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(New York Daily News)   After 500 resumes for $13/hr job, company hires person based on answer to "if she were in the stands at a baseball game and a foul ball came her way, would she stand up to try to catch it, or wait in her seat and hope it fell her way?"   (nydailynews.com) divider line 105
    More: Stupid, resumes, Indiana, job market, data entry, administrative assistant, person, C.R. England, Indiana woman  
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6609 clicks; posted to Business » on 26 Oct 2009 at 4:42 AM (4 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2009-10-26 03:45:26 AM
I was once asked to sing "Mary Had a Little Lamb" for an 8hr a week job at GameStop. I feel sorry for the sad farker who eventually did get that job.
 
2009-10-26 03:58:30 AM
The real reason is because she had the biggest tits.
 
2009-10-26 04:09:18 AM
CruiserTwelve: The real reason is because she had the biggest tits.

That was my headline.
 
2009-10-26 04:50:09 AM
I would definitely not stand up to catch the ball. I don't want a foul ball, what am I supposed to do with the stupid thing? Take it home and keep it forever?

I'd let someone else catch it who actually wanted it.

I wonder if that answer would have gotten me the job.
 
2009-10-26 05:06:55 AM
Some of these questions are really tricky. A DOI interviewer once asked me "if you were at a party and a new dance was being shown, would you try the dance?".

I thought about it and I could not come up with one right answer. If I said "of course" that makes me look top eager to socialize and take risks / look foolish with no regard. If I said "no" that makes me anti-social and not a team player. If I said "if it looks easy" that makes me lazy. If I said "maybe after a drink" I'm a timid alcoholic.

I told the interviewer what a bullshiat question that was, explained my interpretations and he agreed. I got the job. Some times calling the bullshiat is the right way...except when its not.
 
2009-10-26 05:15:11 AM
These off the wall questions are a pain in the ass to answer right, and you NEVER get any feedback after the fact.

After being laid off I had an interview in a department in a different division of the same company I was just laid off from. I had a boatload of references internal and external, my laying off was because the auto business collapsed, I used the same software and processes in my former position and had only a few training needs, I nailed my interview with the supervisors and managers, but when it came time to interview with the director/vp he wanted to do it over the phone because he was travelling and he spent the whole time asking me off the wall "if this thing that has no bearing on your job or even related to the company happened..." and I felt very uneasy afterward because being over the phone I had no way to judge his reactions to my comments. In the end I found out the director didn't like me, so I didn't get the job. I'll never find out what exactly I said wrong, other than knowing it was for crap that had no bearing on my occupation.

/also was denied an interview for a position somewhere else despite being well qualified and having two references from within the department
//cool story bro
///tl;dr
 
2009-10-26 05:30:28 AM
Yeah, jump up and catch the ball...or miss it and get smacked in the face, knocking out your teeth, breaking your nose and having to go to the hospital, driving up private health insurance costs and taking off on disability until you are healed, thusly breaking the back of the man who is just a small business man trying to screw the working man out of a nickle.

/Just kidding
//the job market sucks
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2009-10-26 06:21:04 AM
"It was just shocking," she told The Times. "I had never seen anything so big."

That's what I expected to see in an article on a woman beating 500 candidates to get the job.
 
2009-10-26 06:32:13 AM
Is Steve Bartman doing the hiring?
 
2009-10-26 07:02:28 AM
So she must not be fat?
 
2009-10-26 07:42:35 AM
The overwhelming response astonished him. He asked Cheree Seawood, one of his current assistants, to go through the résumés and help pick out several to interview. To make the task easier, he decided they should be even more rigorous in ruling out anyone who appeared even slightly overqualified.


In case you're wondering why your Master's-degree-holding daughter can't seem to get a job at Target or Applebee's, even though she's applied.
 
2009-10-26 07:43:50 AM
ninjakirby: I was once asked to sing "Mary Had a Little Lamb" for an 8hr a week job at GameStop. I feel sorry for the sad farker who eventually did get that job.

All I had to do was wear a short skirt to the interview ;) But it was Babbages back then.
 
2009-10-26 08:03:38 AM
To make the task easier, he decided they should be even more rigorous in ruling out anyone who appeared even slightly overqualified.


