Help me out - What am I doing wrong - Job Hunt related

Non-investing personal finance issues including insurance, credit, real estate, taxes, employment and legal issues such as trusts and wills
Topic Author
imsomeguy
Posts: 53
Joined: Tue Oct 06, 2015 9:02 pm

Help me out - What am I doing wrong - Job Hunt related

Post by imsomeguy » Mon Sep 09, 2019 9:54 am

So here's the deal - I work for a megacorp and everything about my job is reasonable. Hours are reasonable, people I work with are reasonable, comp is reasonable (but stagnant), boss is a buffoon but manageable, good amount of autonomy, work remotely when needed etc etc etc. But I do feel like there should be something more and I don't know what it is.

I'm married with 3 kids, wife and I do well financially. We are aren't super rich, but have more than we need. We travel a good amount, kids do well in school and participate in outside activities. Really life aint bad

But I know I'm not being challenged, not really growing professionally and the stale salary has got me looking for other opportunities. I have been doing some online classes for my own benefit though. So I've been slightly more than passively looking for a job and had some interviews over the past 9 months. And I just got another rejection letter today based upon a face to face from friday so I'm a bit bummed. Truthfully though, for all the face to face I've been on I haven't been super impressed with any of the jobs - and none of them really excited me. But at the same time I just don't get what I'm doing wrong. I have a good resume, all conversations have gone well, have an advanced degree ... why all the rejections?

Maybe I'm just venting and feeling sorry for myself since the last rejection letter. So I'm posting here to get some advice on what I should do next. Suck it up and be happy that I have more than I need and life aint bad? Stick in my 'reasonable' job because its comfortable. What else?

runner3081
Posts: 2353
Joined: Mon Aug 22, 2016 3:22 pm

Re: Help me out - What am I doing wrong - Job Hunt related

Post by runner3081 » Mon Sep 09, 2019 9:59 am

imsomeguy wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 9:54 am
So here's the deal - I work for a megacorp and everything about my job is reasonable. Hours are reasonable, people I work with are reasonable, comp is reasonable (but stagnant), boss is a buffoon but manageable, good amount of autonomy, work remotely when needed etc etc etc. But I do feel like there should be something more and I don't know what it is.

I'm married with 3 kids, wife and I do well financially. We are aren't super rich, but have more than we need. We travel a good amount, kids do well in school and participate in outside activities. Really life aint bad

But I know I'm not being challenged, not really growing professionally and the stale salary has got me looking for other opportunities. I have been doing some online classes for my own benefit though. So I've been slightly more than passively looking for a job and had some interviews over the past 9 months. And I just got another rejection letter today based upon a face to face from friday so I'm a bit bummed. Truthfully though, for all the face to face I've been on I haven't been super impressed with any of the jobs - and none of them really excited me. But at the same time I just don't get what I'm doing wrong. I have a good resume, all conversations have gone well, have an advanced degree ... why all the rejections?

Maybe I'm just venting and feeling sorry for myself since the last rejection letter. So I'm posting here to get some advice on what I should do next. Suck it up and be happy that I have more than I need and life aint bad? Stick in my 'reasonable' job because its comfortable. What else?
The grass is not always greener. Sometimes there isn't "something more".

Sounds like you have a good job now. No need to rush things, only apply for things that really interest you, don't just find another job.

The whole wanting to be challenged at work mentality... I kept changing jobs looking for more challenges, they (challenges) never came after the first year or so.

HEDGEFUNDIE
Posts: 3262
Joined: Sun Oct 22, 2017 2:06 pm

Re: Help me out - What am I doing wrong - Job Hunt related

Post by HEDGEFUNDIE » Mon Sep 09, 2019 10:00 am

Maybe the interviewers could tell you weren’t enthused about the jobs. I know a big factor in my offers is “does this candidate actually want to work here?”

oilrig
Posts: 130
Joined: Sun Jul 03, 2016 10:25 pm

Re: Help me out - What am I doing wrong - Job Hunt related

Post by oilrig » Mon Sep 09, 2019 10:11 am

Maybe they could sense that you weren't truly interested or excited about the job? I do a lot of hiring for my company, and its pretty easy to tell which candidates REALLY want the job, and which ones are just kind of interviewing for more money. If you have a good relationship with the other company's Recruiter or HR person, maybe ask for interview feedback or tips on what you could do better?

Sounds like you arent truly passionate about your job, and thats ok. Most mega-corp employees are probably in the same boat as you. I dont really like my job either but I get paid well and its pretty easy (plus I work remotely). One word of caution is to be careful about switching companies. It sounds like you have a pretty good setup at your current company, if you are looking to leave for more money it could come back to bite you. The new company may be horrible. I have experienced this several times when switching companies, thinking darn I had it made at the last company why did I ever leave?!

Have you ever thought about starting a business?

Thegame14
Posts: 1150
Joined: Mon May 07, 2018 11:53 am

Re: Help me out - What am I doing wrong - Job Hunt related

Post by Thegame14 » Mon Sep 09, 2019 10:21 am

like the others, I assume you didn't seem excited about the new job. What did you say when they asked why are you looking for a new job? Also how did you close the interview? Did you say that you are excited about the position and the possibility of joining their team? Did you follow up with a thank you email?

adamthesmythe
Posts: 2946
Joined: Mon Sep 22, 2014 4:47 pm

Re: Help me out - What am I doing wrong - Job Hunt related

Post by adamthesmythe » Mon Sep 09, 2019 10:22 am

HEDGEFUNDIE wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 10:00 am
Maybe the interviewers could tell you weren’t enthused about the jobs. I know a big factor in my offers is “does this candidate actually want to work here?”
NOT conveying a substantial degree of enthusiasm about the job is deadly.

