You suck, interviewer!

I’m on a bit of a rampage about interviewers who don’t bother to send candidates notices of rejection after a candidate has taken the time to interview with them.

You put hours into preparing for the interview. Maybe you buy a new suit. Maybe you drive several hours to get there, spending gas money you don’t really have or taking a vacation day to do it. Then you sweat it out through the interview itself. They tell you that they’ll notify you of their decision in a week. And then … nothing. It’s like you don’t exist to them.

This behavior is inexcusable — it’s callous and dismissive and lacks any appreciation for the fact that the candidate is anxiously waiting to hear an answer — any answer — and keeps waiting and waiting, long after a decision has been made. It’s just not that hard to send a quick email, even a form letter, letting the candidate know she’s no longer under consideration.

Employers owe interviewees a response, period.

This particularly pisses me off because sane job seekers aren’t going to call employers like this on their rude behavior, lest they burn their bridges with the organization. So employers get to act like this with impunity, and the rare person who does complain about it is generally dismissed as naive or crazy, simply because no one else does it.

I’m seriously thinking of offering a service on this site that job seekers could use to generate an anonymous letter to the employer, telling them how rude they are. It would be a public service: the Ask a Manager You-Suck-As-An-Interviewer Automatic Letter Generator.

{ 51 comments… read them below }

  1. Charles*

    Yes, this is reaching almost epidemic proportions.

    In my 3 decades of working I have seen all sorts of rude behaviour on the part of recruiters; However, I have never seen so MANY be downright rude, callous, and dismissive. There is NO excuse for this or any bad behaviour.

    While others might blame it on the tight job market; I don't, it is very simple:

    "Their Mamas and Papas didn't raise them right!"

    And it isn't just some organizations; It is also organizations that I would expect to have higher standards!

    I am tempted to give a shout out to several of them here. But won't.

  2. Paul*

    I think this still leaves a very bad mark on them, which will come back to haunt them later, even in this economy.

    People take these impression with them, and will eventually share them in their circles with other people.

    In contrast, companies who treat interviewees fairly will rather have an advantage out of that than companies who don't.

  3. Daniella*

    hahaha! I am SO tempted to print this out and send it to the last place I was interviewed at!

  4. Karla Hernandez*

    ahh, this is why I love your blog so much. Thank you for saying everything that you said in this post!

    There's been a handful of companies that I have interviewed with that I'm pretty sure would have never given me an answer had I not followed up a week or two after the interview. I always feel so weird having to e-mail them and ask them what is going on. I don't want to sound pushy, but then I laugh at how unbelievable the replies are: "Sorry. I forgot to e-mail you. The position has been filled."

  5. Anonymous*

    I am dealing with this RIGHT now. Fortuitous that I saw this. I "interviewed" 6 weeks ago (two distracted, on their part, conversations with two team members) and was told I would be called in for something more substantial with the division VP when she returned to town. That never materialized and at some point my emails/calls stopped being returned. I finally called the HR director yesterday to confirm that the position had been filled; in fact, interviews are ongoing. She had to investigate my candidacy and called back later to say I have a great background in a related field, but "none" in my current one. The one I just got my master's degree in and have spent three years in. I'm baffled. And hurt. And disgusted at their lack of professionalism. Trying to convince myself I wouldn't want to work somewhere so sloppy. Did I mention that they are a ***communications*** firm?!?

  6. Kerry*

    I totally agree. Anytime you've had contact with a candidate beyond the receipt-of-resume phase, you need to personally communicate to them what's going on. That includes phone screens. I don't understand why this doesn't get done, because it takes so little time to send a quick email. Why is that so hard?

    And you should start that service, because you'd make a fortune.

  7. CRob*

    Agreed … As a recruiter for a large company, I make sure I send every candidate that applies for a position of mine an email … Sorry for anyone that has experienced this!

  8. Rebecca*

    It's to the point where, instead of considering a response to be adequate and no response to be rude, I consider any response (even a form e-mail) to be awesome and no response to be typical.

