what to say to a candidate who doesn’t show up for their interview

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A reader writes:

What is the best way to follow up with a candidate who was a no-show for their second interview? I plan to follow up by email, but am unsure as to how to word the message or what exactly to say. I don’t want to sound overly accusatory, if something serious did happen, but I also am annoyed that they were a no-show with no call or even an email.

Also, how do you feel about sending “reminder” emails the morning of a meeting? Our Biz Dev Manager thinks I should send them, but to me it seems a little desperate and they should obviously be able to remember a scheduled meeting (in my opinion), if they are someone we want to seriously consider hiring.

Plenty of employers won’t even send follow-up emails when someone no-shows for an interview, figuring that if they forgot the appointment or just decided not to show up, that’s not someone they want to hire. (Which is true, and we’ll get to more about that in a minute.) It’s certainly possible that there’s a different explanation, of course — that something serious happened — although that’s rarely, rarely the explanation. But rarely isn’t never, so if you want to check in, I’d send a very brief email that simply says: “You didn’t make our 3:00 meeting today, so I’m assuming you’re no longer interested in pursuing the position. Please let me know if that’s not the case.”

And then drop it. If they do get back in touch with you, a candidate who had a legitimate emergency will be mortified and extremely apologetic, and you can go from there. But if they seem in any way cavalier about it (they just forgot the appointment, “something came up,” or whatever), then you explain that because you didn’t hear from them, you’ve moved on with other candidates.

And no, absolutely do not send reminder emails the morning of the interview. You do not want to hire anyone who needs a reminder email for something as important as an interview — not unless you also want to send them reminder emails about work each day while they’re working for you, since people are on their best behavior during hiring processes and it’s going to get worse, not better, once they’re working there.

If someone would forget the interview without a reminder, that’s hugely important information that you want to have about them — possibly more important than anything you’d learn in the interview. So please tell your business development manager that you want to screen out people who aren’t reliable and can’t manage their own appointments.

Remember, there are all kinds of ways to learn valuable information about candidates during your entire hiring process — it’s not just about their cover letter, resume, and references. It’s also about whether they do what they say they’re going to do (do they remember to send you that article they promised to send you during their interview?), whether they meet their own deadlines (when they say they’ll send you references by tomorrow, does it really come by then, or at least do you get an update?), whether they show up on time, how they treat people, and so forth. Don’t put yourself at a disadvantage by blocking out a major source of that type of information.

{ 144 comments… read them below or add one }

  1. Eric

    I don’t think I’d bother sending the e-mail. I feel like if they have a valid excuse for missing the interview, it is in their court to let you know.

    Reply
    1. WWWONKA

      Agreed, most likely the candidate decided they did not want the job. And a big no for the reminder e mails. Most times the company will send a confirmation e mail to the candidate right after a phone conversation regarding the interview. That should be more than sufficient.

      Reply
      1. Amanda

        If they don’t, is it ok to ask for a confirmation email? I’m always paranoid that I’ve heard the time wrong and a confirmation email helps soothe at least that pre-interview jitter.

        Reply
        1. Ask a Manager Post author

          I wouldn’t ask for one — seems like too much hand-holding — but you could send one yourself — “just confirming our meeting at ADDRESS on DATE at TIME. Looking forward to it!”

          Reply
          1. EE

            Oh, that’s a good idea! This week I had an interview for a temp position and the recruiter’s confirmation e-mail, unusually, didn’t contain the time. I actually have quite bad hearing so I was concerned about having heard it correctly over the phone.

            Reply
          2. jesicka309

            Sometimes an interviewer will ring you, and you have no way of contacting them aside from calling them again (especially if you applied through an online system).
            How do you contact the employer to confirm then? I’ve had the problem twice now where they’ve rung me from private numbers, so I can’t call back, and they have no provided me an email at any stage of the process. But my email is on my resume…what to do then? It’s always stumped me – what if I had an emergency?

            Reply
            1. Melissa

              I suppose when they call you to set up the email, to ask for a contact number and/or email to call them back in case you have issues?

              Reply
  2. AdAgencyChick

    No, no, no, no reminder email! After all, what if the no-show who prompted OP writing to Alison had gotten a reminder email? She might have shown up…and then you wouldn’t know until after you hired her that she doesn’t always keep important appointments, or can’t keep them without hand-holding.

    I completely agree with the super-brief follow-up email, which will indeed prompt a profuse apology from a candidate who had an emergency so bad that she couldn’t even get in touch to cancel, and will let the flakes know not to call the office the next day asking whether the position is still open.

    Reply
    1. Jamie

      I agree – if reminder emails are needed you don’t want to hire that candidate anyway. I do think it’s courteous to send an email if there are weird travel issues to keep in mind. We were interviewing once when they had the cross street torn up for new sewers, so if you went by google maps you’d end up at a street with no access…so we sent emails explaining a quick detour and how to get into the lot.

      But just to remind people to show up to an agreed upon appointment? Never.

      Reply
  3. Joey

    I’d just send the standard rejection verbiage and reference the missed interview. I wouldn’t offer the option to reply. If they replied of course I’d look at it, but I wouldn’t invite a reply.

    Reply
  4. shawn

    no need to send any sort of email after a missed interview, and definitely no reminders. if they have a legit reason/excuse then the candidate will reach out to you (this is extremely rare). otherwise, it’s clear the candidate has withdrawn from consideration. emailing them just invites further discussion which is a waste of time and seems awkward when you have no interest in continuing with them anyway. also, just sending an actual rejection email is hilarious and kinda passive aggressive in the sense that you are wanting to communicate that they are rejected after the candidate already rejected you/your company/your job. just move on, it happens once in a while (or more often, depending on your industry).

    Reply
  5. MrsKDD

    I’ve never sent an email after a no-show no-call. I assume if there was a legitimate emergency they would contact me. They told me everything I need to know by not showing up, so red flag that app and move on!

    Reply
    1. Chinook

      I agree that an email to a no-show is not necessary because those with a legit excuse will find a way to contact you as soon as they can. But, if you feel like it would be rude not to, I think AAM’s verbage is perfect – it leaves no room for arguement and makes clear the message they sent by not coming.

      Reply
      1. Flynn

        “…those with a legit excuse will find a way to contact you as soon as they can.”

        I can think of one counter example to this: people who just assume that it’s too late, and they’ve ruined everything and shouldn’t bother you.

        It’s not accurate or ideal, but inexperienced or anxious people (who may make perfectly good employees) may just end up so horrified by missing the interview that they don’t know how, or even if they should, follow up.

        That does, of course, tell you that they aren’t an ideal employee, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re not worth considering (nobody’s perfect!). I can easily imagine someone tying themselves into knots and deciding that they shouldn’t bother the employer, as they’ve already missed their chance.