GmanJeff
Posts: 459
Joined: Sun Jun 11, 2017 7:12 am

Re: Help me out - What am I doing wrong - Job Hunt related

Post by GmanJeff » Mon Sep 09, 2019 10:28 am

HEDGEFUNDIE wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 10:00 am
Maybe the interviewers could tell you weren’t enthused about the jobs. I know a big factor in my offers is “does this candidate actually want to work here?”
This may well be the issue. Consider how you are responding to interview questions about why you're seeking the new position. The companies you are interviewing with already consider you generally qualified in terms of experience and skills, or they wouldn't offer you interviews. The interviewers will want to know that you're looking for a new role for plausible and acceptable (to them) reasons, that you are not likely to quickly move on to another employer (i.e., you specifically want to work for the company you're interviewing with), and that you'll be a good fit in the interviewing company.

HomeStretch
Posts: 1425
Joined: Thu Dec 27, 2018 3:06 pm

Re: Help me out - What am I doing wrong - Job Hunt related

Post by HomeStretch » Mon Sep 09, 2019 10:31 am

It sounds like your resume is getting you in the door and face-to-face interviews. If you are using an executive recruiter for your job search, have you asked for company feedback from the recruiter?

It may or may not be something within your control to improve on. Self-evaluate the things within your control - appearance, resume, professional skill set, interviewing skills, enthusiasm level, knowledge about position/company you are interviewing with, questions you ask, etc. Are you following up on interviews with thank you’s, etc. Also reevaluate how you are answering questions about your current employer and why you are looking for a job change.

Consider widening your job search location if you are willing to relocate.

Topic Author
imsomeguy
Posts: 53
Joined: Tue Oct 06, 2015 9:02 pm

Re: Help me out - What am I doing wrong - Job Hunt related

Post by imsomeguy » Mon Sep 09, 2019 10:34 am

Thanks all lots of good advice here so far. And yes I realize the grass isn't always greener.

When asked about why i'm looking for a new job I did indicate that there are certain aspects of my jobs that I like. But I also said that I'm looking to be challenged and I'm looking to go into a position that I'm looking to be a bit 'uncomfortable'. Said I do well when I'm in a new environment and being challenged and growing my professional skillset. Is this a bad reply?

Andyrunner
Posts: 745
Joined: Thu May 03, 2012 9:14 am

Re: Help me out - What am I doing wrong - Job Hunt related

Post by Andyrunner » Mon Sep 09, 2019 10:43 am

I think a lot of times the interviews are to determine if the person's personality would work well within the department or they have a policy where they need to interview multiple candidates even though they have someone already in mind. So basically it really could just be them and not you. It feels terrible to get rejected, but you just have to think about it as a practice interview.

cherijoh
Posts: 6225
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 4:49 pm
Location: Charlotte NC

Re: Help me out - What am I doing wrong - Job Hunt related

Post by cherijoh » Mon Sep 09, 2019 11:03 am

imsomeguy wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 9:54 am
So I've been slightly more than passively looking for a job and had some interviews over the past 9 months. And I just got another rejection letter today based upon a face to face from friday so I'm a bit bummed. Truthfully though, for all the face to face I've been on I haven't been super impressed with any of the jobs - and none of them really excited me. But at the same time I just don't get what I'm doing wrong. I have a good resume, all conversations have gone well, have an advanced degree ... why all the rejections?

My first guess is that your lack of enthusiasm is coming through in the interview. Did you ask about what projects you'd be involved in if you were hired? Then did you offer an anecdote about how you solved a similar problem in your current job?

How much research on the companies have you done before the interviews? Don't ask basic questions that you should have googled before an interview. It's always good if you can ask a question related to an article you have read online. "I see that your company has a global sales organization. How is <something happening in the current news> affecting your business in <location>?"

What type of questions have you been asked and how did you answer them?

When asked open-ended questions do you ramble or fumble around for an answer? If so practice answers to the questions you've been asked previously or check a book out of the library on interviewing to find sample questions.

You may also be failing to provide a compelling reason for them to hire you. Are you giving them a job description when asked about your current role? Or are you highlighting how you have solved problems, improved efficiency, or reduced customer complaints, etc. with specific examples?

Did you get any "tell me about a time when..." questions? Those are behavioral interview questions and they are looking for some key traits to see if you would be a good fit for their culture. Those are good questions to practice as well.

Finally, keep in mind that there is often an internal candidate and they may be just going through the motions of interviewing external candidates.

Topic Author
imsomeguy
Posts: 53
Joined: Tue Oct 06, 2015 9:02 pm

Re: Help me out - What am I doing wrong - Job Hunt related

Post by imsomeguy » Mon Sep 09, 2019 11:46 am

cherijoh wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 11:03 am

How much research on the companies have you done before the interviews? Don't ask basic questions that you should have googled before an interview. It's always good if you can ask a question related to an article you have read online. "I see that your company has a global sales organization. How is <something happening in the current news> affecting your business in <location>?"

What type of questions have you been asked and how did you answer them?
I asked questions and tried to be real specific. when I answered the ones that were posed to me too I made sure to be brief and not fumble around (or I thought so at least) . I do enough hiring in my normal job that I make sure my answers are always very concise
cherijoh wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 11:03 am
You may also be failing to provide a compelling reason for them to hire you. Are you giving them a job description when asked about your current role? Or are you highlighting how you have solved problems, improved efficiency, or reduced customer complaints, etc. with specific examples?
Good point
cherijoh wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 11:03 am
Did you get any "tell me about a time when..." questions? Those are behavioral interview questions and they are looking for some key traits to see if you would be a good fit for their culture. Those are good questions to practice as well.
Yeah I got a ton of these and I was real specific in giving examples. And I got very similar topics from different interviewers so naturally I gave similar answers and related them all to recent topics at work. Maybe that was a problem was that I was using some recent issues that I'm facing at work and how I'm dealing with them and not spreading out my answers enough?