This company will never rise above mediocrity.
 
2009-10-26 08:11:03 AM
Tjack: To make the task easier, he decided they should be even more rigorous in ruling out anyone who appeared even slightly overqualified.


This company will never rise above mediocrity.


Not really. For that kind of job you don't want someone who is just taking it until the economy gets better.
 
2009-10-26 08:25:41 AM
Lawnchair: The overwhelming response astonished him. He asked Cheree Seawood, one of his current assistants, to go through the résumés and help pick out several to interview. To make the task easier, he decided they should be even more rigorous in ruling out anyone who appeared even slightly overqualified.


In case you're wondering why your Master's-degree-holding daughter can't seem to get a job at Target or Applebee's, even though she's applied.


Overqualified employees don't care about anything beyond finding that job that is worthy of their presence. They are often poison to the attitudes of good employees.
 
2009-10-26 08:26:09 AM
SharkTrager: Tjack: To make the task easier, he decided they should be even more rigorous in ruling out anyone who appeared even slightly overqualified.


This company will never rise above mediocrity.

Not really. For that kind of job you don't want someone who is just taking it until the economy gets better.



At that pay rate, the job is transitional already. Expect employee turnover and lots of it.
 
2009-10-26 08:28:57 AM
SharkTrager: Tjack: To make the task easier, he decided they should be even more rigorous in ruling out anyone who appeared even slightly overqualified.


This company will never rise above mediocrity.

Not really. For that kind of job you don't want someone who is just taking it until the economy gets better.


Which is fine, if you never plan on promoting internally.

Of course, if you do that, then the people who work there never have an incentive to work harder. They just have to work hard enough to keep their jobs.

Besides, for an administrative assistant job, like the one being offered, it's not like it's particularly hard to fill that kind of position even when the economy is doing well.
 
2009-10-26 08:34:00 AM
Kyosuke: Lawnchair: The overwhelming response astonished him. He asked Cheree Seawood, one of his current assistants, to go through the résumés and help pick out several to interview. To make the task easier, he decided they should be even more rigorous in ruling out anyone who appeared even slightly overqualified.


In case you're wondering why your Master's-degree-holding daughter can't seem to get a job at Target or Applebee's, even though she's applied.

Overqualified employees don't care about anything beyond finding that job that is worthy of their presence. They are often poison to the attitudes of good employees.


So to you, a good employee is one that is barely qualified?

I've known bosses with that attitude before, and generally it was they who were the poison, stifling innovation and more concerned with preserving and growing their little empire than actually getting the job done more effectively and efficiently*.

*If you come up with a way for 3 employees to do a job that required 4 employees the old way, that would mean a reduction in headcount, and apparently some lack of 'status'.
 
2009-10-26 08:35:32 AM
Ball of Confusion: SharkTrager: Tjack: To make the task easier, he decided they should be even more rigorous in ruling out anyone who appeared even slightly overqualified.


This company will never rise above mediocrity.

Not really. For that kind of job you don't want someone who is just taking it until the economy gets better.


At that pay rate, the job is transitional already. Expect employee turnover and lots of it.


This.

The only exception will be if you get an essentially uneducated middle-aged woman who *NEEDS* the job in order to feed her kids.
 
2009-10-26 08:40:04 AM
SharkTrager: Tjack: To make the task easier, he decided they should be even more rigorous in ruling out anyone who appeared even slightly overqualified.


This company will never rise above mediocrity.

Not really. For that kind of job you don't want someone who is just taking it until the economy gets better.


I disagree. In this economy you want to get the best employees you can get. How long is this job market going to be in the toilet, at least for another 2-3 years. How long do employees usually stay at a job? Not very long. Gone are the days of staying at the same job until retirement.

If you treat your over-qualified employee well, they will rise through ranks quickly and have a loyal employee. Until the economy picks, like every employee who is under, over or perfectly qualified will go find a better paying job eventually.
 
2009-10-26 08:45:13 AM
Can't we just re-do the headline as, "After 500 resumes for $13/hr job, HR manager enjoys abusing tiny amount of power in current job market worse than the Squire of Gothos."

