Trilogy of Terror!

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Abandon All Hope, Ye Who Enter Here: The Interview 

Jack was thrilled when his recruiter scheduled an interview for his dream job. He dove into prep mode – researching the company, its clients, and the people conducting the interview. He was ready to showcase his talent and make a case for himself as their next great hire! 

After an hour-long interview with the hiring manager, Jack and the recruiter waited for the next steps. After a week of ghostly silence, the company selected Jack for a second interview. Undoubtedly, Jack made his mark with the interview panel, hoping this would be the last nail in the coffin to secure an offer. 

Despite numerous follow-ups, the recruiter received no feedback. They assumed the job must have settled into its final resting place in the graveyard of lost opportunities. 

Then, out of the blue, the ghost of Frankenstein spoke: “IT’S ALIVE,” and another round of interviews was scheduled: a panel interview followed by a 3-hour assessment. Oh, and a fourth interview would be needed because someone who needed to weigh in was out of town. 

The spirit of Edvard Munch welled up inside of Jack as he reenacted the famous scream painting. But Jack was smart. He continued his search and interviewed with other companies. Lo and behold, like magic, his recruiter called with an offer! Not from his dream job, but from a company well-suited to his career path that instantly recognized Jack’s talent. 

Moral of the story: Although it’s important to properly assess candidates, don’t overburden the hiring process with poor communication and lengthy assessments. The talent shortage is real, and highly sought-after candidates are actively interviewing and receiving multiple offers. They disappear faster than you can say Beatlejuice three times.

Do You Believe in Ghosts?

On a chilly fall night, a candidate searched her calendar for available dates and times for the next round of interviews. As directed by the hiring manager, she emailed her availability to the HR recruiter.

She watched the leaves fall from their branches as each of the available dates and times provided passed without contact. For weeks, she heard nothing. The silence haunted her dreams. Every ping of a new email filled her with hope. She replayed her previous interview over and over in her head as a spider outside her window weaved an intricate web. She had been insightful, smart, and well-spoken. What was the issue?

Months passed, but she couldn’t shake the feeling she was meant for this job. The mystery had to be solved! With nothing to lose, she decided to reach out to the hiring manager. She wanted him to know that she provided her availability to the HR recruiter. She wrote a polite, but strongly worded message expressing her disappointment (and horror) that ghosting, once prominent only in the dating world, had normalized into the corporate recruiting process. 

Within minutes, she received a call! The hiring manager apologized on behalf of the HR recruiter who failed to communicate. He thanked her for following up and explained that the search had slowed down over the past two months given his “travel schedule and a few internal factors” but it was ramping back up! 

Moral of the story: Don’t be a scaredy cat – communicate delays in the hiring process to candidates.

(Epilogue: She got the job!)

Beware the Witching Hour

There once was a progressive and cool design firm that wanted every new hire to feel welcome and a part of the team. They assigned an onboarding buddy to every new employee to show them the ropes.

Legend has it, on one new employee’s first day in the late afternoon, just as the new hire was just about to head out for the day, a Slack message came bouncing across her monitor, “Hi, Sara! I need to talk to you for a minute.”

As Sara made her way through the cobweb of cubicles, she noticed her onboarding buddy motioning for her to step into a small, dark room. Once Sara entered, her onboarding buddy slowly closed the door (insert Halloween creaking door sound here) and began upbraiding Sara about her shoes. Yes, her shoes, and not the silver-buckled, toe-curled kind. 

Once the berating concluded, the onboarding buddy reached out and hugged poor, shocked Sara, sending a shiver of horror up her spine. Needless to say, Sara was in the HR department promptly the following morning.

Moral of the story: Think carefully about who you tap to be an onboarding buddy. Make sure this person is the right fit in terms of personality and self-awareness. Review onboarding expectations and walk them through their responsibilities. And always remember, no matter who you are, that your personal boundaries are paramount. If you ever feel compromised in a work situation, speak out immediately. Do not let one poison apple spoil a potentially good career opportunity.