Also I fail to see how these types of behavioral questions define whether or not they are a good fit. I was getting so specific (because the questions were so specific) that I sometimes failed to see how this would be applicable to the new role. And it was just a guy with a laptop asking me all these - can you give an example questions

cashboy
Posts: 90
Joined: Tue Sep 11, 2018 5:03 pm

Re: Help me out - What am I doing wrong - Job Hunt related

Post by cashboy » Mon Sep 09, 2019 12:29 pm

OP

how old are you?
could it be age related?
there is a lot of (hard to prove) age discrimination in megacorps.

what type of work do you do?

for example, being in the 50s (middle aged) and working in IT = hard to get a job.
FSPSX - FXAIX - FXNAX - CD - CASH - canned beans - rice

Topic Author
imsomeguy
Posts: 53
Joined: Tue Oct 06, 2015 9:02 pm

Re: Help me out - What am I doing wrong - Job Hunt related

Post by imsomeguy » Mon Sep 09, 2019 1:02 pm

cashboy wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 12:29 pm
OP

how old are you?
could it be age related?
there is a lot of (hard to prove) age discrimination in megacorps.

what type of work do you do?

for example, being in the 50s (middle aged) and working in IT = hard to get a job.
eh I don't think so - I'm in my mid 30's. Work in Data/Tech/Finance space

cherijoh
Posts: 6225
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 4:49 pm
Location: Charlotte NC

Re: Help me out - What am I doing wrong - Job Hunt related

Post by cherijoh » Mon Sep 09, 2019 1:33 pm

imsomeguy wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 11:46 am
cherijoh wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 11:03 am
Did you get any "tell me about a time when..." questions? Those are behavioral interview questions and they are looking for some key traits to see if you would be a good fit for their culture. Those are good questions to practice as well.
Also I fail to see how these types of behavioral questions define whether or not they are a good fit. I was getting so specific (because the questions were so specific) that I sometimes failed to see how this would be applicable to the new role. And it was just a guy with a laptop asking me all these - can you give an example questions
Not everyone using behavioral interviewing (BI) actually knows what he/she is doing. If the guy was reading from a script off his laptop then he may not have been doing it right. :oops:

I attended a discussion at a job search group workshop many moons ago where an HR professional was talking about how his company used BI. He made the point that if your resume got you as far as an interview you had the hard skills necessary to do the job. But your resume couldn't tell whether you would be a good fit. Therefore at his company each role had 4 - 6 attributes that had identified as important for the role and/or would tell whether you were actually a good fit for the company culture.

So as an example, let's say the company thinks creative problem solving is required. So they could ask you "tell me about a time you encountered an unusual problem..." or maybe "tell me about a time you needed to think outside the box..."

If the role requires you to juggle multiple projects and still meet deadlines, good time management skills might be required. So the question might be related to describing a time when you got an unexpected rush assignment or when a project turned out to be more complicated than you originally thought.

Another popular theme is conflict management.

Try to think of what attributes might be important and come up with several anecdotes that addresses each one.

User avatar
RickBoglehead
Posts: 3575
Joined: Wed Feb 14, 2018 9:10 am

Re: Help me out - What am I doing wrong - Job Hunt related

Post by RickBoglehead » Mon Sep 09, 2019 1:41 pm

Behavorial interviewing, done correctly by someone trained in it, does help eliminate those that aren't a good fit. I'd suggest you do some reading on behavorial interviewing, and be prepared to enthusiastically provide answers to the standard questions.

In addition, I'd suggest that getting a reject letter/email that quick says you have something fundamentally missing, because often they'll dangle candidates while separating the wheat from the chaff.

You may also want to see if the school that you graduated from provides any free alumni job search help, I know mine does and I took advantage of it 30+ years after graduating. It was somewhat helpful, and the part that wasn't was due to my specialty being outside their wheelhouse.
Avid user of forums on variety of interests-financial, home brewing, F-150, PHEV, home repair, etc. Enjoy learning & passing on knowledge. It's PRINCIPAL, not PRINCIPLE. I ADVISE you to seek ADVICE.

Topic Author
imsomeguy
Posts: 53
Joined: Tue Oct 06, 2015 9:02 pm

Re: Help me out - What am I doing wrong - Job Hunt related

Post by imsomeguy » Mon Sep 09, 2019 1:45 pm

RickBoglehead wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 1:41 pm

In addition, I'd suggest that getting a reject letter/email that quick says you have something fundamentally missing, because often they'll dangle candidates while separating the wheat from the chaff.
Good point - I didn't think that I really bombed it but I must have really whiffed

cashboy
Posts: 90
Joined: Tue Sep 11, 2018 5:03 pm

Re: Help me out - What am I doing wrong - Job Hunt related

Post by cashboy » Mon Sep 09, 2019 1:45 pm

OP

could it be appearance related?

how are you dressed on interviews? white shirt, dark suit, conservative tie, freshly polished black shoes?

how about grooming? hair (and beard?) neatly trimmed?

sounds superficial, i know.....
FSPSX - FXAIX - FXNAX - CD - CASH - canned beans - rice

mak1277
Posts: 1112
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2015 4:26 pm

Re: Help me out - What am I doing wrong - Job Hunt related

Post by mak1277 » Mon Sep 09, 2019 1:51 pm

Are you interviewing and being rejected just by Human Resources, or are you actually getting to the second round of interviews with the hiring manager and his/her team?

Is your work experience a direct fit for the new positions you're interviewing for, or are you looking to enter a new area/path? If you're looking for something new, are you being realistic in terms of the job title/salary of the new position?

Topic Author
imsomeguy
Posts: 53
Joined: Tue Oct 06, 2015 9:02 pm

Re: Help me out - What am I doing wrong - Job Hunt related

Post by imsomeguy » Mon Sep 09, 2019 2:06 pm

cashboy wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 1:45 pm
OP

could it be appearance related?

how are you dressed on interviews? white shirt, dark suit, conservative tie, freshly polished black shoes?

how about grooming? hair (and beard?) neatly trimmed?

sounds superficial, i know.....
no I was (and always am) professional. dark suit, white shirt, no tie (maybe actually too conservative). This place is pretty casual, even HR told me before the face to face and they specifically said, don't wear a tie. I know someone at the company and he confirmed the appearance was fine

Topic Author
imsomeguy
Posts: 53
Joined: Tue Oct 06, 2015 9:02 pm

Re: Help me out - What am I doing wrong - Job Hunt related

Post by imsomeguy » Mon Sep 09, 2019 2:07 pm

mak1277 wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 1:51 pm
Are you interviewing and being rejected just by Human Resources, or are you actually getting to the second round of interviews with the hiring manager and his/her team?