    It still ain't right.

    Any recruiters (or someone else on the hiring side of things) wanna come out in defense of not responding?

  9. Anonymous*

    A note from the other side: I hire in an academic context and personally call everyone we interview to let them know that they haven't been forwarded to the final interviews. (Those who don't make the first interview get a form letter.) Those calls suck–they are my least favorite part of the hiring process because no one wants to deliver bad news. But they do tell me a lot about the candidate. Some are polite and, even in disappointment, say thank you and it was nice meeting you all. Others? Anything from obviously upset and ready to get off the phone to downright rude. Since I can sometimes offer PT temporary employment based on initial interviews, those phone calls can matter; if someone is gracious, I'll keep them on the list for the future–but a snippy response just confirms that we made the right decision not to hire.

    So I would encourage job seekers to think of their response to the "no" call or email as part of the interview process. It's possible that there could be another path for you at that employer, and it doesn't make sense to burn bridges. And I completely agree that it just ain't right to leave candidates hanging–they've invested time, energy, and possibly money to interview and deserve to know the outcome.

  10. A Girl Named Me*

    I recently hired a new salesperson for our small business. We received more than 500 resumes (most of them crap, but that's another story).

    I telephone interviewed ten people. Found three I wanted to meet in person. Sent mail to the others to thank them for their time, etc.

    About a week after that, I got mail from one of the applicants. Apparently, I missed him and didn't send him the rejection letter. His mail wasn't, "just checking…"

    It was…angry. I'd TOLD him I was GOING to get back with him AND I couldn't even have the CONSIDERATION to do THAT!!!!


    My point is: if you don't hear back in the stated time frame, you should call or email to check in. It could be that there's a delay in the process, you missed an email, or (as in my case) the person doing the interview goofed.

  11. Alyssa King*

    I actually just received a rejection letter for a job without even having been interviewed. I was disappointed of course, but it was SUCH a nice change to know I should stop hoping. And, since I actually had a thoughtful letter from someone's direct email address, I wrote back to thank her for the letter and to politely request feedback. Her response? They just never read my resume before hiring someone.

    Ouch. My morale.

  12. Anonymous*

    I agree wholeheartedly with this! I am *still* waiting to hear back on a job I interviewed for last September (that would be 2008). I can pretty much guess the decision by now, though. I too find it dismissive and completely rude, especially since I asked if candidates would be notified either way and was assured that they would be.

  13. Anonymous*

    I once received a very polite rejection letter, thanking me for applying for the post but regretting that there were better qualified candidates.

    Slight problem. I'd never applied for the post and my interview with the organisation had been 12 months prior to that for a different post!

  14. Katie*

    I interviewed at a doctor's office two months ago. The doctor was INCREDIBLY FRIENDLY and during the interviews, constantly harped on and on about how all of his employees MUST be SUPER FRIENDLY and outgoing and pleasant, and you have to come in to work with a smile on your face every day. I ended up going in for three interviews, one of them lasting for two and a half hours as they showed me around the office and taught me how to use the computer system. They said they'd get back to me by the end of the week.

    And then… nothing. Two weeks go by, and I call up the office, where the phone is answered by someone who did not work there before my interview (I had met all the staff.) So I very sweetly requested to speak to the office manager, who is very flustered to hear from me. I say "I'm just wondering about the status of my application… I just had such a great time at my interviews and you were such great people, I can't wait to work with you…" and she got very uncomfortable and said "uh, lemme transfer you to the doctor…" He comes on the phone, and I again exuberantly gush about how I called because I just couldn't wait to find out if I'd gotten this great job with such friendly, nice people, and he said "Uhh… I thought I sent you an email… ummm…. yeah, we hired someone else."

    Yeah, he never sent me an email, and even if he did, I think a phone call is appreciated when it's down to two candidates and I've been on three interviews.

