The job that wasn’t there

Published: July 1, 2010
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The latest trend in HR is fooling candidates about the job they are applying for

Getting a job is hard these days. With more joblessness in the capital, it has become extremely difficult to the right job that will pay well too.  But a new trend some companies have adopted is  fooling candidates about their designation. Last year, in 2009, we (some friends from my MBA batch and myself), were asked by our career office to visit an established local bank. We were all very excited, as the letter said:

You have been shortlisted for a test as Management Trainee Officer (MTO) at XXX bank. Please bring these documents: a copy of CNIC, copies of your latest results and degree certificates  at the time of the test. Venue and time of test is…..

Excited, we all started preparing for our test, going through GMAT preparation books, and refreshing knowledge gained in MBA classes. Those were hot days. We were asked to appear for the test on the specified date. We all went, gave the MTO test and  started waiting for our results. After two weeks, my friends and I received a letter from the HR department,

Congratulations: you have been shortlisted for the post of Retail Banking Officer. Please bring a copy of you CNIC and other certificates at the time of the second interview….”

We all reached the location, MAJU where an HR lady named Roohi conducted a psychological test on over 100 candidates. We were asked to wait for the results.

I came back home and did the usual.  “Mom! Please pray for that I get hired by the bank” I had said.

 In the meantime, the day for my MBA convocation was announced. OH MY GOD! It was the same day and time as the final interview. I was a magna-cum-laude (with honors) too. I asked my parents, “Should I give the final interview or attend my convocation?” Mom replied, “I think your final job interview is more vital. You can collect your MBA degree from the office later.”

But one thing was bothering me. The first letter had a heading of “MTO”. The second call had a heading for “RBO.” We missed our convocation and appeared in our final job interview. For about three hours, we waited and asked candidates who were coming out of the room about interview questions being asked. Extreme antagonism was apparent on their faces. “What happened, Usman?” I asked an MBA class fellow, when he exited the room.

 “Nothing.” he replied. “It is a sales job that they are hiring for. They wasted our time for about a month, kept calling us for different kinds of interviews, and now in the final interview they reveal it is a sales job. I’m not interested in it.” He left the room furious.

I asked other friends and their answeres were analogous to Usman’s. “Yes, it is a sales job that they are hiring for. First, they mailed people for an MTO opening, then RBO, now they are talking about a sales job. We are not interested in a sales career.”Another MBA classmate, Nazia said “OMG! I belong to a very conservative family. I am only allowed to work in finance, but my family won’t allow me to join sales job at the bank.”  Most of the candidates were annoyed.

“Let’s wait and see what the interview panel says. I will see myself when my turn comes.” I replied.

 My time came and I finally appeared before the panel. There were three people in all: a lady and two men. The sophisticated lady started, talking very gently. The man sounded a bit rude, he asked me “How are you at sales?” I was annoyed (I had missed the convocation too!) but replied.“Sir, your HR advertised an opening for MTO and then RBO. Now that you are talking about a sales job.”  Before I could say something more, he said, “Thank you, you may leave.”

When I came out, it was proved personally that they were looking for sales staff. Very few people  are interested in joining sales as the turnover rate is high there. .When I talked to my class fellows, they said they felt that the bank had tried to make a fool out of the candidates. If they had advertised straight about a sales job, no one would have applied. They wasted our time, as well as their own too because in the end, NO ONE was willing to join the sales job.

Out of so many candidates, I didn’t find even a single person saying  ‘yes’ to the job. They just fooled the candidates with a misleading advertisement and non-serious HR procedures. They gained nothing. but a terrible reputation. I am unable to understand whether they were intentionally fooling candidates or this was the carelessness of the HR department. God knows better. HR should know which ad they are putting up and which post the company is hiring for.

Sadaf Fayyaz

Sadaf Fayyaz

A freelance journalist, photographer, blogger and writer's take on life, culture, media and everything else.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.