Rejected immediately upon sight….why?


This is apparently the nucleus of my problem.

I am called as I am waiting to be interviewed. I get up, I say hello to the interviewer, that person does the same, we sit down and….

Usually within 7 minutes, the interview is over.

Or rarely, I get small talk, some information about the job and then the interviewer fills the rest of the interview time with catch me all go-through-the motions, information. And then the interview is over.

I never hear from these people again.

I can’t name the last time I had a real interview.

I am asked nothing but very general questions…and that is if they ask me anything at all.

Usually it’s “Hello; I’m Mr. Jones and nice to meet you. Well, here is what the job consists of…”  He gives me a description of the job that is being offered (like he’s reading the ad back to me) maybe some small talk about the benefits and then it’s “Well, thanks for coming in. We will let you know.”

If you are dismissed immediately: to me, this can mean only one thing: they do not like your looks.

I am not frightening. I am near 60 and I don’t know  what it cold be– is it my haircolor? ( It was too red and too phoney — I changed it back to what I more or less originally had) Is it what I wear? (I dress neatly and in interview attire)

I guarantee you I am not a blimp. I am not in the greatest of shape but a Sherman tank I am not.

I’ve got bags under my eyes that I can’t seem to  diminish, no matter what I try — I don’t know; maybe they think I get no sleep or I don’t look well — for love of God, I am out of answers and I have no idea why I am rejected immediately, when they see me.

And it is not a race or creed or religion factor.

ANd it is not a marital factor.

Nor do I wind up disclosing information about my family. Shit, nobody asks questions like that anymore. That usually happened in the 1980s.

I would not run an interview as a contest to see who ahs the best clothes or best figure or who is handsome or not. What’ sgoing on here?

The close second:

They want a much younger candidate.

The people who interview me are older — much older than me — maybe they figure a kid is easier to handle and easier to intimidate — I even tried to hide my age on my resume; I used a shortened form of my name so they can’t match my age to the decade my first name was popular in.  On my resume, I’ve also used my first 2 initials and my last name istead of my first and last name.

I cannot seem to get past “hello” and “if” I do, I never warrant a genuine interview. Like I said, it is small talk and then a “nice meeting you” and that’s all I get.

I can’t seem to avoid being dismissed. I don’t know what is wrong here. Ha; we can’t even blame this on better competition or “some other factor.”

Are there jobs available where specifically an older person would be welcome — or more or less required??? and  desired even more so than somebody even a decade younger?  “Mature” candidates? That’s a meaningless wording in a job advertisement.

I will be 60 in a bit more than a year and a half from now.  (and I don’t  believe I just said that.)

How can I end this turned-away-immediately pattern?

Does anyone know?

The rare interviews — I had ONE last year!! — is being destroyed by this turned-away nonsense. I need a cure all for this.

27 thoughts on “Rejected immediately upon sight….why?”

  1. I suspect the two issues in your last posts may be related. A couple of weeks ago, one of my professional journals ran an article about how nobody uses want ads anymore, and instead search for candidates on sites like LinkedIn. I was trying to put my hand on it this morning (it was on a public Web page), but came up empty.

    I can readily believe that many employers don’t even bother with want ads anymore. Hiring from the general public is risky: it’s rather like getting married, in that if it goes wrong you can get sued and lose your shirt. But it’s unlike getting married in that you have to make a decision before you know if you even like the person.

    If your competition has online profiles with pictures, and you have just a resume, you’re at a distinct disadvantage. At best, they will call you in for an interview on the off chance that you will genuinely surprise them. You have, perhaps, 15 seconds to dazzle them in that case. (I also can’t recommend using your initial instead of your first name. Some employers may think you’re trying to hide something, which is the kiss of death.)

    Sadly, many employers don’t value experience anymore. In the modern way of doing business, employees are supposed to follow the process set forth by the employer. If you can read and understand the process, in this view, you’re qualified. Experience becomes a liability because an employee might use judgement gained from experience to act contrary to the defined process. (That this might result in saving thousands of dollars worth of company machinery from destruction, for example, is beside the point.)

    Alas, I don’t have any clever answers, and I’m sure it will only get worse.

    1. I do not do LinkedIn.

      I keep it for the art but I do not have any identifying information, other than my name.