  15. Lisa*

    I wonder, though.. how often should you follow up after an interview before giving up? I had an interview on a Friday, and she said that I would here from her during the following week. I followed up via email the following Friday morning and then the Monday morning after that. Still no response.

  16. Lisa*

    ohhh.. I really wish I didn't misuse "here" on that post. If I could replace it with "hear" I would.

  17. Anonymous*

    Thank you so much for letting me know that not every employer thinks its ok to leave candidates hanging.

    Being a recent graduate, and new to the jobsearch, I was never sure of proper follow up etiquette. I spent over a month waiting for a confirmation of a position that I had been essentially offered at the interview. I sent three follow up emails over the month, but I didn't want to pester them lest they change their mind.

    I sent them one last email right before graduation wishing them luck and attempting to "tie up loose ends". I was informed that they had gone into a hiring freeze a few weeks after my interview and thought they had emailed me to tell me.

    I was definitely less than pleased.

  18. Anonymous*

    I've had this happen to me twice with the same company. The first time I came in for an interview, they promised me an answer but never got back to me, despite several polite follow-ups from me.

    A year later, they contacted me about a position they were looking to fill. During this round of interviews, I casually mentioned this issue and was told that this was due to the responsible person leaving the company (which by the way is not true, as I know since I work for the same company in a different branch).

    Needless to say that this time, I am not getting any response, either.

  19. Anonymous*

    Can i just say this is so nice in a wierd kind of a way for me to know that i'm not the only person going through this annoying process of waiting to hear back from an interview. I had my interview last week and they said i would hear back either way by 12 o clock today. well its now 5-15 and i can honestly say that i have recieved no call.

    Once i had a second interview with a company for them to say ' your exactly what were looking for but we havent got the next contract so we cant start you were sorry, followed up by the next excuse of 'sorry weve all been on holiday and only just had a chance to discuss the hiring process'

    As much as i try and forget this i sometimes i really do think its a personal thing.

    But life goes on and i know deep down that i have been brought up to treat others how i would like to be treated.

    Needless to say i had to bite my tongue!!!!

  20. Anonymous*

    I generally don't expect a refusal letter or email after the first interview, for the reasons you described. But I was upset recently when I went through three interviews and was told that I am at the finishing line just to get scrapped the next day without a reason. Personally, I think this behavior hurts the interviewee's confidence.

    1. Mike*

      I expect a follow up after the 1st interview. If I can take the time to make sure my suit has been dry cleaned, I print extra copies of my resume on nice linen paper, and I spend my time and gasoline travelling to and interviewing for a position–and then come home and follow up by sending a thank you note–you’re darn tootin’ I expect a follow up from them either way.

  21. Anonymous*

    Thank you for this.

    A few years ago, I interviewed for a public, health-sector position. I was polite after reading all kinds of articles and books (they even asked that!) I didn't hear anything back. It wasn't the typical, "we're busy" response. I called and left voice mail to no avail (without harassing them). I finally emailed them, and they cowardly emailed me a response back.

    My opinion? I don't want to work under people like this. I believe it can say a lot about the way things are run in general, and who wants to work for a company that you can't respect. I know times are tight right now, but I will always consider the company who has class 2 times over the one who has clout even if there is a pay difference. It just isn't worth it to work with people with low personal skills and lack of consideration for others as people (hiding under we're busy, we're corporate, this is our standard practice, etc.) I think you attract what you are.

  22. Anonymous*

    I'm going through the same thing right now myself; I was told Thursday that I'd be hearing from my new Boss for an Offer and it's Saturday; I filled out paperwork as well. I'm waiting until mid next week to politely contact the HR Rep to inquire as to my Status. I'm not expecting to be hired at this point and I can't help but honestly admit that I'm not so hot on working with a Company that can't even follow-up like I was told they would…I'm moving furiously forward on Monday ignoring my phone and not expecting much; it's all I can do, as well as the rest of you…keep your head up and good luck!!