        Reply
        1. Ask a Manager Post author

          I agree — that’s the reason I send those follow-ups — tells the cavalier ones that it’s over, but gives the anxious/inexperienced ones who had an emergency an easier in to get back to me and explain what happened. And yeah, that type of inexperience/anxiety isn’t ideal and it could definitely be a deal-breaker in certain jobs, but it’s not in all.

          Reply
  6. VictoriaHR

    UGH – this is the bane of my existence.

    I recruit for a call center and we hire a lot of high school and college students. The number of people who NCNS for interviews or training classes is astronomical, easily 40% of job candidates. I do the prescreens, so when I schedule the interview with them, I tell them that I’m going to send them a confirmation email, “so that you’ll have my contact information, so if you need to reschedule or cancel, you can do that.” Then I send detailed emails with specific directions to our facility. And we still have a big problem with it.

    Unfortunately we’re entering our busy season, so even if they NCNS once, if they apply again, we’ll give them another chance. One girl NCNS’d last month, then she applied again this month. I emailed her to ask what had happened the previous time, she said “oh my mother was in the hospital.” No “sorry” or anything. I said, “you didn’t call after that, though?” She said, “I should have called.” Again, no apology. But my boss told me to schedule her for another interview. Once again, she NCNS’d. First time, shame on her, second time, shame on us.

    Reply
    1. T-riffic

      Yeah, I really don’t get this. In my job, I’ve had to deal with this quite a lot among college students. Since when did it become acceptable to NCNS for an important appointment, and then act like it’s no big deal when someone confronts you about it? It drives me crazy. In fairness, I can tend to be very forgetful, and I have embarrassingly forgotten some pretty important stuff before. The difference, though, is that when I realize it, I die a little inside from embarrassment, and I make sure that the person I flaked on knows that I feel terrible. Gah, just remembering some of the conversations I’ve had makes my blood pressure rise.

      Reply
      1. FD

        Yeah, exactly! Look, stuff happens, and everyone makes mistakes.

        But at the very least, you should be extremely mortified when it does.

        Reply
      2. VictoriaHR

        These kids also tend to wander off and abandon their jobs, after specifically being told that if they want to be considered for rehire, they have to provide notice. It’s an epidemic and it makes me think that we’re all failing as parents.

        Reply
      3. Joey

        This is sort of the deal with undesirable jobs. Back in the day I once worked in a low pay manufacturing environment and we had to practically beg people to work. So much so in fact we’d rehire people over and over and over. Its the warm body environment. And its a decision that is usually deliberate.

        Reply
        1. T-riffic

          That is a good point, but I want to be clear that in my job I am dealing with college students who are volunteering with my organization for school credit. So, if they don’t show up it affects their grade, which you would think would be some incentive. I think part of the reason this happens is that the students think that my organization is the “easy” one out of all the options they are given of places to volunteer. And then they do their first one-on-one tutoring session with a struggling reader and realize that it is not so easy. But, again, call! Just call and lie to me! I don’t even care if you are blatantly lying, just call so we can make sure a kid has a tutor.

          Reply
          1. Melissa

            You’d be surprised. College students don’t turn up to their scheduled classes on time, don’t hand in assignments on time, often skip class for other reasons that aren’t emergencies – even when they know these actions will affect their grade. Then they get to the exam and they want to retake, or they want extra credit, because they weren’t doing their job the first time around.

            The problem is (and I say this from experience of being a TA) some professors are willing to bend to their pleas. I’m always willing to work with a student who’s willing to work with me, but there are some professors who are lenient even with the shirkers who show up after the fact and ask for special treatment when they didn’t do it right the first time around. I’ve been asked to give mercy to students who certainly didn’t deserve it, often to keep professors’ grade averages up in the class or just because. And then these students take those behaviors and expectations into the workplace. And I go to top university, so these kids are supposedly the “cream of the crop.” In many cases, they’ve had their hands held all through HS and college.

            Not to say that there aren’t smart, hard-working kids here – there are, and I have had the pleasure of working with a lot of them. And I don’t think it’s a generational issue, just an issue of being young and not knowing any better. But we’re not doing them any favors by not holding them accountable.

            Reply
            1. Anonymous

              I know you likely won’t see this, but I just want to say…

              I was that kid in college. Over my first four years I progressively got worse and worse about showing up to class and turning in assignments.

              It wasn’t that I didn’t care, but that I was dealing (badly) with a lot of issues both personally and academically, and that I was both embarrassed and in denial that I was That Student, after having been one of the ones teachers spoke of glowingly in high school.

              And now that I’ve graduated (and constantly feeling like I don’t deserve the degree I have or the money my parents sank into it), I honestly miss the resources that had been available then that I didn’t take advantage of that I don’t have now.

              Reply
      4. Tina Career Counselor

        While I wouldn’t do it for a candidate who missed an interview (to me, there’s a higher level of expectation and responsibility), I have taken this past year to emailing students who miss appointments with me. The wait time for an appointment in my office has grown significantly this year – it has been 3-5 weeks, which it has never been before in the more than 10 years I’ve worked here. So not only is it frustrating as a waste of my time (I’m never quite sure if they’re coming or not, which means I’m distracted and worried about starting any substantive work in case they show up), but it’s extremely unfair to other students who could have used that time slot. So when someone NCNS, I now email them, say I’m sorry they were unable to make their appointment slot, and ask that they please be more mindful about cancelling future appointments when need be, out of respect for their fellow students. Most of them are extremely apologetic.

        Reply
    2. Chinook

      I like that you send a confirmation email because it ensures that I have all the information correct (like date, time and location of the interview vs. location of the office). It also gives me a name/contact info if I do have to cancel for an emergency or even let you know that trafffic suddenly became snarled and I am just blocks from the office (which has happenned and it made me 5 minutes late).

      Reply
    3. BausLady

      I feel like we’re living the same life. I also recruit for a call center and I’d say we’ve got about a 40% NCNS rate too. If we manage to hire someone because they miraculously showed up for both interviews, they’ll still more than likely not come in for training.

      Reply
  7. The Other Dawn

    I personally would not send an email to the candidate. Someone who truly wants the job will show up to the interview, or follow up with you if an emergency came up.

    And I definitely would not send reminder emails to candidates. They’re grownups and I wouldn’t want to hire someone who can’t remember he has an interview.

    Reply
  8. Kerry

    Hmm, not ‘reminder’ emails but most places I’ve interviewed have sent me a confirmation email within three days or so of an interview: “Hello, just confirming we’re still on for Thursday. I’ve attached a map to our office – please check in at third floor reception and ask for Miranda. Looking forward to meeting you!”

    Reply
    1. Lauren

      I like that because it tells me that they aren’t going to forget that they have this scheduled (oh yes it happens) plus they give me directions (not that I would need them but it’s still nice) and any pertinent info I need to check in etc. And it’s worded as confirmation.

