when candidates no-call, no-show for an interview — and then reapply

A reader writes:

I’m wondering how you would handle this situation. For some reason, we have frequent no-call, no-shows for interviews. Probably 1 in 15 is a no-call, no-show. I’ve tried to lower this by following up on phone scheduling with email confirmations, but that hasn’t improved anything. I know you have written on your blog in the past that you follow up with no-call, no-shows with an email. I haven’t been doing that since I know the hiring managers have no interest in the candidate once they have no-call, no-showed. I just make a note in our database.

Half of the time we never hear from these candidates again. However, the other half of them end up reapplying in the future with no mention of the prior interview. We don’t own an ATS, so they are applying directly to me, knowing that I was the one that scheduled their interview in the past. I haven’t been responding to their new applications but I want to … It irks me that they think they can be unprofessional and then think in 6 months we’ll forget and it will be washed away. Should I let it go and continue to ignore their reapplying or is there a nice way to say “don’t bother after what you already did”?

I bet they don’t even realize that you’re the same company who they bailed on in the past. We already know they’re disorganized (or something else unflattering), so I think it’s a safe bet that they’re simply applying to jobs without tracking them or recalling what they’ve applied to in the past, and as a result don’t even realize that they’re returning to the scene of the crime.

In any case, though, you can either continue to just ignore their re-applications or you could absolutely point it out to them. Personally, I would say something, because I have a compulsion to point out things like this. I’d probably email back with something like, “We had an interview scheduled several months ago, but you never showed up and never contacted us.” You could add, “and as a result, I’m not able to consider further applications from you,” but that probably goes unsaid after the first sentence.

As a side note … This reminds me of a guy who I made a job offer to years ago. He asked for a couple of days to get back to me with an answer but never did. I reached out by phone and email, explaining that I had another candidate to get back to, but never heard from him again. Then, four years later, he applied for a job with me again. I asked him what happened to him four years earlier, and he said that it had been “too hard” for him to turn down an offer that he really wanted but couldn’t accept for financial reasons. $#@%&^*!!

Anyway, back to your situation. It’s completely reasonable to cancel an interview if you realize the job isn’t right for you, or you accept another offer, or you have a conflict, or whatever. But there’s just no reason not to call or email to cancel, and it would be entirely reasonable of you to nudge those candidates into realizing that.

{ 163 comments… read them below }

    1. LK*

      A couple years ago we had a new hire no-call no-show on his first day! (This was after he paid for a criminal history check and everything). We couldn’t get a hold of him via phone or email; he finally called a couple weeks later and said he decided the job wasn’t the right fit for him. Bizarre!

      1. Crazy for TEAPOTS!*

        For me, if the interview is going well, I’ll say, “As we mention in the application process we do require every person we end up offering a position to be able to pass a drug test, reference check and background check… Any anxiety about being able to complete any of these?”

        ALWAYS, I get the, oh yeah, of course, I got a speeding ticket once but other than that my record is clean, I don’t take drugs, blah blah blah…

        We move forward with the offer, they accept, and we notify the other applicants that we are not selecting them, etc. A week goes by and we get the results back (after the new hire has called us to “check in” three times within that week) and BOOM! Something is tested positive or they have got a deal breaking felony on their record. Just last week we ran a background check on the applicant and they had just been convicted 2 weeks ago!

        Any advice on how to handle this infuriating frustration?

        1. Ask a Manager* Post author

          I don’t think you can handle it any differently, unfortunately. Well, I suppose before you launch the background check, you could say, “Are we likely to find anything here that we should talk about ahead of time?”

          (Also, please make sure you’re not doing drug tests for positions that don’t involve public safety, like bus drivers, since for many positions it’s irrelevant if someone smoked a joint in the privacy of their own home on Saturday evening.)

          1. Jean*

            Is it possible for perfectly reasonable prescription drugs (prescribed by physicians for perfectly reasonable health-related reasons) to give a “BOOM!” result in a drug test? If yes, what’s the best way for employers and applicants to handle this? I don’t know if HIPPA or other laws already address this. Some lines of work (pilots, surgeons, bus drivers, forklift operators) have more obvious needs to know if an employee has impaired judgment (although physician might be one of those higher-status jobs in which people traditionally have not been questioned–not saying this is right or wrong, just reporting the situation). Also, some people are pretty matter-of-fact about sharing news of a current or ongoing condition, while others are deeply uncomfortable disclosing or being told anything of the kind.

            1. KellyK*

              I haven’t ever had to take a drug test, but my vague impression is that you’re supposed to list everything you’re taking, both prescription and OTC, and they can compare the results that they get with your list. I’m not sure how common false positives are, but I can certainly see them being an issue. (Which is another reason not to do drug testing.)

              1. the gold digger*

                Yes, when you take the test, there is a place on the form to list all RX you are taking.

                I am in principle opposed to pre-employment drug tests for jobs where heavy machinery is not involved. I am also opposed to my employer taking my blood, which is why I am not getting the wellness discount on my work health insurance: part of the program is they take a blood sample. My blood and what’s in it are none of my employer’s business.

                1. Original Dan*

                  Mine does the same. But it’s contracted out to a chain of clinics. The clinic checks cholesterol, blood sugar, etc. If you’re not in a “high risk” group (high blood pressure, high cholesterol, etc.) then you get a discount on the insurance.

                  Seems pretty benign to me, but I can see where you’re coming from.

                2. Meredith*

                  Your employer isn’t seeing what’s in your blood. The company they are contracting to check your blood is evaluating what’s in your blood. If they were to tell your employer, that would be a HIPAA violation.

            2. Crazy for TEAPOTS!*

              Great question!

              So when you donate, you give two samples at the same time. What happens is if anything (except cocaine, cocaine is an automatic fail) shows up in your first, the second sample is screened to check for a false positive. If something shows up there, the results are sent to the pharmacist on their review board and someone from the drug test company will contact you asking if you have documentation for a prescription with XXX in it. If you provide it to them within 48 hours, then the employer gets a notification that you passed (with no asterisks). If not, I get a message saying you failed.

              That said if I get a passed result that takes more than a week, I know it has gone for review but that won’t matter to your HR dept (and will stay confidential per HIPPA).

              Hope that answers your question!

              1. Natalie*

                Additionally, in some states you have the right to request a be retested if you fail the test and believe it was a false positive. I don’t remember the details in MN, but that notice has been on all of the forms I’ve signed when I’ve been drug tested.

            3. ThatFormerHRGirl*

              Not sure if anyone else has addressed this down-thread, but the drug tests should (emphasis on SHOULD) be conducted by a third party medical diagnostic company and that company has someone called a Medical Review Officer or “MRO”. It’s the MRO’s job to contact anyone with a positive result and conduct an “interview” in which they give the candidate the opportunity to provide any prescription information in which case the MRO will validate it with the prescribing physician.
              All this should be done BEFORE any news of a positive result is passed on to the employer so that all the employer sees is “PASS” rather than any personal medical information.