Is your work experience a direct fit for the new positions you're interviewing for, or are you looking to enter a new area/path? If you're looking for something new, are you being realistic in terms of the job title/salary of the new position?
I'm getting second rounds and in the door with hiring manager and team. And yes work experience is aligned to what they are looking to fill

User avatar
RickBoglehead
Posts: 3575
Joined: Wed Feb 14, 2018 9:10 am

Re: Help me out - What am I doing wrong - Job Hunt related

Post by RickBoglehead » Mon Sep 09, 2019 2:14 pm

Pick up the phone and ask the HR person for any perspective on why you were rejected. Worse they can do is give you non-answers, they may actually relate something worthwhile.
Avid user of forums on variety of interests-financial, home brewing, F-150, PHEV, home repair, etc. Enjoy learning & passing on knowledge. It's PRINCIPAL, not PRINCIPLE. I ADVISE you to seek ADVICE.

Topic Author
imsomeguy
Posts: 53
Joined: Tue Oct 06, 2015 9:02 pm

Re: Help me out - What am I doing wrong - Job Hunt related

Post by imsomeguy » Mon Sep 09, 2019 2:15 pm

RickBoglehead wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 2:14 pm
Pick up the phone and ask the HR person for any perspective on why you were rejected. Worse they can do is give you non-answers, they may actually relate something worthwhile.
Yep - already have - waiting for feedback

cashboy
Posts: 90
Joined: Tue Sep 11, 2018 5:03 pm

Re: Help me out - What am I doing wrong - Job Hunt related

Post by cashboy » Mon Sep 09, 2019 2:20 pm

imsomeguy wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 10:34 am
Thanks all lots of good advice here so far. And yes I realize the grass isn't always greener.

When asked about why i'm looking for a new job I did indicate that there are certain aspects of my jobs that I like. But I also said that I'm looking to be challenged and I'm looking to go into a position that I'm looking to be a bit 'uncomfortable'. Said I do well when I'm in a new environment and being challenged and growing my professional skillset. Is this a bad reply?
not a bad reply, UNLESS they are looking for just a worker bee/drone that just does the work (maybe like your current job?).

how many positions have you had face to face interviews for?
FSPSX - FXAIX - FXNAX - CD - CASH - canned beans - rice

Topic Author
imsomeguy
Posts: 53
Joined: Tue Oct 06, 2015 9:02 pm

Re: Help me out - What am I doing wrong - Job Hunt related

Post by imsomeguy » Mon Sep 09, 2019 2:24 pm

cashboy wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 2:20 pm
how many positions have you had face to face interviews for?
hmmm in the past year I'd say I've had 2 or 3 face to face that I'd actually consider. I do have somewhat of an open offer from a consulting company but not super excited about it

KESP
Posts: 159
Joined: Sat May 07, 2016 8:24 pm

Re: Help me out - What am I doing wrong - Job Hunt related

Post by KESP » Mon Sep 09, 2019 5:25 pm

Who are you using for references? I’m assuming if you got to a couple of round 2 interviews they are checking references. Perhaps someone is not giving you a glowing review.

TropikThunder
Posts: 1674
Joined: Sun Apr 03, 2016 5:41 pm

Re: Help me out - What am I doing wrong - Job Hunt related

Post by TropikThunder » Mon Sep 09, 2019 5:44 pm

imsomeguy wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 2:15 pm
RickBoglehead wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 2:14 pm
Pick up the phone and ask the HR person for any perspective on why you were rejected. Worse they can do is give you non-answers, they may actually relate something worthwhile.
Yep - already have - waiting for feedback
Sorry but that’s honestly a silly suggestion, it just doesn’t work that way anymore. HR is never going to give a direct answer and likely has policies that preclude them from saying anything at all. They can’t even say anything other than start/stop date and salary for former employees on a reference check, and you’re not even that. They’re never going to give feedback on a rejected job candidate (too much liability if they say the wrong thing). You’re lucky you got an actual “thanks but no thanks” letter, usually you just get ghosted.

stoptothink
Posts: 6046
Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2010 9:53 am

Re: Help me out - What am I doing wrong - Job Hunt related

Post by stoptothink » Mon Sep 09, 2019 5:50 pm

TropikThunder wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 5:44 pm
imsomeguy wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 2:15 pm
RickBoglehead wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 2:14 pm
Pick up the phone and ask the HR person for any perspective on why you were rejected. Worse they can do is give you non-answers, they may actually relate something worthwhile.
Yep - already have - waiting for feedback
Sorry but that’s honestly a silly suggestion, it just doesn’t work that way anymore. HR is never going to give a direct answer and likely has policies that preclude them from saying anything at all. They can’t even say anything other than start/stop date and salary for former employees on a reference check, and you’re not even that. They’re never going to give feedback on a rejected job candidate (too much liability if they say the wrong thing). You’re lucky you got an actual “thanks but no thanks” letter, usually you just get ghosted.
I've probably received a solid 100 email requests such as this from people I interviewed and didn't hire in the past few years, I've responded to exactly zero of them. It's just awkward; don't do it.

KlangFool
Posts: 13370
Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2008 12:35 pm

Re: Help me out - What am I doing wrong - Job Hunt related

Post by KlangFool » Mon Sep 09, 2019 5:55 pm

imsomeguy wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 10:34 am
Thanks all lots of good advice here so far. And yes I realize the grass isn't always greener.

When asked about why i'm looking for a new job I did indicate that there are certain aspects of my jobs that I like. But I also said that I'm looking to be challenged and I'm looking to go into a position that I'm looking to be a bit 'uncomfortable'. Said I do well when I'm in a new environment and being challenged and growing my professional skillset. Is this a bad reply?
imsomeguy,

If I am the hiring manager/interviewer, that statement is a kiss of death. I would not hire you after you said that. And, the bigger problem for you is you have no idea why this is a problem.

