should interviewers give job candidates a way to contact them?

A reader writes:

My fellow managers and I have a question on interview etiquette from the interviewer side that we can’t agree on. If you give someone an interview, should you give them a way to contact you?

My thinking is, yes, if you interview a potential job candidate, you should give them either your work phone or work email so they can follow up if they need to. For example, what if they need to withdraw their application? Or if they have a change of phone number or email address they need to inform you about? Or if they would just like to send a thank-you/follow-up email after the interview?

The other two managers on the team don’t like providing this information. They have had negative experiences in the past (one candidate calling WAY TOO OFTEN to check in, and another incident where a candidate called and yelled at the interviewer for being rude during the interview) and prefer to conduct phone interviews from a conference room phone line so their office number or work email isn’t shared.

My worry is we never go back and check that conference line’s messages (I don’t think, at least I know I don’t) so if someone calls and leaves a message, they may be frustrated if no one returns their calls. Also, I think how candidates do or do not follow up can give us good information on if we should hire them (for example, the guy who called and yelled was not hired!).

So what is considered standard practice? And does it change depending on first-round interviews vs second-round or in-person vs over the phone?

Different companies do this different ways, but I’d argue that employers that care about truly wooing strong candidates give out contact information. It doesn’t need to be a phone number, but it should at least be an email address — at any stage, but especially once you’re past the initial phone screen.

At a minimum, it’s smart to do that with candidates you’re interested in. You want your top candidates to be able to contact you if, for example, they have another offer (because you might want to speed up your process so you don’t lose them), or if they need to reschedule because of an emergency, or if they want to clarify something from the conversation afterwards, as well as in the circumstances you mentioned. You also just want them to feel like you’re real humans who are treating them as potential colleagues — not potential annoyances you want to protect yourself from.

Ensuring that a strong candidate has no way of reaching you is a good way to make them feel devalued and like your process is impersonal/uncaring — and that’s going to put you at a disadvantage if they’re interviewing with other places that don’t make them feel that way.

And sure, some candidates will use your contact info to follow up too frequently or otherwise annoy you. That’s part of the deal when you’re hiring — it’s a thing that happens. It’s not a big deal, and anyone who hires can’t get rattled by it. Your colleagues need to use their words; it’s not terribly hard to say, “We won’t have a decision for two more weeks but will contact you then” or “You’ve called many times to check in and I’m not able to give updates with this frequency. Please let us get back to you later this month” or “I’m not willing to be yelled at so I’m ending this call.” (And you’re absolutely right that people who follow up this way are giving you valuable info about themselves — why wouldn’t you want that?)

And really, inconveniencing and alienating candidates just because very occasionally a random candidate behaves badly doesn’t make any sense. You don’t design your practices around very occasional outliers at the expense of everyone else, not when it’s so easy to deal with those outliers. I mean, if you had multiple candidates showing up at your office every week and demanding to be seen and parachuting into your windows, you’d need to factor that into your procedures — but just not wanting to deal with an annoying email or phone call? When you have all the power on your side to shut it down right in the moment if you want to? Nah — if you’re going to hire, you’ve got to step up and accept the minor inconveniences that come with interacting with other humans who are in an ongoing process with your company at your invitation and who continue to exist outside of the interview room.

{ 150 comments… read them below }

  1. pleaset AKA cheap rolls*

    For an office job, I don’t see how you can meet someone and not exchange email info. The applicant has provided that on a resume and the interviewers should have the courtesy to share a card (if they haven’t already been in direct email contact).

    If there are multiple people from the hiring side in the meeting, I can accept not all sharing that info, but really at least one person should.

    It’s a business meeting.

    “And really, inconveniencing and alienating candidates just because very occasionally a random candidate behaves badly doesn’t make any sense. You don’t design your practices around very occasional outliers at the expense of everyone else, not when it’s so easy to deal with those outliers”


    1. College Career Counselor*

      Agreed. But I’ve been surprised how many business practices are built to accommodate the outlier. I suspect it’s because when you program to deal with the unreasonable person or response, you figure that the reasonable people will be, well, reasonable about it.

      1. Antilles*

        The problem is that if you design a process firm enough to handle an outlier, you often end up with a process that’s sufficiently detailed that reasonable people look at and go “wow, this is ridiculous”.

        1. Ego Chamber*

          Yuuuup. It’s worth considering how much you want to trust your employees to act in good faith vs how much you want to train the unreasonable ones to rules-lawyer you for not covering every minor detail.

          Citation: This one job I had where the dress code was pretty much “casual—just wear actual clothes please” but the memo explaining that included a suspiciously long list of inappropriate attire that took up most of a page, including anything see-through, mascot costumes and footy pajamas. Looking at my peers I would never think those things had been an issue but in training I was like oh god what have I walked into. o_o

        2. General von Klinkerhoffen*

          When I was involved in a huge (eight-figure) restructure, we worked on an 80/20 rule, which is to say that we were building for the 80% (+) of the work we did, with allowance for the 20%, rather than the other way round. So if you almost always encounter A before B, build your system to expect A then B, but to permit B then A. Building your system to treat AB and BA as equally likely will end up with something that suits nobody.