              Of course this is the smart, low-risk way of doing things and not all employers will follow that.

              1. Crazy for TEAPOTS!*


                THIS! It was killing me not to remember what they are called, but yes, the MRO is the pharmacist that will reach out to you.

                THANKS ThatFormerHRGirl!

                1. ThatFormerHRGirl*

                  Inevitably some paranoid candidates will always call the HR/Recruiter and divulge every. single. prescription. they have taken in the last, like, 10 years “just in case it happens to come up!’.
                  In which case I continually try to interrupt them and say YOU DONT HAVE TO TELL ME THAT. Oy.

            4. Joey*

              There are typically safeguards against this. For example every drug test company I ever used checks with the screenee for possible Rx’s before a positive result is released. If there is an Rx a doctor may change the result to negative if he determines the Rx caused the positive reading. Of course the employer doesnt typically see the sausage making they just get a positive/negative.

            5. Joanne*

              I got an internship at a place that used instant drug screens (affectionately called the “dip test”), and I tested positive for coke (not the drink), which I have never even seen in real life. Luckily for me, I guess, they thought I didn’t “look like” (!!) the type, and sent it off. It was negative in the lab result. Scary to think, though, of what might have happened if I was 50 pounds thinner.

            6. Jessa*

              I have a friend on prescriptions that can occasionally show up on those tests. At the testing centre, she gives that information to the persons taking the sample. If it comes up positive she’s more than willing to provide the appropriate physician information. She’s also more than willing to say that she’s prescribed meds that can cause false positives if she needs to.

              However, the system really stinks because there’s NO requirement that they do check these things before issuing a “it was positive” to the requesting agency. With this becoming more normal in employment testing, they really should have a rule that says that if it’s positive you have to give the person a chance to give a medically proven reason and a second test before you report them for being on drugs.

          2. Crazy for TEAPOTS!*

            Great point. It’s like the speeding ticket… Those don’t matter, it’s the undisclosed felonies and cocaine that come up that do.

            We have hired felons in the past but only when/after they’ve have disclosed it to us prior and everything else is legit… solid references, etc.

            1. Just a Reader*

              I had to take a drug test for a marketing job. I don’t do drugs of any kind and it was still nerve wracking!

          3. darsenfeld*

            Is it? I don’t morally condemn drug taking, but as drugs are illegal (which as a tangential point I don’t agree with) firms can say that any illegal act an employee engages can lead to dismissal.

            1. KellyK*

              Sure, but it’s fairly excessive and invasive to do a drug test when your concern is that your employees never do anything illegal. No one asks for car insurance records to verify that you’ve never been caught speeding..

              1. Jessa*

                Um, if I was hiring someone who had to drive for the job I would absolutely get both their driving and insurance records. Obviously not for a cashier, but for an actual driver? Heck yes. I might even ask for their driving record if they were going to drive a forklift or other heavy equipment during work. Simply because someone with a lousy road driving record is not someone that I would trust with heavy equipment.

                1. Ask a Manager* Post author

                  KellyK was pointing out that if your concern is making sure your employees don’t do anything illegal, why are you only looking at drugs, as opposed to all the other ways people can commit crimes?

                2. Jessa*

                  Replying to myself because for some reason I cannot reply to Alison below this. However, if I were doing drug tests, I would ALSO be doing background checks, which would include a criminal record check, so if they had a record for something else, that would come out as well.

                  I mean normally companies that do drug tests also do regular background checks too.

                3. Ask a Manager* Post author

                  But there are a ton of crimes people can commit that wouldn’t show up on a drug test or a criminal record check (in the latter case, if they weren’t caught/convicted). Why are you singling out drug use in particular?

                  (Also, keep in mind that the EEOC prohibits employers from having a blanket ban on hiring anyone with a criminal conviction unless they can show the policy is truly job-related and rooted in business necessity, because such bans can have a disparate impact on minorities.)

                4. Chris*

                  Dear Jessa,
                  Apologies but I had to reply to your comment.
                  I myself am an Operations Manager having come from the floor as a casual storeman.

                  My driving record was horrendous but it is safe to say im the safest and most efficient forklift driver in the building.

                  You cannot assume in life that how people act in there personal life would make a direct reflection on work ethics.

                  Work Ethics is completely different and people should always be given a chance to prove change can happen by future actions they partake in. Society is driven too highly on past actions and leave no room for rehabilitation.

                  Just my 2 cents. Chris

            2. Ask a Manager* Post author

              Yes, they can legally say that. But that doesn’t mean invading people’s privacy is the right choice, or that it helps them make better hires.

          4. saf*

            I really hate drug testing for anything, but will tolerate it for things like bus drivers.

            I work for a place with a lot of contracts with governmental and quasi-governmental agencies, and all of those require drug tests for anyone on their sites. ANYONE. Makes me so insane.

            1. Jessa*

              If there are anything like security clearances in the building (not even for those employees) I can see where they would not want to hire someone who could be bribed or blackmailed. I mean “oh you have this habit here’s 25k for those plans.” or “give us the plans or we’ll report your drug use.”

              1. Original Dan*

                I’ve heard this argument before and it doesn’t really hold water.

                If you’re dealing with a criminal element that has the ability to get your drug use information and use it to blackmail you, what makes you think that they’re not also willing to kidnap your kids or your mom or burn your house down to get what they want?

              2. Ask a Manager* Post author

                I have to say, I have never heard that argument in favor of drug testing. I don’t think blackmail is a big concern. And if it is, we better also probe into employees’ sex lives too. And their finances. And all sorts of other things.

                It’s not reasonable.

                1. Jess*

                  So, my understanding (not from personal knowledge) is that on fairly high clearances they DO probe into your sex life. This was part of the Petraeus scandal- he hadn’t disclosed the affair (and, you know, has his email unsecure). Had he, it would have been less of an issue.

                2. Anonymous*

                  Yes, blackmail potential of any sort on any topic at all, including drug use, is a flag against hiring you for a security clearance job, like Jessa said. Yes, that does mean your sex life, too, and personal finances, and a myriad of other things.

                  Stuff where there could be money problems AND blackmail problems, like illegal drug use or legal addictions, are all no-hire flags for clearance positions.

                3. RM*

                  My company requires drug testing for all employees. There’s also random drug testing conducted. Of course I work for a very large pharmaceutical company, and there are millions of dollars of prescription drugs on site, including large amounts of controlled substances.

          5. Julie*

            I’ve worked at two fairly large corporations, and they both drug tested me. The smaller firms I’ve worked at did not. I had to comply in order to get the job, so I did, but I agree with AAM that’s it’s irrelevant to many jobs and thus an invasion of privacy. I wonder why companies think it’s a good idea to drug test every employee. Was this a hiring “fad” that just never went away? As another commenter mentions further down, some companies are now also requiring biometric screenings for anyone on the company’s health insurance plan. My partner and I had to get the screenings because we can’t afford the $30/paycheck/person (so $60 every two weeks) increase in the cost of the health insurance that we would otherwise have to pay. Around the open enrollment period, my company had conference calls about all of the changes in the health care plans for this year, and most of the conversation was about how unhappy people were about these screenings.