KlangFool

User avatar
LilyFleur
Posts: 478
Joined: Fri Mar 02, 2018 10:36 pm

Re: Help me out - What am I doing wrong - Job Hunt related

Post by LilyFleur » Mon Sep 09, 2019 6:08 pm

I sense an overall lack of enthusiasm for both your current and potential jobs. You are quite intelligent, too.

Generally a megacorp is happy to give extra, challenging assignments to a smart person who does good work, is enthusiastic, and is personable. But that also makes your life more stressful, especially when they lay off your co-worker and you have to do two jobs while trying to also have time for your children.

Perhaps reflect on your life and think about a time of life when you were challenged... is there any way to recreate that? Maybe a side hustle? You could do something on the side without endangering any of your lovely megacorp benefits. I liked working for manageable buffoons much more than highly intelligent, anxiety-ridden micromanagers who were super critical, angsty, and easily angered. But, I can't tell you how much the matched stock in the megacorp 401k made my life wonderful as I neared retirement age.

My son went to a very highly ranked public ivy. He loved the intellectual stimulation that was present even when hanging out with friends in the dorm. I told him to enjoy it because he would most likely never be working with a group of people that smart again in his life.

When I was growing up, my mom's advice was even more pointed. "Only boring people get bored," she told me.

Elyria
Posts: 28
Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2009 4:01 pm
Location: Ohio

Re: Help me out - What am I doing wrong - Job Hunt related

Post by Elyria » Mon Sep 09, 2019 6:24 pm

I read your original post and your follow-up responses. You said numerous times that you weren't super excited about several opportunities. My guess is, you look good on paper but when you interview, your attitude and body language convey your lack of interest. As someone who hires often for a large company, body language and attitude make a big impression. I just filled a professional job and interviewed about 12 candidates. The finalists were the candidates who did their homework on our company, asked good questions, but even more, conveyed enthusiasm for the position. They also followed up by email within a day to reiterate their interest.

It's hard to know what went wrong and why, but consider everything about your presentation during the interview. Little things mean a lot.

MarkRoulo
Posts: 129
Joined: Mon Jun 22, 2015 10:25 am

Re: Help me out - What am I doing wrong - Job Hunt related

Post by MarkRoulo » Mon Sep 09, 2019 6:32 pm

KlangFool wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 5:55 pm
imsomeguy wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 10:34 am
Thanks all lots of good advice here so far. And yes I realize the grass isn't always greener.

When asked about why i'm looking for a new job I did indicate that there are certain aspects of my jobs that I like. But I also said that I'm looking to be challenged and I'm looking to go into a position that I'm looking to be a bit 'uncomfortable'. Said I do well when I'm in a new environment and being challenged and growing my professional skillset. Is this a bad reply?
imsomeguy,

If I am the hiring manager/interviewer, that statement is a kiss of death. I would not hire you after you said that. And, the bigger problem for you is you have no idea why this is a problem.

KlangFool
For those of us following this thread, why is it a kiss of death for a candidate to indicate that he is looking to be challenged?

softwaregeek
Posts: 211
Joined: Wed May 08, 2019 8:59 pm

Re: Help me out - What am I doing wrong - Job Hunt related

Post by softwaregeek » Mon Sep 09, 2019 6:36 pm

I'm going to go out on a limb and say you aren't great in the interview.

You need to hire an interview consultant (they do exist.). $500 to the interview consultant was the best investment of my life.

I sucked at interviews; I was an introverted geek who looked great on paper and flamed out in the interview. Did 5 rounds of mock interviews with video critique. After that, got a much better job pretty easily.

KlangFool
Posts: 13370
Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2008 12:35 pm

Re: Help me out - What am I doing wrong - Job Hunt related

Post by KlangFool » Mon Sep 09, 2019 6:41 pm

MarkRoulo wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 6:32 pm
KlangFool wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 5:55 pm
imsomeguy wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 10:34 am
Thanks all lots of good advice here so far. And yes I realize the grass isn't always greener.

When asked about why i'm looking for a new job I did indicate that there are certain aspects of my jobs that I like. But I also said that I'm looking to be challenged and I'm looking to go into a position that I'm looking to be a bit 'uncomfortable'. Said I do well when I'm in a new environment and being challenged and growing my professional skillset. Is this a bad reply?
imsomeguy,

If I am the hiring manager/interviewer, that statement is a kiss of death. I would not hire you after you said that. And, the bigger problem for you is you have no idea why this is a problem.

KlangFool
For those of us following this thread, why is it a kiss of death for a candidate to indicate that he is looking to be challenged?
That shows the person is not a go-getter.

KlangFool

Pudge
Posts: 18
Joined: Sat Sep 07, 2019 1:28 pm

Re: Help me out - What am I doing wrong - Job Hunt related

Post by Pudge » Mon Sep 09, 2019 6:52 pm

One of the things that you want to think about is that these are "cold call" interviews, which are the hardest and most difficult. 1 out of 10 on a good day might be successful.

What you really want is a "godfather" type of situation where you get a warm referral to a decision-maker. That means garnering a small cadre of advocates that will help open doors for you. You need friends in high places that can help open some doors. This can be accomplished in a number of ways. Get creative.

A cold interview is a shot in the dark. Like cold calling, the hit rate is horrible. It's hard to impress strangers and to make a good impression in an interview, and they have nothing vested in the hiring decision.

SeaToTheBay
Posts: 165
Joined: Thu Jun 08, 2017 6:11 pm

Re: Help me out - What am I doing wrong - Job Hunt related

Post by SeaToTheBay » Mon Sep 09, 2019 6:59 pm

TropikThunder wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 5:44 pm
imsomeguy wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 2:15 pm
RickBoglehead wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 2:14 pm
Pick up the phone and ask the HR person for any perspective on why you were rejected. Worse they can do is give you non-answers, they may actually relate something worthwhile.
Yep - already have - waiting for feedback
Sorry but that’s honestly a silly suggestion, it just doesn’t work that way anymore. HR is never going to give a direct answer and likely has policies that preclude them from saying anything at all. They can’t even say anything other than start/stop date and salary for former employees on a reference check, and you’re not even that. They’re never going to give feedback on a rejected job candidate (too much liability if they say the wrong thing). You’re lucky you got an actual “thanks but no thanks” letter, usually you just get ghosted.
I disagree. I recently had a situation where I applied for a director position, got bumped up to a senior director position due to experience before the in-person interviews, but then was denied for senior director and asked to apply to director again. The HR person voluntarily told me that there was an impression that I delegated/managed people too much and didn't appear to be "getting my hands dirty", which irked me because they had 7 interviews to ask me more pointed questions about that and I would've had plenty of examples (not to mention you get to more senior positions by getting your hands dirty in the first place). I remember giving a few examples of this as well, so maybe it was a BS answer. But to say you can't get feedback is not always true.