          If you find that 80% of your candidates, or 80% of rejected candidates, send unnecessary messages, they are no longer outliers. Perhaps you find that the balance is better the further through the process you go, so that a first-round candidate only gets the main office contact details (say HR@llamasandllamas dot org and the switchboard number) but once someone is called for a second round of interviews they get the direct contact details for the hiring manager.

      2. TootsNYC*

        At my current job, under a different Ship Captain, every single screwup was a reason to completely revamp the entire process.
        Such a waste of time.

        1. A reader*

          Yeah, I had a manager like that, too. “Well, what if [completely random and rare event] happens, HMMM?” was common for her to say. Like, I’m a planner, too, but I don’t get the point of going to extremes.

    2. jam*

      I had an interview with a company where all the emails were unsigned and came from hr@[company domain]. So awkward! When I walked in for the interview, I had to guess whether and which one of the two people I was introduced to might have been in touch with me already. Not a huge deal maybe, but it was just that little bit disorienting.

    3. Lea Kissner*

      Giving them some contact info: yes. Personal phone number: would avoid. If someone gets really nasty, there are things they can do with a personal phone number which range from harassment (calling from many different phone numbers, sending messages on multiple apps) to stalking (phone companies sell this information and have done a terrible job keeping it restricted) to hacking (taking over your phone number, usually to get your security-code texts).

      I run more cautious than the average person, as I’m in computer security and privacy, but I personally don’t give my phone number out, if possible. Email address: great.

    4. Annie*

      I would never in a million years consider interviewing at a place with no contact info. It just screams “SCAM”.

  2. Stitch*

    Why not have a designated email for this purpose? That way if you do get someone nuts it won’t interfere with day to day work, but you can have someone assigned to mailbox duty check it daily, particularly during the hiring process.

    I think there’s a happy medium between no contact info and giving out your desk number.

    1. Antilles*

      It’s a fantastic idea, but I’ll just note that in my experience, those sorts of designated emails often work well for like, a month. Afterwards, the designated checker gets busy or lazy or goes on vacation or “well, actually this is for Susan’s group not mine” or etc and that designated email slips off the radar screen.
      Meanwhile, you keep giving that email out to candidates and they’re left emailing into the void, getting no response, then assuming that you’re not interested.

      1. Qwerty*

        Usually we make it a group email, so multiple people are receiving it and can just filter it to a folder. Make sure to include HR on this since final offers have to go through them anyway. We even kept our receptionist on that list, because he was the most diligent about keeping candidates informed on their progress.

        1. i should be applying right now*

          I’m cautious about this since, in my org, any emails coming from outside e-mail addresses that go to group e-mails get stuck in the OIT spam filter. It’s been an issue when someone’s supposed to be e-mailing a mailgroup when they’re out sick. The person e-mails from their home account. The email never goes through. So they have to remember who is in the group to e-mail them explicitly.

          1. LJay*

            At my company there is a switch in the email group account setup that IT needs to flip somewhere to allow or disallow emails sent from outside email accounts to reach that group.

        2. cacwgrl*

          We do this. I am part of a distinct HR office/team, but not specifically tied to the HR hiring/staffing team. The email address is linked to our team’s emails and the staffing team lets us know when they’re running an announcement using the address. We check the box twice a day, file or forward the emails as appropriate but we’re also ensuring a level of fairness and equality for the team and applicants. We’re EEO trained as well as part of the organization’s talent management strategy so we have the knowledge to screen where we can and pull off information applicants include that would lead to risk or unfair advantages/disadvantages. Since we’re not explicitly tied to the selections, it helps us keep the competition process more fair. We can also watch for rework, say if two staffers don’t communicate well and want to run basically the same job at the same time, we send them back to work it out and only do the ad once. We can see questions going in, route them as needed and provide limited updates to the applicants but we also expect staffers and hiring managers to handle their business. If I see the same person asking over and over, I’ll go find out if they’re being overly persistent, or if they aren’t getting a response and address it.
          We use the address for basically any opening unless it’s one of the program our office specifically supports, in which case one of the staffers is always involved in a similar role to do the same screening function we do otherwise. It is tedious at time, especially since our office is currently looking for a tech to support us and take on the function, but it’s the best path forward for this organization’s processes right now.

      2. Stitch*

        We have these folders in Outlook so you can access all of it and see the sent folder. I think you can set that up with other email services. Not requiring a separate login might help.

    2. pleaset AKA cheap rolls*

      I’ve met with a bunch of billionaires, the head of one of the biggest companies in one of the world’s biggest economies, plus some sitting, future and past heads of state. In those kinds of meetings, it’s normal for that person not to share direct contact info – we’d get contact info of a lead staffperson.

