A job interview is a two-way process. An organization seeks a candidate whose credentials and talents will contribute to overall success and growth. A candidate should never forget that he or she must determine if the work environment, corporate culture and the organization’s objectives coincide with personal comfort, the scope of work, salary and benefits.
Over these last few years, leverage in the job market has tilted heavily to the employer. With steady high employment and the low prospects for new opportunities, job hunters have become more realistic and less selective than in the past. Still, scouting an organization through research and asking pertinent questions of its representatives should remain an important component of the job search process.
Long Island Insights
On Long Island, many job seekers have shared their insights about the current search environment along with their experiences with organizations that have posted positions. They have spoken to large groups at job fairs and they have posted comments to job boards and social media. The following are some of their insights about the local job market.
- Brookhaven Laboratory
One candidate reported lack of follow-up by the HR department. The candidate also recorded the inability of HR to answer pertinent questions about a specific position and the role of that position within the organization.
- Canon USA
This worldwide company has had its American headquarters in Lake Success for many years. It is building a new facility in Melville. Many good employees reportedly have been cast aside or have left on their own during the last few years.
The parent company is based in Japan and a number of high level Japanese executives are assigned on a rotating basis to the U.S. The Japanese style of management is different than the American approach, and the stifling environment frequently found at a Japanese-owned company can apply the breaks on some creativity and personal growth opportunities. Talented executives who started careers with other well-known American companies, and others who have been with Canon for more than 10 years, have commented about increasing professional frustration.
For years, the company had pulled a respectful percentage of its local talent from outside the Queens and Nassau County boundaries, with employees coming from Manhattan and the other city boroughs, and from parts of New Jersey and Connecticut. However, the move farther east on Long Island, plus the corporate culture, may impact future recruitment of talented workers from those locations. Many people do not want to spend longer hours in slow moving traffic on the Long Island Expressway for a job that may stress high frustration returns.
At this engineering and architectural firm, a hiring manager did not effectively follow up with a candidate to answer questions and to report on hiring progress.
- Pall Corp.
Job searchers need to know that this is a traditional business-to-business company that relies heavily on science-driven products and services. Anyone who has been employed at fast-paced companies or has worked on prominent commercial brands will need to tone down the energy level at this organization.
Pall’s main line of business involves filtration processes and products that are used in a wide range of industries from wine and spirits to life sciences. Highly creative marketers, public relations executives and website experts will not find the work or the work environment very challenging. The company seems to have a history of hiring and then downsizing the various communications functions.
- The Early Years Institute
Several years ago, the website for this education nonprofit was filled with errors involving spelling and sentence structure. This did not provide a very good first impression to potential employees. This flaw is believed to have been corrected. In one instance, after an initial interview, key personnel did not respond to repeated inquiries from a hopeful candidate.
- The Queens Public Library
Immediately after interviewing an outside candidate, a human resources executive stated that the plan was to begin interviews with internal candidates. By failing to explain its strategy during the initial phone call when it arranged the interview with the outside candidate, HR failed the transparency test.
According to several HR professionals, the professional procedure is to determine if internal talent can fill a position before inviting external candidates to participate in the interview process.
Full-time employees are not the only workers who have been treated unprofessionally during this poor job market. Consultants also have shared many stories of strange clients, odd working relationships and unpaid bills.
One consultant was dropped suddenly by a North Carolina communications firm that immediately severed all communications. Another consultant, who delivered services at a discount rate, was not paid the second half of the agreed-upon fee for promoting a self-published book written by a Hamptons resident and former White House speechwriter.