Who’s interviewing who?

Just something that’s been on my mind lately, but do companies know what kind of impression they make in interviews? OK, yes the job market isn’t what it used to be, and attracting good candidates isn’t nearly as hard as it used to be, but I’ve seen, or heard about, numerous examples of behavior in the interviewing process that would lead me to decide against working for the company in the first place. Is the job market so bad that companies put no effort into attracting the best, most qualified candidates? Do they just expect people to be thankful that they’re hiring, and are considering them?

For example, I’ve heard tell of showing up for an interview and waiting 35 minutes for the person to see you, interviewers being just plain rude, or not paying any attention to your answers, people being asked questions that are personal and irrelevant to the position. Personally, I’ve shown up to an interview at the appointed time only to discover that no one was there to let me in a locked building until 15 minutes after the appointed time. I’ve been lied to by a recruiter about the nature of a position, I’ve been promised follow-up that never came, even after repeated attempts to communicate with them, I’ve been told that the determining factor in choosing another candidate was the fact that I only had a phone interview after I offered to pay my own way to meet them in person and was told that wasn’t necessary, and I’ve had HR people tell me that they need me to come in and fill out some paperwork and do some testing, that should only take an hour, scheduled it over my lunch hour, and then had it take more than 2 hours. Don’t these people realize that I’m interviewing them just as much as they’re interviewing me? Don’t they understand that if they’re willing to treat me that poorly in the interviewing process that I can only assume the treatment of their employees is even worse? Do they understand that good, qualified people will simply rule out working for them because they’ve been mistreated?

I may not have the greatest job now, and there are certainly things I hate about where I work now, but I’m not going to leave it for the first offer. You had better come with a better work environment, some better benefits, probably better pay wouldn’t hurt either. But most of all, understand that if you make the interview a miserable experience, well, I can be miserable where I am just fine, and after almost 7 years I know my way around this misery, I’m not trading it for new misery.

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