Job hunting is stressful, and hiring managers often don’t make it any easier.

One thing employers should remember is that every candidate is a potential ambassador, not to mention a potential customer. As such, the candidate should be treated with respect.
But often, we’re not.

Here are three things hiring managers do that drive candidates crazy, and how to handle them as a candidate.

Having unreasonable expectations: There’s a ridiculous quality to many a job posting these days. It’s like they’re looking for fictional characters to fill fictional positions, or, more likely, they know nothing about the actual position they’re trying to fill. We’ve all come across posts that look something like this:

    Must have bachelor’s degree in English Literature, Graduate degree in physics, MBA and PhD, or equivalent.
    Minimum ten years working in a related environment.
    Proficiency in Photoshop, Dreamweaver, Omniture, Final Cut Pro, Autodesk, Excel, Access, Powerpoint, Netsuite, HTML5, ASP, XML, Java, C++, CSS, Python, Tai Kwon Do, Hostage Negotiations ARE REQUIRED.
    Ability to create interactive prototypes, manage client relations, liaise with shareholders, sing a Bach cantata for countertenor.
    Fluency in English, French, Chinese, Russian, Esperanto A MUST .
    Five+ years experience with a software that came out three years ago.
    Must be a team player!

Employers demand a ridiculous number of skills and then complain that they can’t find anyone. Often, what they’re actually looking for is one person to do the job of three people, but get paid for just the one.

If you possess 75% of the required skills and experience, go ahead and apply. Just make sure that you can demonstrate how you will bring value to the role.

Being clueless: Here’s a familiar scene – candidate shows up for the interview, bright eyed and bushy tailed. She’s been reading Workopolis, so she’s done her research on the company and the role for which she’s applying, because she knows that this is the number one thing hiring managers say makes a candidate stand out. She’s also ready to show her enthusiasm, because she knows that when it comes down to a choice between two equally qualified candidates, a majority of employers will choose the more enthusiastic one. Of course, she shows up on time.

She waits for 20 minutes, then 30, then 40 … finally some harried and distracted hiring manager rushes in and takes her into an interview room. They sit down. He starts shuffling through papers.

“It says here you … were … the assistant VP of marketing … at … Think Outside the Box Productions … so, tell me about yourself.”

She realizes he has no flipping idea who she is. He didn’t even look at her resume before the interview. She doesn’t know where to start.

This is a bright red flag. If they can’t at least show you the respect of prepping for that first meeting, what hope is there for a lasting relationship. The candidate is expected to come prepared, the least a hiring manager can do is do the same.

If you find yourself in this position,
Ask The Headhunter
recommends that you do your best to take control of the interview, and demonstrate that you are the ideal candidate for the position.

Then continue the search as soon as you leave, because, if you have a choice, it would be better to work for someone willing to make an effort.

Not calling back after the interview: The whole search experience is so frustrating. Resumes are sent out into an abyss and met with radio silence. Introduction emails go unanswered. You wait in vain to hear back after meetings. It can be enough to drive you crazy and mess with your self confidence.

Why are hiring managers so rude? Who knows? Busyness is no excuse, though many might try to use it.

The most egregious form of this offense is not contacting the seeker after an interview to let them know that they did not get the job (if you got it, I’m pretty sure they’ll let you know). You made the effort to attend the meeting(s). It’s the absolute least they could do.

Even better would be to follow up at each stage, to send an acknowledgement of receipt of the application package, to let you know that you have not been selected for an interview, etc. But since many don’t even bother with the least, it’s unlikely they’ll ever do the most.

If you don’t hear back after a week, it’s perfectly reasonable for you to call or email and ask. If you don’t hear back for two weeks, I’d say assume you didn’t get the job, and move on.

Resist the temptation to send an email telling them off, no matter how tempting this might be. Calling others out on their rudeness reflects poorly on you, even if they deserve it.