Tortoisesque
Posts: 20
Joined: Sun Mar 24, 2019 3:43 pm

Re: Help me out - What am I doing wrong - Job Hunt related

Post by Tortoisesque » Mon Sep 09, 2019 7:09 pm

To a certain extent, interviewing is a numbers game that depends heavily on supply and demand. It depends a lot on the number of open positions at that company vs. the number of qualified applicants.

I’ve had on-site interviews where it seemed like they were looking for any excuse NOT to hire me, and called me the very next day to say it wasn’t a good fit. In those cases, I think they had a lot of good applicants and only one open position.

And I’ve also had on-site interviews where they acted like I was the best candidate ever, and they practically hired me on the spot. In those cases, they had either a BUNCH of open positions or an extreme shortage of qualified candidates (e.g., due to location).

Supply and demand.

HEDGEFUNDIE
Posts: 3262
Joined: Sun Oct 22, 2017 2:06 pm

Re: Help me out - What am I doing wrong - Job Hunt related

Post by HEDGEFUNDIE » Mon Sep 09, 2019 7:14 pm

LilyFleur wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 6:08 pm
My son went to a very highly ranked public ivy. He loved the intellectual stimulation that was present even when hanging out with friends in the dorm. I told him to enjoy it because he would most likely never be working with a group of people that smart again in his life.
They exist, but probably not at megacorps.

This is why many of us go into tech startups, get elite MBAs & JDs. To be surrounded by people smarter than us and have them pull us up.

almostretired1965
Posts: 74
Joined: Mon Nov 13, 2017 2:02 pm

Re: Help me out - What am I doing wrong - Job Hunt related

Post by almostretired1965 » Mon Sep 09, 2019 7:19 pm

I personally don't think it is always a kiss of death, but depending on the position, it may be. In management consulting, for example, I think it is the exact opposite. You would not want to hire someone who shows no aptitude/interest in learning new things. On the other hand, if you know the role you are hiring for is somewhat routine, then someone looking for challenges may just not be a good long term fit.

On the other hand, expressing this attitude combined with changing jobs every two years would definitely give me pause ...... If someone has been at a firm for 5 to 10 years and feels as though they aren't learning new things anymore, I certainly wouldn't hold it against them if they expressed a desire for new challenges.

I wouldn't get too discouraged. There is some evidence that employers have become much more risk averse at hiring, even for non-senior positions. They often rather keep interviewing rather than settle for someone who is not perceived to be a perfect fit.

A
MarkRoulo wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 6:32 pm
KlangFool wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 5:55 pm
imsomeguy wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 10:34 am
Thanks all lots of good advice here so far. And yes I realize the grass isn't always greener.

When asked about why i'm looking for a new job I did indicate that there are certain aspects of my jobs that I like. But I also said that I'm looking to be challenged and I'm looking to go into a position that I'm looking to be a bit 'uncomfortable'. Said I do well when I'm in a new environment and being challenged and growing my professional skillset. Is this a bad reply?
imsomeguy,

If I am the hiring manager/interviewer, that statement is a kiss of death. I would not hire you after you said that. And, the bigger problem for you is you have no idea why this is a problem.

KlangFool
For those of us following this thread, why is it a kiss of death for a candidate to indicate that he is looking to be challenged?

Topic Author
imsomeguy
Posts: 53
Joined: Tue Oct 06, 2015 9:02 pm

Re: Help me out - What am I doing wrong - Job Hunt related

Post by imsomeguy » Mon Sep 09, 2019 7:24 pm

MarkRoulo wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 6:32 pm
KlangFool wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 5:55 pm
imsomeguy wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 10:34 am
But I also said that I'm looking to be challenged and I'm looking to go into a position that I'm looking to be a bit 'uncomfortable'. Said I do well when I'm in a new environment and being challenged and growing my professional skillset. Is this a bad reply?
imsomeguy,

If I am the hiring manager/interviewer, that statement is a kiss of death. I would not hire you after you said that. And, the bigger problem for you is you have no idea why this is a problem.

KlangFool
That shows the person is not a go-getter.

KlangFool
Eh I get where you are coming from but you also need to hear the rest of the context of the interview. I talk about how I get fully engrained in a problem and like to get my hands dirty and that even though I'm the manager of my team I'm fully involved in their day to day.

Do I get frustrated and beaten down by working for a megacorp? Yes ... But it's not like it comes across that way in an interview

KlangFool
Posts: 13370
Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2008 12:35 pm

Re: Help me out - What am I doing wrong - Job Hunt related

Post by KlangFool » Mon Sep 09, 2019 7:31 pm

imsomeguy wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 7:24 pm
MarkRoulo wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 6:32 pm
KlangFool wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 5:55 pm
imsomeguy wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 10:34 am
But I also said that I'm looking to be challenged and I'm looking to go into a position that I'm looking to be a bit 'uncomfortable'. Said I do well when I'm in a new environment and being challenged and growing my professional skillset. Is this a bad reply?
imsomeguy,

If I am the hiring manager/interviewer, that statement is a kiss of death. I would not hire you after you said that. And, the bigger problem for you is you have no idea why this is a problem.

KlangFool
That shows the person is not a go-getter.

KlangFool
Eh I get where you are coming from but you also need to hear the rest of the context of the interview. I talk about how I get fully engrained in a problem and like to get my hands dirty and that even though I'm the manager of my team I'm fully involved in their day to day.

