Interview Questions - Ask HR Wench

A reader needs some feedback:

I have two questions for you that I was asked in an HR interview. I just want to know what you would have said.

1. The application deadline for a job opening that was listed externally is May 15, on May 16, an individual comes to the HR office to apply for the position--what would you do?

2. A probationary employee comes to the HR office and request vacation. No other supervisor is available to answer this question and the employee needs an answer by the end of the day. What resources would you utilize to obtain an answer and how would you follow up with the appropriate people?

The answers to these questions are company policy based. Since I don't know the company policies, whether they have collective bargaining agreements or not, etc, I'm going to answer these based on what I do know (which is nothing....hey, that didn't come out right....).

My answer to the first question would be a question: WHY is there a deadline? Deadlines for applications are a disservice to candidates & organizations seeking the best employees possible. Even in a "down economy", my opinion is that all positions should be open until filled. You never know when that superstar candidate is going to stumble upon your website or be referred by a friend and so forth.

Union environment? I don't care. Public agency? Yep, still don't care. Get out of the dark ages already.

For the second question, I have more questions than answers.

First, according to this particular organization, what IS a probationary employee? Are they on probation as in on a performance improvement plan or is this a union environment where they have something like a 90 day period after being hired that they can be discharged without cause?

Second, why is an employee that is not my direct report asking me if it's ok if they take a vacation? This should be up to their manager. If their manager isn't there, they need to wait until he/she gets back or ask their back up. I don't care if they need an answer today. I need a deep tissue massage TODAY, but you don't hear me making it other people's problem.

I don't think I would get that job, yo.

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