Tech hiring mystery
May 20, 2014 1:49 PM   Subscribe

I'm trying to solve a mystery. Let's say it's a friend of a friend.. He's got some.. kind of.. tech certification and for several months has reported to her (while borrowing money from her) that he's been interviewing for jobs. He reports the same story each time.. several times a month.. that he interviews, interviews with the HR department, then their tech manager and sometimes a CEO gets throw in there... and then without fail, nobody calls him back once he interviews at a certain level. She's not remotely tech savvy and continues to loan him money. Is the market really so strained that this is possible? Does this happen a lot? She's cut him off, but.. curious.
posted by missy_b to Technology (22 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Depending on the area it's not totally implausible. Though to me, getting interview after interview but no callbacks afterwards suggests to me that there's something that keeps going wrong during the interviews. E.g. maybe his resume is making promises that he can't fulfill when asked to demonstrate them. That is unfortunately very common. A lot of people load up their resume with BS jargon or inflate their experience as a way of getting past HR screens, and then when they get brought in for an interview and dropped in front of a technical person and asked to actually do something, or even get asked specific technical questions, crash and burn spectacularly.
posted by Kadin2048 at 1:55 PM on May 20, 2014

Maybe he's incompetent. Maybe he needs an interview coach. Maybe he's a liar.
posted by Ideefixe at 2:04 PM on May 20, 2014

not once has he gone in to interview in person. It's always over the phone..
posted by missy_b at 2:04 PM on May 20, 2014

@Ideefixe: This is my suspicion. :(
posted by missy_b at 2:06 PM on May 20, 2014

It's plausible that the resume looks great, but he bombs all phone interviews. Either way, I wouldn't put much hope on him getting a job soon.
posted by advicepig at 2:07 PM on May 20, 2014

It's certainly plausible, but it doesn't mean he should continue to be lent money.
posted by cnc at 2:07 PM on May 20, 2014

The weirdest thing is.. almost every time, he's "hired" for the job.. he starts on Monday, and then Monday happens and no one contacts him.

I didn't know if this was a tech thing? They're all remote jobs.. This has been happening now for three or four months.
posted by missy_b at 2:10 PM on May 20, 2014

It's very possible to keep getting interviews and not get called back. It may be a lack of interpersonal or social skills, the resume writing a check that his ass can't cash, or not trying very hard. I add that latter because, now that he's been cut off from the gravy train, the job hunter may all of a sudden ace his interviews, since he knows he's not getting any more money from the girlfriend.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 2:14 PM on May 20, 2014

not once has he gone in to interview in person. It's always over the phone.

While certainly not impossible, it's very unlikely that a CEO is going to do a phone interview with a candidate, especially one who is at a significantly lower level in the organization.

My vote is that he's full of shit and pulling a fast one on her.
posted by NotMyselfRightNow at 2:16 PM on May 20, 2014 [9 favorites]

Oh, he says he's hired each time? He's lying.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 2:17 PM on May 20, 2014 [6 favorites]

Repeatedly hired? Either he's lying or getting repeatedly scammed on "work from home" scammers bilking him of her money.
posted by advicepig at 2:26 PM on May 20, 2014 [4 favorites]

Someone's getting scammed, and ultimately it's your friend. It might be this guy as well. It definitely is not a series of legitimate interviews/hirings.
posted by RainyJay at 2:33 PM on May 20, 2014 [5 favorites]


Oof.. ok. Thanks for the help, MeFi. <3
posted by missy_b at 2:33 PM on May 20, 2014

If his story were true and he legitimately signed an employment contract, the company would have to go through the process of firing him. If they fire him without cause (i.e. because they change their mind and not due to his behavior), he can collect unemployment. No real company would let the start date go by without calling an employee or paying them. That would set them up to be sued by the employee.

The possibilities:

1. He's scamming your friend.

2. He's grossly misinterpreting statements. For example, the recruiter says, "If you were hired, when could you start?" and he says "Next Monday" and then thinks to himself that she's asking about start date because he's hired.

Unfortunately I think #1 is more likely.
posted by cheesecake at 2:54 PM on May 20, 2014

He's certainly lying. Nobody does big multi person interviews over the phone like that. Or at least not enough people for it to be a regular pattern.

Usual MO is one person for a phone screen, then the panel in person. What he's describing is odd, and very dubious it would be a recurring theme.
posted by colin_l at 3:11 PM on May 20, 2014 [2 favorites]

Also. In the 18 years I've been working in tech, I've had exactly *one* job where I was "hired" and then nothing happened.
posted by colin_l at 3:15 PM on May 20, 2014

Yeah nobody says "you're hired" and nothing happens except when the company is going bust or is so chronically disorganized that it's going to go bust soon enough, especially not for non-contract positions. Either he's misinterpreting things in a spectacular fashion as cheesecake says or he's full of crap.

Maybe your friend can sit in on his supposed phone interviews and see what's going on?
posted by zachlipton at 3:44 PM on May 20, 2014

Either the guy is incredibly inept at dealing with social cues, or he's good enough to manipulate the shit out of your friend. Either way...
posted by Good Brain at 7:01 PM on May 20, 2014 [1 favorite]

I know plenty of people in the tech world who inflate their credentials, and then flop when they get called on it. I even had one inteviewer comment on it, after he grilled me on my Linux knowledge. "You'd be amazed an how many people list this, and then can't tell me about it."

I got the job.

If he's at this stalemate, maybe he could run his resume by a friend who is in the same industry. Also - is he working with a tech consulting/contracting firm? They can also help him with resume and/or interview preperation.

Last but not least - he's milking that gravy train. Boot him off due to an expired ticket.
posted by spinifex23 at 7:06 PM on May 20, 2014

Tech interviews can be famously dysfunctional, and the person doing the interviewing can be just as much to blame for the trainwreck as the person being interviewed.

That said, I agree that the "hired" aspect sounds bogus.
posted by gimonca at 9:38 PM on May 20, 2014

> The weirdest thing is.. almost every time, he's "hired" for the job.

Oh. That's weird; I don't think what I was describing in my previous comment really applies in this case. I don't think these are legitimate jobs. For some reason I thought he was getting in-person interviews and maybe being a little too optimistic about the "don't call us we'll (totally never) call you! first thing Monday!" thing some people do at the end of an awkwardly bombed interview.
posted by Kadin2048 at 11:46 PM on May 20, 2014

Companies do phone interviews at all levels, but not all companies do phone interviews and very few companies would do all phone interviews with no in-person interviews. It's not believable that he's having the same style of interview each time.

It's also not believable that he's being told he's hired each time. I could believe it was happening sometimes, but not each and every time.

It's also believable that a few companies would not call him back after interviewing, but most companies do get in touch after actually interviewing.

tl;dr Some of these things are believable some of the time; it is not believable that all of these things are happening all of the time.
posted by tel3path at 9:05 AM on May 21, 2014

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