I donned my new suit this morning, and drove downtown for my interview with the recruiter. It was a truly odd experience. I was resplendent (if too brown) in superbly coordinated colors set off by a crisp white shirt. The recruiter, on the other hand, in addition to being late to work and therefore late to the interview, looked like a refugee from a failed Eastern European state.
His shirt was dingy, frayed, and wrinkled. It had a broad stripe in a depressing shade of purple that matched nothing else in his ensemble. He wore no jacket. His tie looked as if it had been tied by his palsied, arthritic grandmother and kept in his closet in its knotted state since her death some years ago. It featured a stain that I imagined to be beet—the first and only vegetable suggested by his impoverished appearance. His trousers were even more wrinkled than his shirt and pooled, two inches too long, around derelict wingtips. He was a mess, and had I met him on the street I would have been moved to offer him a few bucks to buy himself a meal. As it was I was visiting him in a posh office as a supplicant, hoping to persuade him to submit me to one of his clients for a job. I was not encouraged.
To make matters worse the recruiter asked such basic and obvious questions that I suspected after a short time that he had not actually read my résumé. This was more than a little unnerving to me. The guy had called me to come for an interview based on the contents of my résumé, but he had no clear idea of what was in my résumé. Extrapolating from what I’d read about how résumés are searched online I came to realize that he’d found me by way of a keyword search of various job boards. Having matched the key words his search program was looking for, he apparently didn't feel the need to actually read the résumé. He was in his mid twenties—presumably with an abbreviated attention span honed on a variety of video games and cell phone texts. Reading two pages of the job history and accomplishments of a dried-up old geezer such as me was not likely to trip his trigger.
I like to chalk failed interviews up to learning experience. Even if you don’t get a job or at least move forward in the process toward a job, you can learn something. You can get some practice fielding questions, gain a greater level of comfort talking about yourself, and get better at pretending to be upbeat and confident. I’m afraid this one was just a waste of time.