emails with a reader frustrated with her interviewer

I recently had an email exchange with a reader who was disappointed that she didn’t get a third interview that she was expecting with an employer. I think she’s speaking for a lot of job-seekers in her confusion and frustration, so I asked her if she’d let me reprint our exchange here. She agreed — but noted that she’s worried about being judged harshly if people think she sounds naive or entitled … so please be nice!

The background: She applied for a job with an organization that she had temped at earlier this year. She had two interviews for the position, and they then suggested a third and final interview. Here’s our exchange…

Reader: Well, I never got to the third interview. The interview was cancelled and he said he would get back to me in 3-4 days. I waited 10 days and contacted him to follow up, and he said, “After discussing this with (the person who had been my previous manager when I tempted there), we are unable to extend you an offer for this position because we had candidates with more experience.”

Throughout the entire interview process, there was never any indication that my lack of experience would be a problem. I made it clear I was willing to work and learn and do everything it took to do well at my job; I assume my interviews went well because why else would I have been called back?

They were clear about what they were going to do, they said specifically they’d like for me to come in for a third interview, and now to say that they don’t want to hire me is like pulling the rug out from under me. Is this fair or right? Before I read your blog, I would have thought this was normal and take it as a rough part of the job search, but now I am just so angry, and I think I’m justified in feeling this way? I don’t want to not reply to the email; I want to say something and I will respond to them sometime this week, when I’ve calmed down. But what do you think?

Me: This is actually very, very normal. Interviews are never a guarantee of a job offer, and even saying that they’d like to move you forward isn’t a guarantee that they will actually do that, because if stronger candidates emerge, it won’t make sense to waste your time or theirs when they know that you won’t be the person they offer the job to.

These two posts might help:

they loved me — why didn’t I get the job?

but I’m qualified for that job — why did you reject me?

Reader: I guess that does make sense. I know it’s not a guarantee, but they should have been honest and upfront. I thought I had a real chance. If they turned me down after they gave me the third interview, that would be different. but this feels like I never even had a chance.

Me: I don’t think you have any reason to think they weren’t honest with you. It sounds like you did have a chance, until circumstances changed, at which point you no longer did and they informed you of that. But this is very typical of how hiring works. It’s very unlikely that they were intentionally misleading you; what’s more likely is that their candidate pool or their assessment of how well you fit their needs simply changed, and that changed your chances.

You’ve also got to remember that you’re not entitled to a chance when you’re applying for a job. It’s not about giving you a fair shot; it’s about them looking for the best match for the job. They’re going to talk to the candidates who seem best matched with what they need, and if that ends up not being you (at any stage), that’s going to be the decision … which is what it seems happened here.

Reader: Right, but if throughout the first two interviews, experience wasn’t an issue, why is that a reason now? Could it be that there’s some other reason that they can’t say and this is just a cop-out?

I dont think they were upfront or honest because he got back to me only when I followed up, and I don’t think they would have even let me know unless I contacted them.

What else can I learn from this experience? I really, really, really thought I interviewed well this time around, I had questions prepared and should I assume the interviews went well because I was called back for them twice?

Me: It could be that they were concerned all along about experience but weren’t convinced it was a dealbreaker until later in the process. Or it could be that they started realizing that it was an issue after they thought about it more. I wouldn’t assume they were being deceptive.

Re: following up, it’s possible that they weren’t going to get back to you until/unless you contacted them; tons of employers do that, unfortunately. But it’s also possible that your email is what prompted him to finally make a decision about your candidacy, and otherwise it would have just happened later in their process. Or they might have a policy of notifying all candidates once a hire is made (very common), but he gave you an answer earlier because you asked.

I understand the temptation to feel that they somehow mishandled this, because it’s frustrating to have this happen — but this is really very normal and I don’t see any indication of wrongdoing on their part. Sometimes you’re just not the right candidate, even though things seemed positive.

——

Thanks to this reader for letting me share our exchange. I think she’s far from alone in having these questions and doubts, so hopefully sharing it here will be interesting to others too.

{ 152 comments… read them below }

  1. Candice

    This is an incredibly frustrating situation, and it’s way too common. I do think more employers would benefit from clear communication, even if it’s just an email that says, “Things have changed. We’re no longer considering you.” A rejection letter is better than nothing at all because it at least allows you to move on.

    Even more irritating is when there is poor communication among a company you work for with regards to internal candidacy. If I’m already working for you (or have recently) wouldn’t you want to communicate BETTER with me to keep morale up?

    Job seekers now are treated so poorly and it’s frustrating that companies feel they can use and abuse people. While this company didn’t necessarily use and abuse in this case, better communication policies would have kept frustrations at bay and helped the OP not to feel so slighted by the situation. Word does get around that employers act this way, and it’s poor from a PR standpoint.

    1. Ask a Manager Post author

      In this case, the employer absolutely should have gotten back to her after the 3-4 days he initially told her to explain that it was going to take longer or — if they’d determined this by then — that she was out of the running. But the reality is that many, many employers Just Don’t Do This. They just don’t. They should, of course they should. But they don’t. And you can’t make them.

      So it is FAR better for job-seekers’ mental health to know this and accept it, and even expect it. Otherwise you will have constant disappointment after disappointment and become bitter and burned out. And that hurts you, not them.

      What I’m saying with this post (and with previous ones) is: Accept that this is often how it works. Expect it to work this way. Do not take it personally. You will be so much happier.

      1. ChristineH

        “In this case, the employer absolutely should have gotten back to her after the 3-4 days he initially told her to explain that it was going to take longer or — if they’d determined this by then — that she was out of the running. But the reality is that many, many employers Just Don’t Do This. They just don’t. They should, of course they should. But they don’t. And you can’t make them.”

        This is the part that irritated me in reading your initial exchange. But you’re right that you can’t force it. Plus, it is a possible indicator of how good their communication is once you are employed.

      2. Candice

        Absolutely I agree! It’s so frustrating and I know that two people very close to me were both unemployed for extended periods of months (and years) and the job hunt really did fray their nerves. It becomes serious and personal to us when we need it for our livelihoods, but it is important to step back and realize, it’s not me, it’s them. ;-)

    2. DanInNYC

      i can relate to the internal job issue. i was up for a job that would have been a promotion for me, from analyst to Associate. i interviewed with with the hiring manager and his boss at the same time. it went for an hour and half. i think it went great. they said they will make a decision in 2 weeks. 2 weeks and no response, so i contact the internal recruiter. he gets back to me a day later saying they have decided to repost this job a lower level, analyst level, and that i wouldn’t be considered. then he hang up the phone on me. not even a chance to ask why i wasn’t being considered eventhough i am currently an analyst and have been for 3 years at this company. i looked at the reposted job on the internal job board, the only difference btw that posting and the associate level one i applied for was one line indicating that they wanted someone with an mba. i had finished my mba 6 months before i applied for the associate job. i am still shocked that the internal recruiter was so rude to someone who is a long term employee. employers just don’t care

        1. DanInNYC

          it has been a few months since that happened. it is too late to complain about that recruiter now. thinking about it again, i still can’t understand why i wouldn’t have been considered once they dropped the position down one level. just doesn’t make sense to me.

  2. Malissa

    I can really relate to the frustration I’m hearing from this reader. Once I was told that a manager would get back to me in a week. This was before email. I really wanted the job. When I didn’t hear I called the store where I applied. Amazingly the manager was never at the store in a three week period. It would have been so much easier to just tell me that I didn’t get the job.
    Looking for a job is a long and frustrating process. As I am looking for my next step I know that my next interview my indeed be this kind of time wasting frustration, but I’ll play anyway. Why? Because I hold the hope that the interview will be successful. But I’ll go in and then put it out of my mind afterwards. So anything else will be a great surprise.

  3. Lisa

    I’ve been waiting for an offer for a month now. As in, last month I was told I was getting an offer. Every few days since then, I am told the offer is coming and they are just busy, again this has been going on for a month. The last email from yesterday, would you be able to accept the offer immediately? They want me to accept without giving me the offer?!?!!?! They also know that I am still interviewing during all this waiting, and also mentioned that they “are concerned that I won’t take their offer over others with high salaries” – still havent been given any details about the phantom offer that is supposedly coming. I have been to the company, its a real company, i dont get this… do i have doormat written all over me???

    1. Ask a Manager Post author

      Tell them, “If we’re able to come to terms on the offer, at that point I could start about two weeks later” (or whatever your timeline is). But make it clear that you need to come to terms first. You can also ask them point-blank: “Since I’m talking with other companies, what is your timeline for moving forward?”

  4. LMW

    I think the job search thing just gets especially frustrating at the interview stage, because then you have that glimmer of hope that you don’t get when your resume just disappears into a black hole.

    I’m trying really hard not to wait on an offer right now. I’m trying to force myself to forget about it, apply for other jobs, etc. But it’s hard, because I’ve put so much time and effort into it–well beyond what I’ve done for other job interviews (phone screen, travelled out to their location three times for interviews, lunch meeting, writing samples, taking assessments, completing an exercise…). I just know I’m going to be so upset if I don’t get it, and I’ll feel led on, but at the same time I know that’s totally irrational and OF COURSE they have been interviewing other people. And I might not be the right candidate, even though I think I am and they’ve indicated that I have all the skills and experience they are looking for. There might be someone out there who is equally awesome and has that something extra that I don’t.
    But yeah, if I get rejected, I will probably end up sobbing into a glass of wine that evening.
    Job hunting=not fun.