          6. Jessa*

            The problem is not always that people are in critical positions. The issue for some companies is that people who do drugs (whether true or not) can be unreliable, can cause public concern for the company if they’re arrested, can also be a risk for being thieves (to support an expensive habit.)

            It really doesn’t necessarily matter if they drive a forklift or something dangerous. However, I know a lot of companies that also have a “you get hurt on the job, we’re testing you,” policy even if they don’t have a pre employment screening.

            But the concern about drugs is not always a public safety one.

            1. Original Dan*

              The issue for some companies is that people who do drugs (whether true or not) can be unreliable, can cause public concern for the company if they’re arrested, can also be a risk for being thieves (to support an expensive habit.)

              You can say the same thing about people who base jump, ski, or drive BMWs

              It’s just a rationalization for a violation of privacy

            2. fposte*

              That’s true of drug addicts, sure. But drug usage is not the same thing as drug addiction, any more than alcohol usage is alcoholism.

    2. Chinook*

      I once had a fellow teacher not show up for his first day of classes. It took about a week to fill his position and move the replacement to the remote reserve we were working on. In the meantime, the principal had to cover the classes. The no show was the most unprofessional thing I had ever seen and still baffles me.

      1. Jessa*

        I just can’t get why people don’t say. I mean even if it’s just an email “sorry don’t want the job.” Are they scared or something?

      2. Rana*

        Yeah, my husband once got contacted the night before classes started to see if he’d be able to take on an extra class, as the teacher slotted for the course had bailed at the last minute.

        He got a lot of brownie points for saying yes, all the more so as it wasn’t even in his primary subject area!

      1. khilde*

        It boggles my mind how some of you guys can remember posts and situations from way back. What was fun to read were the comments and how much this community has changed since 2010.

        1. Woodward*

          That’s exactly what I noticed! It seemed like several people were bashing AAM in the 2010 comments (which is bizarre, IMO – if you don’t like her viewpoints, why are you taking the time to read her blog?) and in the 2013 comments, it’s civil and respectful 99% of the time. If someone starts being a basher, it’s nipped in the bud. That’s why I read this blog: the decisive advice and the intelligent community.

          1. Ask a Manager* Post author

            I think it actually didn’t happen then anymore than it does now — that post just happened to have an example of it! (At least I don’t remember it happening much!)

            1. Woodward*

              I’m glad. I’ve only read the blog for a few months and that was actually the first comment I’ve posted. I’m feeling strangely flattered the Great AAM Herself responded (that’s how I think of you; not how you promote yourself)!

              1. khilde*

                Woodward – ha!! You sound just like me. I was a lurker for many many months. Finally decided to go for it and then once I had the “greats” interact with me, that boosted my confidence that I had something legitimate to say. This community only gets better the more perspectives we have. Hope to see you around!

  1. Denise*

    Oh the circle of recruitment!
    I must admit that it really use to irritate me when candidates did not arrive for an interview or at the last minute to being offered a new job they go MIA.
    Don’t get me wrong I have no problems rescheduling or cancelling an interview but respect my time enough to let me know that you are no longer interested in the job!

    But I have now learnt that the circle of recruitment will always bring those candidates back to you, and I am pretty sure it is to teach them that if they don’t respect a Recruiter (or anyone else for that matters) time then they will come short the next time. Got to love Karma!
    So don’t get upset when they apply again it’s not your lesson! Just smile while you hit delete and know that this is your payback to them for disrespecting your time!

  2. Jubilance*

    ” You could add, “and as a result, I’m not able to consider further applications from you,” but that probably goes unsaid after the first sentence.”

    I disagree with this part. If a person can blow off an interview, not call/email to explain what happened, and then reapply to the same company months later, they probably aren’t a rational person. Most likely they need that direct “we won’t consider you for any positions in the future” type response in order for them to get it.

    1. S.L. Albert*

      I agree with Jubilance. Plus, at least some of these people are going to e-mail you back angrily and you don’t want to get drawn into an argument over it.

      On the plus side though, it could be fun to see what kind of crazy excuses you get.

    2. S. Martin*

      I would also definitely add the second “unsaid” part. Otherwise I could see a candidate interpreting it as ‘you liked me enough to offer me an interview in the past, even if I don’t remember it/blew you off. You must therefore like me enough for an interview now too’. A conscientious person probably wouldn’t make that jump of logic… but they wouldn’t no-show to an interview either.

    3. khilde*

      Agreed – you might want to spell it out for them in no uncertain terms. And how Alison worded it was succint and professional.

    4. EnnVeeEl*

      Yup. I don’t think they would have the insight to read into it. Tell them they won’t be considered anymore, so they can stop wasting their time and yours.

      By the way, I read the letter with my mouth open. As hard as it is out there to find jobs, people actually do this?

    5. Rana*

      Yeah, that’s what I was thinking. If they were capable of understanding the implications without them being spelled out, they wouldn’t have been so irresponsible in the first place.

    6. Lily*

      At least they have got a blind spot in that area of their life, and with a job applicant we can choose whether we want to make the effort of shining a light on it and dealing with their reactions.

  3. darsenfeld*

    Well obviously recruits who don’t show up should be perpetually condemned from ever applying again to that firm.

    However, it may be best to figure out why recruits continually don’t show up. Is there something your recruiters are saying in initial discussions that puts them off (,e.g. too harsh, rude, etc)? Or does your organisation even have a poor corporate image? By that, I mean it’s possible that your firm is not viewed well in your community and/or country, and thus recruits may think “screw them, I won’t turn up after all”. Recruitment is obviously a cost, and no-shows only will heighten costs.

    I’m not saying that any of these reasons are true, nor am I citing that recruits are not faulted for not showing up. But if this is a recurring pattern, these may be issues to consider and ponder about.

    1. CoffeeLover*

      There could also be a miscommunication of what the job actually entails. Maybe candidates go in thinking the job is one thing, and then when they realize it’s something different, they jump ship without telling you. Are you clearly communicating the job in job posting and early conversations?

    2. Jax*

      I agree with Darsenfeld. People no call/no show for interviews at companies that they aren’t impressed with.

      I pulled a no show for a 2nd interview as a receptionist/personal assistant at a very small, local granite counter top company. The woman put me through a 2 hour interview while insulting my degree, my resume gaps for being a stay-at-home mom, and then forced me to cold call customers for 20 minutes while she listened in. After all that, she told me the pay started at $8 per hour (non-negotiable) and I would have to come back for a 2nd interview to work 1/2 a day with the owner and see if she trusted me!

      I hated myself because I wanted to walk out after the first 10 minutes, but felt that would be “unprofessional”. So I sat and put up with it with an idiotic smile on my face because it was an interview and I needed a job. When I got home, I got really angry and decided there was NO WAY I would go back and be humiliated again.