      I’d be annoyed if I got a reminder email the morning of.

      Reply
      1. Felicia

        i like that too! not the day before, but I like getting some sort of email confirmation, especially with directions.

        Reply
    2. sharon g

      I also appreciate if they leave a phone number. I am always paranoid I will be stuck behind a wreck or something.

      Reply
      1. Elizabeth West

        Yeah, me too. If I don’t get this, I carry a printout with me of a map and write the phone number on it. (Nightmare scenario–stuck behind a wreck, puzzling detour, can’t get internet or GPS on the phone.)

        Reply
    3. Anonymous

      I really appreciate this confirmation email. It can make a huge difference. And generally you the employer have my email address but I don’t have yours so it kind of is in your hands since I can’t.

      We spoke earlier, I will see you Wednesday, blahblahblah.

      If OP isn’t doing that I highly recommend starting. (Day of reminders would only be good if you didn’t confirm (DO!) or if you had said something like, “unless something comes up” or weirdly ify, in which case a reminder (or confirmation) would be beneficial…or I suppose if your interview was months later…)

      Reply
      1. fposte

        Right, I do a confirmation email, and then the candidate usually sends what’s essentially a confirmation confirmation–”Great–talk to you on Tuesday!”

        Reply
  9. Anonymous

    As a job seeker I would find it a bit odd if I got a reminder from a potential employer. I have gone to many job interviews recently and not one sent any kind of reminder before the interview.

    Reply
    1. Anonymous

      Agreed. I have never heard of anyone sending reminder emails for job interviews and I would find it very odd. I might wonder if this company had really low expectations of their employees, or if all of the current employees were terribly underperforming, which would not be the kind of place I would want to work.

      Reply
  10. MR

    I once missed an interview because the days were mixed up. I showed up for an interview on a Thursday, but the person I was scheduled to meet with thought it was on Wednesday. I didn’t show up, they crossed me off the list. However, when I showed them the email that they sent me, showing that I had showed up on the correct day and time, they were apologetic, but had already moved on.

    Needless to say, I’ll never apply for that organization again.

    Reply
    1. Chinook

      This is another reason I like to have the appointment confirmed via email – if they mess up, I can prove I am not a flake!

      Reply
  11. OliviaNOPE

    I did this once. It wasn’t a second interview, but a first. I had applied for the position online and hadn’t heard anything back for months and had forgotten about it. Then out of the blue I got a call asking if I could come in the next day to discuss the position. In the interim I had decided that it was probably better for me to stick it out at my current position and only leave for something truly better, rather than a lateral move or something where I’d be taking a pay cut. Anyway, when the HR guy called I agreed to the interview but really didn’t want to go. I kept going back and forth and I honestly don’t know why I NCNS. It is very unlike me to not formally call (or at least email!) if something comes up, but I just took the easy way out. He didn’t call me back after that I am glad. I think that would have made it worse. I consider it a lesson learned and unfortunately a bridge burned.

    Reply
  12. Steve

    “people are on their best behavior during hiring processes and it’s going to get worse, not better, once they’re working there.”

    Amen. It has been my experience that no one will be more responsive, focused, or dress any better than they do during the interview. That is as good as it gets.

    Reply
    1. Anonicorn

      I agree in general. But I’ll always remember my first post-college job involved an interview where I had to fly out of town. 6:00 AM flight and 2 hours away from the airport meant leaving the house at 2:00 AM. I wasn’t exactly the most responsive or focused version of myself. ;)

      Reply
  13. Felicia

    I would think that if it was an emergency, they may not have let you know that day, but they would have let you know eventually. I figure a no show and a not letting you know means they’re not interested anymore.

    I wouldn’t send a reminder email because they should be able to remember, but if you schedule your interviews by phone, i think it’s a good idea to send a confirmation email the same day. That way if there’s a mix up everyone has proof, and its easier to remember what you have down in writing. Once I thought an interview was scheduled for 2 pm and the interviewer thought it was scheduled for 1 pm (the email they sent me said 2 pm, and I still had it). So I got there at 1:45 pm and they no longer had time to interview me that day and I had to come back the next day…I didn’t get the job, but at least I knew I had the right time.

    Reply
  14. Meghan

    On the note of sending people reminder emails about work every day… This is something that my boss actually asked me to do. I oversee a team of employees who only work for a couple hours each day but for whom punctuality is one of the most crucial parts of the job, and my boss suggested that I send reminder emails and texts every day so that they wouldn’t be late.

    My boss also wants me to hire every person I interview because “I just need bodies,” so there’s a reason that these people need to be reminded that they’re scheduled to work.

    Reply
    1. Chinook

      If those employees are all on the same server and use Outlook or ano0ther calendar program, would it be possible for you to send out appointment requests with reminders already set up in them? Then, you can also go to all the appointments for the next day and just send reminders from the appointment itself. This woudl save you having to remember who is supposed to be where and allows for reminders even if you aren’t even the office.

      Of course, if they don’t use these programs, then that is of no use.

      Reply
      1. Meghan

        Unfortunately, none of the employees use Outlook or even have a workplace email address. I tried using Google Calendar to give everyone remote access to their schedules in the past, but it was cumbersome because we have high turnover and the employees still had to set the reminder on their own (and none of them did).

        Reply
      2. NutellaNutterson

        It could work. But then is it like the dentist appointment where if you don’t get a reminder, you think there’s no appointment?

        I have a feeling that soon there will be a manager who thinks “Hey, why not use Evite?”

        Reply
        1. Tina Career Counselor

          Funny you mention the dentist – mine sends you a reminder message, and makes you call them back to actually confirm you’re coming! Drives me nuts.

          Reply
          1. Jamie

            My gynecologist does that, but you have the option of logging onto the patient services website and confirming there.

            Highly annoying – I didn’t make the appointment on a whim – I’ll show up.

            Reply
          2. Sabrina

            Mine called me and then emailed me twice to remind me. I’ve never missed an appointment. It makes me wonder if they are hard up for business. (I understand they don’t like their time wasted, don’t blame them for that, but it still makes me wonder why they need to have THREE reminders and occasionally test messages when their system works right.)

            Reply
            1. Jamie

              I don’t blame them for not wanting time to be wasted either, but most of my doctors/dentists charge $25 and usually $50-$75 for a missed appointment. So since most people don’t want to pay for nothing, I can’t believe these kind of draconian confirmations are necessary. Maybe I’m wrong – I just can’t stand to pay for missing so I have it in outlook 24 hours before appt “X appt tomorrow – cancel?” which reminds me to cancel in time to avoid penalty.

              I assumed everyone did that?

              Reply
              1. Twentymilehike

                I’m pretty sure I’ve gotten either e reminder call or card for every medical appointment I’ve ever made. Ever.

