What a Bad Network Cable and Being Ghosted Taught me

It had been awhile but I had made a network cable many times before. However, in previous positions I had needed to do this less and less so I never thought it would be a skill I would be tested on. I also thought it weird for it to be part of a second interview. My first interview went well and the recruiter was keeping in contact with me about the opportunity in question. I was well aware that communication between the employer and the recruiter can sometimes be slow so I was patient….

At the conclusion of the second interview the employer told me he would inform the recruiter in a few days. Upon a request of the recruiter, I called him immediately after to let him know what transpired. I told him the second interview went well with the exception I was unable to make a network cable. I know what goes into making one, I know how to line up the wires, I just had trouble crimping the ends. He said that was fine and he would call me with the news of the employers decision as soon as he hears. I thought that would be a few days, a week tops. It has been almost a month. I have tried to reach out through phone and email ….nothing……a ghost. Since there has no more communication, I am left to assume the worst…..

Here’s my takeaway:

No Matter How Well you Prepare for an Interview you Will be Thrown a Curve Ball

It could be a question you hadn’t practiced, more people are in on the interview then you were told or you have to execute an unpracticed skill (making a network cable). It is how you react to it that matters. I was open an honest that it had been a while since I made one. I explained that I knew what was involved in making a cable, how to make related cables (like a crossover cable) and even how to test the cable once it’s made (USOC connector or Fluke device). The fact is I didn’t say “I can’t do it”. I was honest and said, I’m having a problem making this cable but I can do it with more practice. I forgot to mention that there was a time limit on doing this. I ran out of time. But I didn’t give up.

All Recruiters Are Not Created Equal

Being ghosted by a recruiter is nothing new. It has actually happened to me twice now. What’s really puzzling to me is that I had been working two months with this particular one and we had built up a rapport. I really don’t care if I didn’t get the job but it is common decency to inform me of the outcome no matter what it is. Especially if you have been working a while together on things. You are essentially toying with a person’s livelihood. I understand if the job seeker was job hopping or testing the waters to see what was out there but I do not have a job. The fact that this process took two months can take its toll on someone. It is a big deal preparing for interviews and sooner you know the outcome the sooner you can prepare for something else if things go south. It is the human thing to do. If you have bad news, say it and move on. It is better for everybody.

All Employers Are Not Created Equal

I don’t know if the results of my second interview eliminated me as a potential candidate or not. All I can say is you never know what a employers true motivations are for selecting candidates. This employer was growing and had some changes going on in the organization and needed dependable people who could do things like come to work on time and not leave early (It sounds funny but it’s true). They wanted someone who lived close (I am 20 minutes away). They were even willing for you to upgrade your knowledge at work and pay for any certification test you needed for the company. I thought I was a candidate that ticked all the boxes? If my inability to make a network cable in a prescribed amount of time took me out of the running, that’s his issue to deal with not mine. I understand that time is money but you will never get a candidate that is 100% what you want. You are better off taking someone with a core skill set and can learn than someone who has what you need now but lacks some of the intangibles necessary to do the job (Like customer service skills and yes punctuality!).

This experience has taught me a lot. Please believe in yourself and do not get discouraged. Sometimes, things were not meant to be. You need to dust yourself off and move on 🙂