      1. Rachel

        +1

        This happened to me, where I applied for a job I really wanted, and I didn’t expect to get an interview, but when I did, I was elated. I knew it wasn’t a “shoo in” but I was still pleasantly surprised. Only to find out after the interview that I didn’t get the job because I didn’t have enough experience.

        I even asked the “are there any reservations you have about fit that I can address” and they didn’t say a word, other than there will be another round of interviews.

        Sometimes in these situations I wish I never got the interview in the first place! Job hunting is very frustrating, no doubt.

    1. Susie

      This! I applied for something back in April and have been through many rounds of questionnaires, assessments, testing, even a fake work day with the company. I didn’t move on to the next level.

      The main thing to remember is that no matter how far you get in the hiring process, until you have an offer in your hand and have accepted, you do not have the job.

      It’s really hard not to get your hopes up when you know that at every level you are getting closer to the front of the pack.

    2. LMW

      And…I got an offer. For $4800 less than I make now. Because the recruiter gave the hiring manager incorrect information. (I told him what I made and said I was looking for an increase.)
      We’ll “talk next week” but it’s not looking good.
      So even when you get the offer sometimes it’s a bummer. Sigh.

      1. Jamie

        Don’t forget that even if they can’t (or won’t) budge on money now you can ask to re-evaluate compensation at a specified time.

        I’m a big fan of that, if you feel you’re coming in under market, because it sets a date in writing where you will re-evaluate and by that point you’ve had some time to prove your value (your value, not just the value of the position which they already have a feel for) and are on stronger footing.

        No guarantees, but it’s something. I like 6 months as a nice place to start if you feel you’re really under market and a year if you’re kind of close, but could do better.

      2. Ask a Manager Post author

        Also, if the reason the offer is less is really because the recruiter gave them incorrect info, there’s a good chance that can just be corrected. (If that’s the reason.)

        1. LMW

          I believe it really was the wrong info. She said the number, I said that it was significantly less than I’m making now, and she said that was not the information she had. Then she said that she thought they could only come up $1000.
          Considering the job would mean more than doubling my commute time or moving and that it is usually 40+ hours/week, while my current job is a flat 40, I don’t think I can take it.
          Thank you both for the feedback, though. I appreciate your popping back on this thread to respond.

  5. Steph

    The often-misunderstood key point seems to be that they simply had candidates with more experience. That doesn’t mean the reader wasn’t qualified; it doesn’t mean her qualifications were a problem in any way; it doesn’t mean she didn’t have enough experience to do the job. In fact, it doesn’t necessarily mean anything negative at all about her candidacy. It could very well just mean that they decided to go with someone who happened to have *more *experience, which put that candidate ahead. It’s not a zero sum game — there may be tons and tons of excellent candidates, and the employer just happens to *prefer* one over another for whatever reason. (As AAM is always saying!)

    1. fposte

      Exactly what I’m thinking. The silver medalists in the Olympics weren’t problematically slow–they just got beat by somebody faster. If the OP’s lack of experience had been a problem, she wouldn’t have made it as far as she did. She just got outsprinted by somebody even faster at the end.

    2. Joey

      Sometimes employers mistakenly say another candidate had MORE experience when they really mean they had BETTER experience. Doesn’t change your point but I think it’s important that readers understand that it’s not usually a game of he who has the most experience and skills wins.

    3. Eric

      Bunch of crap. From the post:

      “They were clear about what they were going to do, they said specifically they’d like for me to come in for a third interview, and now to say that they don’t want to hire me is like pulling the rug out from under me.”

      This company owes the OP an apology. They were specific. They should not promise what they cannot deliver on.

      And, oh boy, if that “Steph” is my wife, I am really in trouble tonight.

      1. Emily

        So if they had already decided to go with Candidate B, they should have gone ahead and interviewed the OP knowing full well they had no intention of offering her the job, thus wasting everyone’s time?

        At the time they first mentioned the third interview they almost undoubtedly did plan to give her a third interview. Then another candidate wowed them enough to take her out of the running before that could happen. In this situation, what is the company supposed to do (other than having been more timely in letting her know)?

        1. Jessica

          I don’t want to put words in Eric’s mouth, but I think the least they could have done was contact her and say, “We apologize for misleading you into believing there would be a third interview. We have decided to take the interviewing in a different direction that puts you out of the running” or something like that (preferably worded better, as I’m having difficulty even forming words right now, let alone professional-sounding emails.)

          Not necessarily interview her a third time and waste her and their time, but at least give her a heads up in the time frame given (3-4 days) that things had changed and she needn’t be waiting around for them to get back to her for that next interview.

          1. Ask a Manager Post author

            Absolutely they should have gotten back to her within the 3-4 day timeline (even if just to say “this is going to take longer”), but job seekers would be much better off if they learned never to count on employer’s timelines in the hiring process; they’re nearly always off-base. I’m not defending that, just stating the reality of it. I hope everyone reading this will make a real point of incorporating that info in their thinking going forward.

            1. B

              I agree with this so much. An interview I went on was fabulous. Wrote my thank you and received a response back. She actually responded and stated how my skill set was perfect for this position, how wonderful I am going to be in it, and that I would be hearing from them very soon. Now I have heard this in the past so I thought, great at least I know I interviewed well. Good thing I didn’t get my hopes up for it, or count it as a shoo-in, because I did not get it.
              Job searching and interviewing is the most frustrating thing! Especially when companies treat you like a doormat and do not care about the time or energy you put into interviewing.

            2. Jessica

              Oh yeah, I completely agree with that, but I was hoping to explain more what I thought Eric was saying. Not that they should give her an moot interview, but that they should’ve at least contacted her. I’ve learned to never count on any contact from a company at all. Ever. I’ve had multiple interviews at one company and been told at the end of the final one that I had the job and would have an offer within a week. I never heard back. I did follow up finally (I try not set my hopes on them too high, so I waited a few weeks), and I discovered that they had hired TWO other people for the job (two part-timers instead of a full timer). That was pretty much the point that I just go into interviews for the experience and think, “Well, if I like the job and company and I get an offer, that’s a bonus.” (Heck, any response is a bonus these days.)

    4. Sara the OP

      You are right Steph. In fact, this is my exact philosophy as well; it bugs me when people think a preference for one thing means putting down or insulting another thing and that’s definitely not true; I guess I have to put aside emotion and apply it to myself, no matter how bruised my ego was and personal it felt.

  6. Joey

    The hiring managers and HR folks who don’t get back to you are the same ones who hope other uncomfortable work situations go away on their own or fix themselves.

  7. Jamie

    Something to keep in mind, not just for the OP but for others in the same situation – sometimes the requirements change mid-hiring process.

    It sucks and it wastes time on both sides of the table – and there is nothing to indicate this happened here, so this is just a PSA…but it happens. As you are interviewing people for XYZ you come across someone who also has Q – and even though you haven’t even thought about it before now it’s so clear that you need Q and can incorporate it into the position. So even if the original Q holder doesn’t get the job, all of a sudden it’s now a requirement.

    Or also lack of organization when it comes to requirements, especially low level technical. For example if you are hiring someone to work in the field and will be 100% remote it may not occur to the hiring manager to make sure this person has the aptitude to learn the software and follow simple directions for remoting into the network. You do not want a person who is always 2400 miles from his IT to be the kind of person who needs to be repeatedly told the difference between his computer and his monitor.

    Well, maybe you as the hiring manager don’t care…but your IT does – desperately – and so once you know the training this person will require you can either go ahead or pass and revamp your requirements.

    Of course the hiring manager should have discussed it with IT first and it should have been in the initial ad…but if I had a nickle for every time that just doesn’t happen I’d have retired hundreds of years ago.

    1. Ask a Manager Post author

      Yes! This is so often happening behind the scenes. Candidates tend to assume that there’s a clear job description with clear funding and clear agreement from everyone who has to sign off … and while there should be, there often isn’t; it’s often a work in progress.

      1. Jen @ ModernHypatia

        One of the most useful pieces of advice I found when I was looking at resources to do my first hiring was “do at least three interviews, with people who are different ways that job might go.” The idea being that everyone might have the same basic skills, but that their experience, approach to problems, background in other areas, could all affect things, and by doing at least three interviews, you’d get a chance to see nuance in the ways the job might develop over time.

        At the time, I was hiring for a half-library-paraprofessional, half-first-tier-tech-support in an independent high school, so we knew we needed some technical aptitude (but were willing to train for our setting), a desire to do the library piece, and we were certain we needed the “ability and desire to work with teenagers” piece.

        But we weren’t entirely sure which things we needed in which way, and so did 5 interviews the two times I did the hiring for that. (One moved for an Americorps position and is now doing awesome stuff, the other ended up in the role I’d been in.)

        (For the curious, in both cases, they ended up having some library experience, a lot of experience working with teens, and a lot of comfort trying to solve tech stuff and an ability to learn the common stuff fast. But we could easily have ended up hiring someone with tech experience and no library background, and had top-three candidates like that both times.)

        But knowing that piece made it easier for me the year I was job-hunting – knowing that it wasn’t just about me, but about this very weird nebulous ‘how this makes a different long-term path for the position’ thing that a lot of hiring folks can’t articulate, but sort of know when they see it.

    2. AP

      Absolutely! And especially in this economy, many job seekers are willing to be more flexible about what level they’re working at, which can also change the game in the middle of the hiring process.

      In the past, I’ve posted jobs that I would have been perfectly happy to hire an entry level candidate for, only to realize that 50% of my applicants had 1-2 years of experience – so suddenly that becomes the new normal. Not required, but if you can get someone with more experience (and you’re satisfied that they’re not going to bounce on you) it just ups the ante for everyone else. People who were previously qualified now look under-experienced. It happens, sometimes unpredictably!