                Reply
              2. Rana

                I’ll put appointments on Google calendar, but not the cancellation deadlines (calendar is already too cluttered, and I assume I’ll make the appointment).

                That said, I do appreciate the day-before reminder calls – it helps me confirm I wrote the info down correctly (or read the receptionist’s handwriting properly) and if I have a question about directions or stuff to bring, I can ask it.

                On the other hand, my current dentist sends me a bazillion reminders about the need to make an appointment – not an actual appointment, just that I should make one – and even sends e-mails with possible open times for me to pick from. To be honest I find it annoying and a bit patronizing. I don’t need to be nagged about this sort of stuff; I’m an adult who takes care of herself when my budget allows, not a reluctant child who has to be cajoled and pestered into showing up.

                Reply
                1. Layla

                  My dentist sends 1 postcard when it’s time for my next appointment. I think it’s good !

                  My doctor’s office calls me to remind me of my appointment , as it made 6 months prior. It’s definitely necessary even though I have it in google calendar , sometimes I’m not so vigilant in checking.

                  I think the ones where they send you a text and expect you to confirm are bad ! One or 2 reminders say 1 week prior and 1 day prior – not expecting a reply is good.

  15. My 2 cents

    I had a phone interview with a very well known nonprofit (it was a surprise phone interview too, no warning) and during it the interviewing kept mentioning that I probably wasn’t interested in the position because I was over qualified. After assuring her several times that I definitely was interested, we set up an in-person interview for two weeks later. She said she would email me a confirmation on where to go and all that.

    Over the next two weeks I never received anything, so I assumed that the interviewer was passive aggressively eliminating me from consideration, and I refused to follow up because if I had to remind them to follow through on their commitment then it wasn’t a place I wanted to work.

    An hour and a half before the interview was scheduled I got a voicemail from interviewer to see if we were still on for the interview because I never responded to her email and that she would send it to me again. I was slightly worried that I had dropped the ball but then when I got the email a few minutes later it was not the other email that she allegedly sent, just a new email with the info.

    So, again, I knew that she had never sent me the email because she thought I was overqualified but didn’t want to look like the bad guy and made sure to follow up, but not with enough time for me to actually come to the interview if I was still interested. I was slightly annoyed, but just responded that we wouldn’t be a good fit for each other so we should both just move on. I resisted being accusatory because I knew it would get nowhere. I did admire her ninja passive agressiveness though!

    Also, on this note: Don’t do stupid crap like this when you are a well known nonprofit that relies on the public for donations to fund your organization. My husband and I are MAJORLY generous to nonprofits and this organization just ensured that they won’t be seeing any money from us in the future.

    Reply
    1. Ask a Manager Post author

      I knew that she had never sent me the email because she thought I was overqualified but didn’t want to look like the bad guy and made sure to follow up, but not with enough time for me to actually come to the interview if I was still interested.

      I wouldn’t assume that at all. Most interviewers are perfectly used to and comfortable rejecting people and don’t engage in tactics like that if they’re not interested.

      Reply
      1. fposte

        Yeah, I think a misdirected intervening email is a lot more likely. That’s a whole lot of trouble to take for something that would be a lot more easily achieved with a simple rejection.

        Reply
        1. Vicki

          And this story is exactly why I would suggest contacting the candidate about missing the interview.

          They may not have contacted you because they may not realize (yet?) that they missed the interview.

          Mail drops into junk folders. Domains accidentally get marked as spammy. Servers go down. Voicemail messages get deleted. Technology isn’t always perfect.

          Reply
    2. Anonymous

      +100 to your last point. This applies not just to non-profits, but any business. If you treat job candidates badly, they remember!

      Reply
    3. VictoriaHR

      Did you check your spam filter? She may have resent it after speaking with you and you saying you didn’t receive it. My interview confirmation emails go to spam half the time.

      Reply
    4. Brett

      Be careful with email assumptions. A lot of web personal email is lost (especially a certain company that ends in a !). And attachments are frequently scrubbed and duplicate emails of rejected emails are automatically rejected, so best practice for resending an unreceived email is to copy-paste and modify the original email. Never forward the original email as an attachment.

      Of course, that is why you also NEVER email anything important without a followup email.

      Reply
      1. My 2 cents

        It was very clear from my phone interview that this person was unable to say no. She kept waiting for me to agree that I was overqualified so she didn’t have to do so herself, and when I wouldn’t, she proceeded to schedule an in-person interview. Someone who is that timid would DEFINITELY resort to just not emailing me with further information, it’s a very common passive aggressive technique.

        Also, when she said she would resend the original email but then didn’t, that was a pretty good sign that there wasn’t an original email to send.

        Reply
        1. Cat

          Unless she copied and pasted it instead of forwarding, perhaps slightly changing the language to try and avoid whatever she thought might have gotten hammered by a spam filter the first time. This just seems like a weird thing to attribute malice to.

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        2. NBB

          “Someone who is that timid would DEFINITELY resort to just not emailing me with further information, it’s a very common passive aggressive technique.”

          Huh? I don’t follow this at all. Even someone quite timid just wouldn’t schedule an interview if they didn’t think it was a good fit. Unless you were pushing for the interview to be scheduled and she was unable to say no to you? I feel like we are missing part of the story here.

          This isn’t “common passive aggressive technique” at all.

          Reply
          1. My 2 cents

            This is no different than someone sending an email inviting you to lunch or some event and since you don’t want to go, you wait until it’s too late to go before replying with a “sorry I wouldn’t join you, I didn’t get the message in time”. Very common way to avoid doing something you don’t want to do but feel obligated to do.

            Reply
            1. Cat

              I have never sent or received a message like that; I don’t know how common it is. Maybe this is a cultural thing?

              Reply
              1. Jamie

                Me either. But then I don’t have a problem politely declining invitations. The best thing I ever got from my voracious reading of Miss Manners when I was young was that it’s not impolite to say no.

                Reply
                1. tcookson

                  Exactly. It’s not impolite to say “no”, but it is impolite to leave the person without any response whatsoever.

          2. Forrest

            For real. Someone who’s timid is more likely to say “I’ll call you back” without scheduling an interview and then never calling.

            It seems very illogical to assume she did it on purpose. For one, all companies have a physical address. You could of easily just gone to the building – nothing would of stopped you.

            Additionally, if she was timid, why did she bother resending the email at all? For what purpose? Would you have called her boss or something? Not likely, since you didn’t call her to follow-up on the missing email. And if you did, its your word against hers if she didn’t leave a paper trail.

            Reply
            1. My 2 cents

              See below for my answer on why I couldn’t just show up, there are several locations and buildings and the email confirmation would have told me which building and location to go to, and I had to put on a list so they knew to expect me in order for me to get in, it wasn’t something where I could just show up and get in regardless.