/You know you get it instantly, don't fake non-nerdiness
 
2009-10-26 08:48:12 AM
SharkTrager: Not really. For that kind of job you don't want someone who is just taking it until the economy gets better.

people who are overqualified will soon quit. then you have to look again and retrain someone. there is definitely being too overqualified.
 
2009-10-26 08:52:57 AM
Is 500 resumes a lot? I assume with a site like career builder that it takes no additional work to apply to jobs. I bet people apply to every job that meets certain requirements and that could be hundreds.
 
2009-10-26 08:56:40 AM
Ball of Confusion: At that pay rate, the job is transitional already. Expect employee turnover and lots of it.

Outside of the bigger cities and coasts, $13 an hour isn't *that* far off the line. The US Census lists the median income for a full-time working female in Indiana in 2007 as $31k. $13/hr is $27k. Not far off, at all. What you'd expect for a HS diploma/GED. I know plenty of people with BS degrees making $25k-$30k.

As for the 'no overqualified', one other matter shows up at smaller firms. The person doing the hiring is often the future boss of the hiree. In the back of their mind, the hirer is thinking "is this guy going to take my job/promotion in six months"? Larger places have HR departments, which have their owen weird biases.
 
2009-10-26 09:05:23 AM
The interview process is a dance. I hate it. It's not about how good you are, or how well you'd do at the job, it's about how well you answer a series of questions cooked up by a bunch of behavioral psychologists looking to make a buck. The idea that you could make any sort of salient decision about anyone just based on their answer to a question like that is utterly stupefying to me.

And as to the overqualified thing, I'm a little bitter about that. I'm working on my MPA right now and I applied for an AmeriCorps position with a nonprofit that screens houses for lead and educates familiies in removing it. I've got nearly 5 years of nonprofit education experience, some of it supervisory, and have some experience with GIS mapping and grant writing, which this organization does. I didn't even get a second interview. I was shocked. Not because I felt I deserved it, but because I knew that I had to be the only candidate for a job like this with such a refined skillset (I saw a lot of my competition at an informational meeting).

I should have probably seen it coming, though, when I found out the lady that interviewed me was "hoping" to start the same MPA program I'm currently in next spring.
 
2009-10-26 09:23:54 AM
dittybopper: So to you, a good employee is one that is barely qualified?

In some cases, yes. You can teach skills, but you cannot teach attitude. Those who are overqualified often bring the attitude that "the work is beneath them" to the job.

Here's a secret for ya: Attitude and self-esteem count for more than your skill set. Nearly everyone applying for a certain position has some variation of the necessary skill set. It's attitude that sets apart the eventual hires.
 
2009-10-26 09:27:33 AM
SlothB77: SharkTrager: Not really. For that kind of job you don't want someone who is just taking it until the economy gets better.

people who are overqualified will soon quit. then you have to look again and retrain someone. there is definitely being too overqualified.


People who are appropriately qualified would probably leave just as soon.

You see, an 'overqualified' candidate will keep the position until it's likely that they can get a better job. You have to assume that someone who is qualified will do the same.

So, if the economy heats back up, you either have to give the appropriately qualified candidate a decent raise, or you risk losing them also.
 
2009-10-26 09:49:34 AM
dittybopper: *If you come up with a way for 3 employees to do a job that required 4 employees the old way, that would mean a reduction in headcount, and apparently some lack of 'status'.

I don't find many mid- and low-level managers concerned with status. I do find that they are concerned with a reduction in headcount and/or budget. If either are reduced as a result of efficiency improvements, then all it translates to for the manager is decreased flexibility, and increased risk. So why do it? S/he gets nothing for it but a pat on the back, one less head count, and the blame if things go south.

If you have some sort of finder's fee where whomever proposes the efficiency improvement shares in its profit, then the calculus changes. The manager isn't just presented with risk.
 
2009-10-26 09:57:03 AM
2chris2: I would definitely not stand up to catch the ball. I don't want a foul ball, what am I supposed to do with the stupid thing? Take it home and keep it forever?

I'd let someone else catch it who actually wanted it.

I wonder if that answer would have gotten me the job.


