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Five Signs Your Interview Is Fake Because They’ve Already Hired Someone

Posted by | August 5, 2016 | Interviews

Via Forbes : We met Alex, who had interviewed with the same company twice. “The first time I had an interview at that company, the HR Manager was very nice and very engaged in our conversation,” said Alex.

“She told me that the job I was interviewing for was one of their highest-priority job openings,” Alex said. “I had a great conversation with the hiring manager, too, but they ended up hiring someone else because they needed someone with more experience than I had back then.”

Alex left that interview process with a good feeling. The HR Manager, Allison, told Alex, “We will be sure to contact you if we have another opening that is a match for your experience.”

Alex was working full-time but she kept her job search going on the side. Three months after Alex’s first interview with Allison, Alex got an email message inviting her to come back and interview with Allison’s company again.

“They had a new job opening come up,” said Alex. “I was excited about the interview, but when I got here, Allison seemed like a different person than the woman I had met three months before.”

At Alex’s second interview, Allison was polite and distant. “She seemed to be going through the motions,” said Alex. “She didn’t ask me one question at the interview! She checked her watch several times. Our entire interview lasted 26 minutes. I couldn’t understand it.”

Alex didn’t get to meet a hiring manager that day. By the time Alex got home, there was a terse “Thanks but no thanks” email message waiting for her. “What did I do wrong?” Alex asked us.

“We are pretty sure you didn’t do anything wrong, but rather the job was already filled,” we said. Companies and institutions will interview people like Alex to pad out a candidate roster only in order to get approval to hire someone they’ve already chosen for the role. They don’t mind wasting job-seekers’ time on fake interviews just to satisfy a policy.

That’s dishonest and unethical, but it happens every day!

Sometimes a company policy says that internal candidates can only be considered for a job opening if several external candidates are also interviewed. That’s why Alex was dragged out of her busy life to a job interview where the interviewer barely looked at her.

It is sad that employers put job seekers (not to mention their own interviewers) through insulting, waste-of-time meetings just to satisfy a pointless corporate policy, but it’s common.

Vendors are used to (and sick of) being part of “three bid” programs where suppliers spend hours completing RFP documents just so that a purchasing agent can say, “I got three bids from three different vendors, and here’s the one I choose!”

They already knew which vendor they wanted to buy from. The other vendors donated their time to the RFP process just for the “optics,” and job-seekers can easily donate their time in a fruitless exercise in making corporate weenies happy, too.

Here are five signs your job interview is fake, because the company has already decided who they want to hire:

1. Your job interview may be fake if the interviewer never looks at you during the interview, never asks a follow-up question and simply scribbles the answers you give him or her on their clipboard.

2. Your interview may be fake if the interviewer tells you, “We have a number of qualified internal and external candidates for this job.” Why would they tell you that? We all assume when we go to a job interview that we are not the only candidate in the mix.

3. The interview may be bogus if the interviewer tells you, “If this job doesn’t work out, we may have other job openings that are a fit for your background.” Why would they dampen your hopes before the interviewing process is through?

4. The interview may be a sham if you’ve never interacted with this employer before but they rush you into the interview, for instance writing to you or calling you on Tuesday for an interview on Wednesday — and then go silent after your interview.

5. The interview may be strictly for show if you meet your hiring manager — the person who is presumably suffering the most from the lack of a person whose skills are needed on their team — and then they rush through the interview, hardly focusing on the conversation.

My background is theater.

When you go to a theatrical audition, sometimes they will tell you, “The role of Jane Smith has been pre-cast.” That means they already know who will play Jane Smith in their show. You can audition for other parts, but not the part of Jane.

I wish corporations would be that honest with their job applicants. They misuse job-seekers’ time and energy by inviting them to interview for jobs that are not really available. Sometimes it’s because the role is pre-cast but they won’t tell you that. Sometimes there is no job opening at all. The organization is only interviewing candidates to get free consulting advice from them.

If you pick up that vibe on a job interview, don’t be discouraged. Interviewing is always good practice, and we always learn something whether we get the job or not.

One thing you’ll learn by going to job interviews is how to trust your instincts! Humans are an old species. We know in our guts when people are being straight with us and when they aren’t.

Alex got a third invitation from the same employer she had interviewed with twice before, about a month after her disappointing second visit. Alex wrote to Allison, the HR Manager, to say, “Can we speak by phone before I decide whether or not to come back again?”

Allison called Alex and Alex asked her, “The last time I met with you, it seemed that we were simply carrying out a required step in your hiring protocol. My assumption is that you already had a candidate in mind for the job but were required to interview additional candidates, like me.”

Allison was silent at first.”I appreciate your coming in last month to talk with us about that opportunity,” she told Alex. “We were still interviewing candidates when you and I met to talk about that job, but you’re right, there was a strong internal candidate.”

“I could tell that I had no chance at the job, and that was discouraging,” said Alex. “Your time is valuable, and my time is valuable, too.”

“This situation is not like that,” said Allison, coming as close as she could to making an apology without actually doing so. “This hiring manager can hire whomever she wants.”

Alex smiled to herself. She had gotten her answer. Her trusty gut did not fail her.

Allison had just confirmed that indeed, Alex’s previous interview was a sham. She had never had a chance at that job. “Thanks very much for your candor,” said Alex. “My plate is very full so I’m going to decline your offer of a third interview, but I wish you and your team all the best.”

It’s important for you to grow the same muscles Alex grew. If you can tell that a job interview is fake, you won’t feel bad about getting a “no thank you” note afterwards but you will know to avoid that employer in the future!

Keep this in mind: not every employer deserves you. Anybody who would invite you to a sham interview just to round out their interviewing roster is not somebody who deserves your talents!

Source : FORBES | Five Signs Your Interview Is Fake Because They’ve Already Hired Someone

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