      Not saying that’s what’s happening in the OP’s case, but when people blow off interviews it’s usually because the job is bad. I’m interested to hear what the job is. Retail? Restaurant?

      1. Jane*

        I guess the issue isn’t so much why people do not want to go on the interview, but rather why they don’t simply notify the prospective employer. I’ve declined second-round interviews before for a variety of reasons (luckily I’ve never been insulted this way in an interview – that does sound awful) but I’ve always notified the company either directly or if I used an external recruiter, through the recruiter.

        1. Jubilance*

          Yes I”ve done this as well. If I get an indication during the first interview that the company and I aren’t a good fit, before the second interview I’ve emailed & politely withdrawn my candidacy. You never know when you may come across one of the individuals later in life.

        2. CoffeeLover*

          Nothing wrong with deciding it’s not the job you want. There is something wrong with not having the common courtesy to let the interviewer know you’re not coming instead of letting them wait for you for half an hour.

        3. Jax*

          I didn’t notify the employer because I was angry.

          The last thing I wanted to do was call her, be polite, apologize, and say that the job wasn’t a good fit. I hated myself already for sitting there and putting up with her ridiculousness.

          Passive aggressive? Yes. If it happens again, I’ll end the interview myself with a “Thanks but no thanks.” But I have no regrets about not showing up to that interview.

          It all boils down to I didn’t respect her, her company, or her time. If I had, I would have called her and cancelled.

          1. Julie*

            My immediate response to this is that sometimes one has to be polite when one doesn’t feel like it (at least that’s how it feels to me a lot of the time). I think it’s part of professional behavior, and while I understand that you didn’t respect the interviewer or the company, you probably don’t want anyone (even people you don’t respect) to have a reason to think you are unprofessional. It could come back to hurt you in the long run because people talk about this kind of thing to colleagues and to friends at other companies.

            1. Jax*

              It would take a perfect storm to have that no-show come back and bite me. Rude Interviewer would have to be in contact with New Interviewer, have my name come up, remember me, and share what she knows. (“She had a good interview than I never heard from her again! She’s flakey.”) New Interviewer would have to respect her opinion enough to sway his choice.

              I’m sure in some industries (or small towns) this could absolutely happen. I think for most people, though, it isn’t likely that the hiring manager from Target is going to be in contact with a hiring manager from Office Du Jour, remember you, and warn them that you’re unprofessional in the 4 week span between your resume hitting thier desk and the hiring decision.

              Besides, isn’t calling a company back and saying, “Sorry, I don’t think this is a good fit,” or “The pay is too low,” or even, “I got a better offer!” going to leave a bad taste in the hiring manager’s mouth too? Not as unprofessional–obviously–but if you reapply they are going to pause and remember that they weren’t good enough for you before. Or if you name comes up at some networking thing they’re going to say, “Oh, yeah. I remember her. She thought she wasn’t a good fit for my company.”

              Sorry. I’m just feeling incredibly “Meh,” about the no show interview outrage. I absolutely agree with you that it’s always best to be professional and rise above, but if you have pulled a Fade Out on an interview, I don’t think it’s something you should worry about as coming back to get you, like bad interview karma or something.

              1. Ask a Manager* Post author

                No, it’s perfectly normal to send an email or leave a voicemail saying, “I’ve decided to withdraw, best of luck with the position.” It doesn’t leave a bad taste in the company’s mouth. People do that. It’s part of the process.

          2. The Other Meg*

            To be honest, I would have done the same thing. I’ve been in situations where I wish I HAD done that. It doesn’t necessarily make it justifiable, but I can understand the emotion behind it.

      2. OP - Rachel*

        The jobs are entry level at a non-profit in a professional field. We pay well above minimum wage. I often wonder if the non-profit part makes people think we’re just not as important. And then I giggle to myself when 3 years later they’re still applying to us and I see on their resume they haven’t gotten another position since blowing off our interview.

      1. darsenfeld*

        I guess, and obviously no-shows cannot be totally prevented.

        IMO though, it’s more complex than simply blaming the recruit for not turning up. Though I’m not saying recruits shouldn’t be scolded for not turning up.

          1. HR Pufnstuf*

            Agree 100%. In light industrial & manufacturing no shows are very common. Not just for interviews but after hire as well.

            1. excruiter*

              Yes, I did industrial recruitment for temp workers. Generally, I had upwards of 15 interviews scheduled weekly, I was happy if 7 showed up on time or at all and if 3 were prepared. Of those that git through, at least a quarter would NC/NS on new hire orientation and paperwork, a few would fail their drug screens, and a few would not pass their background and reference checks due to undisclosed information. It was a nightmare.

              1. ThatFormerHRGirl*

                Same here. To end up with 10 new hires, I would need to schedule about 30 interviews – then about 20 would show up. We’d offer the job to about 15, then 5 would either fail/not take the drug screen, fail background, or flat out just not show up to Orientation.

      2. Runon*

        I work (sort of but not really) related to a call center. They have a huge rate of no show on interviews, and even after people have been hired a fairly surprising number of people just don’t show up on the first day of work. This is apparently really common in call center work.

        I think if the OP is concerned about it being something else it would be worth investigating what numbers are within the industry/type of job. And then maybe try to do a small survey of the people who didn’t show. Just call them back later and ask them some questions to see if there is something going on that would have an impact that the business could change. Or does everyone just say they didn’t feel like getting up and dressed that morning, or they only applied to satisfy UI requirements, those things the OP can’t change. Poorly worded advertisements, company being trashed online, bad directions to the location, then the OP might be able to have an impact.

        1. Jamie*

          UI requirements was my first thought – maybe they are applying to show they applied …even to jobs they have no intention of taking.

    3. Lynn*

      I have never no-called/no-showed, but there is a certain situation where the temptation is mighty. So I apply for a job, thinking it’s at the main office near my house. (Often the company is specified in a job post, but not the actual address, so I just have to assume.) I’m called in for an interview. Then I get an email with the interview details, and it’s at their satellite office way out in BFE, far outside what I consider my “reasonable commuting zone.”

      If I catch it in time, of course I cancel. But say I see it at 6 pm for a 9 am interview the next day? It seems stupid to leave the house at 7:30 and drive out to Buttscratch for a job I know I wouldn’t take if offered. But I also don’t want to be the evil no-call no-show.

      1. Jane*

        I guess that one can be tough if you are not notified of the location until its too late to call ahead, especially nowadays when some workplaces ban personal email from being accessed from office computers so you’re forced to rely on a smartphone (assuming you have one). I can see how an email like that could easily be missed during normal working hours.
        I will say, though, in my field what I have found is that prospective employers never schedule interviews for right when the office opens so there would be time to call before the interview (usually my morning interviews have been at 10 a.m. and people start getting in between 9 and 9:30). Definitely not ideal to give such short notice, but at least it’s something!

        1. Sarah*

          Yeah, but even if someone emailed me at 10pm the night before a 9am interview I would rather still get that notification so I don’t have to keep getting up to check reception in case the receptionist stepped away, start my day without fearing that if I get in the middle of something then the interviewee will show up, etc.

