Does this job really exist? Is the job that I am interviewing for and chasing real?
These are not questions that candidates often pose to themselves, but they are important ones to be borne in mind.
Many candidates have been involved in a drawn-out ‘recruitment’ process that ended with no job, or in some cases, a rather humiliating job offers.
How do you know if the job you are interviewing for is real?
There are some tell-tell signs that you can look out for in the job application process, which suggest that the job is indeed real or by contrast, suggest that all may not be what it seems. Indicator flags: You are part of a formal job process: You will know this if there is a written job specification, HR will be involved, along with senior members of the company, and if there are competitor applicants for the role. If however, you are part of a more ad hoc and informal process, this might be the first sign: that’s not to say that great jobs can’t come from more informal and flexible discussions, but at least you know that it is certainly a possibility. How vague the role remains: If it is not a real job, the role that started off vague and ill-defined will remain so. If however, the role then quickly becomes sharply defined, with a detailed brief and the specific results that will drive the business forward - and clearly you’re qualified to deliver them - then this is an indicator that this job has become real. Whether or not there is ‘buy in’: If the senior stakeholders in the business lack buy-in or are not showing genuine enthusiasm for the role, that might be a danger signLong gaps in communication: There might be several reasons for this, including the fact they might have lots of candidates to meet and their processes for following up with candidates may not be that slick. If on the other hand, there are gaps in communication, but not sense of urgency, this may be a danger sign. Therefore, if you are part of an ad hoc and informal job process, it’s wise to bear in mind these indicator flags to help you work out where you stand.
An example from a coaching friend with one of his clients who came to him in a state of frustration. He had wasted three months interviewing for a job which turned out to not exist as promised. He had met a former colleague, who had said to him that he would be really great at his company and said to him to come and meet the Chairman and that he can organise that. It was a great firm, with a brilliant brand name, so my coaching friend's client enthusiastically agreed and flew to meet the Chairman at his own expense. The Chairman was in a creative and expansive mood and came up with several potential jobs for the client. He urged him to return and to meet with the CEO of the company. Four weeks passed before he heard anything. He eventually flew back to meet the CEO and Chairman, once again at his own expense. On meeting the CEO, he only had 30 minutes with him, and the CEO seemed unfocussed and somewhat distracted. Long story short, after a drawn-out process lasting a total of four months, their offer was incredibly derisory and frankly rude - they offered to take him on on a trial basis, with a roving brief. This was not only not what he wanted, but not what they had promised him either...!!