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comment by kleinbl00
kleinbl00  ·  413 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: June 19, 2019


There's a misconception amongst applicants that you enter some sort of Octagon where you're challenged in battle to determine your worthiness for ascension to a higher realm or some shit. Couldn't be further from the truth. The fact that you're interviewing at all means that nobody knew anybody good for the job, nobody knew anybody who knew anybody who was good for the job, and now they're winnowing through the chaff of whatever Craigslist (or your local Polish equivalent) splashed across the transom.

In any organization large enough to have a Human Resources officer, this execrable process goes through HR. HR is useless. HR has no understanding of the position. HR is chronically disrespected, universally reviled by everyone in the company, and 100%, all the time, without exception, butthurt about the fact that nobody is even the slightest bit impressed by their long list of useless certifications. And the initial winnowing of candidates passes through - you guessed it - HR.

It's not that HR is completely worthless. It's that they're mostly worthless. They're great for getting benefits programs set up, making sure that the company's health plan is competitive, standing over you awkwardly while you clean out your desk, etc. But they generally have no fucking clue how to do anyone else's job. So what they can do is evaluate how well you will "fit in with company culture." Which basically allows them to devise their favorite Purity Tests to run their test subjects through.

Here's the reality of the situation - nobody is worried about whether you can do the job right now 100% the way they want you to do it. They've got weird-ass idiosyncrasies that you're going to have to learn no matter how competent you are. Really, the questions are "are you trainable" and "how much of a pain in the ass will that be" and "are you going to piss everyone off in the meantime."

HR would love to believe they can answer these questions. They can't. Again, mostly useless. However, they can ask those questions and give their opinion and since they're HR, they can't ask those questions directly, or make a reasonable assessment, or otherwise function like reasonable human beings. So they have to misinterpret the mission, come up with stupid questions and otherwise Dance the HR Dance so that they can justify their paychecks.

Congratulations. You just danced. No idea if you danced successfully. Keep in mind that nobody gives the first fuck what HR thinks about anything other than "we can't hire him because he has a criminal record involving embezzling."

WanderingEng  ·  412 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    They're great for getting benefits programs set up, making sure that the company's health plan is competitive

That's a higher opinion of HR than I have. They're good at telling people the health plan is competitive, but is it really? It's too complicated to really understand. As for the benefits program, how hard is it to fill out some forms at Fidelity? I've never tried, but I bet it isn't hard. And while HR set these up, HR doesn't actually understand them and absolutely cannot explain them.

Otherwise, yes. If one got to the in-person interview, they think you can do the work. The one that gets hired is the one they think will fit best with the company and coworkers and not the one who best knows the specific details of the work.

Devac  ·  412 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I was initially intending to send it as a private message, but there really isn't anything that would warrant it.

You are among the three or four people on this site who, for better or worse, know me more personally. There aren't many things I'm competitive about outside of chess, and even that is one of the things I think hold me back instead of helping. Most people who know me IRL describe me along the lines of 'kinda phlegmatic until you either put a problem in front of him or seriously insult his intelligence'. That's something I asked as feedback before writing this response.

I lose temper at times, perhaps more often than most people, likely less than many of my age. I don't think I raised my voice for any reason in at least a year, but it's a work in progress nonetheless.

You are correct about the whole 'being a good fit' thing. I know it, and it's something I knew for some time. But with the number of failures I had on that front, it's hard not to see myself through a prism of pissing everyone off by the mere fact of existing. The only area of my life where I feel any level of accomplishment is academia and even that seems undeserved. There's no denying the fact my social skills are lacking, but I don't think I'm that far behind either—half sigma below average or so. Perhaps I'm mistaken in my opinion, and that's the crux of the problem, but It's not like you can reliably test for those things anyway.

There's a part of me wanting to ask "how do you fake being a good fit?", but I know that's not the way to go. But there really isn't anything else for me to do. I could go full OSINT and try to devise a way of acting that would be the least offensive common denominator, but that's even worse and on too many levels to enumerate.

I'm just exasperated about the whole ordeal, though it seems like a strong word. It's more like not wanting to go back to doing stuff like overnight store restocking or washing cars while being rejected at any opportunity to improve from where I am. It's not like it can help either since it's hard to develop better social skills when the only other guy doing the job who speaks Polish (there's a lot of immigrants from Ukraine in my area) didn't progress past high school bully mentality despite having at least twenty years for it. Try Ukrainians? If my rusty-as-hell Russian was enough to gauge, they just talk shit about everyone and everything.

So what can I even do? I'm not the type that gives up easily, but at this point, it just seems polite to stop wasting everyone's time. Even I don't feel like I'm a good fit anywhere, and despite what WanderingEng said, kinda doubt that I had any merits for any of the jobs where I got to the in-person interview stage.

There's not much point to it, but I felt like you deserve some response, even if it's one like that.