>Kids These Days… (part deux)

>In continuation of my last blog about recent college grads and their string of poor interviewing etiquette with me, I must admit I was pleasantly surprised with a one new interviewee. And, equally as disappointed with a separate one.

So, good news or bad news first? … Alright, I’ll go bad news first. So, as you are all aware, we’re interviewing for a position on our editing staff. What characteristic do you think an “editor” might have? For example, go ahead and conjure up a few words that might sketch your image of an editor. Like, being a good writer, right? OK. Good. What else? Do you think an editor might, um, read? Surely, right? 

Well, I guess one of our interviewees thought she could slip by and become a great editor without being a good reader. 

What ticked off that my judgement? I asked a seemingly simple question to her: Who’s your favorite author? 
After waffling for about 10 seconds (i.e., an eternity during an interview), she said she couldn’t name one. 

OK, I thought. She must have a slew of writers she loves and can’t just name one. So, I tried to help her out and asked her who her favorite five authors were so that she didn’t have to choose just one. Seems I only made it worse.

“Um, well, I, um, I don’t really, um, you know, um, read much,” she said. “And, I don’t remember any of their names if I do read their work.”

Yes, red flags, alarms, toll bells, North Korea’s nuclear bomb, whistles, etc., all went off in my head. Wow, I thought, can’t she just make up a name? Like, just say Salinger, Fitzgerald, Hemingway, King, whatever. Geez, name ME as your favorite author if you can’t think of one. 

A blank, sheepish, blush-filled face looked right at me. I don’t even want to think about what my facial reaction was staring back at her.

Call me crazy, but I find it difficult for a person to be a good editor or writer without being a good reader. Our words, syntax and style shouldn’t be learned via Ryan Seacrest’s monologues on “American Idol” or from dialogue from the latest “Twilight” movie. 

But, there was redemption later that day when we interviewed another candidate. Perhaps she was reading my blog from last week (doubtful, but hey, I can dream, right?), but she did the rare deed of asking for my business card before she left for the day. Just as she was about to form the words “May I have your business card?”, the conference room where the interview took place became a slow-motion “Matrix” scene where her mouth was moving -5 mph to utter those six magical words. I even thought I saw a rainbow appear behind her.

Hallelujah, I thought. They do exist.

6 responses to “>Kids These Days… (part deux)

  1. >Although I can understand your frustration, I also think these "basic rules" for job applicants should apply to the employer as well. For example, I emailed a resume and cover letter to you last week ( Noted: with a greeting in the subject line) and did not even hear a response back as to whether you had even recieved my email. I'm sure you get many resumes daily but it would be nice to hear back with a simple yes or no, or even if the position had been filled. I'd rather be rejected than be invisible.Sincerely,Frustrated, unemployed college grad

  2. >Frustrated, unemployed college grad:Thanks for the honesty. No doubt you are immensely talented (and you get bonus points for reading my blog and having the zeal to comment), and I can see how receiving no reply may be interpreted as being seen as invisible. But you're not. You and the 250 other applicants are not invisible. I'll let you in on a little secret: Employers sometimes don't reply back as a test to see if the applicant will follow up. It shows genuine interest. And perseverance. Generally speaking, I'm sure folks are applying to myriad other companies, in addition to our own, so it's nice to see a follow up. For some employers, that's interpreted well. Nonetheless, my apologies if my no reply came off poorly to you and the other 250 strong applicants. I seriously meant no offense. Believe me, I've been in your shoes before in a terrible job market. Hopefully when you're in my shoes as an hiring manager, you get a better understanding of where I'm coming from and make better strides than I.

  3. >Thanks for the response and feedback! It hasn't been easy in the job market nor the internship market where I'd happily work for free to get more experience under my belt! I don't mean to take my frustration out on your blog either! — From some of the posts I've read so far, I find them entertaining and humorous. I'll make sure to follow up when applying for potential jobs from now on..thanks again for the advice. Happy blogging! Sincerely, A somewhat less frustrated college grad 🙂

  4. >No worries, "Somewhat-less." Keep your head up. It's evident you're pretty talented, so some company's bound to snatch you up soon. And, if you're interested in some type of internship with us, send me an e-mail. I promise to reply to this one. 🙂

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