              Reply
              1. Ask a Manager Post author

                To me, the odd thing is that you didn’t check back with her when you didn’t receive the initial email and instead just wrote off the interview. I don’t understand why at that point you would have assumed something innocent (misdirected email, etc.) and instead leapt the worst conclusion.

                Reply
                1. My 2 Cents

                  For two reasons:

                  1) From her verbal clues in our phone interview I KNEW for sure that she wasn’t interested. She said several times “I doubt you’re interested” and it stuck out like a sore thumb. Plus, she scheduled my in-person interview for two weeks away when she told me a couple times that they were bringing in the candidates that week (the week we talked, not the two weeks from now) for in-person interviews.

                  2) I knew the job was going to be a bad fit if I accepted it, so I wasn’t overly interested in going to the interview anyways, so I decided to let the chips fall where they fell.

                2. Joey

                  Wow, that’s a whole lot of assumptions. To me it sounds like you should have just withdrawn your candidacy.

        3. Forrest

          She kept waiting for me to agree that I was overqualified so she didn’t have to do so herself, and when I wouldn’t, she proceeded to schedule an in-person interview.

          And this I don’t get. She was able to say “you’re overqualified” over and over again but since she couldn’t get you to agree, she’s timid?

          If she was timid, she wouldn’t have brought it up. And if you being overqualified was the reason she didn’t send you the email, why did she call you in the first place? Because surely you would of looked overqualified on paper.

          Reply
    5. COT

      Yeah, I think you also made yourself look bad here (your prerogative, especially if you aren’t interested in ever working there). Had I never received a promised email confirmation, I would have followed up myself to confirm the interview–maybe by phone, in case there are email issues brewing. Or, if I didn’t follow up, I would assume that the interview was on as scheduled and would have shown up (unless it was a very long distance away or something like that).

      Perhaps the interviewer did send you mixed messages, but you also sent her mixed messages. You said that you were very interested in the job, but you didn’t take initiative to follow up about the missing confirmation nor show up for the interview. If her behavior had made you lose interest, why not just tell her that upfront than waiting around for her to contact you?

      Not showing up is rude. Even if you’re subject to rude treatment yourself, it’s a good idea to take the higher road in the job-search process.

      Reply
      1. My 2 cents

        This wasn’t a situation where I could just show up to the interview regardless of getting the email confirmation because the interviewer needed to let me know where to go. It’s a large complex with multiple sites and she had to let me know which location to go to and how to get in, so there was absolutely zero way for me to show up without her giving me the information. This is also another reason why not giving me the information in time ensures that I can’t just show up anyways and call them on their bluff of not wanting me to have an interview in the first place.

        As for not following up with them to get that information, let’s look at it from the other angle. If I was hiring someone and they promised to email me something important but never did, wouldn’t AAM tell us to take that as a sign about how this person is going to act when they are working there and to avoid someone who can’t follow through? (Let’s assume here that they didn’t email me at all and not that it got lost in the email interwebz somewhere). See my point? In this same scenario, even if you say you should send a message to the prosepctive employee to remind them to send what they promised, wouldn’t this again be a sign that they aren’t going to be the best employee? I was doing the same. Getting the feeling that this woman didn’t want to interview me at all, I waited to see if she would actually email me the information that she promised. She didn’t, so do I really want to work for some place that can’t follow through on such a simple detail? If they can’t do this, what else are they going to “forget” to do when I am employed? it goes both ways, they interview me and look at clues the same way I interview them and look for clues, and this was a big clue.

        I am SHOCKED that none of you have ever worked in places with such timid people, this sort of stuff has happened in every work place I’ve ever been in so I can’t believe none of you have experienced it. It’s the same thing as a social setting where you ignore someone’s email inviting you to lunch until it’s too late and send a “sorry, didn’t get the message in time to join you” reply.

        If they legitimately wanted to interview me, they would have called me before it was too late to still get to the interview. The fact that they cut it so close reads to me (along with all the other clues) that they didn’t want to give me a chance to get there for the interview but also wanted to be able to say that they had followed through on their end.

        Also, for what it’s worth, I didn’t not show up, I let them know before my scheduled interview time that I wasn’t going to be there and that they should go ahead and move forward without me.

        Reply
        1. Forrest

          It’s the same thing as a social setting where you ignore someone’s email inviting you to lunch until it’s too late and send a “sorry, didn’t get the message in time to join you” reply.

          The problem with this anaolgoy and it doesn’t work in this case is because she invited you to lunch, not the other way around. People don’t invite people they don’t want to lunch with to lunch. They just don’t.

          The only way I can see her being so timid to turn you down for an interview or to dodge scheduling you for one is if you were extremely aggressive during the phone interview. That’s really the only way I can see this whole situation going down. And even then its a stretch.

          Reply
          1. Anon

            Perhaps it’s more like “so good to bump in to you, do come to my birthday party on Saturday; I’ll text you the address “, and then never actually texting. Wouldn’t it be reasonable/common enough to take this as a brush-off, especially if they had already said things like “Of course, I’m sure you have better things to do” (I.e. in this case, being overqualified). Not because it was all part of a malicious plan, but because the other person obviously wasn’t that serious about meeting you. Passive aggression can take the form of not following through on things, or procrastinating.

            Reply
            1. Forrest

              Not really in my opinion. If that happened to me I would 1) think they forgot or something came up or anything other than and 2) call that person.

              People who want nothing to do with you do not invite you to do things. They just don’t. To think otherwise is kind of insane in my opinion.

              By inviting someone they don’t like to deal with, they’re just opening the door to dealing with that person even more – because nothing stopped My 2 Cents from following up. Nothing other than misplaced pride. And that pride is what’s keeping her from listening or even considering any other option.

              Reply
              1. Socially Awkward

                People are invited to stuff ALL THE TIME when they aren’t wanted. There are a ton of people who don’t pick up on social cues and don’t realize that they aren’t wanted, so they get a pity invite because people are too kind to say no. There are also times (weddings, for one) where you invite people who you don’t want there but you have to invite them for one reason or another. I know someone will say that you just absolutely don’t invite anyone to your wedding that you don’t want there, but we all know that’s not the case (For one, my husband’s best man had to be there even though I didn’t like the guy, but it wasn’t my decision!)

                I find it very hard to believe that we haven’t all invited people to something when we didn’t want them there but couldn’t or wouldn’t say no. People are WAY too polite for their own good anymore.

                Reply
                1. Forrest

                  1) when people get pity invites, they’ve used invited themselves. If the OP invited herself into the interview, then she would fall under my point of being too aggressive.

                  2) Your second example doesn’t prove your point at all. One would think a wedding isn’t just your event – its your husband’s too and he wanted his best man there. So that doesn’t bring anything to your argument or this discussion at all since that’s a case of a wanted guest.