  23. Anonymous*

    I understand completely what everyone is saying here. I went through 11 interviews for a single postion with a company and I was supposed to hear back "hopefully by the end of the week"(That was last week) Now it's Monday and I sent a followup e-mail and still have not heard anything. All of the interviewers, HR managers, recruiters stated they thought I would be a perfect match and that I could truly benefit their company. Well I just cannot understand why they do not just hire me then. I feel like I'm hanging by a thread, cannot stand getting up to go into my current job, even though I know I should be thankful I'm not laid off, but this is just driving me mad.

    1. rayvn03*

      Holy frakking heck! ELEVEN interviews? that had beeter be the Most Awesome Job of Awesome Awesomeness with pay to match for making you jump through so many hoops.

  24. Anonymous*

    Thank you for posting this! I just went through this very same ordeal last week: the person who interviewed my for a receptionist position said she would call me within two days. Well, you know what happened? You guessed it: nothing! She never called me back, and when I called her today, I was told she would be "in meetings" all day. Yeah, right.

    I really ought to print out this post and mail it to this flaky person. There is no excuse for an interviewer to treat a job-seeker in such a shabby manner.

  25. Anonymous*

    Yeah…I'm going through this as well. I called a week after I had a great conversation with the hiring manager, and after she told me she'd call me later in the week to set up an interview.

    When I called I was told to "call back later," even after I had identified myself, because evidently she was "too busy" to deal with me at the time.

    Not too sure I want to call back. Which is unfortunate because I am(was) a regular customer of the business.

  26. Angela*

    I think that it comes down to manners, regardless of the role we play. If I am an interviewer or a candidate, after interviews if I decide the role is not a good match then it is surely good manners to notify the other person/company that we do not believe it will work.

    I feel very uncomfortable giving bad news, (I want to fix things, not cause upset) but it is the right thing to do – to be honest and not mislead someone or give false hope.

  27. nyxalinth*

    I have loads of stories, but I'll just share two. Both occured in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida in 2004.

    I applied at Teleflora to do outbound sales. Not my dream job, but not horrible either. A nice man interviewed me, liked me, and hired me on the spot, telling me to come in Monday and who to report to.

    I come in Monday…and the lady he said to report to has no idea who I am, why I am there, etc. I explain to her, and she says 'Oh, he had no authorization to just hire someone.'

    The next one happened in a small brokerage firm. I was interviewing for their customer service office. I met with one of the brokers–he liked me enough to pass me on to the ladies I'd be working with. They liked me too, and I went on to HR. HR liked me, so they passed me on to the office manager, who made all the decisions in the end.

    this guy was a total dickwicket. He would ask me questions, and smirk at my answers. He looked at my resume, back at me, smirked and chuckled, shook his head as if to say 'why did they send me such an unattractive idiot?'

    I didn't get the job, and really, I wouldn't have wanted to work with that a-hole anyway.

  28. Monica*

    Thank you for this! Here I was, thinking that this type of things only happened to me…

    I interviewed for 2 different positions at a UN agency in my country, and was one out of 2 final candidates for both. I know the HR person since I’ve done consultancy work for them in the past, so I though it was ok to contact her, wishing her a happy new year and asking her about the outcome of both selection processes…I haven’t heard from her.

    And that’s just one of the many similar incidents that have happened to me since I started job hunting back in November. It’s comforting to know I am not alone.

  29. Sarah*

    Recently, I’ve been job searching and have luckily been able to land quite a few interviews, however recently a very well know media company I interviewed with in a city where the media community is pretty small, everyone knows everyone, brought me in for a 4th interview to present a second project. It was “supposedly” between me and another candidate. I was supposed to hear by the end of the week. As you can guess, I heard nothing. Even after following up.

    I’m not going to burn bridges, but this should also go for the reverse. The person who interviewed me should also not want to burn bridges maybe they’ll need a job from me someday, or maybe their son will, or maybe they’ll need my services in my current position to work on a project. They are the ones burning the bridges and what goes around comes around.