    3. Mike C.

      In one extreme case, I walked in to interview for one job,and halfway through they told me that the job was taken and asked if I would be interested in an entirely different position.

  8. Suzanne

    I, too, understand the job seeker’s frustration. I have been seeking a new job off and on for the past several years and can’t even begin to count the number of hours I have spent filling out applications, writing cover letters, researching companies, preparing for interviews, etc. It’s incredibly frustrating to be pulled through all that only to discover that no one on the hiring end can be bothered to take 5 minutes to let you know much of anything as you go through the process. I know this has been discussed before but I don’t understand why honesty is so rarely seen as the best policy. If the interviewer knows that my being hired is a long shot at best, just tell me! Or if my background might be a problem, let me know so I can address that.

    The companies that turned me down, and took the time to personally contact me and give me a legitimate reason why I was not hired (internal hire, not enough experience) without leading me on for weeks, leave me with a positive view of them, which I am very likely to pass on to others. I will shop at their store, or refer customers to them, or tell business acquaintances was great people they were.

  9. Lucy

    Ah,it is a generational and perception problem. Look at her words, “I feel, and, I thought I should get a FAIR shot, THEY SAID lack of experience wasn’t a problem, they are NOT BEING HONEST AND FAIR. I use caps NOT TO YELL but TO STRESS what she is feeling and saying. Parents have bent over backwards to ‘be fair and equal’ trophies for showing up, gold stars for perfect attendance when you should go to every class and practice unless you are truly sick,no need for a reward. My point, when the real world hits these young adults they feel like life isn’t fair, but it is, the best candidate should get the job, they have worked for it by either school or ‘paid their dues’. Unfortunately,our young adults have been misled by overprotective parents who have not prepared them for life. An employer must look for the best candidate, they might be willing to train until they don’t have to and that my friend is the bottom line. Just because they thought there would be a third interview,well, there wasn’t, and they owe her nothing, even though, her mom and dad,would have told her otherwise. Gold stars,and trophies for just showing up,well, they stop when you graduate High School!

    1. moe

      Is that really fair? OP didn’t sound like that at all. She just sounded like a human–far more than you do, actually.

      I have a hard time believing that people of your august generation never felt hurt when they were rejected.

    2. blu

      Where was the letter writer’s age indicated?

      Frustration is an emotion that is present in all age groups. I can assure you I have heard this same type of thing from folks in older generations as well. I don’t think the letter writer is entitled (particularly since she was self aware enough to be concerned about how the exchange would be perceived). I think she was just excited about the opportunity and probably thought she was a shoe in or at least going to get that next interview and was very disappointed when it didn’t happen. I think most people have been in that spot at one time or another.

    3. Anonymous

      The last two generations (ok, I’m making that up but 30ish and below approx) have always been told its about them and don’t understand that the employers aren’t sitting at a table with them like a friend.

      We’ve been fed ‘participation awards’ and ‘special circumstances’ and exceptions rather than rules. So many people my age don’t understand when something doesn’t go their way that its not a personal slight by the other party involved . They don’t mean to mislead people when they don’t reply its just that you are no longer of interest and they’ve moved on. They aren’t doing it to hurt you but they don’t truly owe you any explanation or anything either.

      This may seem a harsh way of putting it (especially as I’m not sure the OP is like this too much) but too many people bought the “you can be anything you want” line we were fed as kids and now feel cheated.

      1. Natalie

        Please consider speaking for yourself. I’m under 30 and I’ve never been given a participation ribbon nor do I think employers are my friend.

      2. BCW

        I agree up to a point, mainly with people feeling entitled to explanations of everything. I however think that if you take the time out of your day (sometimes taking time off of your job) to travel to and interview with a company, for a company to not respond is just rude. Is it a personal attack? No. Do they owe it to you? I guess not. No one “owes” anyone anything. However it takes less than a minute to write a rejection email so people at least know they are out of the running, so I’d say its just common courtesy.

    4. Anonymous

      I’ve seen numerous discussions on here about parents that think job hunting is so easy and quick but the kids have to explain to them what a difficult process it is. I don’t think she sounds entitled at all. She sounds like she took the interviewer for their word and believed that he meant what he said. Before judging someone and assuming their age, you should look at how you would feel from OP’s perspective after a rejection.

    5. Zed

      You’re not being fair to the OP. It’s perfectly understandable to be disappointed – and yes, even angry – in a situation like this. She didn’t expect the job just for showing up – she thought she had a chance at the job because she went to school, temped to get experience, interviewed well, asked questions, and did everything she was told to do in order to get a job.

      Here’s another generation and perception problem for you. A lot of people who have been in the workforce for a long time don’t realize how difficult, disheartening, frustrating, and downright humiliating it is to be looking for work right now. People who have worked hard in high school and college, gotten scholarships, completed internships, worked part-time, networked, practice-interviewed, and whatever else are being rejected left and right for entry level positions. And you know what? That’s not fair. I’m not saying they should expect to be hired over the person with five or ten years experience who was let go or who relocated, but I AM saying that it’s unrealistic to feed our young people the lie that if you do everything right you will be successful and then to call them entitled and overprotected when they wonder why that’s not true.

      Being a recent college grad is miserable right now (no jobs, student loans, no health insurance…), so please pardon this OP. She wants a job and she wanted THIS job and she has every right to be upset that the people she temped for and interviewed with and LIKED couldn’t even take thirty seconds to write her a polite email to say thanks-but-no-thanks. I’m upset for her, and I am sad that this is standard operating procedure.

      OP, I’m sorry. You may have just learned a lesson about how things really work, but you don’t have to like it. The problem here isn’t that you think you deserve a trophy just for showing up; the problem is that hiring managers really don’t care that every job represents somebody’s potential livelihood.

      1. B

        It has absolutely nothing to do with being a recent college grad. This is happening to those who have years of experience, as well. It is miserable and frustrating right now for everyone!

        1. Zed

          You’re absolutely right. It’s terrible all around. Recent grads do have the additional joy of being told that they don’t have enough experience when they can’t get a job to *get* that experience, though.

            1. Zed

              I recently got my first full-time job after spending two years post-Master’s degree cobbling together three part-time jobs in my field, so I understand what you’re saying completely. But it’s still hard, and even part-time and volunteer experience doesn’t always stack up. I got this job ONLY because the hiring committee knew me and were willing to take a chance on me. I guess that makes me a success story, but it sure didn’t feel that way when I was working six day fifty-hour weeks with no health insurance.

              I guess what I’m saying is, OP, take heart. It’s okay to feel upset and even angry–I’d bet you feel betrayed, and that’s okay too. Take a couple of days to lick your wounds. Apply to this company’s other position if you’re interested (although I do wonder – is it possible your old manager has mixed feelings about you? to me, it’s a HUGE red flag that she didn’t respond to your question about being a reference), but keep looking elsewhere. In the meantime, reach out to your 2 references and ask them for advice or to put you in touch with another company that might need someone, etc.

      2. Sara the OP

        Wow…thank you! hearing someone else put it this way actualy makes me feel slightly better–I know I’m not just a loser who can’t get a job; I graduated later than my peers, all of whom are on to their second degrees or doing well in their careers–meanwhile I’m stuck in temp jobs and unable to find what I call a “real” job.

        I’ll be honest though, I screwed up alot all through high school and college and even after college. (I’m in my late 20s). Just never had focus, was never interested in a career, never cared for more than just a paycheck; but now I’ve found something I’m interested in and want to devote at least the next decade to doing it and I’m trying to get my act together; it just scares me that if people who did so well in school and have excellent resumes can struggle with finding work so much, what hope is there for me?

    6. Anonymous

      I’m so incredibly tired of those older than me generalizing my entire generation as entitled and lazy. I’m 25 and am lauded as one of the top performers in my company and have worked my butt off to get there. And no, I’m not living in my parents basement, in fact I am married and own a house.

      There are people in every generation who are lazy and entitled, and there are people in every generation who are driven and hardworking. Quit with the stereotypes.

      And just thought I’d point out that I am not calling the letter writer lazy and entitled, I think she just sounds frustrated which is a completely normal emotion for people of all generations.

  10. moe

    This has to feel especially personal because OP had temped at this company previously. As a former temp–I know how that feels.

    I don’t know that there’s anything to learn from this except that job-searching is really hard sometimes. Companies aren’t always the best at recognizing the human side of it. But it would hurt anyway…

    I’m sorry, OP.

    1. K.

      Yeah, I’ve been there too. You think “Well, they know my work, I know the culture, that’s got to help, right?” And it stings when it doesn’t work out.

    2. Rana

      +1
      My husband once held a short-term position that was being converted to a full-time, long-term one, and so he of course applied for it, with the enthusiastic encouragement of his colleagues, most of whom were involved in the hiring process. Unfortunately, he didn’t get it, as they decided instead to give the job to an external candidate for a completely different position, even though this person lacked the experience or background to teach the subjects required (I know, don’t ask me).

      Far more hurtful than not being chosen was everyone on the hiring committee trying to cheer him up by telling him that of course he’d find a full-time job soon, since he was so nice and so talented and who wouldn’t want to hire him?

      Um, you guys, apparently. And yeah, I’m still a bit angry about that. (He’s moved on, being a better person than me.)

