Life is the art of drawing without an eraser ~ John W. Gardner

Interviews #2

Last year, this time, I wrote about interviews that I had to go through. No, not me going for interviews. I, the HR person, has to interview potential candidates.

The jokes arise from interviews, are always new. I am not surprised to see the quality of fresh graduates and young job-seekers has dropped so much. You wouldn’t believe me if you weren’t in the field of HR. A lot of you would be saying it’s easy for the companies right now to hire, so many unemployed and young job-seekers nowadays. However, as an employer, I must tell you it is not easy to find a suitable one. It is even more difficult to find one with the right attitude. Sometimes, it isn’t the experience and qualifications that matter, it is the attitude. You can have 10 years of working experience and a double degree, but your attitude stinks and you think the world is lucky to have you and everyone should be listening to you including your potential employer. Sorry to say, no employer appreciates that kind of attitude. You may then consider to stay with your current employer for ever.

I was interviewing candidates for the position of Receptionist cum Admin Assistant. I think almost everyone would think that it is a piece of cake to interview for receptionist. You would be surprised. From the national newspaper advertisement, I only received 6 applications. 6!!! I was so sad. Out of this 6, 5 were shortlisted for an interview. Out of the 5 I called, only 3 showed genuine interest, the other 2 were more like saying yes just to entertain me.

Arranged for 5 interviews, 4 came, 1 failed to come and did not even bother to call to inform me. I took the effort to call, no answer.

Out of the 4 I interviewed, or I should say 3, I am so fortunate that 3 of them are good. Now, let me tell you the story of this candidate who came but not interviewed.

I had 3 interviews that morning, 10am, 11am and 12pm. My boss had an interview at 10am too and he insisted me to go in with him at 10am. So, I couldn’t interview the first girl at 10am and the rest of the scheduled interviews were pushed to a later time. There was this candidate, Ms. T, her interview was at 11am. When I came out from the interview with my boss, it was already 11.15am. I asked Ms. T if she were rushing somewhere and if she could wait for me. She told me she wasn’t going anywhere and she would wait. Then, I went ahead with the first girl, an Indian girl. By the time I was done with the Indian girl, Ms. T was gone! I was surprised, but I didn’t think much of it and went on with the third interview.

After I finished all the interviews, my colleague then told me, around 11.45am Ms. T informed her to tell me that she wanted to leave and couldn’t wait. I was like, “huh? I thought I’ve asked her if she could wait and why didn’t she tell me that earlier?” Well, perhaps she had something urgent and that’s it, I didn’t take it seriously and thought maybe Ms. T would call me later for another interview.

Later that evening, I received an email from Ms. T. I thought she emailed to ask if I could arrange another interview with her. When I open the email and read, my jaw dropped open for as long as forever!

This is what she wrote to me. (Click on the image for larger view)

I did not amend or change any of the content of the email above except I deleted the email address and name. See, I still want to protect her! Hahahaha. Sorry to say that there were so many grammatical and spelling errors in the email.

I was so uncomfortable after reading that email with those untrue accusations and exclamation marks!

I called and asked her.

Me: I have just received your email Ms. T. This morning, did I not ask you if you could wait?
Ms. T: Yes, you got. *Obviously her English isn’t good and I wonder if she was the one who wrote me that email*
Me: Then why did you send me this kind of email accusing me that I did not even “entertain” you?
Ms. T: I don’t know need to wait so long.
Me: If you couldn’t wait at all, you should have told me in the first place. And did you know that the interview with that Indian girl was before you? I had an interview schedule to follow, not on the first come first serve basis.
Ms. T: I don’t know.
Me: Exactly. You shouldn’t write me that kind of email when you don’t know the reason behind. And you said I don’t respect you, if I don’t respect you, I would not be the one interviewing you. Ms. T, you come for an interview and you have to wait if you have to wait. If you could not wait, you have to tell the interviewer that you could not wait and maybe come back at a later time. Waiting during an interview is very common and I personally have waited 3 hours for a job interview! So yes, I know how it felt but I don’t go around sending email like this to people! *Obviously I was trying to give her a piece of my mind.*
Ms. T: Never mind lah, never mind lah…… I… I… *I guess she was trying to say never mind and she doesn’t want to come for an interview anymore.*
Me: You don’t mind, I mind. *Hoping that she could get the signal and apologise. Duh!* I’m teaching you one thing here Ms. T and you have to remember it. You DO NOT write this kind of email to your potential employer, NEVER! Okay?
Ms. T: Ok ok ok……………….. *The sorry I was waiting for never came.*
Me: Bye.

I had to clarify with her instead of keeping quiet and silence can sometimes be seen as admission. A day later, my MD saw me and told me, “the chinese girl who came for interview on Monday, she doesn’t seem mentally stable, don’t get her”. Hahahahahahahaha…… I guess MD must have seen something while she was waiting at the reception area. I did not bother to ask him further then.

Now you know working in HR is not as easy and simple as you think. Even the candidates could give hell lot of trouble for you to handle.

Youngsters nowadays always complain that the employers couldn’t pay what they are asking. I say, please have a look at yourselves. Degree-holder with 2 years experience, asking for RM3500 to RM4000. You tell me, can you contribute the same amount to the employer? When they’re asked to work late, they whine about the employers mistreat them, paying them peanuts and yet wanting them to work extra. You tell me, you give a monkey peanut and did you not expect it to at least play some trick to amuse you? They often said the employers do not appreciate and reward their good performance and they’re constantly looking for one that does. Again, did they ever appreciate that the employer offered them a job?

Sigh. When can we get some good attitude employees??????????

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