Critiquing a colleague's HR reply after I did a phonescreen.
This is what he wrote -
Sebastian Marshall enjoyed speaking with you today. We'd like to have you come into the office for a follow up discussion. Please confirm which time on Monday the 5th works best for you:
I've attached a map to our office location. The address is as follows:
Have a great weekend, and see you next week.
It's modeled off a successful consulting company's HR process, but I don't like it at all. Here was my feedback -
"Sebastian Marshall enjoyed speaking with you today. We'd like to have you come into the office for a follow up discussion. Please confirm which time on Monday the 5th works best for you:"
Too formal, slightly weak.
"The next step is to have you in the office for an interview. We have these times available on Monday the 5th, please confirm which works best for you"
"follow up discussion" is too weak - should be interview.
"enjoyed speaking with you" is kind of weak.
"Please confirm which time" is too strong/aggressive.
Also "Have a great weekend, and see you next week." is too assumptive, which can also be weak/strong.
Interestingly, weak and strong tend to be next to each other on the spectrum - someone weak acts strong, so it's artificial. Anyway, it's fine for a formal consulting company I guess, but not our style. More blunt, somewhat terse, but strong in a friendly way and very direct is the way for us to go.
For the blog, more analysis -
Everything you've been taught about being professional is wrong. It has this weak pathetic sickly-sweet politeness combined with this passive-aggressive pathetic demanding pseudo-strength.
Again, "Sebastian Marshall enjoyed speaking with you today" is a pseudo-polite waste of words. "We'd like to have you come into the office for a follow up discussion" is a lie, we'd like to have a brutal fuckin' interview. "Please confirm which time" is that bullshit pseudo-strength and not friendly enough.
I particularly dislike the "Have a great weekend, and see you next week." which is the kind of stuff that that executives with small dicks write to make themselves feel better.
Again, this isn't a knock on my colleague - who learned it from big corporate land. It's a knock on the whole corporate world, who waste words and time, who act weak much of the time, who have this faux strength in order to cover up for no real substance, and close out with smug weasel nonsense at the end.
(...man, being radically honest is cool. I'm having so much fun.)