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“I Did Not Apply To Be A Part Of A Pyramid Scheme”: Woman Shares Her Job Interview Horror Story
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“I Did Not Apply To Be A Part Of A Pyramid Scheme”: Woman Shares Her Job Interview Horror Story

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Job hunting is rarely a smooth and pleasant experience. Either it’s sending out countless applications or expecting a reply from a company for more than a month. It’s tiring, embarrassing and sometimes even grotesque.

Like in this woman’s case – you apply for a job, expect an interview, but suddenly find yourself in a Zoom call to get a travel agent certificate. The woman shared her frustration with the current situation of the job market in a video on TikTok and many commenters agreed.

Bored Panda reached out to leadership coach and CEO of Beamably Robyn L Garrett for a comment on the situation. She was kind enough to share her thoughts and some advice on how to identify red flags on job listings.

“I don’t want anyone ever telling me that the job market is not bad right now.  I applied to be an event coordinator on LinkedIn a week ago and  I had an interview scheduled today at 2pm. When I joined the zoom, there were 250 other people on it and a woman telling us that we were getting trained on getting our travel agent certification.”

“So LinkedIn and Lutetia count your days. I did not apply to be a part of a pyramid scheme. I just wanted to be an event coordinator.”

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Image credits: andysambergluvr8

The video is currently Julia’s most popular post – it has over 200k views

@andysambergluvr8 why❤️ #funemployed ♬ original sound – julia

What can people do to avoid ridiculous situations like these?

Image credits: Glenn Carstens-Peters (not the actual photo)

Robyn L. Garrett is the CEO of leadership technology company Beamably, and also TikTok’s leadership muse. She provides her knowledge on leadership to NPR, The Hill, The Wall Street Journal, Talent Quarterly, and numerous podcasts and other media outlets.

She’s also the author of Happy at Work: How to Create a Happy, Engaging Workplace for Today’s (and Tomorrow’s!) Workforce. Robyn was kind enough to lend us her expertise on this particular case as well.

Robyn says that not all job postings are companies looking for employees. “Many employers use job postings to ‘test the waters’ because they aren’t obligated to hire (or even interview) any applicants,” she explains. “They might just be collecting information about things like salary requirements or job titles. You’re never going to know for sure.”

If you’re ever in a similar situation to Julia’s (the author of the video), here’s some advice from Robyn. “If you find yourself in an ‘interview’ that seems predatory or misleading, don’t feel obligated to stay. You can politely say, ‘I don’t think this is the right fit’ at any time.”

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Part of the fault is on online platforms like LinkedIn. There are very few safeguards for people who are looking for jobs. “Anyone can set up a company and job posting on LinkedIn,” Robyn adds.

She advises to be cautious and do your research before any job interview. “There’s no harm in applying, but if someone contacts you, check the company out. If they have very few employees or you can’t find a proper corporate website, be wary.”

The creator Julia is right – the job market does seem pretty bad right now

Image credits: Tim Gouw (not the actual photo)

The commenters under Julia’s video shared the same frustrations with the current state of the job market. “The job market is insane, it’s so frustrating,” one commenter Amanda said. Another one, Jenna Shefts, wrote, “At least you got an interview. I can’t even get that far.”

Our expert Robyn L Garrett says there are two sides to this issue. “The unemployment rate was 3.8% in September, which is still quite low,” Robyn cites statistics. In fact, unemployment in the U.S. has only risen by 0.1% in October to 3.9%, according to Trading Economics. Yet, the statistics are only part of the bigger picture.

Some tactics that recruiters use are the reason why so many job-seekers become frustrated. “Employers feel that they’ve regained some leverage, and so they’re making bold moves, “Robyn observes. “For those applying, the process can feel slow and daunting with no explanation for the lack of interviews or offers.”

