Friday, March 22, 2013

Congratulations (?) to AC, winner of "the most painful interview process" contest

Two weeks ago, I asked for the story of the longest interview process for a single job. AC has won, hands down:
I recently quit a position with about 75% bench chemistry, 25% what I will call non-bench chemistry. Interview process went something like this: 
- Phone screen with HR, ~0.5 hours
- On-site #1 with HR, ~1.5 hours
- Take home assignment, ~4 hours
- On-site #2 interview with "homework", related to the non-bench component of the job, ~5 hours + ~12 hours of "homework"
- Write-up related to interview #2, ~4 hours
- Delay
- On-site #3 interview, technical (meals brought in) ~11 hours
- On-site #4 interview, ~2.5 hours
- Another assignment (I considered this one like free work, rather than a test), ~8 hours
- Delay
- Low-ball job offer
- Delay
- Low-ball job offer rescinded
- Temp to hire offer
- Long delay
- Multiple weeks of on-site 1099 contract work
- Same low-ball job offer 
If I wasn't desperate to pay the rent, I would have told them to take a flying leap after the third on-site. At least one job from this place has been featured on this blog. I cringe, because just about every interview they had, from fresh BS to experienced PhD followed this sort of routine. One candidate sat in an office and worked on "assignments" for an entire week (without pay!) as part of the evaluation process.
Good God! That is terrible and makes all the interviews I've ever been on look great by comparison.

AC, if you'd like to collect your award of a post on any subject you desire, a card written by me, a stack of the finest Chemjobber business cards and 8 ounces of hard candy, contact me via e-mail at chemjobber -at- gmail/dot/com.

14 comments:

  1. Shouldn't there be some sort of authority that looks after these kinds of behaviors and actually does something to companies that behave this way? Taking advantage of the job situation in such a way is just outrageous

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    1. I don't see how there is much room for compensation here. It's a free country and you're allowed to make up ways to waste people's time and have them agree to it, even if it costs both parties. If a company wants to entertain a guest and waste its own time and money (and feed them at the same time), then I think they are entitled to do that. They are also wasting the time of the other person, but I don't think there is a law to prevent that and you just have to watch out for these things.

      They did give an offer after all. It was a low offer and maybe they wanted the person to refust, but that would severely limit any legal strategies.

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    2. Interviews should not be a loophole for skirting employment laws. What this company is doing is requiring free work in order to interview. This is illegal in my opinion, and the company should be both outed and fined. It is not clear where the line is here, but this company has jumped over it with aplomb.

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  2. Wow...those bastards should be outed. That is horrific.

    "Congrats" to AC.

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  3. That's the most horrifying interview process I've ever heard. Wow.

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  4. Why doesn't AC out the place and at least, save other people the trouble (or possibly even shame them into improving their behavior?

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  5. the place must be named and shamed.

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  6. That's terrible. Behavior like that crosses the border into abuse.

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  7. I am interested to know what is the name of this company.

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  8. Anonymous posters saying a company should be named and shamed. I see what you did there.

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    Replies
    1. Well no one said the anonymous posters were treating people like this now did they.

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  9. Put the pitchforks away. Nothing illegal or humiliating was done, and a NDA was signed. I can't think of any reason to name the company. If you get halfway through the list above with your own interview, and don't really need the work, then part ways - regardless of the company. For me, I needed a job, and it was the first offer I received in about 18 months. There wasn't a whole lot else I was doing at the time besides interviewing. I worked at the company for a period of time, and parted on good terms. I provided my professional, frank assessment of their interview process during my exit interview. I don't suspect anything will change, but my duty to help others ended there.

    CJ - I'll shoot you an email this week.

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  10. This is borderline harassment. There should be some legal options for handling stuff like this.

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  11. Or, you can make the award contingent on naming the place. Otherwise who's to say (s)he isn't making it all up?

    "My duty to help others ended there"? Sympathy... waning.

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