need to do and I will tell you how I would put my skills to good use to help you achieve your goals. I can say in my resume how I am creative and I can do this and that but unless you try me I can say whatever I want. It doesn't take a genius to think something like that. More stress to your HR department to read all these? I truly care.

INTERVIEW
 Ah the audition. This is how I call it. "Wear this and not that". This color means this and this tie means that. Come on people I am going for a job interview not to become a fashion model. "When you get in and the interviewer greets you give him a firm handshake". Have you ever tried this with someone that gives you a not so firm handshake? Exactly. If not you will probably find out soon enough. "Then sit in the chair this way and your hands should be there and not there". Do you know where people told other people how to sit and how to do this and that? 1940 in Germany. Shall I reach any conclusions about this?

Then the stupid rehearsed questions start. "Why you think you are a good fit for the company?", "Where do you see yourself in 5 years" (as an entrepreneur because I am tired of these bullshit), "What is your biggest weakness?"... "Oh I am so perfect and this causes me problems sometimes... makes people like you feel threatened". And many more. I rarely if ever heard someone ask about how you can help the company with a specific challenge they are facing. 

Then they tell you when they ask you if you have any questions it would be a HUGE mistake not to ask. But watch out HOW you will ask what you wanna ask. For example don't ask about vacations and money. Do these people think I want a job because I am a charity case? I want a job because since I have something to offer I expect to get something back too. I shall work for a month and then learn that I got 50% less than everyone else in my industry? No thank you. Show me the money and the benefits package now! Solution here? Same as before. Ask me what I can do in a specific challenge your company faces. Or how you can get publicity or whatever.
And to prove you how much interviews fail Warren Buffet failed his interview in Harvard and he wasn't accepted when he was young. Too bad that he became a billionaire right? Want some more that got rejected from jobs and became millionaires? There you have it:
  • Steve Jobs was rejected from both Atari and Hewlett-Packard
  • Decca Recording Co. rejected the Beetles
  • Yahoo rejects Google
  • Michael Jordan was rejected by his high school coach
Point being is you need to do things in a way that is not scripted. Google and Jobs offered something the other companies didn't see. Because they followed the standard procedure and protocol. Failing to see talent and skills, and only trying previous decade ways without innovating them and modernizing them will get you so far. You prefer someone telling you scripted rehearsed shit or speaking of his dreams and what he is passionate about?