So, a bit aback (it was actually last summer), some Baby Boomer Jackhat wrote an ultra-snotty interwebs piece about how crap younger workers were at interviews and that’s why we don’t have jobs. The piece was particularly focused on entry-level workers, but sounded generally applicable to all interviewees. Now, I realize giving publicity to a Narcissistic Negatron like Mr. O’ Toole (that is his real name) may be playing directly into his self-adoring hands, but I think the time has come to pen my own response. (A young person has already written back.)
Your resume is longer than that of a 25-year professional.
That’s because people who graduated from college after 1990 actually did something in school and have experience on graduation. I understand the typical pre-1990 grad did nothing in college and grad school except goof around, get drunk and get high. I understand this because they continued in the same useless manner after graduation as they proceeded during school and I and my Generation (and now Millenials) have been doing their jobs behind them for decades. There is no problem with the resumes of young people. The problem is the lack of meaningful experience by many older workers who’ve spent their careers with their feet up on their desk cracking-wise, being entertaining at happy hours and calling it work.
You didn’t prepare for our interview.
Yeah they did. They were simply so aghast at your lack of accomplishment that they don’t have anything to say. They are playing dumb because they are embarrassed for you.
You wrote a thank you note, and only used it to thank me.
This may very well be because following the interview, they would rather stay on the unemployment line or keep working at a coffee shop. Kids are smart these days.
You dressed for failure.
I have to admit I have to agree with this one for the most part. If you are interviewing for a job that requires a four-year degree or any real amount of post-high school experience, I really think you should wear a suit. Having at least one “interview suit” in the closet is a must for anyone who anticipates any amount of supervisory/ managerial, or desk/ white collar work. It is best to get one well before graduation, as a warm up, I would suggest buying and wearing suits for internship interviews, not just permanent, post-grad interviews. Go to mainstream department store, a discounter, hunt clearance racks and sales; ask for a suit for your high school graduation present, a birthday or holiday gift; accept a hand me down from a friend or relative who outgrew a suit that wasn’t worn much; scour second hand stores for gently (or unused) interview suits. No matter how broke you are, if you are job searching, a basic interview suit really is a must.
I have been told at times not to wear a suit to interviews. When I probed on the issue, oftentimes, support staff (or even an interviewer) will be emphatic that a suit is not necessary. I have usually departed from that advice and worn a suit anyway. My one experience where I did not wear a suit to an interview on the instructions of the scheduler, the vibe was very awkward and I really wished I’d worn a suit. Having said that, if it is simply an informational/ networking meeting, I will often skip a suit in favor of dress pants or a work skirt and a blouse or workwear sweater.
If it is a pre-graduation intership or a temporary or unpaid position, I might relent and OK Khakis with a dress shirt, pieces, a sports coat, etc, but not really. I really do agree that if you are interviewing for a specific professional position, even if it is entry level, you should wear a suit.
You don’t know what you want to do.
If they went through the trouble of digging up your vacancy announcement, took the time to apply, sat through a screening interview and now are actually at your office for an in person sit down, they are interested in your job. Get over your Baby Boomer addiction to Rabid Squirrel “enthusiasm”.
You don’t get social media (but think you do).
You don’t get social media (but think you do). It’s called filtering access.
You couldn’t bother to proofread.
Grow up. What did your piece look like before your assistant and the Editor fixed it.
You don’t have a LinkedIn profile.
A lot of people don’t have LinkedIn profiles. You should know that as well as I do.
Do an internship (or two or three).
They already did. See your own first jab.
Bonus reason: you lacked professional courtesy!
Grow up. This is part of what you are supposed to teach entry levels. Why does the interviewee have to ask your colleague what they do? If you and your colleague knew anything about introductions, the interviewee wouldn’t have to ask. You say, “[Interviewee], this is Sandra, our CFO.” Then Sandra say, “Hi [Interviewee], it is nice to meet you. I have been with the company for five years. I was promoted from Controller.” Or, “I’ve been with the company for five years. I was Controller at [Competitor X] before that.” Then the interviewee can say, “Hi, I am [X]. I am a recent grad from Whatsamata U with a Bachelors of Science in Anthropology.” If all you say is “[Interviewee], this is Sandra.” And all Sandra says is, “Hi,” That’s lame. Interviewee—get out of there, these people don’t even know how to introduce themselves.
Bonus slam: Who the Hell are you?
Since when were you perfect just out of college? These kids are entry level. They are not going to conduct themselves like mid-careers because they aren’t. Admit it, the reason you’re really not hiring is that business isn’t that great and you don’t have the work and you don’t have the funding.
Drop the claws People. Crap like this doesn’t help. It’s part of why are economy is in the dumper and is not coming back out.