      None of this “LinkedIn is the way to go for a hire” bullshit — there are too many lurkers and creeps out there — I do not want an old boss or somebody I used to work with to see my resume or anything else I post — and there is also the stalker factor and there are just too many nuts out there.

      And the last thing that is there is my photo.

      A true blue collar job like a welder??? This person needs to look on line or set up a profile in LinkedIn???

      It’s not that kind of a job.

      I know of many cases where somebody uses an initial for a first name — perhaps it is long and ethnic and unpronounceable — we had a dean of students who used “J. Robert Nelson” (false name and just made up to keep in line with the example) as his professional name — he preferred to be called “Robert.” I can only imagine what the “J” stood for. Probably something he did not like.:)

      Nor is it if you are a cook, a tool and dye person or anything else along that line.

      This is all messed up and where do you go if you need a job IMMEDIATELY? Suppose your company shuts down out of nowhere or your spouse dies and you need a job asap???

      Suppose anything at all happens where you now have a need to find something else in the way of employment asap???

      Are *all* of us out of luck?

    2. Since the start of time and way before all this “social media” baloney, it always has been a risk to hire somebody from the outside.

      It is a risk even now with this LinkedIn extravaganza. A photo on line and a resume online?


      The companies can be phoney; Mr. LinkedIn might give you the names of his drinking buddies or uncle or who knows who else as his boss or immediate supervisor. They can say that Mr. LinkedIn worked for them!

      And what kind of a photo are you supposed to delay? I imagine it would help if you had your hair freshly done and had a professional makeup application — all of that squeeze for how many drops of juice. You still are not guaranteed a phone call/email/whatever it is they do “now” to contact you. It’s no guarantee if you hear from them and you get an interview.

      That “everyone is on LinkedIN’ is like the same mess those of us hear when we say we are looking to meet somebody great: “everybody is up on FB or Match or Plentyof Fish.” No guarantee there, either, to meet somebody worth your while.

      I have no more answers. None at all whatsoever.

      Where are those nice non-profits that would hire me? Too bad there isn’t an animal rescue that is looking for admin help or some sort of support staff.

      1. The problem with many non profits is they don’t have the money. This means that they either can’t hire someone or they bring in unpaid intern. I probably mentioned this before but a few years ago I attended a “job fair” at the grad school I attended. Almost everyone there was looking for unpaid “interns”. The irony is most of the jobs were actual jobs that should pay, like an accounting firm looking for people to do tax returns or a company needing a PR job that required 40 hours work but was volunteer. One company was even telling people to apply for a $10 fee. It was sick and I got a bit nasty with these companies doing this. One company was hiring a PR/marketing person for $10 hour and it was near me so I gave them my resume. Never heard back so I assume they saw my experience and thought overqualified.

        I used to have my photo on Linked-In until I had several creepy CEO’s wanting to hire me because they thought I was hot. I got a few messages calling me a bimbo. So no photo there anymore. I don’t even have one on Facebook because of guys finding me from online profiles.

    3. And not too very long ago:

      We were told not to include photos with a job app or with a resume.

      So now it’s okay???

      And suppose the photos we see are not recent ones? Could be from 10 years ago before the guy started balding, before he gained a ton of weight and before he stopped seeing a dentist.

      The fact is:

      NOBODY knows where the jobs have gone.

      Sent overseas and offshored and outsourced:
      Not all of them.

      Combined with another job at the company:
      I don’t think so.

      Nobody believes in ads anymore:
      I don’t buy that either.

      I don’t buy any of this, not at all, not ever.

      Nobody’s got any answers and nobody seems to know why nothing is showing up in the way of job ads. We allegedly added all of these jobs in January but how or where or using what vehicle to get the word out those jobs were available? I can only guess very wildly.

      And no, not every job is filled from the inside.

      So where does that leave us?

      1. Well they are many places. Some have been merged or eliminated, others outsourced, others given to visa workers or the latest scam unpaid “internships”. I’ve seen this one a lot in the last few months. The photo one is going on too but it’s to eliminate older people or less attractive. It’s sick actually what employers are doing.

        1. the tinier companies are not resorting to this mess.

          And there are mostly older people at the tiny companies.

