Can We Do Away With Quota Interviews?

Seriously, NOBODY has time for this.

Picture It: LinkedIn, Summer 2021

It’s miserably hot outside, but you’re cool as a cucumber in your home office. Desperate, but cool since you’re under the AC vent. You’re browsing the networking site like many of your fellow unemployed American citizens. You start getting bored and thinking about lunch at 8:37 AM.

BUT WAIT…is that…? HOLY COW, YES IT IS!! The PERFECT JOB flashes up onto your screen. Well of course you make sure your resume is in order, you craft a detailed and personalized cover letter that will KNOCK THE RECRUITER’S SOCKS OFF, and then you SMASH THAT SEND BUTTON!

YOU SMASH THAT SEND BUTTON WITH FEELING!

Then, not amazingly, you get a request to interview! WOOOOHOOOO! Let’s ZOOM, BABY! The interview goes SWIMMINGLY!! Okay there was that ONE “gotcha” question at the end of the interview, but you decide not to worry too much about that.

They’ll be in touch, they say. But then…radio silence. So, what happened? You email the recruiter and wait. Then, out of the despair-filled silence you hear it!

BLLLINNNGGGG!! You have a new email!

But you’re only concerned about ONE right now.

What does it say, what does it say? Eagerly you wait for the message to load. Then, your stomach falls out of your butt as you read those dreaded words:

“Thank you for your interest in the position. Unfortunately, we have moved forward with an internal candidate.”

Craptastic companies that engage in the cruel and inhuman hiring practice of quota interviews.
Totally justified, Mr. Anger.
Believe me I get it,
and so do many others.

So Can We Do Away With Quota Interviews as a Hiring Practice?

Inside your mind is the sound of a record screech just before your head explodes because you realize THEY NEVER INTENDED TO HIRE YOU AT ALL. Why? Simple, silly! You were a “quota interview”.

What’s a quota interview, you ask? Why, I’ll be happy to educate you. A quota interview is nothing more than a fake interview a company will conduct to legally get around internal promotion and make it look like everyone has a fair shake.

Matter of fact, Liz Ryan of Human Workplace posted a GREAT article in Forbes that describes how to determine if your interview is genuine or you’re just gonna be another notch on that quota-shaped bedpost. If you have a moment, check out Five Signs Your Interview Is Fake Because They’ve Already Hired Someone. Here’s an excerpt from this fascinating and informative article:

Your interview may be fake if the interviewer tells you, “We have a number of qualified internal and external candidates for this job. Why would they tell you that? We all assume when we go to a job interview that we are not the only candidate in the mix.

Liz Ryan, Five Signs Your Interview Is Fake Because They’ve Already Hired Someone
Nobody has time for that, Michael Scott!
Bet you wouldn’t schedule a fake interview, either!

Wasted Time And False Hope Do Not a Happy Human Make

Not convinced? Here’s a bit more from Liz Ryan on how a quota interview works:

Sometimes a company policy says that internal candidates can only be considered for a job opening if several external candidates are also interviewed. That’s why Alex was dragged out of her busy life to a job interview where the interviewer barely looked at her.

Liz Ryan, Five Signs Your Interview Is Fake Because They’ve Already Hired Someone

Right about now funk soul brother, I think that the quota interview should be the next thing that cancel culture tackles. I mean, really, can we please do away with fake interviews that WASTE EVERYONE’S TIME? Not to circle back to my blog regarding what happened to common decency but really WHAT HAPPENED TO COMMON F*CKING DECENCY IN BUSINESS TODAY?

So not only are employers ghosting job seekers, but they’re wasting EVERYBODY’S time scheduling bogus interviews meant to fill some internal quota? Oh but it’s policy, they say? Here’s an idea:

CHANGE YOUR FREAKIN’ POLICY!!

No More Quota Interviews OR Wire Hangers For That Matter

Employers, I’m putting you on notice as of RIGHT FREAKIN’ NOW. QUOTA INTERVIEWS, FAKE INTERVIEWS, WHATEVER YOU WANT TO CALL THEM, ARE NO LONGER OKAY. Repeat after me:

WASTING A JOB SEEKER’S TIME BECAUSE OF CRUEL INHUMAN COMPANY POLICIES IS OVER. I WILL NO LONGER ENGAGE IN QUOTA INTERVIEWS.

(or if I do, I will provide a $25 Target gift card to the unlucky schmuck I’m fake interviewing so at least somebody gets something out of it.)

It’s over, quota interviews.
Hello Cancel Culture? I have a job for you.

But seriously, it’s enough now. Employers, CEOs, policy makers, hiring managers and those with the ear of said employers, CEOs, policy makers, and hiring managers, I want you to sit down, read the following, and consider a few things.

Maybe we can put the HUMAN back into Human Resources

That fake interview you just conducted?

With that person who took not just an hour out of their day for the interview, but HOURS out of DAYS to research your company and prepare diligently for that interview because they thought were in the running for a real job?


The person you don’t remember a thing about because you barely looked at them? The one that you had NO intention of hiring because you already had someone all but hired for the position?

Let me tell you about that person you just fake interviewed.

The Ugly Truth About What Quota Interviews Do To People

That person you just quota-interviewed has been unemployed for maybe a year or more; longer than they have ever been unemployed in their life, but not from lack of trying. They also just found out their spouse has been diagnosed with an expensive, scary medical issue. Never mind the fact they already feel worthless and have been toying with the idea of ending it all if they don’t get a job here pretty soon because BEING UNEMPLOYED IS DEPRESSING AF and so is not being able to eat because YOU HAVE NO MONEY.

