Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 13th 2015 Contents B18
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Tuesday, October 13, 2015
I am looking forward to celebrating with you when
you accept a job offer --- and not just any job offer, but
a wonderful offer from a fantastic organisation where
the people are smart and the work is stimulating.
I can t wait for that day, but I have to warn you about
certain dangers that are likely to appear on your path
between now and then.
Anybody can call you up and say "Come in for a job
interview." You can go there and find a down-at-heels,
dirty, unsavoury boiler room operation that smells like
cigarettes and sweat.
You can go on a job interview and find that the com-
pany is a shell for semi-Mobbed-up shysters you wouldn t
trust any farther than you could throw them.
Don t go to just any job interview, simply because
you get an invitation. Some job interviews are bogus.
Some of them aren t worth your time. You have to ask
a few questions before you say "Okay! I ll be there!"
Our client Melissa was invited to a job interview with
a well-known technology company, or so she thought.
The recruiter used the company name. She looked up
the company address and it was different from the place
the recruiter told her to go for the interview, so she
called him. The recruiter was brusque with her on the
"We interview candidates at a lot of different places,"
he said. Melissa went. She met the guy in the back of
an office of a printing company that had nothing what-
soever to do with the big tech company she thought
she was applying to.
It turns out that the recruiter didn t have an assignment
from the big tech company at all. He was hoping to lure
Melissa into his trap and then submit her resume to the
big tech company in order to get an in with them. It
took Melissa about fifteen minutes in the borrowed con-
ference room in the back of the printing company to
say "I m outta here."
Some people don t have ethics or judgment. They
will try to snare you into interviews in order to pick
your brain or to get access to your network. When I was
a corporate HR leader, I used to have fly-by-night
recruiters call me all the time. I would look these guys
up and find that they had no online presence at all. "I
fly under the radar," they would say.
"Great!" I d reply. "Please send me some resumes."
They d send the resumes. I d call a candidate or two to
check in with them. I d ask the candidate how long
they d been working with the recruiter --- Joe Smith,
let s say. "Joe who?" the candidates would ask me. They d
never heard of the guy. Joe had downloaded their resumes
from Monster and was trying to pass them off as his
That s not to say that there aren t also amazing and
upright people working as recruiters, of course. A great
recruiter can make your career. You have to choose wise-
ly!Before you go on a job interview, get these questions
answered on the phone or even better, via email (that
way there s a written record):
• What is the name of the employer?
• What is your relationship (you, the person who s invit-
ing me to the interview) with this employer and this
• When is the company looking to hire someone?
• How much (roughly) does this position pay?
• How long has this position been open, and why is it
open? Did someone quit or get promoted, or is this
a new position?
What is the hiring manager s name and title?
If you can t get answers to these questions, don t
bother going on the interview. Any search firm, for
instance, that tells you "We want to meet you, and then
decide whether or not to tell the employer about you"
is not worth your time, not if you ve already got a
LinkedIn profile and a phone.
They can look at your LinkedIn profile and talk to
you by phone to learn anything they want to know about
Some recruiters will say "We don t trust you. You
might end-run us and contact the employer directly, if
we tell you who it is." You can say "Don t tell me who
the employer is until you re confident, through our
phone conversation and your inspection of my LinkedIn
profile, that you d like the employer to know about me.
"You certainly won t get my approval to share my
resume with anyone until I know who the employer is
and which department is hiring."
Trust cuts both ways!
Sad to say, physical danger is an issue these days. If
you spot a job vacancy, for instance, don t you dare get
in your car or on the bus and go to the office until you ve
checked out the organisation. Search LinkedIn for the
person who contacted you about the interview. If his or
her profile doesn t list the company that he or she sup-
posedly works for, run away!
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