The title of this article may seem harsh, but I’ve come to rather harsh conclusions after I have had to schedule countless days of job interviews in the last month. I’m here to tell you that even after the influx of job opportunities arising after the pandemic, I don’t think most people actually want to work. I posted a job listing in several areas for a respectable company willing to pay more than a fair salary in the Southern California area. Do you know what I found? I found much fewer people than average submitting for positions, and of the people who responded back to me to set up Zoom interviews, well over half of them cancelled their interview on the day of or just didn’t bother to show up to the interview at all. Of the ones who did come to their VIRTUAL interviews, even less than half of those applicants showed up on time. This has left me dumbfounded by how self-sabotaging 95% of job applicants are. Do they just not want to be hired or are they subconsciously sabotaging their own chances in life?
First, from my experiences, it seems that applicants today feel the power is in their hands. They act as if their time is valuable to you and that they are interviewing you- not the other way around. This would seem silly when the CEO of a company actually takes the time to run interviews, but all the same, they act as if their time is more important than the time of the CEO looking to hire them. Then, many want to ask a lot of questions before agreeing to an interview, which would be fine if the questions they were asking weren’t already answered clearly in the job description, itself, immediately revealing that they didn’t actually read what they were applying for.
Add in the idea of virtual interviews, and you think that it would be easier to come to an interview so the success rate would be higher. Somehow, this isn’t the case. More people are flaking and abandoning interviews now than ever before. How can this be when all you have to do is show up to your computer?
Everyone is so involved in their own self-doubt, anxieties, or selfishness that they don’t think about the employer or hiring manager taking the time out of their day to meet with them or the assistant who had to spend a countless amount of time setting up all these interviews.
But let’s focus more on the cancellations. Most people who do notify you of a cancellation have the same two excuses:
- “I’m not feeling well. Can we reschedule?” Here’s my response to this one. If it’s an in-person interview, this could be understandable. But we’re talking Zoom interviews here. You can’t take 15 minutes to show up to your computer? This just shows me that you are self-sabotaging yourself. That isn’t to say that you aren’t really sick, but I highly doubt that 50% of the interviewees I spoke with were sick on the interview day. Most got nervous and decide to bail, which is not doing anyone a service. And, unfortunately, this ruins it for the people who are actually sick because now they get lumped in with those making excuses.
- “I reviewed the job requirements again, and I decided I’m not a good fit, so I’m not going to interview.” Oh, boy. This one. You’re telling me you didn’t even read the job description before applying? Yes, that’s what you just said. You’re also telling me that you just read the job description the day of the interview to see if it was “really worth it for you.” You’re also insulting the hiring manager who clearly took the time to read your job history and obviously saw something in you that would work for this position. And you haven’t just wasted the time of the person looking to conduct your interview, but you also wasted the time of the person who had to schedule it for you.
So, I have a few tips for people who really do want to get hired for a job, those who are committing to their futures.
- You are not more important than the interviewer, nor are they more important than you. Everyone’s time is valuable. Please be respectful and follow through with your commitments. There is more going on behind the scenes than you could understand, and when you cancel last minute or just don’t show up, you are wasting the time of not just the hiring manager who took the time to see you but the time of their assistant who took the time to organize the meetings. Someone had to set them up and put in the time to create the meeting links, etc, and you are doing them, the hiring manger/employer, and yourself all a disservice by not showing up. In fact, even if you feel you’re not a fit, if they set up an interview, they obviously see something that they like in you. And it never hurts to gain interview experience even if you feel it may not be going somewhere. No one is a pro at being interviewed and almost all of us get a little nervous.
- READ A JOB POSTING FULLY BEFORE APPLYING! There is absolutely no excuse for cancelling on the day of because you just decided to not read the job description before applying. This is incredibly ridiculous, actually. Not understanding what you are applying for wastes your time, the potential employers time, and the office assistant’s time who set up this meeting.
- Asking questions is completely okay. However, don’t ask questions that are clearly laid out in the job description, especially under the addendum that you want to know the answers before agreeing to an interview. Again, please thoroughly read the job listing and understand what you are applying for. Then, if you still have questions, ask away!
- And if you do have to cancel your interview because something more important came up, please give your interviewer ample time to replace your timeslot and/or don’t tell them the day of if you can help it otherwise they will be scrambling to replace your interview last-minute on the day.
I honestly wish there was a way to rate applicants in a public manner on services like Indeed and LinkedIn so that hiring managers could warn other employers about problem applicants that wind up being incredibly disrespectful. We’ve seen interviewees hang up in the middle of Zoom calls because they decided it wasn’t worth their time anymore, we’ve seen disrespectful people get an attitude with us for scheduling interviews over Indeed and not by calling them… you name it.
I never thought I would have to write this, and it saddens me that this all must be said. This is not to say that CEOS, bosses, or an executive’s time is more valuable than your time as an applicant. This is to say that everyone else’s time is JUST as valuable as your time. Treat their time as if it was your time, and maybe you’ll approach an interview differently. If you can take anything out of this article, it’s that. If you don’t value their time as if you would value your own, you are ruining your chances for your own career and, in turn, hurting the progression and future of your own life. It seems dramatic, but it’s true. Please let this sink in, and please re-evaluate how you act are as an applicant.
Sincerely, the person who’s tired of scheduling countless cancelled Zoom interviews.