Also? Unemployment benefits are ending, COBRA payments are looming on the horizon, and whatever slim safety net of savings (if they have any) they have is about to be annihilated. There’s a chance they could lose EVERYTHING, maybe even their life. They’re in bad shape. If only SOMEBODY would hire them. They’ve been all but BEGGING for a job.

What you wish you could put on that job application

Why Your HR Dept Should Stop Raising False Hope RIGHT NOW

That’s why they looked so eager when you got on the Teams Meeting with them. With that interview you gave another human being HOPE, which is in EXTREMELY short supply in this pandemic-era world. But…it was false hope BECAUSE THAT INTERVIEW WAS COMPLETE AND TOTAL BS and you know what? IF YOU’RE OKAY WITH THIS, YOU’RE THE WORST KIND OF HUMAN BEING ON THE PLANET RIGHT NOW.

HOW DARE YOU? HOW COULD YOU? Oh, you’re going to hide behind policy? It’s not your FAULT? And then when that person you fake interviewed becomes another mental health statistic because that fake interview you lured them into was the last straw, well, that’s not YOUR fault or problem, is it? You were just following POLICY.

That’s an EXTREME example, I’ll give you that. And I HOPE to GOD it’s not people out here killing themselves behind fake ass interviews so some scummy recruiter or half-assed hiring manager can look good on paper. But these days when everything is already so bleak, I can see it happening. And don’t we already have enough of a mental health problem AS IT IS? You see where I’m going with this?

For the love of ALL that is holy, JUST STOP WITH THE QUOTA INTERVIEWS!

It’s PAST time to do away with quota interviews for once and for all.

Look, it’s hard enough to find a job as it stands what with all the fake jobs, job scammers, and the multitudes of unemployed Americans desperately seeking work. Add time-consuming and false-hope-creating fake interviews into the mix and I personally think you’re taking a chance on getting yourself and your company karmatically firebombed.

Look, right now giving someone false hope is beyond cruel, it’s inhuman. So if your company does the whole “quota interview” thing, SPEAK UP. Let them know THAT IS NOT OKAY. That it’s never BEEN okay. Let them know that playing with people’s hopes and dreams just to check a box is UNBELIEVABLY MESSED UP and you’re NOT going to condone it anymore.

And then, suggest another way. And if you get pushback? Ask the powers that be if they like innovation, and if so, REMIND THEM that the phrase “but we’ve always done it this way” is the DEATH of innovative progress.

You might also mention that with every time-wasting fake interview, they’re flushing money down the toilet. If THAT doesn’t get their attention, NOTHING WILL. And of course you’ll know at that point you’re working for terrible human beings, so you might think about beginning your own job search. Just beware of those nasty quota interviews.

You can do it. It’s not hard, I promise.

Final Thoughts

Look, it’s WAY past time that Corporate America put the “human” back into human resources. And just in case the C-suite or HR can’t seem to remember how to do that, here are some dos and don’ts to jog their collective memory:

>DO treat job seekers with courtesy and let them know you appreciate their time.
>DON’T treat them like an impersonal number on a ledger or a box to be checked.

>DO conduct REAL interviews for REAL, available job positions.
>DO NOT EVER waste a job seeker’s time with fake interviews to fill your BS quota if you already hired someone because policy.

>DO be the change you want to see in the world.
>DO NOT be afraid to shake things up for the good of your fellow humans.

>DO subscribe if you enjoyed this blog.
>DON’T forget to subscribe if you enjoyed this blog.


Okay, those last two were just for me. 🙂 And as always, thanks for reading.

See you next time,
Meredith Silverman

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Korinn Rubis

    Dear Merideth,

    I want to express my gratitude for your recent post. Over the past four months, I’ve encountered a disheartening pattern during four different job interviews. Despite being asked to present and discuss my work, none of these interviews led to any meaningful follow-up questions. To add to the frustration, these employers have even requested copies of my work, only to show no genuine interest in hiring me.

    The effort and dedication I’ve invested in these interviews, from meticulous mental preparation to seeking endorsements through connections, have left me utterly disillusioned. It’s reached a point where the entire experience feels almost traumatic. Just yesterday, I received a follow-up from an interview I had over a month and a half ago. Given that I’d undertaken a six-hour drive for the interview, which they were well aware of, I made the conscious decision not to follow up. The prospect of receiving their anticipated response seemed more daunting than receiving no response at all.

    This practice, which you’ve aptly highlighted, is profoundly inhumane. I find myself appalled by the extent to which such behavior is permitted. It’s disheartening to be strung along like a puppet, only to realize that the sincerity in the process was lacking. The sense of disgust I feel towards this phenomenon is palpable. I want to extend my sympathies to anyone else who finds themselves grappling with this same demoralizing experience. It truly is one of the most disheartening situations one can endure.

    Once again, thank you, Merideth, for shedding light on this issue through your post.
    Korinn

    1. Meredith Silverman

      Thank you so much for your kind words, Korinn. I’m glad that my blog could be of any small comfort to you, and I hope that things start to look up for you. And I CERTAINLY hope that these companies start to get a clue about how horribly they’re treating folks just trying to make a living and do better!

  2. C

    I’m dealing with this right now. Last two (large) corporations- 6 interviews with each only to not be selected at the end. One called to tell me, one completely ghosted me. Yes, suicide has come to mind. I feel so worthless.

    1. Meredith Silverman

      That’s 100% awful. I am so sorry that you’re having to deal with this. Please stay on the planet, I believe you have worth just in being here. And I hope the right fit comes along sooner than later.

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