All entries for Friday 28 April 2006

April 28, 2006

A follow up on interviews (serious and angst ridden…you have been warned)

Last one i accidentally had on just me, so to get that one some attention and provide a more serious take on interviews and allow me to let off some steam…..:

Basically in my opinion the system is fucked up. There are too many graduates chasing too few graduate jobs. The old system of "he went to a decent university got a 2.1 seems a nice sort we'll hire him" doesn't work. Now the power is with the employers. Compare this with 20 years ago when if you had a good degree from a top 10 university you could more or less take your pick from a whole host of well paid fun jobs.

There also seems to be an anti–intellectual bias in the workplace for all but the most "geeky" jobs. The buzz words are team skills and people skills. Even in jobs which involve spending all day glued to a desk number crunching (most city jobs)! People with better than required grades are viewed with suspicion…sure they're smart but are they introverted loners who have spent years hitting the books rather than being a team player and learning the "soft" skills. Will they question your authority rather than obediently "Yes Sirring" every request no matter how odious?

As graduates are very hard to differentiate on paper (even the jobs where my qualifications got me to the shortlist i was still up against around 50 candidates for the one job), the onus is on the interview. This gives an immediate advantage to those lucky souls who don't get completely tongue–tied with a mixture of nerves and adrenaline like i do, and those who can hide their irritation and boredom when asked stupid questions like:

What part do you usually play in a team?
(im the one who does the bare minimum and takes credit for the hard work of others)

How do you deal with difficult people? Give me an example
(generally i add them to my hit list and plot sadistic deaths for them in my spare time. Carry on asking me these stupid questions and you'll join the list)

Where do you see yourself in five years time
(in prison or in an institution)

What have you learnt from your work experience?
(that so long as you stay at your desk with the computer on and a look of intense concentration on your face, people don't realise you are actually spending your time figuring out how to spend your monthly salary or thinking which of the 200 channels on sky you are going to watch tonight)

How would you describe yourself?
(impossibly good looking, remarkably intelligent, charm personified and God's gift to women and hardworking…ok maybe the last is pushing it too far)

How do you deal with pressure?
(Sing la–la–la and engage in escapist activities like blogging until i forget all about my approaching econometrics project deadline)

How do you motivate yourself?
(isn't that supposed to be your problem?)

Anyway you get my drift.

What is worse is there are thousands of bushy tailed bunnies who would willingly sell their souls to prospective employers, offering a lifetime of serfdom in return for a decent salary. These strange animals glow with lust and give you poisonous glances at group assessments while beaming at the executives. They have prepared answers to every question imaginable which they reel off with practiced charm, and they know more about the company than the CEO

What is a boy meant to do?

Like many other smart graduates with good grades i have a sense of entitlement and don't see why i should prove myself to employers. ive got the grades, got the extracurricular, got the work experience….now give me the job!

Of course deep down i know id make a hopeless employee. im aloof, easily bored, have a low frustration tolerance and hate getting up before noon and like to have a mid afternoon nap. Not to mention my fondness for long coffee breaks.

But THEY aren;t supposed to know that until AFTER they have hired me.

April 2006

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