          Even way back when I worked for that company that had a shop in the back: nobody there was under 40 years of age. I was the youngest one and at the time I was 40 years old. The sis and bro that ran the place were older than I was.

          So what’s the deal? This is now showbiz and not looking for a 9-5 job and a photo is a must?

          [chuckles] How many of those photos do you think are recent ones — as in taken in the last few weeks?

          You can bet it is like match or any dating website: what you see is not what you get. The candidate gets there and he looks nothing like his photo: he is balding and has gained a few and he’s ragged around the edges.

          To tell you the truth, I might reject him — on the basis tht he is not honest! Isn’t this more or less like falsifying a resume??? Geez — if you are balding, wow, who cares! Include a recent photo; in about 5 minutes total time, you can take a photo of yourself with your digital camera, upload it, crop it and upload it to LI!

          You may be rejected for a lot of phoney reasons, based on your photo: maybe you look like the hiring manager’s ex wife, or his pita neighbor or he may simply not like “you” in the photo.

          And LinkedIn for the art got to be a pain — I was inundated by those who formerly interviewed me! “Can you endorse me” was all they had to say. Go to blazes. This place is just like FB!

  2. For nearly 20 years, I got all of my jobs but one as the result of telephone interviews. For that other job, they were pretty sure that they would hire me, but still invited me to a site 300 miles away from where I lived and interviewed me.

    It is probably easier to do this with confidence when you are going from one federal agency to another because a certain amount is known about you already. If you are starting from scratch with a company, they will probably want to see you, but time is limited, and when your skill set is perceived to be common, you are probably not going to get a fair evaluation. of your abilities.

    It may be necessary for you to relocate to find a job. One of the contracts people in my former office had to relocate from Huntsville, AL to Colorado to find a job, and it took her two years. You will still have to struggle with the high cost of living of New Jersey, even if you find a job, where you probably could buy a house for cash in eastern Colorado that would set your fixed costs at about a thousand a month.

  3. California might be the answer. but if I move out there, does the “rejected upon sight” factor magically vanish?

    I don’t think so.

    This is also a lifestyle change. I’d have to rent for several months to see if I like it there and if the change in lifestyle works for me.

    My cousin has been living there for years. He is no millionaire, belive me and he has held “regular” people jobs, mostly employed as a teacher; lots of his teaching jobs were down in Virginia or in upstate NY — or in a private school.

    He is now selling real estate. Has been for years.

    He has told me about a very active 55 and up condo development — these are stand alone condoes and the price is fantastic…85 grand for 2700 square feet…

    And property taxes are ONE PERCENT.

    And locked in as per what you paid for the place.

    $850 per YEAR???? I can’t remember the time New Jersey paid that per quarter!

    Something is funky here —- if it is my appearance here, what is it going to be if I relocate?

    If I could find a nice non-profit where they don’t care how old you are or if you’ve got eye bags going on, that would be great for me — if you are being shown the door over and over agai in 7 minutes each time you are at the place, it is an appearance thing.

    Not a “150 people are in line for this job” thing.

    And not a race or creed or color or you’ve got 2 or 3 kids and they don’t want you calling in when the kiddo gets the sniffles thing.

    I have been in their aft chamber waiting for the interview and I saw other interviewees emerge.

    They were — and this is my take:

    Scruffy, rumpled, posture was bad and much much older than I.

    So it is NOT an age thing, then.

    Based on that, I would not hire either one of those women (the scruffy and rumpled part, that is; I don’t care if you’re Methsula or the 2000 Year Old MAN!

    I wouldn’t have anything to lose if I went out to the coast. Take the birds, put them on the plane and go; rent for a short bit and see if you get a job…and if you do, buy that place he mentioned and stay there.

    1. People forget how high real estate taxes are in New Jersey. Even when I was a child, they were $3.65 per $100 of assessed value, and assessments were 100% of market value, not 35% as I’ve seen in Nevada.

      Another thing to consider is the homeowner’s association fees on the condo. I might not call it the right thing, but most condos require a monthly payment to the management company. You might get things like water, trash pickup, and exterior maintenance for that fee, but it is an ongoing cost in addition to the property taxes.

      What would your six-month budget be for rent, utilities, and deposits be? It might cost you $150 per bird to take them out to California.

