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Oct-24-2012 13:46printcomments

Major Job Market Conundrum: Do Fears Interfere with Hiring?

We live in a world where the employer prefers to not hire an individual he may later need to fire.


(SALEM) - The state of the economy remains an enigma. The most consistent constant is: Worry. Thrust into this sea of turmoil and skepticism is the job hunter. In many occupations, the field is not very fertile. It's been deteriorating to a drought. And the person doing the interviewing is suddenly faced with an abundance of applicants but being pulled in another direction: skepticism. Which can lead to cynicism. Whomever is a job seeker isn't always aware of the dilemma of the one doing the hiring. It must be said that fears lurk just under the surface, and that is no Halloween prank.

  1. There are fears of choosing the wrong candidate, one who will use the job as a swift steppingstone only to leave in short order.
  2. There are fears that the candidate may have excellent job skills but be far too bright if not brilliant, thus laying the groundwork for exposing the weaknesses of the boss and co-workers.
  3. Still another fundamental fear is the strongminded, assertive staffer whose personality will cause others to shrink and back off. What results can be lower productivity and morale.

It is omni-important to perceive such pitfalls. We live in a world where the employer prefers to not hire an individual he may later need to fire. If the new worker proves competence at a higher level than is shown by the worksite's old-timers, that can readily rock the boat. These are unwelcome waves of change.

An idealist type--perhaps like myself--may permit the sheer enthusiasm of a sterling track record to be the centerpiece of the presentation. However, if the candidate screening panel view that fervor as a minus, that candidate's chance of being hired begin to fade fast. There's a thin line that exists between effervescence and arrogance. Once again, fears get fired up and it's thumbs down! Lesson to be etched: Approach an interview as you would a courtship, with curiosity to learn more before a commitment is made. Too much fervor is anything but a favor!

NOTE: Lee Coyne has undergone over 100 interviews while covering two distinct fields--Journalism and Counseling. He has also done a bit of teaching ESL, writing and sociology. Community Writer Barry Lee Coyne brings to our readers stories from his combined career of journalism and gerontology, and explains that these paths shaped his values. Lee Coyne once worked for The Civil Service Leader in NY State and covered the Legislature. He has also done features on mediation and arbitration, and believes in healthy skepticism. This writer-therapist often views the world as the masks of comedy and tragedy placed upon the scales of justice. For him, optimism inevitably wins. "Lyrical Lee" has traveled to 30 nations aboard and was once a press intern at the UN. His first published article was in The NY Daily News in '59, dealing with the need for integrity in public office.

He also launched the nation's first tele-conference on health education for shut-ins, created the Eldermentors project in VA to pair retirees with immigrant students needing role models, and was the main catalyst behind CCTV's "Public Public" panel show here in Salem. Lee received his BA in International Relations and an MSW in community organization. He currently serves as a member of Salem's Library Advisory Board. To send Lee an email, please write to this address:



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