Sure, but you'd have to word it differently.

"I would sit in my seat, I don't have time to waste chasing anything that's foul."
 
2009-10-26 10:06:12 AM
The original article from a week ago.

Link

At least 500+ applications received within hours after the job is posted on a Friday; only the first 300 are even read.

Applicants deemed "overqualified" for a position making and sorting photocopies were eliminated, "reasoning that they would leave when the economy improved." No sense in getting the biggest bang for your buck, especially when the economy is going to be super awesome aaaany daaaay nowwww. (It's only been what? Eight years?)

"He also realized that in this climate he could afford to be extra picky and require trucking industry experience" except, apparently, for "the woman who had once owned a trucking company" ! !

141 questions in an hour long, two-day interview.

The winning applicant was given an hour notice to come in for her second interview.

The winning applicant clinched the job by answering a farking BASEBALL QUESTION.
 
2009-10-26 10:08:42 AM
Whodat?: I've got nearly 5 years of nonprofit education experience, some of it supervisory, and have some experience with GIS mapping and grant writing, which this organization does. I didn't even get a second interview. I was shocked.

I have spotted your problem right here. You're not living in reality and would probably be a troublemaker. Sound more desperate in your next job application!
 
2009-10-26 10:14:31 AM
Woman in court: "And then he asked me to hold his foul balls while he was standing in front of my seat"
 
2009-10-26 10:20:02 AM
Babwa Wawa: dittybopper: *If you come up with a way for 3 employees to do a job that required 4 employees the old way, that would mean a reduction in headcount, and apparently some lack of 'status'.

I don't find many mid- and low-level managers concerned with status. I do find that they are concerned with a reduction in headcount and/or budget. If either are reduced as a result of efficiency improvements, then all it translates to for the manager is decreased flexibility, and increased risk. So why do it? S/he gets nothing for it but a pat on the back, one less head count, and the blame if things go south.

If you have some sort of finder's fee where whomever proposes the efficiency improvement shares in its profit, then the calculus changes. The manager isn't just presented with risk.


While I generally agree with most of what you said, mid and low level managers most certainly do get concerned about status. I've *SEEN* it.
 
2009-10-26 10:36:41 AM
Kyosuke: Overqualified employees don't care about anything beyond finding that job that is worthy of their presence. They are often poison to the attitudes of good employees.

No, your underqualified employee is underqualified for a reason. S/he is likely to be the zitty broken-voice teenager that's spoofed in every menial job in "The Simpsons". That's at best. At worst, you have a guy who treats employers like they're all "The Man" and will find every petty reason to claim something they want "fell off the back of the truck". Expect low productivity if not outright theft.

Someone who's been around might not last long, but they're far more likely to be productive and may even take the manager's side when the guys who barely qualify talk about what a slave driver the guy is. YMMV.
 
2009-10-26 10:55:31 AM
dittybopper: *If you come up with a way for 3 employees to do a job that required 4 employees the old way, that would mean a reduction in headcount, and apparently some lack of 'status'.


Reducing headcount means reducing the budget allocation. Especially when there isn't enough new work to assign the erstwhile 'extra' employee to.

Additionally, hanging onto the 'less efficient' process is useful once the corporate layer above decides that layoffs are called for. You can sacrifice the extra person without disrupting the workflow and overloading the remaining employees.
 
2009-10-26 10:58:54 AM
Overqualified still counts as qualified. Had a little sit down with a couple of HR guys at my place of employment who had the pleasure of correcting the feeling that a search committee could pass on an over-qualified applicant for that reason alone.

The look between them when they heard what was going on was a '... oh hell' moment.

Now, the job in question here is a office job, basic clerical skills needed, experience in the industry desired but not critical to performing the job. This isn't a job that requires specialized training, certifications, clearance, and beyond, but is certainly well beyond the basic entry retail and/or customer service position.

Anyone who is looking to get back 'on their feet' without an education or any specialized training or extensive experience would go for this.
 
2009-10-26 11:01:52 AM
To seem less qualified, start lying and leaving stuff off your resume.

* Delete all that stuff about your accomplishments and your cost savings.
* Instead of "leading" a team, you were "on" the team.
* If you must list a "manager" title, explain how it was just an HR thing about salary ranges.