  4. CoffeeLover*

    Seriously, do these people have no shame. I would have to avoid a company for the rest of my life if I pulled something like this. As for your guy Alison, instead of having a somewhat awkward conversation with you, he just decides to let you figure out he doesn’t want the job on your own. He’s the type of person who just stops picking up your phone calls when he wants to breakup. It’s the epitome of unprofessionalism. You dodged a bullet with him I think.

    1. Receptionist*

      +1 on the breakup analogy. I once dated a guy who even went MIA when he had to change our plans for a date that night, leaving me to sit around and wait for hours til I gave up. Didn’t last long.

  5. Allison*

    I dunno, I’d at least ask why they didn’t show up for the interview. It could have been some extenuating circumstance, although you’d think they’d eventually send you a followup e-mail to explain when they were able to. Although if this particular employer is set on not interviewing them, I’d totally understand, and so should the applicant!

    I don’t understand n0-shows. I know there are circumstances where you can’t get there and can’t call ahead of time to explain, but then to go MIA and never respond? Come on.

    1. Marmite*

      I’ve had more than one company call me at 4 or 5pm and leave a voicemail saying they’d like to interview me the next morning. Once I was traveling and didn’t get the message until the following afternoon. I sent a quick e-mail explaining that I hadn’t gotten their message and therefore hadn’t been able to attend that morning. I didn’t do it apologetically though, as I didn’t feel I was at fault and it put me off wanting to work for them. I figured at best they’d had another candidate drop out and decided to fill the spot with me, in which case they hadn’t thought was I strong enough candidate to shortlist in the first place. At worst they were disorganised enough to be planning interviews at the end of the workday before.

      I’m not saying the OP is doing this, but I can see some circumstances where candidates might be so annoyed by the company’s methods that they would just walk away and look for something else. That wouldn’t explain then reapplying later though.

      The only thing I could think of there is that, here, to qualify for Job Seekers Allowance you have to apply to a minimum of 5 jobs a week. To meet that requirement some people will just apply to anything with no intention of actually getting that job. Is there a similar requirement for something in the US?

      1. Jane*

        Unfortunately, my advice to people who are fed up with the company’s methods is to call anyway, when possible (in the scenario you describe, I think it was totally appropriate to send that email and agree there was nothing to be apologetic about). Let’s say a company is super rude and unprofessional and you are totally turned off. That is fine, but don’t behave the same way right back because it is possible that your repuation will be negatively affected in that industry.

        1. Marmite*

          Oh yeah, I agree, bad manners doesn’t warrant the same in return. I was trying to say I can understand the mindset of candidates not replying in some situations. There are always letters to AAM about how badly companies treat candidates, some candidates will choose to just cease interacting if they’re on the receiving end. If it happens to you frequently it must be really frustrating.

      2. Claire*

        That doesn’t seem like the same situation to me…I wouldn’t call your example a no-call/no-show because you never said that you would be there and they shouldn’t have expected you to be without any prior confirmation.

      3. OP - Rachel*

        That situation sounds completely reasonable. I would never call a candidate and ask them to come in the next day. I make the hiring managers give me interview times several days out so people can arrange their schedules.

    2. Rana*

      The only thing I can think of is that whatever made them no-show was (to them) hideously embarrassing, like oversleeping or writing the date wrong or getting the directions mixed up. People sometimes do weird things when they’re embarrassed.

      (But I would also expect that a person like that would feel so mortified by the experience that they’d never apply to work for that company again, so that doesn’t sound like what the OP’s dealing with.)

  6. Corporate Cowgirl*

    This happened to me as a hiring manager. My admin called the applicant when she didn’t show up and she said brightly “Oh! I got another job!”. Ohhhhkay. I made a note about this and filed the resume.

    Fast forward to another position I was hiring for and her resume comes across my desk. I have a good memory and am very organized, so of course I remember her as the flake from a previous position, and pull my notes. I, like Alison, sometimes feel the need to make people aware of the stupid things they did, so I had my admin call her and ask her about it. She denied ever having an interview scheduled with us, said she never left the company she was at for a few years and her resume was exactly the same as it was when she applied for the first position.

    I really don’t think I could have gotten her mixed up with someone else (if I felt like giving her the benefit of the doubt) but between the first episode and then her response to that there were too many questions, and to me, blowing off an interview is unforgivable.

    1. EnnVeeEl*

      She sounds like a liar too. She did get another job. Something happened at that job. She left it off her resume.

      Shady, shady, shady. You dodged a bullet.

    2. OP - Rachel*

      This is also part of the reason why I haven’t contacted them when they reapply, I don’t want to get into a discussion about how I must be wrong and they never NCNS.

  7. Kelly O*

    I’m completely avoiding one agency I interviewed with in the past because apparently my recruiter changed, and she left me a voice mail message. For whatever reason I didn’t get the message until a few days later, when I was out of town, and in all the hubbub, I forgot.

    So yeah, I am just not looking at anything from them, because I feel like a heel for not even hearing the message until nearly a week later, and then not taking the time during the family trip to call back. Granted, it was not for an interview, just one of those “so we’ve changed recruiters again and I want you to come in so I can meet you” things, but still.

    No way I would apply to anything through them, because it was mortifying.

    1. khilde*

      I see you have done something similar to what I just posted below! phew, I feel better. I totally understand what you mean when you say you just forgot. Other hubbubby things popped up and it just fell off the radar.

    2. Diane*

      But you didn’t miss a scheduled appointment, right? So I see no reason to be so mortified that you’d avoid them entirely.

      1. Kelly O*

        Nope, but I do feel like it wasn’t exactly my brightest moment. I did find the note about it when I cleaned out my daughter’s diaper bag some time later.

        And honestly I’ve not seen tons from them since then, but I don’t want to have the “oh yes I met with M in early 2012 and when she moved I brain-farted and didn’t call back J because of wildly excuse ridden excuse for me forgetting something…”

  8. khilde*

    Ooh {grimace}. I had totally forgotten about an incident in my life until I read Alison’s story. I’m absolutely ashamed to admit that I did something like this in college. I worked at a large local retailer and must have been going through some sort of stupid, college-age existential crisis because I was convinced I needed to find a different job. So I applied at a nice hotel in town. Had an interview with the manager and I think I even got offered the job on the spot. I told him I needed a day to think about it and then…..I totally and completely forgot to get back to him. And I have no good reason for why I did that. Truly. At least that’s how this repressed memory is surfacing right now. I think this “find another job” was more of a fact-finding mission for me and it went faster than I expected and I got caught up in other school and activity stuff and forgot.

    What a slug.

    1. Anonymous*

      When I was just out of high school I worked as an au pair for a couple of years. After the first year I was looking to switch families (to travel somewhere new, one of the benefits of au pair work) and advertised on a popular childcare recruitment site. I had loads of parents get in touch and was really good about replying to most of them, but I was young and not very good at having awkward conversations so I had a hard time saying no to families I didn’t want to work for.