  30. Anonymous*

    The most egregious example of this behavior that I have experienced happened about three months ago. I applied for a job at this area’s largest arts non-profit and soon got a pre-screening call from an HR rep. She set up a time the following Monday (let’s say it was the 1st) for me to meet separately with the HR manager and the hiring manager/supervisor of the position. The HR interview went really well, and the interview with the hiring manager did too, though I knew I tripped a little on the dreaded “Tell me about yourself.” The first manager said I would be contacted within two weeks with a status update, and the other told me that they had talked to about 15 people this round and would call approximately 6 in for the next round the next week (and I would be notified either way). The next Friday (the 12th) comes and goes…then Monday, the two-week mark. I figure they’re just running behind. The *next* Monday (22nd) I send the hiring manager a very polite, concise email reiterating my interest in the position and hoping that I would hear from him soon. Nothing. The NEXT Monday (29th) I call his direct line and leave a short, friendly message asking if the position has been filled and to please give me a call back at this convenience. Nothing.

    Four days later — over a month since the initial interview — I get a form letter from the HR manager in the (snail) mail. The letter looks like the copy of a copy of a mimeograph. A bad mimeograph. I never did hear from the hiring manager.

    Now, I can get over not getting called back for an interview. But please, do not tell interviewees that you will do something and then don’t follow through, and if you’re dealing with a reasonable number of candidates (say…15) who you have met personally and who took the time to get off work, get their clothes cleaned and pressed, drive there (and *had to pay to park* in your organization’s deck with no offer of validating)…don’t ignore their follow up attempts. It would take about 10 seconds to send a two line email stating that a candidate was not moving forward in the process.

    I actually typed out a very polite, professional email in which I expressed my disappointment in the way they handled the situation. Didn’t send it of course, since I still work in the same field in the same city, and this organization is the largest local arts employer, so…don’t wanna burn those precious bridges…though it occurred to me that these people had no such trouble treating me shoddily, considering the non-profit world here is relatively insular and everyone knows everyone else to some degree.

  31. S*

    I’m looking for a job right now and this has happened to me twice in the last month. One interviewer assured me that “We get back to all of our interviewees, no matter what the decision” and that was a month ago. I had to wait an hour for that interview because they were running late. Another one was a half-hour phone interview conducted entirely in my second language (which was just tiring, but I thought went ok) and I have heard nothing. You’re right, it’s just totally rude and it really makes me mad. I prepare for hours for interviews. I beg of you to set up that anonymous service. I know I’d use it.
    Thanks for your excellent blog! This rant especially has made me feel so much better. I’m glad it’s not just me that feels this way.

  32. Katy O*

    So glad to see your thoughts because I just went through this. No calls or responses to my follow up emails after over a month and then I find out my old boss got the job…via Facebook! Good think I like her!

  33. Ange*

    I once never heard back. I was so angry because I DID buy a new suit and it was not cheap. I told myself I felt so confident I might get it that it was such an investment. After I didn’t hear anything at all, I emailed, politely, as I have learned from Ask A Manager- careful not to burn any bridges. I said that I had interviewed three weeks prior (interviewer said they would make their decision the day after they interviewed me) didn’t hear anything and was wondering what I could work on as far as what they really were lookin for …or what I could do to possibly work for the company in the future (its a HUGE one) – I don’t remember exactly what I asked but I sent it to two friends first to approve my crazy. Anyway, side note, I find it better to leave your address off of your resume, many reasons, but in this I had. I was required to create an applicant profile and I just put where I live in the heart of the city, plus it’s centrally located. The job was 5 minutes from my parents house and at 26, I’ll be happy to move back home to my old room, enjoy some cable and have a great job, RENT FREE until I get back on my feet.

