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by SixFigureStart | June 02, 2009



That's the question posed by an engaging article in today's Wall Street Journal. Peppered with a few choice quotes, the piece concerns outlandish "interview" tactics that harried candidates are sometimes forced to endure in today's super-competitive job market. Case in point: At one company, applicant #1 is made to mock interview applicant #2 (and tell the recruiters why #2 is the best one for the job). Or take the toy company where "one job seeker says she left in tears and felt psychologically traumatized" after an intense day of deadline-driven activities and a battery of survey questions. (Oh, and candidates inexplicably must submit three years of W-2 forms.) All this is done in the name of "finding the best candidate."

Jennifer Berman, a Chicago-area HR consultant says, "Job seekers frequently face a process that makes the Spanish Inquisition seem tame." But nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition. (Hah!) And while an interview is rarely a walk in the park, it shouldn't be needlessly frustrating odyssey. You can only do so much to prepare for the process -- aside from the usual due diligence, try to discover what the interview is like beforehand, from insiders or online. And if you're confronted with requests that make you uncomfortable or seem, well, unseemly, walk away. If a company (and its staff) seek to take advantage of your position when you're knocking on the door, there's no telling what it would have tried once you were sitting at a desk inside.

--Posted by Todd Obolsky, Vault Staff Writer


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