#DayInTheLife: Crazy Candidates

January 7 – I had to make a few calls to schedule interviews. Some applicants I reached immediately.  I also had to leave a few voicemail messages and have the applicants return my calls at their convenience.

This is a pretty basic HR task, but one particular applicant stands out from this exchange. She returned my call based on the voicemail which stated my name, organization and why I was calling. Typical. We go on to schedule the interview, I tell her I will send an email confirmation and prepare to say goodbye. Before I can do so, the applicant asks these questions:

  • Can you tell me the name of the organization? (Huh? I’ve said it multiple times.)
  • Can you send me the job posting? (Didn’t you see it before you applied?)

These questions made it obvious that this applicant was just blindly applying to multiple positions. Furthermore, she hadn’t bothered to refresh her memory prior to calling me back. I didn’t catch her off guard. She. called. me.

Now, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t understand that for many the job hunt is a numbers game – the more positions to which you apply, the more likely it is that you’ll get an interview and eventually, a job. However, it does you no favors to make the fact that you’ve randomly applied to numerous organizations apparent to a potential employer.

When I’m searching for a job, I believe in staying organized. I keep a notebook with the job postings and information about the employers. I follow Tim Ferriss’ advice in the 4 Hour Workweek (one of my favorite books) to not answer phone calls but rather to allow for voicemail messages and call people back when I am prepared. By doing this, you are not caught off guard, can talk when you are comfortable and can refresh your memory about the position prior to returning the call. This does not mean to take your sweet time returning the call. As they say – “S/he who snoozeth, loseth.” However, a little preparation can keep you from leaving a bad impression on the recruiter/HR rep.

I’m not the only one who believes quality > quantity in the job search game.

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