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October 30, 2015
Interviewee or Interviewer: The Waiting is the Hardest Part
One time, I got a tip about a job, applied, and got an interview that same week. I had the job 48 hours after interviewing.

It was glorious.
Within the past year, I’ve been on both sides of the hiring process in my current company — both as interviewee and interviewer. Although our company has a multi-step process that can take a month or so, it seems to work. (We have a great team.)
But it’s tough to wait, from each side of the process:
Interviewee: May I please have a job?
Coming off one of the worst jobs I ever had, I was pretty psyched to actually have two good job opportunities in the works. Here’s how it went from the job I ended up with:
—Application = Filled out a pretty comprehensive form. Waited about a week.
—First Contact = They’re interested! A few days later, time for an…
—Aptitude test = Somewhere between the SATs, the grad school GRE test, and the Mensa exam. 50 questions in a timed format. Answer as many as you can. (I think I got up to 43 or so.)
—Results = Heard a few days later that I passed the first one! Wait, did I say “first?” Yes.
—2nd Aptitude Test = For this one, I had to be on Skype the following week. So the HR rep could watch/monitor me? Just in case I hired a private tutor or test-taking mercenary to pose as me. Think I got about the same results, though.
—In-Person Interview = Another week later. First impressions. First date jitters. Be eager but not desperate. Confident, not cocky. Funny, but not goofball. I recall being high-energy and getting some laughs. Lots of smiles all around.
—Waiting = Maybe a week or two before hearing back. BUT, at the same time, I got a verbal offer from the other opportunity — which was closer to home, less money, and a trip back to the world of network marketing/direct sales.
—My Decision = Before officially accepting the direct sales job, I notified the Aptitude Test folks that I was about to take the other position. They called back and asked if there was anything they could do to change my mind, so we negotiated (over another 24 hours) some extra money and some work-from-home flexibility, and I accepted verbally.
—Final Details = Arranged the standard drug test — then had a burger with a poppy-seed bun and FREAKED OUT afterwards. Luckily, I still had 24 hours before I had to have it done. And a quick Mythbusters search revealed that I’d be OK after 16 hours. (Whew.)
—Extra Wait Time = But then the next New Hire Orientation was the next Monday — not enough time for everything to be ready. So I ended up waiting another month. (That was NOT fun.)
—Conclusion = In the end, it was all worth the wait. I’m enjoying one of the best jobs I’ve ever had. I feel supported from both my higher-ups and my direct reports. And speaking of my team…
Interviewer: Would you like to work for me?
One of the guys on my team left to move across the country and be with his long-distance girlfriend. Understandable, but the timing was tough. We were BUSY, and down to just me and my other direct report — for at least a couple months, knowing the lengthy interview process.
Working with the same HR rep who helped bring me on board, we put together a job listing and off we went:
—Applications = My HR pal told me we had about 35 people apply after the first week or so. But we knew that the aptitude test would knock that number down a bunch.
—First Candidates = A couple weeks passed. Like we figured, it came down to four candidates.
—Interviews = Over the next couple weeks, I conducted a Skype interview, a couple in-person meetings, and a phone interview. I had a pretty lengthy list of questions provided by HR, plus a few of my own. I stuck to LinkedIn for my social media research on each candidate.
—My Decision = So it came down to four — and then to our two favorites, once I consulted my boss and my direct report for their opinions. And we ended up making an offer to the candidate that my gut preferred from our first interview.
—Waiting = Thankfully, she accepted (verbally) right away, and her signed offer letter came a few days later. Of course, there was a bunch of extra time spent on making sure we had budget approval — so my short-handed team of two had to keep workin’ overtime.
—Final Details = All the T’s were crossed and I’s were dotted. She was psyched, we were ecstatic, but there was still some more...
—Extra Wait Time = Until the next New Hire Orientation. A few weeks later, finally, we were a fully staffed team once again.
—Conclusion = She’s been awesome. Enthusiastic, a quick study, smart, talented, and a great addition to the team. Yay recruiting process!
So the hiring process — whether you’re a candidate or a hiring manager — can be long and suspenseful. What’s your best/worst hiring story

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With 20+ years of experience — both at agencies and "on the client side" — Harley David Rubin has enjoyed many challenges and opportunities in his career. He's currently freelancing, with an eye toward starting his own creative communications company. And he loves to share the stories and "wisdom" he's accumulated over the years. (Because what writer doesn't love talking about himself?) He's truly thankful for the opportunity to write for TalentZoo.com, and he's happy to connect via LinkedIn or even on Twitter at @hdrubin.
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