  4. Honestly it could be age. I say that because I have lost jobs due to age and this started around age 35. I had one guy tell me I was too old to work as a marketing director for his radio station, though I had more experience than everyone who he interviewed. He bluntly told me this. He ended up hiring a brainless wonder who lasted one month and he was hiring again. Another place didn’t say I was too old but told me my skills were too old fashioned.

    1. So what are we all supposed to do?

      Throw in the towel and figure out some other way to get hired or make money on our own? Or quit looking for a job completely and leave it at that? How in heck are you supposed to support yourself?

      The smaller companies seem to be the biggest assholes in the bunch when it comes to deciding *you* yourself are not for them. Just who and what are they looking for, anyway???

      This is the thing, too: You get to the interview and all you see is the person who does the interview with you. There is no longer a tour of the company and this means you can’t see what kind of group works for them — are they young or old or is this a mix of ages or what is it?

      For yourself, a good way for you to see how well you’d do — maybe you do not like the idea of working with all kids — or you don’t like the idea of a rather limited in scope group —- an interview I attended eons ago was filled with women who were well over 50.

      Lots of them looked like they were there for years and probably had the same job for year. Which to me means nobody gets promoted and they do not bring in younger blood. This would put you at a disadvantage: do they want you, somebody much younger?? Doubtful — These ladies who have been there for years probably don’t have a college background, if they are in jobs like shipping clerk or some sort of desk job?

      I never got to see the “combined” ages in the chemical company — I spoke only to the manager. I saw a couple of their employees; they were older.

      And the 2 iterviewees who were there before me and then after me were older than I was.

      So this wan’t an age thing. Who knows? Maybe he had his eye on somebody else and this was all a formality or he was curious to see who I was — I don’t know — he didn’t ask me one blessed question. Nothing — small talk and then for the next 45 minutes he killed time. Guy, why did you bother me?

      (and 6 weeks later when I went back to ask this guy why he didn’t hire me, I saw more of his staff: all much much older than I am. So what was his problem? I am stumped; I can’t figure out why he did not want me — I had experience that was identical to what the job described.

      And when I told him why I ws there, he kindly led me out into the hall, closed the door behind him and said “I do not appreciate you coming down here to my office to question me.” Isn’t that tough luck)

      Businesses that are self run?

      Not for everyone.

      If you’re a strict 9 to 5 type, it definitely will not be for you.

      YOu also may not have the ways and means to set up a business: it’s finding a locale, renting the place, redoing it so that it fits what you are marketing and so forth.

      I don’t know what it is but I am certain it’s an appearance thing.

      I do not “look” old. Then again they can see I definitely am not a kid. So what are we supposed to do, if we are not kids?

      Where could there possibly be a business or non profit that specifically doesn’t give a damn if you are over 40 or over 45???? That is the key to the whole thing but where is that company?

      And if I knew someone, I’d see if they could get me into their company. I know nobody in that category, either.

      1. At this point I apply but am looking into college and doing freelance work. These are my only choices unless someone decides to hire me. I just can’t get even interviews anymore and no idea why. On paper I sound perfect, I have two degrees, I am constantly taking online classes (I take them free through the library), I volunteer as a religious teacher though I list it as a job since it requires a lot (2 hours each week not to mention going to many seminars and planning it). I just became a library trustee too which is an elected position generally.

        Yet when I go to interviews often the employers don’t even care to see my portfolio. It’s become a joke that I can tell whether I get called or not. If they spend time asking dumb insane questions I know I won’t get a second interview. If it’s an actual interview where they look at my portfolio or ask me questions about my skills/background then I get a second interview. This leads me to believe they don’t like my answers on these questions but why? Some are goofy questions that I have to think about, like “what would you do if you saw a coworker stealing” or “how do you handle smelly customers”. Then there are he invasive questions like “what would you do if your baby was sick”. First off I don’t have a baby of the human variety so how am I supposed to know? I suspect they ask these questions to see if I have kids. I always thought not having kids was a plus until one interviewer told me he didn’t like to hire childless women because they were “too aggressive”. Huh? Others don’t want to hire moms (It’s never dads) and have told me this. I have turned down these jobs because it seemed misogynist, especially when all the management were males.

