It’s wee answer Wednesday — seven short answers to seven short questions. Here we go…
1. Did I schedule this interview for too far out?
I just had a second-round interview with a place I’d love to work. I interviewed with one of the hiring managers (first round was a phone interview). She said she wanted to bring me in for another interview to meet with the VP and another hiring manager. I ended up scheduling two weeks out because of schedules and difficulty in taking time off. They would have told me if this is a problem, correct? Should I go back to them and say I can do it earlier? Will they think I’m uninterested?
If they were willing to let you schedule for two weeks out and didn’t sound put out by it, I wouldn’t worry about it. Employers generally have no problem saying, “We’re wrapping up interviews by January 20” or whatever if that’s the case.
That said, in the future, if you can make it work earlier, I tend to think it’s a good idea to — you never know if another candidate might come along and wow them in the meantime. (And now I’ve sent a bunch of people into paroxysms of anxiety. Sorry!)
2. Employers hesitating because I look young
Much like your 30-year-old who had to deal with patronizing comments yesterday, I am 30 but look very young for my age. I have been working for a local government for about 6 years and have hit the ceiling in terms of my current position. Because of this, I have been seeking out higher-level jobs with other cities. I interviewed at two places, but in the after-interview discussions with HR, they both said they weren’t sure how the public would respond to “such a young person in a public role.”
I am qualified for the roles, at least according to their position profiles. The ones I apply for state they want “3-5 years of experience” and I have 6-1/2. I do not apply for ones that mention “X years supervising others” or “X years in an executive role,” etc.
Any advice other than to keep looking? Hearing the same thing twice is really discouraging.
It’s certainly true that if you’re baby-faced, you might have a higher bar to meet when it comes to public positions where the public is more comfortable seeing someone “seasoned” or with gravitas. That’s true in a number of positions that involve acting as a public spokesperson, representing the company on the news, etc. The employer may not want to deal with the public not taking a very young-looking representative seriously. (And for anyone wondering, age discrimination laws don’t kick in until age 40.)
Ideally, this would motivate you to show them why you’d be so good at the job that this won’t matter … but yeah, it’s frustrating.
3. My husband, his lover, and I all work for the same company
I’ve been working for the same company (a public networking company) for 15 years and so does my husband. I am an engineer and he started as an engineer too and over the years he escalate and now he is VP RND. He started having an affair with the HR manager (she started working for the company around 3 years ago). I have all the proof, emails, even voice recordings about their affair. We have 2 children. She is also married with children. We are separating in a couple of weeks. Do I have any case to sue them/fire them/damage their careers? I’m really hurt.
Trying to get revenge in situations like this is an understandable impulse, but rarely one that it’s healthy to act on. I’d focus on moving on and making sure your children are as protected as possible from any fall-out. I’m sorry this is happening to you.
4. Asking about the chances to turn an internship into a full-time job
How does one go about asking, during the interview, if an (unpaid) full-time internship opportunity can lead to something full-time/paid/benefits, without seeming ungrateful for the opportunity? And if it includes expenses (daily food and transport allowance)? They vaguely mentioned it in one internship posting, but not in the one I applied to.
You can certainly ask whether previous interns have gone on to be hired by the company, but be careful not to imply that you’ll be disappointed if that doesn’t happen to you. If if they do have a good track record of hiring interns once their internships are over, they don’t know yet whether you’ll be one of them, and they’ll be wary of saying anything you might take as a promise. (And a lot of people hear “we do sometimes hire interns for full-time positions” as “we’ll probably hire you for a full-time position later on” — and once an interviewer has been burned by this, they tend to get very cautious.)
About expenses, you can say, “I know the position is unpaid. Do you offer any type of stipend to help with expenses?”
5. Mentioning that I previously applied for a job with the same organization
I applied for a job at a nonprofit back in the middle of December, and never heard anything back from them (probably because I was a bit late in applying, because I came across it weeks after it was posted). They’ve just posted another position that I would like to apply for. I don’t think they have an HR department (too small an organization), and the posting provides a specific email address and who to send it to. It’s a different person than the first job I applied for.
Should I be mentioning in my cover letter that I applied for a position a month ago, or just apply again without bringing it up? Is that something they would even notice/remember since I’m sure they look over a bunch of resumes and cover letters?
There’s no reason to mention that you applied previously; it doesn’t really impact your candidacy in any way. But I suppose if you want to show a continued interest in this organization in particular, you could say something like, “I was excited to see the X position last month because I’d love to work with ABC Organization, but I’m even more excited to see the Y position now, because ____.”
6. Explaining the impact of ADHD and depression on my job history
I’m 26 and I was recently diagnosed with severe ADHD and depression, which was a huge relief, since it explains a lot of my problems at previous jobs. I was very scattered, unproductive, easily distracted, and consistently late, which led to many poor performance reviews, and I was even fired from a couple of jobs for my poor performance and tardiness. I also had trouble staying at a job for more than a few months even if I didn’t get fired, because I became bored and distracted thinking of greener pastures. Now that I’ve been diagnosed and treated with therapy and medication (which is a continuing process, obviously), I’m a completely different person. I’ve become very reliable and I’m capable of working hard and doing a great job, consistently. I’ve been taking a break from my field for the past year and doing an entry-level retail job part time while I’ve been dealing with these issues, but I feel like I’m ready to go back to my field now. How should I explain my awful resume to prospective employers? Should I disclose my mental health issues?
Say that you were dealing with health issues in the past that made it difficult to fully focus on work, but that that has now been fully resolved. Kudos on solving it!
7. How do people find time for things outside of work?
I am wondering how everyone deals with work/life balance. I struggle with hypothyroidism, which, even though its controlled, still leaves me exhausted most of the time. I work hard at my job and do well at it but find it difficult to do much else. I am set to get married later on this year and desperately need to lose weight and need to get to the gym but feel like I have no time for it. I work your regular “9 to 5” job, don’t have dependents other than my fiance, have one extracurricular of playing in a community orchestra, and that’s it. I am not an early riser so morning workouts sound as appealing as tar, and I am always exhausted and want food when I get home from work, and then I feel like I can’t work out with a full stomach, and then it ends up being late and time to go to bed. I can’t go during lunch because that means buying a gym membership (I can’t justify when we a have a nice free gym in my apartment building, 50 minutes from my work) so what do I do? Would love your suggestions. And also a note, I have no idea how working mothers do it. None. It makes me scared to have kids.
I don’t know either. I have a high need for long periods of downtime, where I do nothing productive at all, so I’m confused by people who fill up every minute with activity. Readers?