On Job Interviews

If you follow my Twitter (@farrahkaya), you’ll know that I had a job interview last week. I like to think I’m quite good at job interviews. I’m confident, professional, and good at incorporating buzz words. Though, it helps that every single interview I’ve ever had has had the same sorts of questions. After the interview, while I was chatting to some girlfriends about it, my mom asked if interviews were really that predictable nowadays. She was very put out hearing that the answer to her question was “yes”.

I don’t know what job interviews were like back before I started working – obviously – but seeing how hard a time my mom is having with the way you apply for jobs nowadays makes me think that it would have been great to be able to experience that kind of process. Not having to fill out quiz after quizz; not retyping your job experience; not policing your online profiles. It honestly sort of bothers me that it’s not about how skilled you are at the job, but how skilled you are at beating the program that looks for key words in resumes.

The thing I remember most about job hunting when I was younger was that there was still value going into the place you’re applying. I actually got a job at Rogers Video (I know) and Roots through going in and introducing myself. Now, if you want to find a job – especially in retail – there’s hardly any point going in anymore, since resumes get sorted via HR’s computers first. Sure, there’s value knowing that the manager can put a face to a name – maybe – but even then, it’s not always the manager that does the hiring.

There are so many people my age that are qualified to do amazing things, and yet we’re sitting on our laptops filling out qualifying questionnaires . I have a friend with a MA, and she works in a clothing store. She can’t even find work as a secretary, for goodness sake. I’m applying for my MA now, and it honestly is a concern of mine that if I get my MA – even my PhD – am I going to amount to anything more than an overqualified clothing salesperson, filling in online questionnaires?

One thing that occurs to me as I write this, at least, is that by the time I’m graduating my PhD, most of the baby boomers will hopefully have retired. Maybe I’ll be able to find a professorship then.

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