      One Dad was really keen to hire me and for whatever reason I wasn’t stoked about the job, he kept arranging times to call and I’d agree and then dodge the call. So rude, and I’m embarrassed about it now, but at the time I was immature and didn’t know how to handle someone aggressively trying to recruit me. Funny thing is eventually I took his call, ended up accepting the job and it worked out great, I had a lovely year working for them and am still in touch with them to this day!

      1. khilde*

        It’s a happy ending for you! That’s great it worked out. As I was reading your story I pretty much kept thinking, “yup, this was me but with my entire dating life before I got married.” I’m a coward at stuff like that.

    2. Lily*

      I am also guilty as charged. I couldn’t make up my mind and only said “no” when they asked me.

      Unfortunately, I have to beware of losing track of time when I can’t make up my mind. I’ll fret about an issue every day for a month and then realize that time has made the decision for me, but in a very unprofessional manner.

  9. Kay*

    This is my third year of hiring job coaches at the non-profit I work for. This is also the third year that two seperate candidates have applied who didn’t show up for the first interview we offered them (no-call, no-show).

    The most bizarre incident happened during the fist year though, I had someone apply who was a no-call, no-show. Two weeks later this person called me saying “I believe I got a call from you earlier today saying to schedule an interview”. I politely set them straight. The next day, they called my coworker saying the same thing. My coworker told them to speak to me. The next day they called AGAIN, this time asking to speak to one of our social workers, saying the exact same thing. It was completely strange. Like they expected I wouldn’t notice when I was interviewing them?

    1. OP - Rachel*

      It may be a non-profit thing in general as I work in a NP as well. My manager comes from manufacturing and was shocked when he learned about our NCNS rate.

  10. VicatoriaHR*

    I am an internal recruiter and I hire a lot of high school and college students to work in our call center. You’d be surprised how many NCNS we get. Ok well actually you probably wouldn’t…

    One girl in particular, I’m actively watching her Twitter feed because it’s just that hysterical. She applied on Thursday the 10th. At midnight that night, she tweeted, “applied at XX, YY, ZZ, and MyCompany. Nothing yet. F yourselves.” Which my HR person got a notification about because of the mention of our company name. Later that morning I tried to call and her voicemail was turned off, so I emailed her to call me to set up an interview. She tweeted, “MyCompany just called me, this ‘b’ is gonna get employed!” Which my HR person got another notification.

    Upon watching her Twitter, which is fully laden with sexual references, drug references, cuss words, and the like, we found out that she has gotten a job at a fast food place and isn’t ever going to call me back. I’m still watching her Twitter, though, because it’s hilariously awful. I’m tempted to tell her that she might want to lock it down (her Facebook is), but then I’d miss out on the entertainment.

    1. khilde*

      I think stories like this are horrifyingly wonderful. Don’t tell her – keep it open so you can get some entertainment without the risk.

    2. Mimi*

      Were you really calling to set up an interview, or were you hoping to get her on the phone to say, “Ummm, we’re aware of your tweets that mention our company…..” to see how she’d react?

      1. VicatoriaHR*

        I didn’t know about the tweet until after I’d sent the email. HR reached out to me after the 2nd tweet and said “did you email this chick? check out her tweets”

    3. Jane*

      This is one of the best stories about how not to use social media during your job search. Priceless. The only thing about this is that it is slightly sad in the sense that this person clearly does not have the judgment to recognize something that is so obvious to everyone else. I hope that at some point someone clues her and shakes some sense into her.

    4. Rebecca*

      I think my co-worker said it best: “This needs to be read out to high school students everywhere.”

      1. A teacher*

        Thanks for the idea…resume writing/interview skills in 3 weeks with my high school dual credit kids…totally using this!

    5. ThatFormerHRGirl*

      Love this story <3
      I had an internal candidate apply for a low-level Supervisory position (supervising industrial staff) and although I was already aware of his social media indiscretions, I wanted to interview him so I could make him aware that I'd seen all of his Foursquare & Facebook check-ins with "F this company" and "This place f-ing sucks, f-(company name)", among others.
      He was flabbergasted that someone had seen that and pointed it out to me, and acted like his privacy had somehow been violated. I reminded him that our Loss Prevention department monitors "check ins" at our facility and posts about the company.
      We also chatted about that one time he wore a tee shirt to a company picnic that said "I eat (nickname for a feline companion) like a fat kid eats cake" and how he should probably re-evaluate either his maturity level or his management aspirations.

      …Maybe I will miss this job. Nope, nope I won't.

      1. khilde*

        I won’t pretend to know anything about your country, but I’m still stuck on the fact that a 17 year old is a Youth Police & Crime Commissioner? That seems like such an….adult role for such a young person. Was she like a liasion or something? Now I’m just fascinated by the whole thing….

        1. Marmite*

          To be honest I haven’t paid that much attention to the story, but as I understand it she was the first in such a role. In the more serious newspapers part of the reporting on this questioned whether it was wise to have such a role at all, given how well this went it probably won’t exist again!

          I think the idea was to get a perspective on youth crime by hiring a young person from the area/background where such crime is common. The whole Police Commissioner thing is fairly new and I’m not really sure what the point of them is supposed to be so I could be wrong on this! I think it was really aiming to be a sort of paid internship though.

          1. HR Pufnstuf*

            I viewed the article as well and was wondering the same thing. I think this was some committee’s idea that sounded great on paper but likely to fail real world.

  11. ThatGirl*

    OP as a preemptive strike, can you include something in the email/ phone call during the set up of the interview? Basically, tell them if they are a no show/ no call for the interview then they will not be considered for future employment with your company.

    1. fposte*

      But then that will annoy other candidates who wouldn’t dream of blowing off an interview, and they matter more than the candidates who flake out.

    2. the gold digger*

      I had a recruiter (the one in charge of “corporate highers”) tell me in the email to “wait patiently” for him once I got to the facility and had informed the receptionist I was there for an interview.

  12. Gail*

    We don’t make the hire offer or make the rejection calls to other candidates until the background checks and reference checks all come back. No need to retract an offer that way.

  13. Anonymous*

    About 6 years ago when I was fairly new to the area and hesitant but wanting to return back to work after being a sahm for almost 4 years,I sent a email with my cover letter and resume to a company. Then I told a friend, I had sent out my resume to this company, and she pretty gave me a run-down of the company –about how awful it was. Her response was so negative that I thought it was the worst place ever to work. A couple of days later, I got an eager email from the hiring manager and I never replied. Fast forward six years later, I don’t allow my friend to gauge any job prospects for me.

  14. Anonymous*

    Fresh out of college, I was jobless for a number of months. I got an interview at JC Penny. Finally! Any job is better than no job!
    When I left my house in the morning (early), I discovered the car was gone. GONE! Someone (in my family, not stolen) just took the car to wherever they were going without telling me. Well, I couldn’t make it there in 20 minutes by bus or foot so I didn’t show up and I didn’t call. :( Sorry JC Penny interviewer lady!