            2. Greg

              My friend refers to that as an “unvitation”. When you invite someone to something with a clear implication that you don’t really want them to come.

              Reply
        2. Ruffingit

          I can see your points. I have worked for some seriously passive-aggressive people and have actually seen one of them do things like this personally – not e-mail a candidate when she said they would and then call them with super short notice to come in for an interview.

          The woman I worked for did a phone interview with a candidate and thought the candidate was overqualified, but went ahead and scheduled an in-person interview. She told the woman she’d send the information about the interview via e-mail. She got off the phone and proceeded to tell me that she thought the candidate was over qualified and would probably just quit anyway. So I asked why she would then schedule an in-person interview. She told me because she just has a hard time “rejecting” people on the phone/in person. I told her not to waste the candidate’s time and to e-mail her letting her know they had decided to go in another direction.

          She didn’t do that. Instead, she did exactly what was described above. She called the candidate with about two hours to go on the day of the interview and claimed she had sent an e-mail with the interview info. She hadn’t and there was no way the candidate could have made it. She lived three hours away by car and in any case, the candidate said she took another job offer.

          So yes. I have seen this personally so I can believe it. Some people are just really sh!tty in the way they deal with others. To be fair, the woman I worked for at the time had major mental health issues beyond this kind of stuff, but still it was horrible for candidates. This is the same woman who would schedule in-person interviews and then literally make candidates wait for hours to speak with them after which she had them do tests that had nothing to do with their jobs and then made them wait a couple of more hours (just sitting in their chairs in their suits looking increasingly uncomfortable) while she decided if she wanted to speak to them further.

          I remember two guys who showed up for interviews and were there a total of 10 hours. Only 2 of those hours were they doing anything having to do with the interview. The other hours were literally spent waiting.

          Reply
          1. Socially Awkward

            My last boss was so passive aggressive that he either simmered quietly or screamed uncontrollably, nothing in between. He’d let everything pile up to the point that when he did blow, he’d just randomly fire 2 or 3 people at a time (of a staff of less than 10 people, so it was a big percentage of the work force). SO SO SO happy to be out of that place now, but I can’t tell you how many times he let someone else dictate schedules or interviews because he was too passive-aggressive to say no to them.

            Reply
        3. Elizabeth West

          Never had this happen to me…
          Stuff happens and people get busy and I will follow up if I don’t hear from someone, because they might be buried under a ton of crap. It also makes me look conscientious, which is something they probably want to know that I am (especially for an admin). But I probably wouldn’t have proceeded if the phone interview made me decide I didn’t want the job; I would have either emailed them or said it right then.

          Reply
      2. My 2 Cents

        I didn’t “take the initiative” to tell her that she didn’t do what she promised because I can’t make her do her job! Again, if she can’t follow up as agreed, then that’s a big red flag that this could be a bad place to work. How many times has AAM pointed out that a candidate not providing you info that you requested is a big red sign that you need to pay attention to, not that it’s a time when you should keep following up with the candidate to remind them. Same is true in reverse.

        Also, I lost interest because she didn’t email me until 1.5 hours until the interview, so that’s why I didn’t email her before that to let her know I wasn’t interested, because I WAS still interested! As soon as she did contact me at the last minute and I put all the clues together, I did let her know that I wasn’t interested. I couldn’t read the future and tell her on Monday that I wasn’t interested because she didn’t send me the confirmation until two days after that. Even if she had emailed me the night before I would have still been interested in the position and gone to the interview.

        Reply
        1. Ask a Manager Post author

          But what if the email had been lost for some reason and she assumed you’d received it? I don’t understand why you assumed the worst rather than reaching out to confirm as you’d presumably do with most colleagues.

          Reply
          1. Forrest

            Plus, if she had reached out and been ingored, then she would of had offical confermation that the HR person was blowing her off.

            However, if she had reached and the HR person contacted her, then she would of known there was an error.

            Since the topic of this entry is basically about following up from the company’s stand, I don’t know what the OP’s beef is or why she assumed the worst.

            Reply
  16. Rose

    I was a no show for an interview once due to a horrible situation. I had a Sunday evening interview scheduled with a private school in a major metropolitan area. (They only did interviews on weekends so candidates wouldn’t be there with students.) That afternoon I went with my father, and brother to a baseball game. The stadium was only a couple of blocks from the school so I was going to walk over. About an hour before I was going to leave for the interview my father collapsed and had to be rushed to the hospital. By the time I calmed my brother down (I am much older than he is. At the time he was seven and I was twenty-two.) and filled out the paperwork for my father I had missed the interview. The next morning I sent an incredibly apologetic email explaining what happened and received an incredibly caustic reply accusing me of lying. The headmistress told me I could be considered for another interview only if I produced my father’s hospital intake forms as proof of my story. I very politely told them where they could go and that I was no longer interested in the position.
    Honestly, I think I learned something about that school from the missed interview.

    Reply
  17. KarenT

    Please follow up! This “happened” to a friend of mine.

    She applied for a job, and then about a month later received an email from a hiring manager telling her she’d been taken out of the running since she was a no show for the interview. She was like, WTF, so she called the manager to say she’d never received a call or agreed to a date and time. The hiring manager followed up with HR (who was scheduling the interviews) and it turned out there was a giant miscommunication. HR asked the hiring manager if he was free at x time on x date to meet a candidate, and he said yes thinking it was a done deal. HR forgot to call her.
    The hiring manager called her to apologize, but it was too late as they had already moved forward with other candidates. This did, however, clear up her reputation.

    Reply
  18. Augustus Steranko

    NCNS is just awful so I have no feedback you don’t already know – extenuating circumstances aside, of course. But, just to add to the reminder conversation. The last 3 jobs (11years) I have interviewed for and accepted included a confirmation email 1 – 3 days prior to interviewing. Not a “don’t forget you have an interview” email, but a “looking forward to meeting with you” email.

    I’m a mid-level marcom professional so there is the possibility that the whole communications bit plays into this behavior. Not every organization did it but enough do that I notice now. It gives me a favorable impression of the organization and also gives a tiny bit of insight into organizational culture. As much as the interviewer is reading my behavior for clues I am doing the same in return. It isn’t a deal breaker if they don’t do it but it is definitely noted as a positive if they do.

    Reply
    1. tcookson

      It gives me a favorable impression of the organization . . . It isn’t a deal breaker if they don’t do it but it is definitely noted as a positive if they do.

      To me, it’s one of those extra niceties that give the impression that this is a welcoming workplace. It doesn’t portend ill if they don’t do it, but it makes them seem a little warmer and more desirable as a workplace if they do it.

