Job-hunting in Toronto can be pretty depressing. Ever since turning down an offer to return to my job at the Instructional Support Group (only because commuting from a different city is hard, and not because that wasn't the best job), I've been looking for work closer to home. Here are some of the adventures I've had.
You Say "Jobvite", I Say "Jobmine": I applied to a junior position at a (notable) Canadian tech company. Their application process involved uploading my resume and cover letter to a platform called Jobvite*, which name rung some alarm bells I unwisely ignored. For about three weeks, nothing happened to my application (though I logged in pretty much everyday to check), then, suddenly, my application changed of its own accord (you're unable to edit an application once it's submitted) to being for a completely different position, for which I was vastly unqualified. A few days later, I got an email from the company saying they were moving on to candidates better qualified for the position.
(* I could write a whole post about all the different but equally idiotic third-party platforms I've had to create accounts for just to apply for jobs. Usually, it's not even a matter of simply uploading documents, but then also filling out several forms which literally ask you to copy info from your resume into the form, because I guess writing code to parse a pdf is too hard.)
Non-Technical People Should Not Conduct Technical Interviews: I had an interview for a programming position at a company that makes financial software (yeah, I can't believe I applied for this position, either), that was conducted by (I assume) a woman from HR who asked me questions like, "Have you ever written codes before?" Um. I mean, for one thing, very specific programming experience is listed on my resume, and for another, why was I selected for the interview if they weren't sure I had any experience? She also seemed to not know any useful details about the position, like what I would do specifically or who I'd be working with. Is everyone in this company so important that not one person whose work is actually related to the position could spare a few minutes to sit in on the interview?
Indian Men Who Just Assume They're Your Uncle: This was by far the worst thing that's ever happened to me during any interview, ever. This was not for a tech job, but for a part-time teaching position at a well-respected tutoring company [name withheld for what will soon become obvious reasons]. The man interviewing me perhaps felt a "kinship" because of our shared skin colour, because, in the midst of normal interview questions, he suddenly asked me, "Why do you wear hijab? Is it your own choice?" What. He did immediately apologize, and though I tried to awkwardly laugh it off, I did later regret not walking out of there right then. He later asked me if I got a CS degree because my parents made me.
The CEO's Office is the Dining Room: This was my best interviewing experience so far. The "office" turned out to be a house at the end of a side street in Yorkville, and I ended up doing the interview barefoot because I didn't wear socks under my boots. (But, barefoot is my most comfortable state. I hate wearing socks; at the slightest hint of spring weather, I abandon shoes for sandals precisely because of my dislike of socks.) It seemed like a nice place to work, though; the job is something I'd like doing (writing regular expressions); and the people interviewing me were respectful and asked relevant questions. I should hear by early next week whether I got this job, or whether my miserable "real world" job search experience is destined to continue.