  15. Rose*

    I can totally relate! It always bothers me when someone pulls a no-call-no-show on an interview. We had a candidate a while back who had made it through several steps in our process for a very high level management position. Then while I was trying to scheduele the final interview, he dropped off the face of the Earth and never returned my calls or e-mails. Then a few weeks later he sent me an invitation to connect on LinkedIn! Unfortunately, some folks are just not professional. All it takes is a quick “no thank you” e-mail.

  16. BGirl81*

    WOW. Let me say this: May years ago, I had a charming bout of panic attacks and cancelled my fair share of job interviews. There was one that I just could not pull myself together to cancel. Five years later, the name of that company is still burned in my brain…no…IN MY VERY SOUL. I’m currently job searching and, if I see an anonymous posting that reminds me in any way of the company involved in this shame-inducing incident, I don’t apply. To me, that would just be rudeness on top of rudeness.!

  17. Liz in a Library*

    I got blacklisted with a public library system. I applied there for ages without ever getting an interview, and finally got the tip off that I was on the blacklist from a friend in their HR department.

    The reason was that I never responded to an interview request. The kicker is that I am absolutely positive I never got that message. Even though it was nearly ten years ago now, I remember applying for that job very clearly and wanting it desperately. I know I would have been over the moon to go to that interview. I know this isn’t the situation here, but just throwing out there that some things that sound like excuses (ie, missed message) aren’t. Rarely, but it happens.

    1. Tasha*

      Yes, this, totally! What an HR person calls a no-show may have been due to a mix up on the company’s part, not the interviewee.

      1. OP - Rachel*

        Tasha – This seems like a very abnormal case. I make notes when candidates don’t return my phone calls but that doesn’t stop me from calling them again in the future if they reapply.

        As far as the situations I was writing about to AMA, there are no mixups. I talk to them live via phone about the interview time and then follow up with an email.

  18. AB*

    Based on so many confessions of people who have done it at some point (usually when they are very young), I’m thinking that schools should be teaching students the smart rules around not showing up for an interview:

    1. Call in advance, explaining and apologizing.

    2. If not possible to call, send an email in advance, explaining and apologizing.

    3. If not possible to do cancel in advance, call or email as soon as you can (when you recover from your illness, electricity comes back, or whatever obstacle that prevented you from notifying the interviewer in advance is removed).

    4. If you never followed the rules above, and decide to apply again with the same company, assume they remember you. Acknowledge the mistake in your cover letter, adding the best explanation you can, in the most mortified tone you can, and explaining how atypical it was of you.

    If the candidate isn’t willing to do 1-3, and then applies for one of the positions I’m hiring for without doing #4, s/he is definitely getting an email explaining why s/he is not getting an interview, because like AAM I have a compulsion to point out things like this.

    1. Henning Makholm*

      It’s clear not to me in cases (1) and (2) where you call/email in advance of the scheduled interview, that you need to apologize for something. Just ordinary politeness ought to do it, doesn’t it?

      “Thank you for considering my application and inviting me to interview later today/tomorrow/next Tuesday. However, due to changed circumstances I would not now be able to accept the job, so I’ll have to cancel the interview. Best of luck filling the position.”

      It’s part of the process that either part can pull out of it at any time, for any or no stated reason. No need to apologize, unless you’re wasting their time by letting them wait without a peep. However, once you do cancel, it oughtn’t be a problem for the interviewer to find something productive to do in the time they’ve blocked.

      1. Ask a Manager* Post author

        It’s polite to apologize when canceling an appointment because the person has set aside time for you. Maybe they wanted to take that morning off but didn’t because they had a meeting scheduled with you — apologizing makes sense.

        1. AB*


          Henning, I apologize for rescheduling or canceling an appointment even when I’m doing a favor for someone (for example, if a person is looking for career advice and asked for an hour of my time). In my mind, if I made a commitment, and have to break it, it’s the polite thing to do.

          As usual, I’m glad we have Ask a Manager to shed some light on the right behaviors for both interviewers and interviewees.

      2. OP - Rachel*

        Agreed. I have never held it against a candidate if they called prior to the interview time and cancelled. I always tell them that I appreciate them being upfront.

  19. Sniper*

    Employers do the same thing to prospective employees all the time. Usually there isn’t a job offer on the table, but when a prospective employee takes the time out of their schedule to come in for an interview (or multiple interviews) only to never hear back from that employer?

    When that has happened to me, I’ve blacklisted that company as a potential place of employment (and sometimes, depending on what the company did, as a customer).

    I’m not saying that the OP is doing this at all, but this kind of activity goes both ways.

    1. Sniper*

      Yes, I know this is about someone re-applying after disappearing, but I’ve had companies reach out to me after they themselves disappeared in the hiring process for other positions as well.

    2. AB*

      Except that for a candidate, cloning the rude behavior of some companies causes far more damage for them than the companies experience themselves.

      It’s simply not smart to say, “well, since so many recruiters disappear in the middle of a hiring process, it’s fine for me to do the same”.

      Company never follows up after an interview / recruiter is a no-show for a phone screening: they may have been blacklisted by a candidate, but there will be plenty more interested in current and future jobs.

      Candidate never follows up after a request to schedule an interview, or is a no-show for a phone screening or interview: the person may have lost the opportunity to work for the company for a long time, as even if the interviewer leaves, the notes in the candidate’s application may remain in the database for many years.

  20. Lily*

    The candidate in my story didn’t make it as far as getting an offer, but I wonder if anyone would care to comment on WHEN you would decide against the job candidate? I made the decision fairly early, but I didn’t feel sure and thought she might work out as a contractor even if I rejected her as an employee. Upthread we talked about having to be crystal clear to some candidates. Do you think I could have avoided some unpleasantness if I had told her at some point that I was rejecting her for not following instructions / knowing the conventions?

    1. She sends in an incomplete resume.
    2. She has such great experience that I decide to point out to her that her resume is incomplete.
    3. She writes back that she will supply the missing information if I tell her what is missing. I decide not to answer, because I think she should know the conventions.
    4. She calls me up. We establish what is missing and she asks me how I want it but rejects my answers of email or snailmail. She decides she wants to fax it and I decide that it would be too much trouble to work with her.
    5. Our HR department informs her of my decision and she calls up the successful candidate looking for a contract.
    6. I invite her to a workshop with the contractors and tell her we can talk afterwards, but the workshop gets canceled and I inform her. She calls me up and tells me she is irritated with me because I promised to interview her and I didn’t. I tell her I am sorry about the misunderstanding but I do not offer her an interview.
    7. She sends a letter to the company president complaining that I didn’t interview her.

    1. Ask a Manager* Post author

      I think you probably should have ended it at #3. I wouldn’t have invited her to the workshop, since at that point she’d already shown she wouldn’t be a good contractor either (because you want people who are detail-oriented, can solve their own problems, and aren’t hard to work with).