        I am hoping that the church I attend can hire me because the priest told me he wants to increase public relations and fundraising to build a banquet hall and to make more money. However he had a heart attack and has been in and out of the hospital in the last month.

        The irony is I have experience in the fields I am good in and degrees but too many people (and foreign workers). So I am checking into fields I have never worked in and don’t have an natural interest for just to work.

        1. Are all of *us* done?

          I can name you plenty of young people who graduated from college anywhere from 5 years ago until last June.

          One of them still has not found a teaching job (he is working as an aide — no benefits and more or less per diem for the year) and another education major (from a name school) managed to find a job in the parochial schools in Connecticut.

          The problem is that there are not enough jobs.

          And there are not enough job ads. This is what is killing it for people like Dawn and I. We have to see there are ads in the first place!

          There were at least 6 or 8 ads per week 9 years ago at this time — in August of that year I resumed my job hunt and allll the ads were gone. And they stayed gone.

          So this is nearly 9 years of dry “help wanted” ads — what happened here???

          Pursue something else — take classes in culinary arts and then see if you’re hired?

          I don’t know if that would even work. They may not want an old cook. What happened here???

          Know somebody who will hire you….

          Or open an honest to God brick and mortar store of your own and start as small as possible. as in SHOEBOX small.

          What other choices have we got, except the 2 I just gave???

          1. It’s why I am seriously considering drug and alcohol counseling. The reason is because I think with that I could get a job at a veteran’s home or something through the diocese. I volunteer at church and this year am taking over the poppy drive for the American Legion. Yes I do these for fun but also hoping to meet people to help me. I think becoming a counselor to help addicted veterans (and there are many)but be the key. Of course I could take the classes (most I can do online except for the clinic internship)and get no job at all. Another option I was throwing around was a MBA but not sure I would like taking more math classes plus I already have a MA and it doesn’t impress many employers. You’d think it would, but most label me overqualified. Luckily I can get some help with scholarships but even so there’s no guarantee.

    2. There are older people doing the hiring and these same people have spedfically said the person left due to retirement.

      So why am I a no? Maybe he made the salary $12 an hour and is going to hire a kid that he can use?

      I can only guess…only guess and this isn’t good for me. I don’t know what he has “waiting in th wings” or who else he has spoken to. We never knew who, either, 10 and 15 years ago — but wow, this entire job interview thing is now gotten to be a burden. Something else is in the mix here and I don’t like what it is.

      Are we supposed to just give up and find something to do with our time, now that there is no job, or what? And do it for an indefinite period of time?

      I cannot tell you how lousy I feel.

  5. Do you have any contacts in your veterans network who could tell you about job openings and required training? You can also look them up on USAJOBS for the jobs with the VA, which might not be in your area. Another place to look for information is your local health department.

    A possibly hopeful trend in federal hiring is that they have begun to look for interns again. You would be hired at the GS-5, 7 (2.9 undergrad GPA or greater), or 9 (master’s degree in a relevant field) level, with guaranteed annual promotions to GS-11 or 12. This is how I was hired to work for the federal government in 1982. Most jobs that require a college degree are “two-grade” promotion until you hit GS-11, then it’s one-grade promotion. In any case, you will get at least a 6% pay raise when promoted, or the lowest salary in the next grade, whichever is greater. You can look at the federal salary chart at under “wages and salaries”.

    1. Yeah I have some contacts that may work. The secretary for the auxiliary happens to be on the national board as well and she told me she could get me a scholarship. She knows people in the know as do a few others. I’m going to ask at our next meeting next month about all of this because there is a vet home in the next town (about 5 miles away).

      1. To be a drug and alcohol counselor you need a masters degree and you probably need a social worker’s license.

        We can’t just bide our time with “maybes” “See if somebody will hire us” or “I probably have an in at” or “There is a guy I know who knows a woman at a pretty good company and she says there might be openings”.

        We need a tangible and active job offer — and one paying livable wag money and with benefits and job security — and we need it NOW.

        Time is passing.

        An expansion like that for any church is going to be a huge undertaking. This idea needs to come up before the variance board and everyone within a certain number of yards will have to be legally notified that a plan like this is proposed.

        IF the variance board says no, then forget it: the PR job will be worthless.

        A friend of mine lives next door to what was a vacant synagogue. the building was empty for years.

