One of my top frustrations with being unemployed is never knowing the reason I didn’t get hired for a job I thought fit me perfectly.
I am a fan of the TV series, “MadMen”, the story about the advertising business in the 1960s. I was especially interested in the storyline of Peggy, former secretary promoted to the role of head copywriter, being in charge of hiring another copywriter. Peggy “reviews” applicants by the size of their portfolios, tossing the ones too fat or too thin, or a woman (no chance). Roger Sterling, a managing partner, insists on hiring a male applicant who is “brilliant.” He confirms Peggy’s choice for an interview because he likes the idea that the man is a Jew – “it makes us look progressive.” The episode concludes with the young man getting hired, despite the fact that he shows up for the interview in a very loud plaid jacket and makes the rude assumption that Peggy is the secretary.
This episode made me think of the irony of the hiring process we as job seekers currently face. We all like to think that both hiring managers and job seekers are so much more enlightened today than this fictional account of the hiring process decades ago. We show up to the interview in our dark, tailored suits, smile and give a firm handshake to our interviewer. We research the company and display wisdom of our branding savvy. We are convinced we aced the interview but for some reason we don’t get the job. Most likely the reason will never be revealed to us. Perhaps it may just be because you are a woman with a fat portfolio.
Go to the job interview game and see if you have what it takes to get hired at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce Advertising Agency