      1. Rana

        (I should clarify that this was in academia, where switching position expectations at the last minute is Simply Not Done. Academic hiring cycles are such that position announcements go out in the summer and early fall, preliminary screening happens in the late fall, conference and phone interviews in the winter, then on-campus interviews in the spring. Positions typically require lots of input in the early stages, because once the ball gets rolling, there’s no way to change them. Typical practice, in fact, is for schools to cancel searches outright if they can’t find someone with the specific experience needed.

        So anyway, if my husband didn’t qualify, and there was no better candidate in his subfield, the normal and expected thing to do would have been to cancel the search and try again the next year.

        What they did instead is not only unheard of, but also considered rather unethical as it’s unfair to all the other people who would have applied to “his” position if they knew that people without that specific subfield experience were being considered. (Yes, academia is strange.) And it’s also problematic given that usually position funding is contingent on getting approval for a specific hire, meaning this was effectively a bait-and-switch with the approval committee. So, even within the weird world of academic hiring this was a strange and unexpected maneuver on their part, which made their decision even harder to accept than it would have been normally.)

    3. Sara the OP

      Yes exactly. It feels personal and stings because it IS a good company to work for–aside from minor hiccups, I loved my time there and was sad when it ended (it was a seasonal position). Also, I’ve been through some personal issues and this position was perfectly in line with my personal/professional goals.

      They have offered to consider me for another position–they did say twice that they enjoyed working with me and think I’d be a good fit for the organization and I have no reason to not trust them or believe them, but I’ve gone from being considered for manager, to being rejected for associate, to now back to being considered for a completely different position (which, at this time, I don’t know anything about). I admit that when I got the email I was very very upset and angry. I know never to get my hopes up when it comes to job searching but this felt different. Part of me is saying I should be open to the other position, and another part of me is saying, “screw them.” A third option is to politely decline the position, keep looking for something in the field I want to work in, and keep the lines of communication open so that when the temp job comes up again later this year, I may have a shot at doing it again if I don’t have anything else going on at that time (though I hope that isn’t the case).

  11. Karl Sakas

    OP, I’m sorry to hear you had a bad experience — I’d be frustrated, too.

    When I’m hiring people, I’ll often consider an initial pool that includes candidates with less experience, but they typically only make it to the first round of interviews, since that’s usually the time when the experienced candidates stand out even more.

    I’m not sure what the organization had in mind — I wonder if the previous manager may have shared non-positive feedback that wasn’t about level of experience — but I’ll add that it takes an extra level of care for hiring managers to provide that extra level of “client service” (emailing you before you email us, keeping people updated when things change internally, etc.). I’m not sure everyone has that orientation or the time to practice it.

  12. Jubilance

    I can relate to this reader’s experience. Last year I interviewed for an internal position on the advice of my mentor who is an executive in the company. Sailed through 2 interviews & in response to my follow-up emails I was told that I was a strong candidate. And then, nothing for 5 weeks. After a week I knew I didn’t get the job. The hiring manager did call me & give me the song & dance about why I wasn’t chosen for the role, which I appreciated.

    A few weeks ago, there was a post about getting your hopes up when going through interviewing. My strategy has always been to go through each phase but expect absolutely nothing. I also have been conditioned that if I don’t get a call within 2 business days about the positon, I probably didn’t get it. In every job that I’ve gotten, I’ve always gotten a call 1-2 business days after my final interview.

    Reader, it sucks for you that they decided to go in a different direction, but this is the name of the game. You can’t control the outcome or the other people involved, but you can control how you react in these situations. My advice is to approach it with a certain level of detachment – don’t get your hopes too high because it’s crushing when things don’t go as you planned.

  13. nyxalinth

    Ugh, this sucks more than a black hole. I’m sorry, OP.

    My own recent frustration was being called in for an interview to do inbound sales (I have both sales and service experience) and the woman had a concern about it mostly being service experience. I thought I had allayed it well (reiterated I had 2 years experience outbound calling, and all of my customer care experience involved upselling or cross-selling) and of course, I didn’t get the job (she was supposed to have called yesterday or Monday).

    Lady, if it was that big of a deal, why did you call me in and waste my time to begin with?

    1. Ask a Manager Post author

      Okay, wait, I think this is off-base. She gave you a chance to see if your other strengths could allay her concern. Usually job seekers are frustrated if they’re NOT given that chance.

      If someone gives you a chance to interview, despite not being 100% sure, that doesn’t mean they’ve wasted your time — any more than you’ve wasted their time by interviewing for a job YOU’re not 100% sure about yourself.

      1. Jamie

        I would say this is the case the majority of the time – by far.

        My cynical rant below is reflective of the odd exception and I don’t think my verbiage reflects that while this sometimes happens it’s by no means most of the time.

      2. fposte

        And that’s one of the problems with feedback, too. Just about everybody on paper is a mix of strengths and weaknesses (or the absence of strengths, really); interviewing them gives you an idea of what deficits matter in this particular pool of candidates and what strengths balance them out. So saying “You didn’t have the kind of experience we wanted” is true, but it doesn’t mean it made you unhirable in this position–it just means in this pool, with your other strengths, it mattered.

      3. nyxalinth

        Yeah, sorry, I was feeling very frustrated and grumpy this morning. I feel like I’m going nowhere in my job hunt and about to give up and go live under a bridge sometimes.

        Most of the time, I have a very positive attitude. today was a bad day :(

    2. Jamie

      I am the proverbial wet blanket today – but I’ve seen this behind the scenes, too.

      There are times resumes are being vetted by more than one person with a stake in the hiring – so people get called in for jobs where one person thinks they are worth talking to and the other would have passed at the resume stage.

      Then the person who was over-ridden (is that a word?) has to interview someone they never wanted to talk to in the first place because someone higher up the food chain made the call. But the higher up may not get involved until level 1 interviews are over – which ends up an exercise in futility for both the interviewer and the interviewee.

      It shouldn’t happen and it’s not nice – but it happens often enough to remind people that you may think that everyone on the employer’s end is on the same page, sometimes they aren’t. And sometimes the page is still being written when they call you.

  14. anonymous

    Honestly, I can’t imagine telling a candidate that lack of experience might be an issue (before a decision is made) even if it was, or any other quality the hiring people are looking for. It just seems awkward and impolite when there is nothing the candidate can do about it.

    Hiring folks, have you ever mentioned to a candidate that they are lacking in some desired area for you in an interview? To use the job search is like dating analogy, I feel like it’d be like going on a date and saying, “I am actually looking for someone better-looking, but I decided to give you a shot because of X reason.”

    1. Ask a Manager Post author

      Most job seekers actually want feedback about why they’re rejected (see Suzanne above, for instance), and are frustrated when employers won’t give it to them.

      1. fposte

        What about during the interview itself, though? That’s what anon seemed to be talking about and the OP seemed to be thinking of. I doubt that I would do that myself, for a variety of reasons, but I can sure understand that job seekers might (at least in theory) like the idea.

      2. anonymous

        I can understand wanting to know why you were rejected, but if I was interviewing someone, and I felt they didn’t have enough experience, I would feel awkward bringing that up before I made my decision (like in the interview). I am answering the LW’s point about how s/he doesn’t understand why her lack of experience was never brought up before.

      3. Ask a Manager Post author

        Oh, I see — I misunderstood that. Yeah, most interviewers aren’t going to give on-the-spot feedback; if you get it all (and you most often won’t), it’s going to be at the end of the process. This is for all kinds of reasons: They need to think things over and formulate their thoughts, they need to compare you to other candidates, it’s often awkward to give feedback on the spot, etc.

        1. Suzanne

          I had an interview with a company in which I had no background but had the skills to fill the position and fill it well. We discussed this at the interview. They asked me if I learned quickly, I assured them I did, and explained how my background would help me succeed in the position, but they let me know that was a concern of theirs. When they called me to tell me I didn’t get the job, they explained that while they thought I interviewed well, they went with someone who did have a background in the business.They also told me that I was their second choice which made me feel good.

          I can’t tell you how much I appreciated their honesty! I was disappointed, certainly, but would recommend this business to anyone who needed their product. Why? Because they showed class, they were honest, and they took the time to treat me like a human being.

          1. Ask a Manager Post author

            It’s definitely kind and gracious to do … but also keep in mind that lots of employers won’t do it because (a) they’re worried about saying something that will somehow open them up to a lawsuit or (b) they’ve had bad experiences with candidates who ask for feedback and then argue about the response.

            1. Kimmie Sue

              As a recruiter, if I sense a “hurdle” or potential lack of a required skill during the phone screen, I do try to tell the candidate. For example, “the hiring manager prefers candidates who have managed 10 or more people. You seem to have managed only three people, but your project management skills may help you overcome that requirement”. In terms of feedback after an interview, I rarely give the real reasons a candidate is not hired are as AMA states. I just broke this rule about three weeks ago, as I had really grown fond of the candidate during the process and he genuinely wanted to know. He simply didn’t interview well. He spoke a little too loudly and seemed to interrupt the interviewers (none of this happened during the three phone interviews he had prior to the face-to-face interviewers). I truly believe the behavior was probably out of nervousness. I shared the feedback and he was first offended, then defensive and in total denial.

          2. LMW

            Yes! I had the same thing happen to me recently. They said in the interview that they were concerned about my lack of experience in their industry. Then they took a really long time getting back to me–but I knew why they were hesitant, and ultimately why they went another way. So much easier to take.

        2. Joey

          I’ve done it a few times and it is awkward but I thought it was better than faking it through the rest of an interview.oWhilen only done it when there was clearly a deal breaker that was initially missed (one was for a job that required traveling and the person couldn’t. The other had to do with a resume that was misleading.)