    Now, a week later I receive an email saying that It’s a competitive business and networking and such….well, to be frank a candidate closer to the place was a beter fit. She worded it better, but that was the point, someone closer seemed more reliable. I wanted to scream. I couldve ridden my bike it was so close to the folks and here, she’s thinking I live 45 minutes away. I politely wrote back. “My new husband and I just bought a great home on the island (the fancy place my parents live) and unforteunately I use the address I had while finishing my Masters, just because it’s all still new … and my mail will be forwarded. Many people don’t know where ____ is, because it’s so private and exclusive” – I tried to make myself sound like a stable candidate just slipped out of heir fingers (haha shame on me) But seriously, places do this. I have an anonoymous email “Rebecca Wilson” – she is not shy when it comes to telling people they are rude. I’ve only used it once, but it’s anonomous…and hey, I’ve only used it a few times but it makes one feel better if nothing else. :)

  34. Anonymous*

    Yeah my boss is weird about that stuff also and he use to work in career services. After the interview somebody and thinks he likes them he gets offended when they keep calling him to follow up and ask about the salary.
    And then starts telling everyone there stalking him when he was the 1 that told that he would get back to them and how interested he was in them
    this drives me crazy.
    And I believe it’s him that make some crazy and keep calling back thank you some hope for no reason.

  35. Jane*

    THANK YOU for doing this for us! I work in the non-profit sector and it is especially frustrating to have this experience over and over while I am looking for some part time work. How hard would it be to print up some postcards and let us know? Used and sent to all offenders. I think it would also be great to have a “you suck, organization looking for free labor in the form of internships, especially because your director gets a hefty salary” option as well.

  36. Anonymous*

    I agree that this is rude. But at my company it happens because HR is responsible for sending out the rejection notices, and sometimes, with the large amount of people interviewing, they slip up and forget to send one out. If a candidate contacts me directly and asks what their status is, I make a point to ping HR until they let the candidate know. If I were responsible for sending the rejection notices myself, I feel like I would be more on the ball with it than HR because I have met the person and care that they know what is up. Also, I have had the “8 weeks later, oh sorry you didn’t get it” letter come in the mail for me too so I know it sucks.

    Just wanted to point out that this separation of who is doing the interviewing and who is doing the rejection-note-sending is sometimes the reason why this happens.

  37. Shera*

    Oh wow! Some of these stories are so familiar!

    Years ago I had 3 interviews with a company located 65 miles from my home. The first 2 interviews went smashingly and the third was to meet the site director for final approval. I had even been shown around, introduced, etc. The deal was basically sealed but for the paperwork.

    I called just before driving up for the final meeting (for which I had bought a new suit, looked my best, etc.) to make sure all was still a go.

    Got there and waited FOREVER, only to be greeted by someone else who I had previously met and who was visibly uncomfortable. He told me the director was out that day and “Didn’t I get their message?”
    He assured me that the job was mine, but unfortunately I would probably have to reschedule another meeting and they would call me for that. I was miffed, but I really wanted the job.

    Not 5 minutes after getting back home he called to tell me that they had hired someone else! Could not tell me that in person!


  38. Anonymous*

    After having this happen more times than I can count — and in situations where VPs had all but told me I had the job — I vowed to NEVER do this to a candidate I interviewed. And I am proud to say that I never have.

    There is no excuse for failing to send a decline letter. You simply write things like “we appreciate your interest in the position” and “we have hired another candidate” and, if you liked the candidate, “we encourage you to apply again in the future”. It’s not hard, and it’s not optional– you just DO IT.

    And it’s not just polite: it’s in a company’s best interests, too. Because hiring a candidate is no guarantee that the position will remain filled. People quit in their first month. People prove to be poor-fits in the job. People move or get hospitalized. Other positions open at the company. These things happen! Wouldn’t you rather be able to call the awesome person who was second on your list with the happy news that a position is open after all? Or would you rather start at square one because you pissed off everyone else you interviewed?!

  39. Lynda*

    **searching your site for the that generator now** ….omg, the arrogance of companies/HR personnel that “believe they have a right” to ignore the passed over candidates.

    I’d even be willing to pay $0.50 to $1.00 per letter for the opportunity to send it! ;-)

  40. Anonymous*

    Man do I wish you still had that site going, though I can imagine it was an upkeep nightmare. I would absolutely use it with one of the companies that didn’t give me the courtesy “Thanks for you interest but blah blah blah” email.

