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How NOT to apply for a job

Manuele J Sarfatti
EU πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Ί | Art, Tech & Good Vibrations 🀳 | Founder of ᴛᴏᴍᴏʀʀᴏᴑ 🌞 hellotomorrow.agency β€’ Just started working on a new endeavour πŸ‘‰ usepoe.app β€’ Follow me on Twitter!
・1 min read

It's full of very good articles on how to apply out there (and in here, DEV community!), some with crazy good tips that with a little persistence will actually get you places.

But for a change of scenery, here is a rock solid way of NOT getting a job:

Screenshot of a reply to a job opening screening questionnair, full of arrogance


Disclaimer: rant to follow, feel free to skip!

I spent time and good will trying to design a screening questionnaire that's aimed at surfacing the best in a candidate in as few questions as possible, without lengthy cover-letter requirements and stuff. Not only answering like that shows arrogance, a deeply unprofessional attitude, and several other negative traits, but it's also offensive for those on the other side of the form like myself who went out of their way trying to make your life simpler.

If that's the way you are going to answer, please just don't πŸ™Œ πŸ’™

Discussion (16)

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codemouse92 profile image
Jason C. McDonald • Edited

*Whistles*

I've had a few of those sorts of applicants. One such fail occurred during an interview:

Asst Lead Dev: How do you think people who know you would describe you?

Applicant: Well, my girlfriend thinks I'm awesome!

...yes, that was his entire answer. (That was far from his biggest fail in that interview, either.)

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mjsarfatti profile image
Manuele J Sarfatti Author

To be honest, I never really know how to answer that question myself haha!

But yes that's a particularly astonishing reply...

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codemouse92 profile image
Jason C. McDonald

If it helps, there really isn't a "right answer" to that question, although there are plenty of wrong answers. ;) It's intended to help me (the interviewer) understand how you think others perceive you, and that gives a surprising amount of insight into your own self-perception and self-esteem.

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xanderyzwich profile image
Corey McCarty

I actually asked a few coworkers a couple of questions like this and was pretty amazed at their answer. Something that I wouldn't have said myself.

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codemouse92 profile image
Jason C. McDonald

Yeah, it seldom matches what others actually WOULD say about oneself!

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xanderyzwich profile image
Corey McCarty

Bit I will 100% give their actual answers when asked in the future.

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sertii2 profile image
Sertii

Honestly what do you expect? These are super open ended questions. All this person wants is to perform labor for you and for you to pay them. Forms like these are often extremely opaque, the applicant has no idea what you actually want to know with them. So why exactly is this person wrong? Can you name a concrete reason or is it just "they didn't put enough effort in"? If so, is your goal with this form to see how much unpaid work people are willing to put in?

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mjsarfatti profile image
Manuele J Sarfatti Author

It surprises me that you call this "unpaid work", since not only I gain nothing from people filling up a form, but I'm also trying to make it as easy as possible for them to go through it. For example, instead of asking for a lengthy description of past projects and experiences, I only ask for the link to one particular project they are proud of. It is meant mainly to be a conversation starter in the interview. (Please note that what you see are not the actual questions, which are much clearer, they are just the backoffice column names)

But I can relate to you saying that the candidate has no idea what I want to know from them. I found myself in the same position many times, where you never know if the person on the other side will prefer a more formal or a more friendly/down to earth person.

But I very recently understood that it's a wrong attitude to try to please the other party by guessing what they will want from you. It's a lost war. The best thing is to be yourself, and show the most interesting self you can be.

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zenulabidin profile image
Ali Sherief

Novice here. How would I answer What do you want to gain by joining us?

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mjsarfatti profile image
Manuele J Sarfatti Author

Well the real question is longer than what we see on the backend view here, and it asks to think a couple of years down the road: what new skills will you have acquired?

For me, it's a way of understanding what are your personal/professional growth interests.

From a person applying to a senior position I would like to see some real interest in growing complex skills. From a novice or junior just some curiosity in learning new tools or techniques.

I basically want to see interests/curiosity, I don't really care about what specifically.

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adam_cyclones profile image
Adam Crockett

This is real??

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adam_cyclones profile image
Adam Crockett • Edited

Not to support the candidate but most of these types of applications could be the result of a stream of rejections, this is blatent self salbvatage because the applicant clearly knows the answers he/she wants you to write. And rather than answer your questions he would rather mock you, in so doing, his own failure. Or this person really is up thier own... But you have to wonder how did they get that far up thier own... ? Anyway that's my 2 cents.

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mjsarfatti profile image
Manuele J Sarfatti Author

This is real, and I checked his portfolio website out of curiosity and it kind of matches the tone of the application, and his work is sub par in my opinion. I'm obviously not making it public.
His work and career would probably benefit from a little more self awareness and modesty...

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adam_cyclones profile image
Adam Crockett • Edited

Once upon a time I was a graduate artist who fell on hard times during an economic recession, I learned to program to create a portfolio but I loved the code more, then I started using my Adobe CS knowledge within my websites, I thought what I was doing was outstanding... It wasn't, but I had to believe that to survive, none the less I created a business that lasted for 3 years. Within those years my ego got bigger and bigger until one day it hit me, the same day my partner told me she was pregnant. "Am I actually any good?". I joined Dyson 2.5 years ago and my son is now 2, that time was humbling and I grew so so much I can't tell you. I can relate to the person who was plain offensive because 18 - 22 year old me was that person. Anyways excuse the life story, I'm not sure I have a point either.

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mjsarfatti profile image
Manuele J Sarfatti Author

No need, it's great to hear real life stories actually, thanks for sharing!
I guess we all go through a "junior big ego phase". I designed things I was so proud of at the time, that honestly just plain suck πŸ˜‚

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lautarolobo profile image
Lautaro Lobo

Wow, I can't believe that someone actually answered that.

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