    2. KellyK

      I think this is a case where the dating analogy doesn’t quite work, because dating is personal in a way that employment isn’t. “You’re not good looking enough,” is an insult in a way that “You don’t have enough experience,” just isn’t.

      Personally, I would like feedback, particularly when it’s objective and polite, even when there’s nothing I can do about it. No, you can’t magically make yourself have more experience, but you can make sure the experience you do have is presented well, you can volunteer or freelance to build it up, and if you keep getting told “not enough experience,” then you probably need to be applying for lower level jobs.

  15. Beth

    I agree with those that say the company did wrong in waiting so long to let the OP know she was no longer in the running for the position. However, I’d also like to explain how I understand this far along in the process that a new factor may become the reason for not moving forward.

    I conduct initial interviews for mid to senior level positions at my company. I try to find 3-4 qualified individuals to present to the hiring manager and executive team. I have my own system for ranking candidates across a broad spectrum of qualifications and fit. I do not share with the hiring manager my thoughts until after she has interviewed them.
    Often times I have identified a “lead” candidate who after the hiring manager interviews them is her least likely to hire candidate. Then, with the good hiring managers a discussion ensues: I liked this; I didn’t like this; this one is stronger here; this one is stronger there.

    Ultimately it is the hiring managers choice but it is my job to make sure all aspects are reviewed. Then the hiring manager presents her choice to the executive team. They may say yes or no on the spot or ask to interview. Sometimes it’s just a gut reaction by the executive team to ding someone and that explanation may be lack of experience. (Even if that is only their perception and not the candidate’s reality.)
    It’s my job to make sure all the candidates are qualified but they get to pick.

    So my advice to the OP and others would be make sure you ask what the company’s hiring process is so you can manage your expectations.

    Also, this is why I never make a firm commitment to a candidate as to what is next. I never promise a second or third interview. I always say “I will get back to you within x time” and let you know how we are going to proceed. And I do follow up in the time frame even if it is to say “I’m still waiting to hear from the hiring manager” or “I’m still doing initial screenings.” Candidates need to know that even if you are fan-freaking-tastic I will not stop initial interviews because any number of things may disrupt the possibility of you going hired and I can’t let the company grind to a stop because I didn’t have enough qualified candidates.

    1. fposte

      That last part is a particularly fine point, I think–that it’s good business on both sides to keep candidates informed about how final the process isn’t, and not to mention next steps until you know they’re going to happen to this candidate. And that’s a lot of what’s frying the OP’s nerves, I think–she got really yanked back and forth because the process wasn’t as simple as it sounded.

    2. Sara the OP

      I’m not sure if this is what happened–well yesterday I asked them if the position was filled or if it was simply a concern that I could address (yeah, my mind was all over the place) and he replied back today saying that they had a candidate who had extensive experience in that field.

      Also, when they say “we’d like for you to come in for a third interview” is that not a promise?

      1. B

        It is and it is not. They are showing interest in a third interview but until they give you a date and time, and are on the third interview, it is not a promise.

          1. Ask a Manager Post author

            No need to apologize, seriously! But I do think that you might be resisting believing what I’m telling you :)

            Which is totally allowed, of course, but I wasn’t sure if you realized it.

      2. M-C

        No, it’s not. A promise would be an offer letter.
        As it is, you should consider yourself lucky you got 2 interviews, which is pretty good. But no amount of interviewing is a guarantee. Even getting the 3rd one might have meant they preferred someone else in the end. They might even have preferred not to hire anyone at all, rather than hire you.

        The reason people feel you’re entitled and cast aspersions on your generation is because of questions like this.
        Yes, you’re sore and disappointed, and everyone can understand that and feel for you. But feeling like you were somehow due a further interview, or the job, is totally out of line. Everyone wishes that employers would be more polite and more forthcoming. The fact is they are not, generally. Yet the world goes on. Without you if necessary.

    3. Sara the OP

      By the way, thank you for the long and thoughtful reply; that certainly does help me look at it from their perspective.

  16. Sara

    I feel bad for her. When you need or want a new job, and your financial survival is on the line, and the job market is weighted in favor of the employers like it is right now, it’s really hard to think of job searching with the right mindset. You should be thinking, “Is this a good potential fit on both ends?” but all you can really think is, “Will they like me?? Why don’t they like meeeeeee????”

    Sometimes things just don’t work out, or they aren’t fair, and there’s no reason at all. Maybe your resume got sent to the wrong place or stuck in a spam filter and no on ever even saw it. Maybe there are 10 “perfect” candidates and the reasons they picked one over the other nine are somewhat arbitrary. It’s not much consolation to the other nine people who still don’t have an offer, but that probably happens all the time.

    You have to work insanely hard not to take job rejections personally. It’s a tall task, but maybe one of the most important for job seekers. You just have to focus on what you can control, which is being the best possible candidate YOU can be, and not on what you can’t control, which is how and why the company on the other end makes decisions.

  17. Kristi

    I think Steph (see above) nailed it. I don’t think it was so much the delayed response (we should just expect it to avoid the letdown) as it was the feeling of being personally rejected or misled.

    It’s not a zero sum game — there may be tons and tons of excellent candidates, and the employer just happens to *prefer* one over another for whatever reason. (As AAM is always saying!)

    I don’t know if this would been any less disappointing after a third interview, probably not. As difficult as it is, I think we as jobseekers need to remember that we’re not the only candidates being phone screened, interviewed, then interviewed again and possibly again. And after all that, the fact that the employer didn’t hire all of us isn’t a matter of being dishonest or didn’t hold up to their end of the bargain. The final decision is their call. (Same way its your call when you choose a babysitter or doctor or (for me) vet, stylist and mechanic. We go with our final choice, which may even be to keep looking.

    Perhaps its a matter of going through the whole routine so many times we learn not to expect every 2nd or 3rd interview is going to lead to an offer. The interest is great but as this blog is always showing us, do not stop pursuing other leads. Send in your resume for this, go to the interview for that, follow up on thank you’s, but keep looking until you have an offer in hand.

    And AAM’s comment about not taking it personally, and I’ll add avoid becoming emotionally attached/involved throughout the process. There could be a million reasons why they didn’t offer OP but spending much more time and energy analyzing it isn’t going to help her. This point takes me to an episode of Sex and The City where the girls are making excuses as to why Miranda’s date didn’t come up for a night cap. Thankfully, Berger cleared it up with, “He’s just not that into you.” This isn’t that exact clip but same episode and pretty succinct. (If you prefer not to click the link, google Sex and the City He’s Just Not That into You.)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c4WZnkbNmQA

  18. twentymilehike

    I JUST went through a really similar situation.

    I went through three interviews, the recruiter felt I was a shoe in, and my friend on the “inside” was confident that I was their final choice. The recruiter finally sent me an email (fortunately I didn’t have to be the one to initiate it), telling me they chose a candidate who’s qualifications “more closely met” the position. My friend tells me that none of the other candidates had close to my qualifications! I was SO PEEVED. Luckly, having an inside connection, I found later that the real story was that a highly qualified internal candidate submit an application later in the hiring process and they jumped at hiring her.

    Job hunting really is a pain the you-know-what!

    Hopefully this isn’t an entirely inapproprate place to ask, but AAM, do you (or any of the commenters!) have job hunting sites that you recommend to find listings on? For example, I never hear back from anything I find on Monster, so I’m wondering if I’m just wasting my time there and should avoid it altogether.

    1. Ask a Manager Post author

      I’m a big fan of niche industry sites — for instance, idealist.org for nonprofit jobs, PRSA for communications jobs, etc. Go niche rather than big job board.

      1. ChristineH

        I love Idealist. I’ve personally never applied to anything listed there, but the quality of the jobs and other opportunities listed are excellent.

      2. Rana

        +1 Big, multi-industry sites like Monster are, I find, pretty near useless. You’re much better off looking at a smaller site that knows what employers in your field are specifically interested in, than a site that spits up things like engineering jobs in response to a search for “historian” positions.

    2. Kristi

      I think its also important to consider whatever reason given as to why a jobseeker wasn’t hired, it may not be the actual reason. To me, “candidates who’s qualifications more closely met the position” almost reads as filler. So while this may be true for twentymilehike, often its just a simple way to word a decline.

      I used to process donation requests at one job. We had one form letter we usually responded with which state our funding was spent for the year (even if it was Jan). Fast forward to next job where I was requesting donations. Each time I received a letter like this, I learned to recognize it as a generic decline.

      Monster is just too busy for me. I like Simply Hired, and Indeed.com.

      1. Ask a Manager Post author

        Yes! “Candidates whose qualifications more closely met the position” is boilerplate. It means nothing other than “we hired someone else, for reasons that we aren’t going to get into here.”

        1. nyxalinth

          I used to really be annoyed by that! I have 5+ years with big corporate call centers, had all the things they requested in the ad, and would always scratch my head and grouse when I got those letters, because I couldn’t figure out what more they wanted.

          Then I just shrugged it off as ‘general rejection bs’ and started writing better cover letters and resumes. At least I actually get interviews now, usually!

          1. Jenn

            Our HR dept uses that verbiage, too. Apparently it can mean anything ranging from “You didn’t have the right experience” to “your application looked sketchy” to “you called us too many times and now we think you’re nuts.”

    3. JP

      I looked at primarily local boards (MilwaukeeJobs) and one that was region and industry specific (Big Shoes Network – highly recommend if you’re interested in marketing/PR jobs in WI, IL and occasionally MN, companies pay to list on this one so you don’t have the pages of spam you get on Monster), but my best luck was from finding companies I was interested in, either from listings on those job boards, recommendations from friends, or general googling, and occasionally checking their own career sections. It seems like things are often listed there before they’re sent out for postings on other boards.