Get your foot in the door and take over, or keep looking for a job because you're overqualified and you can do that.
 
2009-10-26 11:05:01 AM
What? She wouldn't release her highly-trained falcon outfitted with a lacrosse basket?
 
2009-10-26 11:09:58 AM
Kyosuke: Those who are overqualified often bring the attitude that "the work is beneath them" to the job.

If I thought a job was "beneath me", I wouldn't apply for it and I wouldn't interview for it.

And if it does turn out to be the case that the smart person brings a bad attitude? Let them go after a one-month probationary period and hire one of the 499 other, less-qualified candidates.
 
2009-10-26 11:17:23 AM
Whodat?: The interview process is a dance. I hate it. It's not about how good you are, or how well you'd do at the job, it's about how well you answer a series of questions cooked up by a bunch of behavioral psychologists looking to make a buck. The idea that you could make any sort of salient decision about anyone just based on their answer to a question like that is utterly stupefying to me.

And as to the overqualified thing, I'm a little bitter about that. I'm working on my MPA right now and I applied for an AmeriCorps position with a nonprofit that screens houses for lead and educates familiies in removing it. I've got nearly 5 years of nonprofit education experience, some of it supervisory, and have some experience with GIS mapping and grant writing, which this organization does. I didn't even get a second interview. I was shocked. Not because I felt I deserved it, but because I knew that I had to be the only candidate for a job like this with such a refined skillset (I saw a lot of my competition at an informational meeting).

I should have probably seen it coming, though, when I found out the lady that interviewed me was "hoping" to start the same MPA program I'm currently in next spring.


Maybe if you have really shiatty interviewers...

A good interviewer will use the questions/tests that are relevant directly to the job they're filling. If I'm hiring someone for a data entry position that means I find out how well they can stay on task even when it is repetitive as hell and there are distractions. If I'm hiring someone for a project coordinator position, that means finding out how well they can balance interactions between different key players on the projects, how attentive to detail they are, and how capable they are of seeing and then promoting a more effective way of accomplishing something.

A bad interviewer will either wing it - go into the interview with no clear agenda - or do the opposite, which is kitchen-sinking it by asking a billion completely irrelevant questions, unsure of what the responses tell them.

As to over-qualified, generally people who are OQ will be less easy to manage (less willing to take correction because, "Where I used to work we..."), less attentive to repetitive/boring parts (and there are some in every job), and almost universally come off like they're slumming/doing it for the (as they will make clear) criminally small paycheck. Under-qualified people have something to prove, will often be more vigilant, will be more open to correction, and work for a lower wage. The absolute only time I would hire someone who is OQ is if I felt that they had an actual passion for the work being done (as I work in research, this is quite possible) and were trying to develop new skillsets/get experience in new areas of research.
 
2009-10-26 11:30:38 AM
dragonchild: Someone who's been around might not last long, but they're far more likely to be productive and may even take the manager's side when the guys who barely qualify talk about what a slave driver the guy is. YMMV.

So Overqualified and Underqualified are the only options?
 
2009-10-26 11:34:54 AM
wage0048: So Overqualified and Underqualified are the only options?

In terms of a Fark thread, yes. If you have someone perfectly qualified for a high-turnover job, what the hell is there to talk about? Let's go visit a boobies thread.
 
2009-10-26 11:41:15 AM
dittybopper: While I generally agree with most of what you said, mid and low level managers most certainly do get concerned about status. I've *SEEN* it.

I'm sure that ego may play in some cases, the risk without reward aspect of it prevents efficiency improvements far more than a sense of status.

I made this exact mistake in my first management job. The data center I ran was ten years out of date in terms of IT processes. I went in and within two years had saved the organization about a third of its budget, and increased performance.

My mistake was not in implementing the efficiency improvements, it was in not hiding the resulting savings and shifting the saved resources to other efforts. But often that's not possible.
 
2009-10-26 11:42:23 AM
dittybopper: Besides, for an administrative assistant job, like the one being offered, it's not like it's particularly hard to fill that kind of position even when the economy is doing well.