      Reply
  19. Lore

    Particularly for interviews where I’ll be meeting multiple people, or where the initial phone interview/screening was done by someone different than the person/people I’ll be meeting, I do find a written confirmation very useful, with a rundown of the schedule and instructions on which name to ask for at the front desk or which floor to go to, or anything else particular (a few times I’ve received very helpful information about the dress code). I’d rather have it further in advance than the day of the interview, though–helps me in my prep.

    Reply
  20. JoAnna

    Last year I was scheduled for a phone interview for a potential temp position, and the company rep who was supposed to call me didn’t. This was after the interview had already been postponed for over a week because the guy was on vacation (but apparently the temp agency wasn’t aware until they reached out to schedule the interview). Very annoying.

    I called my contact at the temp agency who had facilitated the interview, and she was mortified on his behalf but she couldn’t get in touch with him either. I never found out if it was a legitimate emergency or if he’d just forgotten or what happened, because luckily I was offered a full-time permanent position at another company while waiting for the interview to be rescheduled.

    Reply
  21. AnonForThis

    I work with homeless young folks, getting them into housing. So this is something with a very very high priority in their lives. And yes, there are circumstances that happen (bus running late, ended up sleeping on the other side of town) but the number of NCNS for getting a roof over their head is astounding.

    So a young person NCNS for a job? Not a surprise to me at all!

    Reply
      1. Cat

        I don’t know that I ever NCNSed for something like this when I was younger (at least I don’t remember a specific instance of it), but I am sure I didn’t grasp how inconvenient and annoying for whoever I was supposed to meet like I do now. I don’t know if this is stereotyping so much as that of course people without professional experience aren’t going to have internalized business norms to the same extent.

        Reply
        1. Mike C.

          But that’s based on work experience and empathy, not age. Though there is a correlation between the two, there isn’t causation.

          Reply
          1. Cat

            There certainly is causal relationship between youth and lack of work experience. It’s not an absolutely correlative one, but yeah, young people have had fewer years to accumulate work experience. Empathy – in the sense of understanding how other people feel, not in the sense of caring how other people feel – is also something most people have to learn, and the older they get the more time they’ve had to do that.

            No, not everyone accumulates work experience or empathy as they get older; and some people never do either. Also, as with everything else, some people start working earlier or have a more intuitive grasp of these things. But yes, younger people are less likely to have both. That’s not a slight; it’s a fact of the universe (and the reason we make an effort to educate our students/interns/children/young acquaintances about things).

            Reply
            1. Anonicorn

              I think Mike C.’s point is that a lack of work experience isn’t the same as not following through on commitments, and it’s unfair to assume younger people are more likely to NCNS (or at least because of their age alone).

              Reply
              1. Cat

                Shrug; it’s something I’ve seen younger people do a lot more often than older people. It could be a statistical anomaly, and I’m completely open to that, but there also seem to be sound reasons why that’s the case that aren’t actually “younger people suck” but more along the lines of “professional norms and etiquette take time to internalize.”

                Reply
                1. AB

                  Even here in the AAM comments we read, from time to time we, “I was young; now I know better not to make mistake X”. So I agree with Cat, and I’d bet a study would show that statistically NCNS is much more common among young people (the same people that, when getting more experience, will realize that’s not a wise thing to do and will change their behavior).

    1. Anne 3

      I used to work for a temp agency and believe me, it’s not mostly young people who NCNS. In fact, I got the impression more experienced people would often not think it’s a big deal to NCNS because “it’s just a temp agency”. (Well guess what buddy, there’s a red flag on your file now, and when you apply to another job you find on our boards two weeks later you’re getting a polite standard rejection notice :)

      Reply
  22. Mike C.

    I wish we could get all the no call/no show people together with the employers that never bother to respond to final candidates and force them to apply/interview each other. Just lock them in a room and maybe after awhile they’ll all learn a valuable lesson.

    Reply
  23. Sabrina

    I once had an interview for a p/t job that was supposed to be at 1pm. I showed up at 1pm and the manager said that he couldn’t interview me yet because my interview was at 4pm and he didn’t have anyone to cover the floor for me at that time. I know I didn’t schedule it for 4pm because I had to work at that time. So I called work and said I’d be late, and went back to the interview at 4pm. Where the manager could not meet with me because his scheduled regional manager meeting was going on which delayed my interview an hour. In that hour I got to hear from his employees how disorganized the guy was. (No kidding?) It was for a video game store and his employees REALLY wanted a girl working there, but despite really talking more in the sense that I already had the job than asking me questions, he never offered me the job or called me back. So, yeah, companies can screw up interview times too.

    Reply
  24. Greg

    I once scheduled a phone interview with a college student for an internship. As I went to call the person, I noticed that the phone number on her resume was slightly different (one digit off) from the number on her cover letter. Unsure what to do, I tried calling the first number. Disconnected. So I tried the second. I can’t remember exactly what it was — something like a voicemail system that wasn’t set up. Whatever it was, there was no way for me to leave a message.

    At this point, there was clearly no way I could hire this person — how do you apply for a job and not only get your phone number wrong, but do so TWICE? But I always try to be at least a little indulgent to students, so I sent her an email that just said, “I tried to reach you at the following numbers and was unable to.” No offer to reschedule, no commitments of any kind. I just wanted to see how she would respond. Which of course, she didn’t.

    Reply
    1. VictoriaHR

      I get that fairly often, too. Some people hate cellular voice mail so very much that they will not set up their voicemail boxes so that people can leave them messages. You would think that they would do it when looking for a job, but no.

      Or, my personal pet peeve, the really really stupid voicemail message that consists of the person going, “Hello … hello? I can’t hear you! Hello! Ah hahaha, I’m just playing, this is my voicemail, leave me a message.”

      Reply
      1. Tina Career Counselor

        I think people sometimes forget that communication is a two-way street, and it can’t always be your way. Yesterday my new mother-in-law (70+ years old) left me a lengthy voicemail message telling me their flight arrived home safely, they had a late lunch, etc. Would that have been easy to do in a text? Of course. Am I going to insist that she text me because that’s what I prefer? Of course not. It makes her feel good to “tell” me and it doesn’t take much effort on my part.

        A job-seeker who chooses not to set up a voicemail box isn’t helping their cause. Do they expect an employer to keep calling back till they reach the person? Or maybe they’ll call the employer back with the ever-popular and professional “Someone at this number called me?” :)

        Reply
        1. Twentymilehike

          Or maybe they’ll call the employer back with the ever-popular and professional “Someone at this number called me?” :)

          One of my most hated pet peeves! People do it all the time at my office …. Even if you leave them a voice mail. Grrrr.

          Reply
          1. Tina Career Counselor

            Agreed, this one drives me nuts. If you’re job searching and you get a voicemail, listen to it first, and make sure to follow the directions. That topic came up in the comments on another thread not too long ago also, particularly as it related to calling a number that might be a switchboard or receptionist who honestly doesn’t know who called you.