Do I get frustrated and beaten down by working for a megacorp? Yes ... But it's not like it comes across that way in an interview
imsomeguy,

<< But I also said that I'm looking to be challenged >>

Still does not explain this away. Your job is whatever you choose it to be. A go-getter will never say this. He/she will find ways to be challenged.

IMHO, there are only two kinds of people,

A) People that make things happened.

B) People that wait and hope for things to show up.

You are type (B).

<<I talk about how I get fully engrained in a problem and like to get my hands dirty and that even though I'm the manager of my team I'm fully involved in their day to day.>>

That shows you take no initiative. You only do whatever is in front of you. You did not ask what you want out of your job and take the initiative to make it happened.

KlangFool

stoptothink
Posts: 6046
Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2010 9:53 am

Re: Help me out - What am I doing wrong - Job Hunt related

Post by stoptothink » Mon Sep 09, 2019 7:49 pm

HEDGEFUNDIE wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 7:14 pm
LilyFleur wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 6:08 pm
My son went to a very highly ranked public ivy. He loved the intellectual stimulation that was present even when hanging out with friends in the dorm. I told him to enjoy it because he would most likely never be working with a group of people that smart again in his life.
They exist, but probably not at megacorps.

This is why many of us go into tech startups, get elite MBAs & JDs. To be surrounded by people smarter than us and have them pull us up.
I went to a top-20 university for undergrad and am surrounded by people at work every day who are way smarter than my college peers. At least half my staff is more intellectually capable than I am, and three (in their early-mid 20's) are absolutely brilliant. In meetings with my colleagues (senior directors and up, science PhDs and MDs) rarely am I not the least intelligent guy in the room.

cherijoh
Posts: 6225
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 4:49 pm
Location: Charlotte NC

Re: Help me out - What am I doing wrong - Job Hunt related

Post by cherijoh » Mon Sep 09, 2019 8:22 pm

Tortoisesque wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 7:09 pm
To a certain extent, interviewing is a numbers game that depends heavily on supply and demand. It depends a lot on the number of open positions at that company vs. the number of qualified applicants.

I’ve had on-site interviews where it seemed like they were looking for any excuse NOT to hire me, and called me the very next day to say it wasn’t a good fit. In those cases, I think they had a lot of good applicants and only one open position.

And I’ve also had on-site interviews where they acted like I was the best candidate ever, and they practically hired me on the spot. In those cases, they had either a BUNCH of open positions or an extreme shortage of qualified candidates (e.g., due to location).

Supply and demand.
Or it can be a combination of lots of openings and a dearth of qualified candidates. :D

I was just preparing to get back in job search mode (after wrapping up a contract assignment) when a friend working at one of my target companies called me about a F/T job opportunity. She had had a meeting that day with a business partner and he happened to mention that he was having problems filling a position that happened to match my qualifications. She mentioned me and my background and he gave her the internal recruiter's name and email to pass on to me so that I could send in my resume directly.

This company was known to be notoriously slow about the hiring process, but I figured it was a good opportunity and worth pursuing. The short version of the story is that I submitted my resume on a Friday morning and had 3 phone interviews (HR recruiter and 2 separate hiring managers in the same department) AND an in-person interview (with the hiring managers' boss) all by Thursday of that next week. I also had an offer (contingent on a background check) the following Monday (just 6 business days after submitting my resume). :shock: My reaction was "what the heck just happened?" My expectation going in was that it might take several weeks to advance to an in-person interview and at least a month to get an offer (if one was forthcoming).

It turns out they had 4 open positions (2 for each hiring manager) and the job requisitions had been out for a while because they were having problems finding enough qualified people to fill them. I'm pretty sure only one of the 4 positions had been filled at the time of my interview. Everyone was worried that if the rest of the positions didn't get filled ASAP that they would be yanked and the three remaining open slots might turn into 0 or 1 additional positions.

So yes it is supply and demand. And timing.

BV3273
Posts: 328
Joined: Mon Oct 19, 2015 7:20 pm

Re: Help me out - What am I doing wrong - Job Hunt related

Post by BV3273 » Mon Sep 09, 2019 8:29 pm

OP how bad do you want a new job?

You need to ask yourself that question.

I used to interview constantly and the truth was that I did not want most of the jobs I was interviewing for. It was almost as if I checked out during the interviews. I didn’t realize this until after the fact when I had an epiphany moment.

I would suggest only going after new opportunities that excite you.

Topic Author
imsomeguy
Posts: 53
Joined: Tue Oct 06, 2015 9:02 pm

Re: Help me out - What am I doing wrong - Job Hunt related

Post by imsomeguy » Mon Sep 09, 2019 9:06 pm

BV3273 wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 8:29 pm
OP how bad do you want a new job?
Yea I go back and forth. My current job affords me a good amount of flexibility and with 3 small kids at home it's pretty helpful. What frustrates me more than anything is compensation - even though I define it as reasonable.

In the 4 years I've been there I've delivered on some major projects, started managing a global team, did well on my perf reviews etc. But my compensation hasn't budged. So I just get beaten down ya know? What's the point?

Call me shallow but I want to get paid. And my boss is a buffoon which doesn't help my growth in the organization

User avatar
LilyFleur
Posts: 478
Joined: Fri Mar 02, 2018 10:36 pm

Re: Help me out - What am I doing wrong - Job Hunt related

Post by LilyFleur » Mon Sep 09, 2019 9:16 pm

stoptothink wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 7:49 pm
HEDGEFUNDIE wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 7:14 pm
LilyFleur wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 6:08 pm
My son went to a very highly ranked public ivy. He loved the intellectual stimulation that was present even when hanging out with friends in the dorm. I told him to enjoy it because he would most likely never be working with a group of people that smart again in his life.
They exist, but probably not at megacorps.

This is why many of us go into tech startups, get elite MBAs & JDs. To be surrounded by people smarter than us and have them pull us up.
I went to a top-20 university for undergrad and am surrounded by people at work every day who are way smarter than my college peers. At least half my staff is more intellectually capable than I am, and three (in their early-mid 20's) are absolutely brilliant. In meetings with my colleagues (senior directors and up, science PhDs and MDs) rarely am I not the least intelligent guy in the room.
stoptothink, that sounds like a wonderful growth experience that keeps you on your toes.