    2. fposte*

      I hire from students, so I cut them a lot of slack; I wouldn’t necessarily have weeded her out after 1 (depending on what was missing and the rest of the pool) but would have held it in consideration. Even making the phone call in 4 would have been a sharp downward slide and the rejection of email would have been a “Hell, no.” I wouldn’t have wanted to contract with her at that point either, because this is one high maintenance individual who obligingly showed her hand early.

    3. Lily*

      Thank you very much! I’m at the point that I recognize problematic behavior, but I have trouble explaining the problem.

  21. Anonymous*

    I am guessing that these no-call, no-shows for job interviewers tend to be in the lower socioeconomic strata. Some thoughts from an ex-poor person:

    Have some compassion, people. Think a bit harder. Poor people don’t skip job interviews because they want to annoy you, because they want to be rude, or because they just love meeting their minimum obligations in applications to stay on unemployment. The poor are not, by and large, out to get you or suck off your tax dollars.

    They are poor. They do not have reliable transportation – imagine cars that cost $200 and are used by multiple family members. They do not all have ready access to e-mail in their homes. And yes, believe it or not, sometimes they do not have ready phone access. They are extremely embarrassed that they do not have reliable transportation and communication channels, but they need money to get those things. It is a vicious cycle that is hard to break out of.

    If you throw in a drug problem or a mental disorder on top of normal poverty obstacles, then getting to and through an interview becomes a fairly difficult task. Maybe this would be a second job, and they can’t get enough reprieve from the first job to make it to you. Maybe childcare issues cropped up. Maybe they truly do not know that they can call you to reschedule and you won’t just reject them outright for that, or that they might have a prayer of reapplying later if they call now to explain a no-show.

    I’m glad the lot of you have reliable cars, fast home internet, and smart phones. Just, please, realize that is not something that everyone has. Imagine for just one moment that your candidate had to take a public bus down to the library on her one day a week off to even find out about the job interview in her email, because that is a reality for a lot of people.

    I’m not saying that you need to forgive and forget every no-show and no-call, but consider giving these folks a hand up when your business needs allow it rather than dumping all their future apps directly into the shredder because of one, likely inadvertent, “insult” to you. There’s certainly no need to make these kinds of folks into your accountant, but think hard about whether this is an unforgivable sin or not for some of your lower-end job openings.

    1. Jazzy Red*

      You bring up a lot of good points, anon. It’s easy for us to forget that other people live differently than we do, and may have challenges we never thought about.

      I always felt that it would be good for everyone to work for a year at a minimum wage job in the retail, restaurant or manufacturing business just to see what people have to go through to support themselves and their families. It’s a lowdown, dirty, crying shame that there aren’t enough good jobs for everyone in this country.

  22. EM*

    Thank you for the perspective. I was wondering if the no shows were for more blue collar or service sector jobs. This makes a lot of sense.

  23. Sonya*

    I work in home health care. I’d say that 1 out of 6 of my scheduled interviews are a no show/ no call. Sadly, it is very common. I always send an email letting them know they will not be considered for openings in future. But, it happens I get them reapplying all the time. I reply by forwarding the email form the no show.

  24. SmallCompany*

    Hello – we are a small IT/Software company, with steady workflow from good clients abroad, we pay by industry standard, have a well fitted small office in a decent IT Park, have a small team of qualified, hardworking people (but our people are from simple backgrounds, not very corporate-smart or “modern” as far as corporate life goes), we have open culture with focus on employee growth and balance.
    Whenever we want to hire new people, we face the following difficulties:
    (1) Low response to our job postings (even with our adv on well known job sites)
    (2) When we phone/email candidates, they openly show disinterest in working for small company – they grumble either about the company size, the pay (although we try to adhere to industry standard salary) and are ready to match/exceed their current CTC for good candidates
    (3) Candidates ask if we can send them on-site/abroad to client locations like the other big IT companies send – it is ludicrous how they can base their decision to join us on something like this!
    (4) If we promote advantages of our small firm by saying you will get to wear many hats and learn lot more than what you will in a larger firm, they think it just means we want 1 man to do the work of 2 men at no extra bonus!
    (5) No-call, no-show to interviews – after we have somehow managed to lure a few into coming down to meet us, this is what we get finally, its frustrating!
    (6) Sometimes even after last interview round, or after first few days of joining, candidates can break out and are seen no more

    We really need help on how to get good candidates and help them stick!

  25. Rachel*

    “For some reason, we have frequent no-call, no-shows for interviews”

    I was on the OP’s side up until I read that crucial sentence. If this issue is happening a lot, and with different candidates, then I respectfully suggest that the only common factor here is you. Therefore, if you take an honest look at yourself, that is where the problem probably lies. So, what is it about your approach that’s putting so many different candidates off?

    Are you asking them to fill in an application form that resembles a telephone directory and/or that asks for information that should be easy for you to obtain from their CV, *before* they’ve even interviewed? Does that application form ask for referee details, social security numbers and lots of other information that you really shouldn’t need just to conduct an initial interview? Are you disrespectful or abrupt when you speak with them, or in the tone of your emails? Are you setting up interviews with manifestly unqualified interviewers, that the candidate can easily see from a quick check on LinkedIn are not qualified to assess them, and who because they’ve only been with your company a short time won’t even be able to answer any questions the candidate may have about your culture and values?

    All Of The Above has put me off attending interviews in the past (though I’ve always been polite enough to withdraw my interest before the interview would have taken place, and have offered to explain my reservations in these cases).

  26. Rhonda*

    I recently applied to a job on CraigsList, and happily scheduled an interview when they called me. I did a search on the company, as advised to inform myself about the company, only to discover that the first google result was reviews that said the job interview process was a scam. I chose not to attend my interview. I know I should have notified someone, if only to be polite, but felt uncomfortable telling them why, or giving a white lie. 2 months later, I applied to another craigslist job posting, very vaguely written. Within hours, I received a call from the first place, asking if I was still looking for a job, if I’d care to schedule another interview! I think this employer deliberately advertises generic job descriptions in hopes of sucking people in to their scam!

  27. Anon*

    I was just wondering if the LW is a recruiter (either for a temp agency or a no base salary/commission sales position) since 1 in 15 is very high for no-shows. It would have helped for the LW to indicate the industry that he/she is in and the type of position these no-shows had applied to. As a very recently unemployed job seeker (only a few weeks), I posted my resume on Monster and LinkedIn for prospective employers to view. Since I posted it, almost every day I have gotten a personally addressed email from companies about how they found my resume and found me to be a fit for a job opportunity at their company, and would like to schedule an appointment for an interview. At first I replied thinking the opportunities were legit, but after a few responses in which there was some prodding about the position and these hiring managers trying to get me to make an appointment, I found these “opportunities” to be nothing more than commission-only sales positions. The titles of the people who were trying to recruit me (titles that had “senior vice president” in them) were nothing more than corporate recruiters with given titles trying to recruit people in their sales force. My bet is that the LW may be a recruiter of some sort in this type of position which is why he/she is experiencing a high number of no-shows.

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