I’m not an expert. I’m just a guy who likes to think about stuff.
I hate interviewing. Interviewing probably ranks in my top five of least favorite activities. I know I can’t be the only one! After all, the company is judging you. And who likes to be judged?
I hate interviews for three main reasons. I hate dressing up for them. There are hundreds of articles about how to dress for an interview in the corporate world. Basically, they all boil down to this: if you’re a man, wear a suit. I remember the first interviews I ever had. I was just out of school and didn’t have a lot of money. I bought a cheap suit and wore it to all my interviews. I didn’t know this at the time, but there’s a big difference between a quality suit and a cheap one. Cheap ones, after being dry cleaned, develop a shiny sheen to them. I’m sure I blinded a few interviewers with that suit. I donated it to Goodwill a few years ago, so now it’s someone else’s problem!
I hate getting stupid questions during interviews. “What is your biggest weakness?” is the question I hate the most. It’s as if the company interviewing me wants my help in eliminating myself from the running for the job. Articles I’ve read suggest that you answer with a weakness that is a strength in disguise or an irrelevant weakness. What’s the point of either? The interviewer has learned nothing about my ability to do the job. It’s such a time-wasting question. “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” is a dumb question, too. I have no idea. I don’t even know where I see myself in a year. I may hate this job I’m interviewing for and quit in six months. I may want to try working in a different industry. I may want to save up enough money to travel for a year. How do these answers help me get the job? If anyone had asked me five years ago whether I’d be working for myself, I’d have said no. So much for plans.
After the interview, I hate waiting to hear whether I got the job. How long does it take a company to make a decision? I’d say a week tops. If the company doesn’t have a decision, at least reach out to the candidate and say so. In my experience, if I didn’t get the job, I never heard from the company again. Silence means no job. How rude is that? I usually put a lot of time into researching the company, finding out who my interviewers are, and preparing meaningful questions to ask them. And I can’t even get a no thanks email or phone call? The absolute worst are those automatically-generated email responses. The company didn’t even think enough of me to send me an email from a human being. Don’t companies realize that interviewees are potential customers? Why would they treat people interested in working for them like crap?
I’ve found that since I started working for myself, I don’t get the stupid interview questions anymore. I guess the fact that I’m not looking for health benefits and a 401(k) makes a difference somehow. I don’t wear suits when meeting with potential clients, either. Slacks and a collared shirt suffice. And I never wait around to hear from anyone. I just move on to the next target. I don’t miss the days of sitting across from someone who is judging my abilities. No auto-response emails ever again!