            On the flip side, some people get upset if you don’t call them back when you see that they called, even if they didn’t leave a message. That can work on your cell phone and you recognize the numbers, but in a professional setting? I don’t know any business or professional who has time to call back every random number that calls them.

            Reply
      2. jesicka309

        I have to pay to access my voicemail inbox. It costs about 1.50 per call, and it’s not included on my admittedly generous cap.

        If you call on a private number, the odds of me checking my voicemail randomly to see if there’s a message are slim. If you call on an actual phone number I can call back…I’ll check my voicemail, because at least I know I can return the call!

        I hate when employers call on private numbers. You know who else rings on private numbers? Pranksters, market research, and my credit card company. Don’t be that pest!

        Reply
  25. DeAnna

    I once accidentally told someone to come in for an 11 interview, when it was actually a 1 PM interview. Fortunately, we keep Chipotle gift cards on hand, and she was able to stick around long enough to do the interview, so the company bought her lunch and then she came back for the meeting.

    Reply
      1. Greg

        Man, if my interviewer gave me the wrong time and then offered me a free lunch at Chipotle before the interview, I would totally think I was being set up. “Why yes, I would like to eat something immediately beforehand that could make my breath smell and potentially lead to other unpleasant odors.” :-)

        (Not that I don’t think you handled it well. It’s just kind of funny to send her there, of all places.)

        Reply
        1. Amanda

          And I love Chipotle but I’m always too nervous to eat more than some toast and fruit before interviews. I’d be so sad I couldn’t enjoy it.

          Reply
  26. Coffee Bean

    People have sort of touched on this, but I would think one reason in favor of following up with the candidate in some way is that if they did indeed mix up the date, they might still arrive at your office for what they think is their appointment. By following up, you can prevent having to deal with that hassle.

    Reply
    1. Anonymous

      Agree. It could be a mix-up on either side. I showed up for an interview once and the receptionist said to me, “you canceled your interview!” Turned out another candidate with a similar name had called and withdrawn her application and the receptionist removed the wrong interview from the hiring manager’s calendar! Unfortunately the hiring manager had already gone home from the day so I had to come back (and I got the job, BTW – worked there happily for three years before getting laid off during the recession).

      Reply
  27. Ruffingit

    “You didn’t make our 3:00 meeting today, so I’m assuming you’re no longer interested in pursuing the position. Please let me know if that’s not the case.”

    I wouldn’t bother sending an e-mail at all, but if you do I’d remove the last sentence stating “please let me know if that’s not the case.” That invites the candidate to say “Oh, totally forgot about the interview/slept late that day/whatever excuse here, when can we reschedule?” Unless you’re willing to reschedule the interview, don’t bother opening yourself up to asking if they’re still interested in the job.

    It would seem odd to send something like that, have the candidate say “Oh, I slept late, I’m still interested, let’s reschedule” and then have the employer say “No, sorry no rescheduling, I just wanted to make sure you were still interested…”

    It really makes no sense to do that. So again, unless you’re willing to reschedule with this candidate, don’t send an e-mail and if you do, cut out the last part.

    Reply
    1. AB

      That’s actually a good point–I wouldn’t want to open the door for this type of reply either.

      I agree that it makes more sense to simply to wait and see what happens. I’d rather give a second chance to someone who took the initiative to send an email providing a good explanation or at least expressing remorse for not showing up, than to someone I had to reach out first to give him/her an opportunity to explain.

      Reply
  28. Lee

    I worked in an early childhood setting and we were interviewing for a physiotherapist. One candidate turned up 45 minutes late to her interview and had bought her toddler-aged child with her, no warning. My boss at the time asked her why she didnt call to say she would be late and she just kind of shrugged it off and said ‘Oh, I was driving’. They just told her we’d moved on and it wasn’t possible to interview her. She seemed really surprised!

    Reply
  29. Cassie

    I emailed someone to cancel her meeting with my boss (per his instructions) and she didn’t reply. I should have emailed to confirm that she got my email – it’s a very bad habit of mine not to follow up. Anyway, she showed up for the meeting and I had to tell her that he was traveling and I had sent her an email…

    She checked her iPhone and yup, my email (from a week earlier) was sitting there in her inbox. Maybe I should have sent her the cancellation on Outlook since that’s how the initial meeting was set up. If only I could figure out how to accept invites and such on Gmail, I’d be more keen on using it (having to open up Outlook just for these rare invites is a bit of a pain).

    Reply
  30. Geo Mihalache

    1. Don’t send reminder emails – yes, you would seem desperate and if a candidate really wants the job, they will remember.

    2. Did you call the candidate after not showing up to see what was wrong? If you really think they have potential, don’t send an email but call to see what’s wrong. I had a candidate one morning who had a car accident on the way to the interview and was at the Police explaining what happened – it was for real – I assumed they were too nervous and that affected their driving. We rescheduled and he turned out really OK. Don’t think that the candidate is unreliable without checking first. Maybe they can’t call or something happened. Get their side of the story first before giving up.

    Take care,
    Geo

    Reply
  31. Big Al

    I send reminder e-mails shortly after scheduling an interview with a candidate, mainly for purpose of providing directions to my office or other interview location. I’ll usually send a Mapquest page with the location. I also include a reminder to provide at least 24 hours advance notice should they need to cancel. I think sending a second reminder or making a reminder phone call the day before is overkill, and it creates the impression that I’m “chasing” the candidate. Always create the impression that you’ve got something they want, and not the other way around. Then the candidates who really want what you have will jump through hoops to get it, and you’ll ultimately find the cream of the crop. There are too many underpaid or unemployed people out there today who are looking for something….anything good. The way I look at it, if they can’t make an interview without a valid reason, they must not want it that bad, and if that’s the case, I can’t say that I need them.

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  32. Mike Phalin

    I will not send an e-mail after scheduling an interview. Typically I will first reply to an e-mailed resume with my contact information and informing the applicant that I will be contacting him/her soon to schedule. If that person cannot write down the time or put the reminder in his/her phone, then I really don’t want to take on the extra workload of possibly having to manage that person’s time for them.

    Recently we had a gentleman apply and NCNS’d twice. The first time was because of a non-descriptive family emergency. While I don’t need or want to know the details, that excuse is so vague and so overused that I rarely believe it. The second NCNS came with no apology, followup call or excuse. A hour after his appointment was scheduled, we threw his application and resume in the trash. We’re very busy and do not have time for that sort of unprofessional behavior, no matter how important it is to fill a position.

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  33. Mark

    Who really cares? When I apply for a job, i only give then my office number anyway, and the caller has to go through my secretary, who just gives them the message “He is not interested”, and I won’t take the call ever. I can play the same games they do.

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