Thanks but no thanks: 6 S’poreans reveal their job search horror stories

Here’s how you can avoid a similar fate.

| Melanie Lim | Sponsored | June 02, 2021, 02:51 PM

For fresh grads and even the most seasoned of employees, job searching can be a rather daunting task.

From having to do up a carefully curated CV and sending out applications, to finally going for numerous rounds of interview, the entire process of looking for a job is no easy feat.

And when the job interview doesn’t go as planned or the job you’ve applied for isn’t quite what you expected, things can get tricky real quick.

If you recall going for an interview and realising midway that the application might have been a mistake, you’re not alone.

Read on as six Singaporeans reveal their wackiest and most unusual job search horror stories.

1) Kaypoh queen

As told to Mothership by “Amy”

In the first or second week of March this year, I had an interview for a sales position.

The first thing that the sales manager said to me was: “Actually I hesitated about asking you down for this interview.”

This was presumably because of my age.

After I started telling her about myself and my work experiences, she then said: “Actually, I haven’t seen your resume yet.”

During the 90 minute interview, she then began asking me everything about my life growing up, including which primary school I went to, my GCE ‘N’ level score and my GPA in university.

She also asked me why she had never heard of my university before, and if I brought along my university certificates to prove that my degree and school were real.

Whenever she asked me certain questions that were obviously unrelated to the job, she would also add in: “Sorry I’m just kaypoh.”

The final straw was when she saw the promise ring on my finger and asked me if I was married, to which I replied no.

After I told her I had a boyfriend, she then asked very intrusive questions about who he was, how we met, and which industry he was working in.

And when she finally got back to me, she was like: “So do you want to go for the second interview?”

I was so confused and felt that this whole thing was a waste of time, with an interviewer who had no professionalism at all.

2) “Know the customer base”

As told to Mothership by “Linda”

Just last year, I interviewed at a company for the position of a marketing executive.

After getting the job, however, my boss asked me to spend a few days in the store doing sales to get a “sense of the business” and to “know the customer base”.

In the end, I just ended up being a stall assistant and didn’t get to do any of the marketing duties that I had applied to do.

Less than six months after this, I decided to call it quits and left the company.

3) Work-life balance? What’s that?

As told to Mothership by “Aden”

In 2019, I applied for the position of a content writer at a small marketing agency.

In the middle of my interview, one of the interviewers told me matter-of-factly:

"There is no work-life balance here."

However, he claimed that if I dedicated my time and effort there, I would be able to “see myself grow”.

Another consolation was also that I could get three years worth of experience in one year with their company.

Needless to say, I turned down their offer because of the unhealthy expectations they had of prospective employees.

4) Empty promises

As told to Mothership by “Dave”

In 2015, I applied for the position of manager in the public sector.

After making it through two rounds of interviews, the final round was with the group director.

The session was extremely pleasant, and the interviewer said that HR would be sending me a letter of offer within the week.

He also expressed that because the department was very keen to have me, the decision to take on the job ultimately was with me.

However, two weeks passed and I still did not receive any offer. I wrote to HR who told me that they were still processing my letter of offer.

More than a month and a half later, HR wrote back to me again saying that the company would not be proceeding with my employment.

Suffice to say, I felt somewhat betrayed and at a loss for what to think.

5) Age is just a number

As told to Mothership by “Tracey”

Some time in March, I went for two interviews at a distribution company for beverages.

The first interview went fine, but the second interview I had with the managing director (MD) went badly.

When the MD first saw me, he looked up and down at me, saw my resume and told me: “Oh you’re only 27 ah, that’s very young ah.”

He then started sizing me up and asking me what I did in my previous job.

He also said: “Actually, I am good friends with your previous company’s boss. Your company is good what, why did you leave?”

After I answered him, he said: “I wouldn’t have left.”

And then he said: “If you can’t do well in the first month, you’ve got to go. We are also interviewing other people. Okay thank you for your time.”

He didn’t even ask me for further details, and spoke to me in a very matter-of-factly manner.

I also felt very insulted because he didn’t really tell me what the company could do for me, but only asked what I could do for the company - which didn’t feel like a mutual partnership.

One week later, another director told me I wasn’t selected.

6) Lack of clarity

As told to Mothership by “Bob”

I recently had a job interview at an e-commerce company.

The interview went really well and I thought I could get along well with two of the staff in the company, who told me how much my full time pay would be and what their commission was like.

Before I left the interview, I told the staff I was happy to move on to the next stage of the hiring process.

My interviewer then told me he would discuss my employment with the management and “let me know”.

The fishy thing was when he proceeded to tell me that he would give me a digital name card and asked me if I could secure field meet-ups with my connections, but without first asking me to sign a contract.

I told him that in order for me to do this, I would have to see the contract first.

After he told me he would do up my contract, I then asked him if he had to discuss my employment with the management, as he had told me earlier.

He then said that he was the management, and I was confused as to what his role was - the sales director, HR, management or all three?

On Saturday, my interviewer suddenly sent me a PDF soft copy of the contract.

When I reviewed the contract, I then found out that the job description was not for a sales role but for a “hunter”.

There was also no basic pay and my salary would entirely be commission based, which was very different from what was discussed during the interview.

I found the whole thing ridiculous and ended up telling the interviewer that I had accepted another job offer.

Reduce your job search horror occurrences today

We get it - nobody owes you a living and most people in Singapore would be thankful to even have a job, especially during Covid-19 season.

However, this doesn’t mean that you have to work for dodgy employers or settle for companies with shady hiring practices.

After all, hiring processes should be professional and transparent, with priorities placed on finding the right fit between job seekers and employers.

For starters, recruitment agencies can help make your job search journey less overwhelming and nerve wracking.

Having recently merged and rebranded from Kelly Services Singapore and Capita Singapore, PERSOLKELLY is an Asia-Pacific staffing and recruiting company with a legacy of experience and expertise in helping job seekers fulfill their job needs and career aspirations.

With access to a vast database of open positions, including those that are not yet announced, PERSOLKELLY can help you improve your job search experience and fit with applications that have high success rates.

Via a carefully curated process of matching jobseekers with their ideal role, PERSOLKELLY can also help you secure a full-time/contract or temporary job across a wide variety of industries in both technical disciplines and functional specialties.

Here are some of the industries and functional specialties they place jobseekers in:

  • Accounting
  • Banking and Financial Services
  • Engineering and Technical
  • Human Resources
  • Information Technology
  • Pharmaceutical and Healthcare
  • Procurement and Supply
  • Sales and Marketing

That’s not all.

Consultants from PERSOLKELLY will even help you prepare for your job interview and ensure that you’re ready to take on the role you have applied for.

To find out more about how they can help you in your job search, click here.

Alternatively, you can also start applying for jobs on their portal here.

This sponsored article by PERSOLKELLY Singapore made this writer thankful to have had normal job search experiences.

Top image via Headway on Unsplash