    This company took 5 months to get back to me after I spent the better part of a week preparing submissions for their written test. This was the time frame given by them. I had completely written it off when they called, and had been feeling poorly because this was a writing test, and something I pride myself at being particularly good at. So to think I hadn’t heard because I failed to pass muster was a big blow to my confidence. The definitely owed me some feedback, and not 5 months later.

    She offered up a bunch of excuses for the delay in contacting me, but none of them really addressed the complete radio silence. In this economy…I gave the benefit of the doubt and scheduled the interview. It’s for a field that I’ve been trying very hard to break into, so I had to give it a shot. The secretary sent me an email confirming the interview times, but gave me the address of a building they had moved out of over a year ago. So, of course I was late since I had to now find the new address without the aid of google maps. I’m just thankful I was familiar with the area and was able to find it. The secretary informed me that it wouldn’t be held against me…three times. I should hope not since I was at the address she gave me early enough to have a coffee at a neighboring Starbucks while I waited. The interviews went really well, and I received glowing feedback. This was right before Christmas, so they wouldn’t be scheduling second interviews until January, but I was given the names of who I needed to meet with next, a tentative schedule, and was asked to inform them if I even thought I might get an offer from another company before then.

    First week of January I scheduled an interview with another company and sent the HR contact a follow up/touching base message including this new information. No response. Sent one more email and placed one phone call over the next month attempting to get a revised timeline from them. Nothing. Nada. Zip. Zero. It’s almost April now.

    Given my history with them I wouldn’t be surprised if they called me two months from now. All things taken together, I now have a really bad taste in my mouth with respect to this agency at this point, and despite the bad economy I’m not even sure I’d want to work with them now…which is sad. I can say that I would not recommend them to anyone looking for an agency that provides their services.

    I am beside myself at how dismissive companies can be with respect to passed over candidates, and candidates in general. In my opinion, there is no excuse for not sending at least a two line email to candidates that put the effort in to interviewing with you to let them know that they have been removed from consideration. It is especially heinous to simply ignore follow up emails from candidates that have actually met face to face with the hiring manager(s). This has happened to me with probably 80% of the interviews I’ve had over the last 18 months, and there just isn’t any excuse. Your HR department is incompetent, or can’t be bothered? Not an excuse. Re-train your HR department. Fire deadbeats if you have to. Hire one of the pour souls they’ve mistreated, because it reflects poorly on the entire organization. The economy is going to get better, and when it does the people you treated poorly may be in a position to help you…if they care to.

  41. S. John*

    It seems to me that many companies (large and small) don’t realize that not contacting interviewees can seriously damage their reputation. When someone is interviewed for a senior level position, it’s because they have the skills and experience valuable in the company’s markets. If the senior level candidate is rejected, that same person could well end up employed elsewhere being in a position to recommend the first company’s products and services. If the first company generated a negative impression by not informing the candidate, it’s quite likely the recommendation will go to a competitor.

    Eleven years ago I submitted my resume to a local tech company, and 30 mins later an HR person contacted me, gushing that I was very qualified and ideal, which I was. An interview with manager “Bill” was arranged for the following week. I turned up on the appointed day, to be told that “Bill” was on vacation. I offered several times to come back when they were all ready, but the HR person decided to interview me. It went downhill fast from there, with the HR person eventually accusing me of wanting to join the company only so I could do some industrial espionage. This was very offensive, but since the HR person was an incompetent idiot, I emailed “Bill” that I was still interested, and we should reschedule a new appointment. Response: Nada!

    The company’s mission statement was something about the critical importance of treating their people well. What a refreshing concept, but all just words and no action. If my interview was any indication how they tried to attract senior level staff, heaven knows how employees were treated.

    I still see occasional openings at this company, but there is no way I will ever use their products and services or recommend them to anyone else.

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