        The Coptic Orthodox bought out the building and turned it into a Coptic Orthodox church.. They gave the building a facelift and it looks great; kids are there nearly every day of the week, playing basketball outside and there’s an active more or less community center inside the church.

        About a year ago, this group hit up on the town variance board — bear in mind that this is a small sized house of worship and built in the days when you walked to Sunday services or Friday night services; nobody commuted by car — they have plans to expand.

        They want to increase the size of the church itself and they want underground parking and a community center.

        This means people will lose their homes for the sake of an expanded church —and it’s impossible to excavate there for an underground lot. This would be a major project that requires who knows how many engineers and at least a sandhog or several.

        The plan was voted down. They did not return with a smaller version of what they wanted to do.

        1. I’m considering going back for a masters in that. The school nearby has a two year program (well it can go longer) and you can do most of the classes online except the internships. I don’t want to go back but have no choice. The church has the land but yes it would require the zoning in town and of course the finance council at church.

        2. I don’t believe that churches get to use eminent domain directly to condemn other people’s property. They would have to get the local government to do it. The church could have gone out and secured options to buy the surrounding houses at an above-market price for a certain length of time. This would require payment of a sum of money to the homeowners that the homeowners would keep even if the plan to expand did not go forward. If the plan went forward, they would sell their houses to the church and move out by a date to be determined. This way of clearing the land shows better faith than trying to condemn people’s property.

          How is your investigation of the place in California going? One thing to consider is that almost anything is a change in lifestyle. Having a paid-off condo with your only expenses being your food, utilities, insurance and condo fees seems like a positive lifestyle change. Since you are just a few years from Social Security eligibility, it’s worth finding out what your benefits at age 62 will be. It might be enough to carry the monthly condo fees and whatever other expenses that you will have until Medicare eligibility at age 65. You might be eligible for expanded Medicaid in California if you are not already eligible in New Jersey.

          1. The church I attend has actually has the land so it would just be building on their property. Where I live is a combo rural/suburban area which means there is land. My parents live in town and they even have about an acre of land. The church has land and the sister church a few miles down the road (with the same priest and everything)is in the middle of nothing and many acres.

    2. Even for me: I am afraid everyone has jumped on the gravy tran and plus I think the draw for a federal job is fixed.

      That still goes to who you know or knew.:( Very sad.

      Even for a state job: I took that dopey dept of labor test 7 years ago and when I showed up at the exam site, there were a few hundred people there…I got the exam result. I got an 85…but so did 75 other people. Goodbye, job interview.

  6. The parish I used to attend is shrinking.

    The school is long closed (the pastor who came in about 19 years ago took care of that) and a non profit is leasing it and using it for a school for challenged kids.

    The town also has a shrinking Catholic population.

    The contingency now:

    Hispanics: not all of them are Catholic; lots are Pentecostal, go to those megachurches or are with the LDS bunch or JHs.

    Asian Indians – wait until they get enough of the vote together to bring in their own kind as mayor…and wait until the decimate the downtown area and take over all the businesses, just like they did in Edison.

    You may get some Goans, but not many. That group is Catholic and speaks Portugese, believe it or not.

    Muslims — a very large contingency and their group is growing the most rapidly.

    The town used to be mostly Italian, with Poles and Germans included. Like Union City, there is an exodus of that group (retired and gone on to another location, moved to another town, etc)

    Whenever anything closes, it takes away fro the spirit of the town and community. I remember when the Home School Association used to have dances, parties and other affairs — that gym was always packed and it was also something fun to do, even if you went with your neighbors or a bunch of girlfriends for a girls’ night out.

    My guess is that parish will be closed and gone in about 10 or 15 years. It’s a changing demographic and to tell ya the truth, everything seems to be for those groups. Everybody else is forgotten about.

    1. That’s strange about Hispanics. I know not all are Catholics but most that I knew who weren’t were recent Protestants. A friend was Mexican and was studying to be a minister in a Protestant group. If I recall he was raised Catholic but converted. Haven’t seen him in about 25 years or so. Oddly until recently most of the Arabs immigrating were Catholic. Now they are majority Muslim. This church is actually growing and the largest group is Mexican though people are moving out from the Irish areas of Chicago as well.

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