Exactly. One of the cardinal rules of good management is be willing to hire people smarter/better than you. If you're doing the opposite, then the higher you are in an org, the worse people will be as you go down the org chart. It's called the "bozo explosion".

Twice I was in a situation where the managers hired a secretary who THEY ADMITTED wasn't the best, because they "didn't want her to leave". I still have marks on my forehead from facepalming.

Another place I was in, HR wouldn't let us hire this guy with a PhD who was basically just cruising till retirement. We were filling a technician job and he was OK with it and would have been 5x the tech others were. No, they said we had to pay him 3x what the position was worth because of his listed edu and experience. I would agree if we were exploiting someone but he wanted the 'easy' job. So instead we got someone we had to work our asses off training, who split at 3:59pm every day. The old PhD ended up getting minimum wage at a library.
 
2009-10-26 11:46:17 AM
poot_rootbeer: Kyosuke: Those who are overqualified often bring the attitude that "the work is beneath them" to the job.

If I thought a job was "beneath me", I wouldn't apply for it and I wouldn't interview for it.


I actually turned down jobs when I was unemployed when I learned that the salary and job skills/education required weren't commensurate.

Back in 2000, I was looking for a job and I went on a couple of interviews that seemed really promising until they dropped the salary bomb, wanting to pay less than 2/3rds what I was making before. They were trying to get a person with experience with an entry-level salary.

I wished them luck. I mean, there is *NO* way they got anyone but a pimple faced kid fresh out of community college for what they were trying to pay, yet they wanted a 4 year degree *PLUS* experience.

That happened to me three times: Once at a newspaper, once at a hospital, and once at an electrical supply company. Seriously, don't waste my time on crap like that.

Oh, and one other thing: If you don't like me as a candidate, or you already have someone in mind, don't make up a stupid excuse for not hiring me. Just because I haven't used the particular word processing program that you use at your company, doesn't mean I can't learn it in less than an afternoon, just like I did with all the other ones I've used stretching back more than 25 years. I mean, you are hiring a programmer, not a secretary.
 
2009-10-26 11:50:09 AM
People!

If you're overqualified, this is the easiest thing in the world to fix! Leave out a degree. Skip mentioning a job. If you can't, downgrade your responsibilities.

You're not supposed to list everything on your resume - only what's relevant for the job you're applying for. If your masters isn't relevant to waiting tables, don't mention it and you'll no longer be overqualified.
 
2009-10-26 11:51:55 AM
wage0048: dragonchild: Someone who's been around might not last long, but they're far more likely to be productive and may even take the manager's side when the guys who barely qualify talk about what a slave driver the guy is. YMMV.

So Overqualified and Underqualified are the only options?


If you're not with us, you're with the terrorists.
 
2009-10-26 11:54:32 AM
thenateman: To seem less qualified, start lying and leaving stuff off your resume.

* Delete all that stuff about your accomplishments and your cost savings.
* Instead of "leading" a team, you were "on" the team.
* If you must list a "manager" title, explain how it was just an HR thing about salary ranges.

Get your foot in the door and take over, or keep looking for a job because you're overqualified and you can do that.


Approves of dishonesty like this.
 
2009-10-26 11:55:19 AM
Devin172: dittybopper: *If you come up with a way for 3 employees to do a job that required 4 employees the old way, that would mean a reduction in headcount, and apparently some lack of 'status'.


Reducing headcount means reducing the budget allocation. Especially when there isn't enough new work to assign the erstwhile 'extra' employee to.

Additionally, hanging onto the 'less efficient' process is useful once the corporate layer above decides that layoffs are called for. You can sacrifice the extra person without disrupting the workflow and overloading the remaining employees.



We have a contractor here, and an expensive one at that, who I am sure only keeps his job for these reasons. His boss is a smart guy but the contractor is a freaking train wreck. But the fact of the matter is this guy is in the budget, get rid of him and you lose budget. That and he is easy fat to trim if worst comes to worst.
 
2009-10-26 12:38:29 PM
Marley'sGirl: All I had to do was wear a short skirt to the interview ;) But it was Babbages back then.

They lost so much geek cred when they changed the name.
 
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