      1. cf

        JP, I just got a job in Milaukee via careerbuilder. I’ll make a note of Big Shoes Network for next time.

        20milehike, I got my first three professional jobs via the University of Texas placement center. One job in Texas, two in Miami. The last one was through their job board. Try your college placement office.

  19. Mary Sue

    I think the “Sorry, we’re going with someone else” is the second hardest response to deal with when you’ve temped at the employer. I know the times it happened to me I spent weeks second guessing myself, and them, and capitalism, and everything else in the history of ever. The key is to stand up, brush yourself off, and keep moving forward.

    (The hardest, in my opinion, from my experience, is, “Yeah, you’ve temped here for years, but we hired someone else for your job, hey, can you train the new hire for us? Thanks.”)

    1. Jamie

      The problem a lot of temps are up against are the contracts with the temp agency.

      There is often a fee that a company must pay the agency if a temp is hired directly during a certain period of time – and it can be considerable.

      When I accepted my first direct hire job they paid my temp agency over 13K in a lump sum for me. The job was only entry level at 35K – the agency’s direct hire fee was 38%.

      I remember the specifics because it was definitely brought to my attention by corporate that my boss was a pita about badgering them to pay the fee while HR wanted to just place an ad to get another candidate to save the money.

      Now that I know a little something I know HR can negotiate those fees when they sign the initial temp contracts, but if the company didn’t do that it can work against you if they have to pay what amounts to a finders fee for you. It immediately makes you more expensive than your competition – and what sucks is you’d cost them more money and not see a dime of it yourself.

  20. Kimberley

    When the OP was interviewing with the company, was her prior manager involved at all? If not, that’s where things may have changed. Perhaps this manager (from when she was a temp) didn’t think that she did have all of the skills for the position, or maybe she didn’t feel that the OP was a good fit for the department long term.
    Another thing to consider is that because she had been a temp there, the company may have to pay a fee to the staffing company if they hire her. A lot of times a company will not pay fees no matter how great a candidate is.

    1. Sara the OP

      Hi, OP here.

      It was my previous manager who actually told me that she’s hiring.

      A little bit more background, if this helps: I had applied directly to the company and she hired me on the spot for the temp position. Things were fine in the first few months but towards the end of my assignment, things were a bit sour: she wouldn’t reply to certain emails and then claimed that she had told me some key information (when she had not), was actually a bit unnecessarily harsh in another email (which I ignored); also, there had been an incident in which my judgment was called into question and I was seriously afraid I might get fired (I didn’t) and she ignored all my subsequent emails, including one where I had thanked her for the opportunity, loved working with everyone and another one in which I asked if I could use her as a reference. LUckily I had two references from that position but I felt that that bridge with her had burned.

      Cut to last month, she contacted me and said that she’s hiring and would I like to apply for the position. I followed up and went through teh application and then called in for an interview. I was interviewed by her and a senior associate that I had met briefly at my time there but never worked with. That seemed to go pretty well; after the initial interview and my subsequent thank-you letter, I had no direct contact with her; my main contact was wiht the senior associate. He informed me that the second interview would be with senior staff and a decision would be made. Well, the second interview were by other associates (not higher management) and it was prolonged for another several weeks, up until yesterday. So no< i have not had any direct contact with that previous manager.

      When I had left the position, I genuinely thought that my future there was over and they wouldn't want me back, so when I was approached, I was really surprised, but then flattered (wrongly so?) and thought, ok maybe I didn't mess up as badly as I thought I had–they saw somethign in me that they liked, and I may have a future there. Now that little tiny bit of confidence I had is gone too.

      I do believe in fate. Maybe this position isnt' meant for me, at this time or at this company–who knows–because I did try my best and I don't think there was anything else I could have done–I gave my best interviews ever. I had my questions ready (this blog really helped me!) I was engaging, polite, enthusiastic, addressed their concerns.

      It's funny, I first emailed Alison because I was freaking out over my third interview with the owner of the organization (which was scheduled but then delayed–not cancelled) and was worried how I'd handle the salary question–sadly I got too ahead of myself.

  21. Chocolate Teapot

    I can understand the frustration, and something similar has happened to me in the past, which I am sure I have related on here before. (The tale of going for an interview, being told during the interview that I was being considered for another job, promised fresh job description within week, no response, so on following up being informed that I wasn’t right, since I seemed surprised during the interview!)

    I think the worst thing is only being rejected when you followed up. After a while, you can assume the application isn’t going anywhere, but even so, it’s good to know which irons you still have in the fire. This is why I like to fire off an application after having had an interview, even if the job isn’t quite right, just to use some of the nervous energy. (Plus it might mean extra interview practice!)

  22. Tater B.

    A few weeks ago, I had a series of interviews for a nationally recognized nonprofit. I had DREAMED of working for this organization and the opening happened to be in my area of experience. First interview went great; second interview with the CEO seemed different. I shrugged off my negative feelings and whistled as I left, thinking this job was mine!

    I interviewed on Friday and got a call on Monday that they had chosen another candidate. I really could have done without the phone call (we’ve talked about that at length in several posts here), but I was really disappointed and a little angry.

    But the more I thought about, the more I realized this would not have been a good fit for me. The “negative vibe” I felt in the second interview stemmed from two things: there really wasn’t any room for advancement and the structure of the position was far too rigid for my taste. The truth is, I probably would have started looking for another position within the year. In future interviews (I have several lined up this week!!!!), I’ll make sure to ask about the company culture and advancement opportunities upfront.

    I am learning not to take any of this personal. It’s not an exact science; there are still some days when I dread checking my mailbox or e-mail. But overall, every interview experience has been invaluable in showing me how to prepare for the next one. If nothing else, I’m definitely working on the world record for Most Interviews Without An Actual Job Offer. *sarcasm*

    1. nyxalinth

      No way! You can’t have it, that’s my record, damn it! :P

      Honestly, I feel you. Been there since January of this year.

    2. Jenn

      Funny you mention it – I too recently had two interviews in which the first one went great; the second one was “off”. I got some strange vibes from a couple of the interviewers, but I shrugged it off b/c I was excited about the job. It wasn’t until after I was told they’d selected another candidate that I really looked at that second interview with a critical eye. There were definitely some red flags there, but I’d ignored them because I was soooo invested in getting that job! Perspective is a wonderful thing. Sometimes you don’t get it until after the moment has passed.

    3. Ashley

      I actually think I have that title. I’ve had over 100 interviews this past year and still not a full time job. :( Talk about feeling worthless and not good enough…

  23. Anonymous

    I was treated like crap when applying for a job last fall. The worst part? That job was with my current company, but in a different division! The HR recruiter scheduled phone calls with me while I was on vacation. (I let her know I would be on vacation, but that I could be available.) And then blew them off. Not once, but three times.

    Turns out, it wasn’t me. My supervisor had the same experience when trying to set up a meeting with the same recruiter when we were looking to hire for a position within our company.

    Needless to say, I’m no longer with said company. During my job search, I have found a s a general rule, people involved in the hiring process are rude and inconsiderate.

    My new company has been extremely professional and communicated every step of the way. The only surprise was to get an offer instead of a third round interview.

  24. Cindy

    Lots of great (and non-judgmental) feedback from AAM’s awesome community of reasonable people!
    I just want to add, for the sake of OP getting over this, that it’s worth thinking about why you are focusing on one little detail so tenaciously. You really wanted the job and knew you’d be great at it, and then you didn’t get it. That’s why you’re upset. Although sure, they could have handled it slightly better, I think you’re displacing your bummed out feelings onto something relatively trivial instead of acknowledging why you’re upset. Really, you would have been this upset if you’d had that third interview and had still not gotten picked.
    This is like when your friend gets dumped, and spends the next month obsessively saying “how could she have dumped me the day after my birthday? How could she have sat next to me at my birthday party knowing she was going to break up with me?” When you know if she’d broken up with him before his birthday, he’d be obsessing over how horrible that was, and why couldn’t she have waited and not ruined his birthday, etc etc. He’s mad that he got dumped, not about the timing or the delivery.
    Let yourself feel sad about this and then move on, gracefully. Onward and upward!

  25. Lisa

    I think a lot of people discount the last minute candidate factor. I had interviewed for a great internal position one step up from my current level. Went through two full rounds of interviews, from the hiring manager up to the VP of the group, excellent interview performance on my part, I believed and the feedback from the HR rep as I went along was fantastic, they were loving me, right up until 2:00 Thursday afternoon (they were going to be making a final decesion the end of the week) when another internal candidate with twice the experience then me threw her hat in the ring, she got the spot.
    I knew this only because I happen to have a good relationship with the HR rep and he gave me the honest lowdown about what happened. I believe that had I not had that inside info I would have just been brushed off with a standard “were going with another candidate” line and I would have been left wondering what the hell I did wrong. I did nothing wrong, at the 11th hour someone better them me made her presence known, and the rest was history. It sucked but that’s business, and from my conversations with the HR rep, this happens more often then not.

    1. fposte

      Last-minute candidate, somebody who was leaving decided to stay, somebody who’d been there before moved back to town…all kinds of things can happen on the hiring side to change the picture suddenly.