Well, the megacorp I worked at in the late 1980s and 1990s was bloated and bureaucratic, so my experience is a bit skewed. The non-engineering staff were mostly not outstandingly bright (there were some stellar exceptions, including a very dear lifelong friend), but some of the engineers (MIT, etc.) were fun to work with.

My son may prove me wrong, though. His first job out of college is working for someone who was part of a startup that sold big. I'm hoping he learns a lot.

NoGambleNoFuture
Posts: 298
Joined: Tue Feb 02, 2016 8:17 pm

Re: Help me out - What am I doing wrong - Job Hunt related

Post by NoGambleNoFuture » Mon Sep 09, 2019 10:12 pm

stoptothink wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 5:50 pm
TropikThunder wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 5:44 pm
imsomeguy wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 2:15 pm
RickBoglehead wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 2:14 pm
Pick up the phone and ask the HR person for any perspective on why you were rejected. Worse they can do is give you non-answers, they may actually relate something worthwhile.
Yep - already have - waiting for feedback
Sorry but that’s honestly a silly suggestion, it just doesn’t work that way anymore. HR is never going to give a direct answer and likely has policies that preclude them from saying anything at all. They can’t even say anything other than start/stop date and salary for former employees on a reference check, and you’re not even that. They’re never going to give feedback on a rejected job candidate (too much liability if they say the wrong thing). You’re lucky you got an actual “thanks but no thanks” letter, usually you just get ghosted.
I've probably received a solid 100 email requests such as this from people I interviewed and didn't hire in the past few years, I've responded to exactly zero of them. It's just awkward; don't do it.
Disagree wholeheartedly. Asking for feedback is totally reasonable and if a company isn’t willing to provide feedback it’s not a type of place you’d ever want to work. We ask for feedback on your interview experience and we’re more than happy to provide feedback on every candidate that interviews with us.

So many people get the candidate experience sooooo wrong these days it’s amazing... then they wonder why.

HEDGEFUNDIE
Posts: 3262
Joined: Sun Oct 22, 2017 2:06 pm

Re: Help me out - What am I doing wrong - Job Hunt related

Post by HEDGEFUNDIE » Mon Sep 09, 2019 11:13 pm

cherijoh wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 8:22 pm
It turns out they had 4 open positions (2 for each hiring manager) and the job requisitions had been out for a while because they were having problems finding enough qualified people to fill them. I'm pretty sure only one of the 4 positions had been filled at the time of my interview. Everyone was worried that if the rest of the positions didn't get filled ASAP that they would be yanked and the three remaining open slots might turn into 0 or 1 additional positions.
This is a legitimate fear and in my experience has driven a lot of suboptimal hiring behavior. (Not saying anything about cherijoh)

ARoseByAnyOtherName
Posts: 75
Joined: Wed Apr 26, 2017 12:03 am

Re: Help me out - What am I doing wrong - Job Hunt related

Post by ARoseByAnyOtherName » Mon Sep 09, 2019 11:30 pm

KlangFool wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 7:31 pm
imsomeguy wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 7:24 pm
MarkRoulo wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 6:32 pm
KlangFool wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 5:55 pm
imsomeguy wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 10:34 am
But I also said that I'm looking to be challenged and I'm looking to go into a position that I'm looking to be a bit 'uncomfortable'. Said I do well when I'm in a new environment and being challenged and growing my professional skillset. Is this a bad reply?
imsomeguy,

If I am the hiring manager/interviewer, that statement is a kiss of death. I would not hire you after you said that. And, the bigger problem for you is you have no idea why this is a problem.

KlangFool
That shows the person is not a go-getter.

KlangFool
Eh I get where you are coming from but you also need to hear the rest of the context of the interview. I talk about how I get fully engrained in a problem and like to get my hands dirty and that even though I'm the manager of my team I'm fully involved in their day to day.

Do I get frustrated and beaten down by working for a megacorp? Yes ... But it's not like it comes across that way in an interview
imsomeguy,

<< But I also said that I'm looking to be challenged >>

Still does not explain this away. Your job is whatever you choose it to be. A go-getter will never say this. He/she will find ways to be challenged.

IMHO, there are only two kinds of people,

A) People that make things happened.

B) People that wait and hope for things to show up.

You are type (B).

<<I talk about how I get fully engrained in a problem and like to get my hands dirty and that even though I'm the manager of my team I'm fully involved in their day to day.>>

That shows you take no initiative. You only do whatever is in front of you. You did not ask what you want out of your job and take the initiative to make it happened.

KlangFool
This is a bit harsh on imsomeguy. Like I bet the poor guy isn’t quite one of the sheeple that you make him out to be.

But otherwise this is 10,000% spot on and KlangFool should be given a medal for post of the week.

Just do it.

BV3273
Posts: 328
Joined: Mon Oct 19, 2015 7:20 pm

Re: Help me out - What am I doing wrong - Job Hunt related

Post by BV3273 » Tue Sep 10, 2019 5:53 am

imsomeguy wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 9:06 pm
BV3273 wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 8:29 pm
OP how bad do you want a new job?
Yea I go back and forth. My current job affords me a good amount of flexibility and with 3 small kids at home it's pretty helpful. What frustrates me more than anything is compensation - even though I define it as reasonable.

In the 4 years I've been there I've delivered on some major projects, started managing a global team, did well on my perf reviews etc. But my compensation hasn't budged. So I just get beaten down ya know? What's the point?

Call me shallow but I want to get paid. And my boss is a buffoon which doesn't help my growth in the organization
I get it. Most likely more than most people on here. I guess you can say we are both in similar situations.

When I was looking for a new opportunity I made sure that it was going to be a little more challenging than my last one. I ended up taking a position that some days I like and some days I hate.

In all honesty. I’d take a few days off and decompress. Take stock of your current situation. Is it really that bad? Buffoon and all?

It’s the devil you know versus the devil you don’t know.

Post Reply