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The amount of time job-hunters might have to wait to hear back from recruiters depends on what line of work you are in. “Certain sectors are particularly slow,” Robyn explains. “So if you’re looking for a job in tech, expect delays. And, as more companies mandate RTO, competition for remote jobs is at an all-time high.”

People shared similar frustrations with job hunting in the comments

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nightshade1972 avatar
Nightshade1972
Community Member
3 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Back in 2016, I went to an interview for an "office job" that was rather vague on the details. Didn't realize until I got there that it was gonna be a group interview. Then, the person who was supposed to be "running" things couldn't seem to figure out how to get the interview started. The interview finally gets started--and they admit that we're gonna be cold-calling people to ask them "political survey questions." And the "sample" questions they said we "might" ask someone were all clearly designed to elicit a pro-Trump response. As soon as the alleged "interviewer" had to leave for an "emergency," I got out of there. No regrets.

sebedie avatar
Seb Benson
Community Member
3 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Fixed your downvote for you... clearly someone presumed your political opinions from your story.

Load More Replies...
purpler7355 avatar
Squishy
Community Member
3 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Genuine question, but WHY is the job market so bad? Why do you need connections now to get a good job now? What happened T-T

sonja_6 avatar
Sonja
Community Member
3 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

The vast majority of workers get far too little money for their work, barely able to pay neccessary bills. Which means they don't have spending money. Our economy is based on consumerism. When at least a third of the population can't consume due to lack of funds, the market growth stagnates, thus for companies cut jobs. Another factor is, we should live in a world were tech takes away the hassle, so with the advancement of tech people should work less hours for the same money. But companies keep them for the full amount of time without paying them according to what they produce. Which means, the production output that once gave work to up to four people is now generated by just one worker who still earns a single income. That as well diminishes the flow of capital into the economy.

Load More Replies...
sknutz avatar
featherytoad
Community Member
3 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I saw a sign outside and office building that advertised they were hiring for customer service reps. I thought, great, as I have been in retail and just recently from an inbound call center. I get in there and it's an outbound call center for selling magazines. That is not customer service. That is annoying callers wasting my cell phone battery and interrupting my movie times.

Load More Comments
nightshade1972 avatar
Nightshade1972
Community Member
3 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Back in 2016, I went to an interview for an "office job" that was rather vague on the details. Didn't realize until I got there that it was gonna be a group interview. Then, the person who was supposed to be "running" things couldn't seem to figure out how to get the interview started. The interview finally gets started--and they admit that we're gonna be cold-calling people to ask them "political survey questions." And the "sample" questions they said we "might" ask someone were all clearly designed to elicit a pro-Trump response. As soon as the alleged "interviewer" had to leave for an "emergency," I got out of there. No regrets.

sebedie avatar
Seb Benson
Community Member
3 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Fixed your downvote for you... clearly someone presumed your political opinions from your story.

Load More Replies...
purpler7355 avatar
Squishy
Community Member
3 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Genuine question, but WHY is the job market so bad? Why do you need connections now to get a good job now? What happened T-T

sonja_6 avatar
Sonja
Community Member
3 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

The vast majority of workers get far too little money for their work, barely able to pay neccessary bills. Which means they don't have spending money. Our economy is based on consumerism. When at least a third of the population can't consume due to lack of funds, the market growth stagnates, thus for companies cut jobs. Another factor is, we should live in a world were tech takes away the hassle, so with the advancement of tech people should work less hours for the same money. But companies keep them for the full amount of time without paying them according to what they produce. Which means, the production output that once gave work to up to four people is now generated by just one worker who still earns a single income. That as well diminishes the flow of capital into the economy.

Load More Replies...
sknutz avatar
featherytoad
Community Member
3 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I saw a sign outside and office building that advertised they were hiring for customer service reps. I thought, great, as I have been in retail and just recently from an inbound call center. I get in there and it's an outbound call center for selling magazines. That is not customer service. That is annoying callers wasting my cell phone battery and interrupting my movie times.

Load More Comments
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