  26. Christina

    Oh man, do I sympathize with the frustration. This is going to be a novel, and I apologize in advance:

    I applied for a job within my organization that was perfect and I followed pretty much every applying/interviewing tip on this site. All the responsibilities were ones I’m doing currently, so I re-wrote my resume to focus on my accomplishments; I wrote a fantastic cover letter to support my interest/alignment with their goals/why I’d be a great fit (not restating anything that was already in my resume); I followed up with a former manager who worked in the department and she put in a good word for me with the hiring manager/committee.

    I got an in-person interview with the manager (skipped over the phone interview) which I thought was a great sign, practiced and prepared all my questions and answers. I felt the interview went great, the manager seemed fantastic (and pretty much hit everything talked about here about what makes a good manager), I asked the question about the difference between a good/great employee, and if there was anything he had any hesitation about in my application. In answer to that, he asked me to clarify two things on my resume, then pretty much started explaining what he DID like about my background. I asked about timeline and follow-up, he said he understood how much time candidates invest in this process so he’d let each candidate know within 2 weeks and would even address their specific application if they weren’t moving to the next round. I hand-wrote a follow-up (not thank you) letter recapping the key points/goals we talked about and how I could fulfill those and it was sent within 24 hours.

    Cue two weeks later, I get a standard “We have identified other candidates who are a better fit. Good luck!” form reply. I followed up with a very courteous e-mail thanking him for the consideration, and asked, since jobs of this nature are what I’m interested in pursuing, if there was anything in my application that I could improve, and got no response at all. Cried in my car for two hours. So yeah, the frustration may not be logical but it’s definitely understandable.

    1. Ask a Manager Post author

      At risk of sounding like a broken record with this point, I think frustration is absolutely reasonable and understandable. Where I think the OP was going wrong was with being angry and blaming the employer; that’s where I think many job seekers (not you, based on this) go wrong.

      1. Jamie

        At the risk of being drummed out of here – I think it’s important to remember that frustration goes both ways.

        I know being rejected for a job is far more personal so the emotions are much more visceral – so I’m not trying to draw an equivalency between the candidate and the hiring manager – but it can be frustrating on the other side as well.

        1. Candidates who look awesome on paper and via phone interview, but can’t back it up with the skills they claim to have.

        2. Candidates you desperately want to hire because they are awesome, but someone just above you on the stupid ladder is “just one more thinging” you into delay after delay…which is killing you because you just want to get them on payroll already. And guess what – in the meantime they’ve accepted another offer so you’re back to square one.

        3. Candidates who out and out lie on their resumes and it all falls apart during the reference check.

        4. Great candidates who accept your offer…and a month later accept another offer from when they were looking. So you’re back at square one and they are pissy because you wouldn’t come up with a ridiculous counter offer. Hey if you can make more somewhere else I’m the first person to tell you to grab it. But that doesn’t obligate anyone else to match the offer – this isn’t a discount store.

        1. Ask a Manager Post author

          5. Candidates who ask for feedback and then become hostile and defensive when you give it.

          6. Candidates who blame you for not hiring them, as if they were owed the job once they interviewed.

          Yeah, I know, cry me a river — but the frustration does go both ways.

          1. Sara the OP

            I hope I don’t come across like 5 or 6! I have not asked them for feedback, as I really don’t want to appear hostile or defensive, so I’m still waiting until I feel I’ve calmed down enough..lol.

            Ok maybe #6 fits me to an extent and I’m a tad resistant.

            I know I wasn’t owed a job, and no one owes me anything. It’s just a tough process and as others have said–when not having a job = struggling for a livelihood, it’s easy to get angry and frustrated. I just don’t want to misplace my anger or negative feelings.

            1. B

              Your best bet for the anger, frustration, etc…hit the gym! It gets your mind into a better place and the endorphins make you personally feel better. It is truly something you can do for yourself.

              1. Sara

                With all due respect, I disagree.
                Yes I was angry, but it was the kind of anger that you don’t know where to direct, at yourself or at the company. I think most people do get emotional, and tha’ts okay, as long as it’ doesn’t lead to destructive behavior. It’s been almsot a week now and I’ve moved on. and I did mentoin that I am very well aware that I am not entitled to anything. Don’t know your work history but for people who are new/new-ish to the work force they often aren’t aware at what’s absolutely normal and what’s considered rude/unacceptable behavior.

      2. Anonymous

        As silly as I should know it is to be angry, I get angry, too. Frustration flows pretty seamlessly into anger (and sadness) when you’re dealing with something that is as important in your life as your livelihood and, in many ways, a large part of your identity. And it doesn’t really go both ways when that rejection means you’ll struggle to make ends meet, stay stuck in a horrible situation, or need to start questioning/changing your life’s path. You are not unemployed when your job applicants are difficult.

        I get that is sucks, though. And because I know the person on the other end of the application is, well, just a person, who hates this process too, I don’t send angry emails to those companies. I don’t really do anything with that anger. There’s not really anything you can do with it, other than wait for it to ebb out. I can’t just not be angry; if I wasn’t, there wouldn’t be much motivating me to keep trying to get a job. If I wasn’t angry I’d just give up. You need anger sometimes.

  27. LCL

    This is why I don’t serve on interview committees if I can possibly escape the assignment. I do realize how important the job search is to people, and how hard it is. After the manager on the last committee I was on insisted on a round of second interviews, for a highly technical position that personnel had screened already and sent us only qualified candidates, I decided that some managers just like to make some people jump through hoops. My argument that we were getting paid the big money to make. a. decision. went nowhere.

  28. Jaclyn

    Oh man, I can relate to this.

    I responded to a great job ad–perfectly fit my skills and I had experience. I got a very friendly and promising email from the hiring manager, who told me to wait two weeks as they are still collecting resumes before they set up interviews. So I email asking for an update after 3 weeks goes by, and receive another very friendly email that someone higher up had some “friends” who might be interested in the job, and to please email back a week later to follow up with the process.

    So I email a week later..and receive an email about how they are still not ready to interview, and to email back in a week. So I do, (all my emails have been very pleasant and placing no pressure on him–just more like a “hey, any updates? I’m looking forward to meeting and speaking with you more…”) and gradually the next 3 emails I receive get very short, serious, and slightly annoyed. But every time, he left a window of hope open for me, and kept encouraging me to “email back in a week for updates.” I gave up.

    It was pretty disappointing because at first he seemed very excited and interested in me, but then kept leading me on and got more and more unfriendly/generic/annoyed. I guess he was expecting me to figure out that I had no chance and to move on? Why keep telling me to email you in a week if you dont really want me to email you back?!

    1. Anonymous

      All of that to set up preliminary interviews? Essentially a ten minute phone screen or short in person interview? I don’t see why they would couldn’t have just contacted you when they were actually ready to interview you, instead of this “and wait for it…” jazz.

      Why waste yours and the candidate’s time by telling them you’ll contact them for an interview, possibly, in a few weeks once they collect more resumes? It seems counterproductive.

  29. Just Me

    I look at it this way, I apply, I get an interview or 2 and I wait.
    I do the best I can.

    I am pretty good at deciphiering whether I did OK or not. I think it is important to really look at the interview afterwards and take stock in how it went…..REALLY really how it went, I know when I have blown it… or at least in my mind, but overall I have learned to just take the interview with a grain of salt no matter what.

    I am not saying I don’t care, don’t want the job, or not try or do I want to sound glib, I am just saying you send the resume, hopefully get an interview and then just be done with it. Well at least I try…

    What will grind my nerve more is not getting a letter of rejection after a interview. I know that is what happens but my gripe is more that than what is said in an interview.

  30. Kelly

    Reader, I totally agree that this must have been a really crappy and frustrating process for you. From the candidate side, the hiring process can be like Schrödinger’s box, there are just an infinite number of unknowns that could be affecting this outcome. A few that jumped out at me from reading your exchange with AAM that I don’t think have been mentioned already by other commenters:

    – Between your second interview and scheduled third interview, someone applied externally for the position who was a stronger candidate/better fit.
    – Between your second interview and scheduled third interview, someone applied internally, and they decided that an internal candidate would be a stronger/better fit than a previous temporary employee.
    – You were applying for a job where you’d be doing [X], [Y] and a little bit of [Z]. During the process, their [Z] expert, the person who handles 99% of [Z] related tasks, quit their job and now it’s a lot more important that the person in your position has more experience doing [Z].

    So those are three examples that have nothing to do with you or your qualifications. It sucks if those things produced a crappy outcome for you and your job search, but in each case they probably made the decision they felt was best for their organization.

    However, one thing that really jumped out at me was this:

    “I made it clear I was willing to work and learn and do everything it took to do well at my job.”

    Obviously no hiring manager expects a candidate to know 100% of everything there is to know about the position and not need to learn anything, but I do sometimes see job applications where the applicant believes that the willingness to learn a particular qualification should be judged as the same as having the qualification. This is a hyperbolic example, but: I recently posted a position and included “bilingual candidates strongly preferred” in the job description qualifications. I got a cover letter that said, basically, “I think I would be great at this job for reasons [A], [B] and [C] and, if necessary, I am willing to learn Spanish.”

    I 100% believe that this person was 1000% willing to learn Spanish to do well at that job. But a) that’s kind of impractical, I can’t hire someone and then wait for them to balance a Spanish immersion course with their full-time job until they’re fluent in Spanish and b) as long as there are applicants who already speak Spanish (and there were), that person’s honest, genuine, dedicated willingness to learn in order to meet that qualification is a moot point.

    1. Jamie

      “This is a hyperbolic example,”

      I think this was one of the best examples to illustrate this point that I’ve seen.

