The Naked Job Interview

When it comes to exchanging valuable information, job hunting is a one-way process.

Don’t you love those job applications where you are supposed to “account for all time periods,” fill in your complete salary history, and explain why you left each job. Sometimes you are 55 years old and they want to know your high school grade point average.

Your whole employment and much of your personal history is supposed to be outlined on a couple of pieces of paper.

Then there’s the “salary call.” You’ve submitted a resume in response to an ad, and the baby-voiced HR person calls and asks you to tell her about yourself…which of course, is already outlined on the piece of paper she has in her hand. Next she asks you your salary expectations. She’s not willing to give you a range when you toss the question back. If you don’t give the right number, your resume will be filed in the trash.

While you’ve got her on the line…she encourages you to ask her questions to make this call look a little more legit. So you ask her how big the company is and tell her you noticed there were a dozen jobs posted. Are these new positions? She gives you some vague blah, blah, blah, answer. You never hear from them again if you don’t play the salary game. Maybe the HR person is just doing some local marketing research, and your application makes you a potential source of information.

You see, you – the job hunter – are supposed to tell this stranger over the phone how much you make. If you get the job, you are then supposed to keep your mouth shut about your salary.

The employment process utilizes marketing and truth in advertising. Marketing is what the employer tells you is going to happen, what your job duties will be, what you won’t have to do, how everyone works as a team, and just how wonderful everything is going to be.

Truth in advertising is that legal document YOU the job hunter sign swearing YOUR application is “true and complete.”

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