  31. Anonymous

    It’s true, you’re not entitled to a chance and an interview doesn’t mean a job. They weren’t misleading. HOWEVER, that’s not really the problem. The problem is that they canceled an interview, didn’t even let you know why even though they said they would until you made them, and then gave you a concern that was brand new to you. THAT was a crappy way to treat you. It’s not the not hiring that’s really what’s hurting you here, it’s the way it was done. The not hiring hurts though, I’m sure, and this was insult to injury. You feel like you didn’t get a fair chance because they gave you one and then snatched it in a crappy way.

    If you’re stuck scratching your head or figuring out what you did wrong, don’t. They canceled the interview after they talked to your old manager and cited experience; maybe they misunderstood what you had done there before somehow, and after clarifying it with her, realized their mistake. Maybe she said something about you that made them feel you weren’t a good fit for some other reason. It doesn’t even have to be that she said something disparaging, just something that contrasted you with the other applicants. Like if she said something in passing about how much oversight and contact she had with you but they really want someone who’s demonstrated their ability to work independently, for example– who knows.

    1. Ask a Manager Post author

      There’s nothing wrong with canceling an interview (rather than wasting their and her time if they know they won’t be hiring her, just as a candidate would cancel an interview if they’d decided not to pursue the job), and there’s nothing wrong with giving her a concern that they hadn’t discussed with her previously. They were wrong to tell her that they’d be in touch in a few days and then get back to her until she followed up — that’s rude (although also incredibly common in hiring, to the point that candidates would be better off to expect it).

      But let’s not say that the other stuff is wrong when it’s not; that will only encourage people to feel misled/mistreated when they really weren’t. People are much better off with a realistic understanding of what they can and can’t expect from the hiring process.

      1. Anonymous

        No I totally agree, that’s what I mean. I didn’t differentiate well in my comment, sorry. I’m saying that’s what hurts. The claiming they’d follow up and then not doing it is what’s wrong, and the fact that it wrapped up having an interview canceled and then being rejected for something that was new to her made it sting extra hard. It was a piece of crappy treatment making a bit of difficult circumstances that much more difficult to handle. Not getting back to her like they said they would made the cancellation extra harsh, and the new reason made it confusing to boot. That’s why the they’re so much more upset, I’ll wager, than they would be if they had just been rejected with that small courtesy in place.

        And you’re right that it’s so common now it’s ridiculous. I don’t expect to ever hear anything from anyone when I apply to a job anymore, even if they’ve reached out to me before. I do, however, think it’s messed up that this is standard now.

          1. KT

            I think this is magnified in the OP’s case because she temped for them, and therefore already had a relationship with this employer. I think anyone deserves to hear back whether or not they’ve gotten a job after the interview, but if they know you, this goes x1000.

  32. NewReader

    OP, thanks for sharing this conversation with us.
    I am sure that many people are reading and re-reading your back and forth with Alison.
    I know it has helped me a lot, to know that I am not alone in noticing stuff like this and trying to keep my thinking from tanking….
    I did not get any impression of entitlement from you. Total bafflement, yes.
    And in the absence of facts, what is left? Emotions/intuition–“I felt, I thought….” It’s human nature to fill in the void (the lack of facts) with whatever we have in easy reach.
    Yeah, we get angry or we cry …. the sooner we get back on track- the sooner we have that interview that does work out.
    Thanks to all for sharing tools that we can use to get back on track when we need to.
    OP, you made it through two interviews. That is a fact. This means that you DO have some things right, and it means that other employers will be interested in talking with you.
    I tend to believe that when things like your story here happen, it means that your next job is going to come up very, very soon.

  33. Eva

    From one searcher to another: I also want to offer my condolences to the OP for her not getting the position she was so hoping to get. I agree it sucks when you interview, are told a specific time frame in which they will get back to you but you hear nothing.

    I have to agree with Jubilance if you don’t hear from them in 1-2 days you didn’t get the job. I am sure the one who got it heard back from them the next day.

    I have to say I looked at Jaime and Allison’s list of what frustration looks like on the other side and the first one got me to thinking.

    Jaime: 1. Candidates who look awesome on paper and via phone interview, but can’t back it up with the skills they claim to have.

    My problem is that I have years of experience and I make the stupid mistake of using a horrible example, yet I thought it was good one so being able to back up my skills just went in the toilet….Can I slip a question in about this: Are there signs I can watch out for if I picked the wrong example so I can quickly give a different one or somewhat salvage the interview?

    In regards of asking for feedback I don’t do that because I am afraid I would come off as being rude, childish and not very professional because I am hurt, discouraged and all around becoming discouraged from all the no’s or the silent treatment. Besides another position might open up with the same company and I might want to apply for it and would hate to be disqualified because of previous stupidity.

    To the original OP I say perhaps this really wasn’t a perfect fit, don’t give up and keep trying and sooner or later you will find the right one, also to change a little of what Allison says..unless you have a specific date for another interview, don’t believe what you are being told – actions do speak louder than words…. hope you start feeling better….Are you feeling better? yeah probably not yet, I get the same advice from my family and friends but I still feel deflated…Good Luck with your search!

    1. Jamie

      About the skills thing, I was referring to objective tech skills, which you can either demonstrate when tested or not. If someone claims proficiency with SQL and can’t run a simple select query – they overstated their competency.

      IT has the advantage of hard skills being easier to vet with a proficiency test. It’s a lot harder to evaluate soft skills, but I don’t think there is anything wrong if you give an example in correcting that and following up with a better one.

    2. Zed

      “I have to agree with Jubilance if you don’t hear from them in 1-2 days you didn’t get the job. ”

      Completely untrue in some fields! I recently got an academic job, and the offer came approximately five weeks after my interview. The whole process, from application to start date, took five months.

  34. Tel

    I once sent my resume, interviewed for a job (first by phone, then in person). It was a company that was moving to my city. They phone me to ask about a third round of interviews. We agree on a date. They phone and ask to reschedule. We reschedule. They phone again and reschedule. They phone a third time and say they need to reschedule but don’t know when would be a good time yet, can I call them back in two days.

    I’m wondering if this interview is ever going to take place. But I phone two days later and get the very irritated manager basically yelling at me, telling me how the move is not going well and he has lots of stuff to think about. He says he will call.

    He does not call, though at that point if he had called, I wouldn’t have answered. Based on the first two interviews I thought I had the job, but then the third did not take place and the whole thing seemed to implode through no fault of mine.

    It’s not your fault. Let it go.

    1. nyxalinth

      I had something similar ten years ago (gods, I’m starting to think that if there’s any crappy interviewer behavior out there that I can experience, I have!) where I had an interview, the lady told me to give her a call on thursday to find out.

      So I do, and she’s busy, and asks me to call back in two hours. So I do, and she says she’s still tied up, can I call back in another hour. I do so.

      Now she’s in a meeting and goes off on me for calling her so much while she’s busy.

      Lady, I did so at YOUR request. I politely ended the call, and to this day, I feel that I dodged not a bullet, but a nuke. Even after all this time, that company is constantly hiring. I wonder why? :P

  35. Lisa M.

    Everyone is so justified for being frustrated. I’ve been in HR for more than 20 years (with full recruiting responsibilities) and I ALWAYS close out my candidates immediately upon knowing that they will no longer be considered (even if it’s just a phone screen). I even try to go so far as to provide feedback on where they fell short to help them even further. When I bring candidates in to meet, there is even more of a personal requirement that I’ve placed upon myself to keep the candidate fully in the loop as to where we are in the process and let them know they are still being considered, if indeed they are. And if they aren’t – I let them know… sooner then later.

    Three weeks ago I went in for an interview – met with 3 senior executives over a 3.5 hour period. A week later, I was asked to come back to meet with the CEO (the last step in the process). 4 days later I tolerated a 4.5 interview with the CEO (no exageration!). I then contacted the HR Manager (who I’d be replacing) a few days later to ask about status (it was a Friday afternoon and I wanted to know something before the weekend. She stated that the hiring manager was going to contact me with a few more questions, either that afternoon or Monday. And she also let me know that it was between me and one other candidate. Like she stated, the hiring manager contacted me that afternoon. Easy questions, just validating what he already knew – very much gave me the impression that I had this job. The executives were going to meet either that afternoon to decide and I would hear back from them on Monday. Please note: I am NEVER one to think I got the job – I am the one that KNOWS when I am not going to get an offer because I’ve been doing this so long. So this time, I KNEW I had this job. It was just so perfect. Until it wasn’t… Monday came, and went. Tuesday came, and went. Wednesday came … and at around 3pm I emailed the HR Manager to inquire if a decision had been made and if I was still being considered. She called about 30 minutes later… and it just gets better.

    “They made the decision on Monday and I was not selected. We had a managers meeting yesterday (Tuesday) from 9am to 2pm that went to 3:30pm and she just had “boatloads of work to get to afterwards”. Remember, now it’s Wednesday end of day. How long does a phone call or email really take – 3 minutes?

    Then … when I emailed her a couple of hours later just to politely ask where I fell short and if there was anything I could do better to be more successful next time around – or if there was a skill or experience that would have made me a better match, could she provide a little feedback as it would be greatly appreciated. No reply. So 2 days later I sent a similar email to the hiring manager thanking him so much for his time and consideration, letting him know how much I appreciate that they chose the candidate that they felt was the best fit, yada yada yada… and asked politely for feedback. Again, no reply. I still shake my head and it’s been a week.

    Job hunting blows – no doubt. What’s even more frustrating is when HR Managers treat fellow HR Managers with such utter disrespect. You would think they would treat their peers with a little professional courtesy – not a chance. I can only hope that they are in the job market someday and get the same treatment…

    Onward and upward.

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