      But meeting someone who would be one or two levels above you if you joined their organization – even only giving a general “hiring manager” address is BS. It’s disrespectful for someone to come to a serious business meeting and not get direct contact info of at least one person involved with the content of the meeting – the job itself. There should be at least one person on the job side (not HR side) who the interviewee can reach out to. Really.

      1. pleaset AKA cheap rolls*

        Amended to say HR or a recruiter is OK if they can really talk about the substance of the job.

        1. cacwgrl*

          I agree that there should be someone an applicant can reach out to, but HR should know the job. They need to know what the organizational needs are staffing wise and have enough working knowledge to help a hiring manager identify the best fit for the position. If I’m hiring a tea pot designer, I expect to know what the ideal candidate looks like and the specifics of the job description. I need to be able to defend the choices made in hiring and feel confident that the best person was selected and why others were not. Now down to specific details of does the designer use the blue brand paint brush or the red brand paint brush, I might not know, but I can find out if that’s something the person needs to know, but otherwise, I should be able to say that the designers use specialized paint brushes to complete the job.

      2. rayray*

        I agree. You’re dealing with a human being who is looking for a job, and you met with them to interview. For pete’s sake, just let them contact you.

    3. Laura H.*

      I was thinking that too!

      I’m unsure about how often emails and phone numbers change. I do know that when my household dropped the landline, I had several calls to make to get the defunct home phone out of their systems. Difference of potential employee in your case and mine as a customer/ client of a business aside- even just knowing I have these communication avenues should I need them is a huge weight off my mind.

      I’d argue that setting up a separate avenue via a new email would be a happy medium between giving out info vs. none at all…

  3. OP Writer*

    Thank you Alison! I loved this well thought out response. It was all my feelings on the subject written out in a way better way than I could have articulated. I’m new to the hiring process so I didn’t have a reference for what is standard. I’ll be sharing your answer with my colleagues.

    1. Senor Montoya*

      We have an admin assigned to every search committee, who is the person to make arrangements. Candidates can contact the admin pretty easily (email for sure, probably also by phone — TBH I trust our department’s admin to be professional and to get things done and really don’t know how she handles it). Once they interview they know the names of everyone on the search committee, plus the hiring manager (may have that info beforehand, in fact, I’d have to look at an agenda to see how we handle it). Then it’s easy to look those people up and call or email. Most candidates email with questions.

      Anyone who became a pain — I’d use Alison’s script. Anyone who became scary: I’d notify my boss and then filter the scary person to a separate folder in my email. Haven’t had either situation, I must be lucky!

      1. Senor Montoya*

        Just today responded to an applicant (not someone we have interviewed) who called the admin and left their number to call them back regarding the status of their application. I dug up their email address and responded that way. I don’t have time to talk on the phone with applicants (we have so many!), but am happy to send a short general statement about the search process. (A non-answer answer, unfortunately, but that’s all the info I have, plus can’t make any promises.) If someone we had interviewed or had scheduled for an interview in the future called me, I would of course talk with them.

    2. prismo*

      FWIW, I recently job hunted (successfully, hooray!) and everyone I interviewed with provided their contact emails. I would find it really frustrating if I couldn’t reach out to send a thank you email, ask a question, etc., and might also wonder why they were being so cagey. I had a fair amount of correspondence with the team that ultimately ended up hiring me, and that wasn’t even me reaching back out to check on things—just needing to schedule followup interviews, sending a link to something that came up in the interview, letting them know I’d be out of town for a few weeks, etc.

    3. Mrs. Wednesday*

      Unless it’s about a recruiter not sharing information, I found your colleagues’ position kind of shocking as I’d never heard it expressed or seen it in action. At the interview stage, it’s a conversation. Aside from all of the good logistical reasons you and Alison listed, it deprives you (people looking to hire) of an opportunity to identify the people you don’t want to hire (the outliers described). Surely your colleagues know it’s less effort to decline an application than to deal with a problematic employee? From an interviewee’s standpoint, I’d take a contact-info-lockdown as a communication red flag, unfortunately.

      1. A reader*

        Agreed! I am not sure how I’d feel if an interviewer refused to give me their contact information. Job-searching is also Paranoia City, so I could see jumping to the worst possible conclusion.

    4. Seeking Second Childhood*

      If it’s a group interview, being handed one person’s business card lets me send a central thank you.

      1. Senor Montoya*

        Right. If you don;t know who to contact, call the chair or the hiring officer.

  4. Spreadsheets and Books*

    As a candidate, I find it very frustrating when I don’t receive contact information. I like to send thank you notes, and when I’m not provided a way to do this, I feel like I can’t abide by the rules of standard job searching etiquette.

    And even if you don’t give out email addresses, that doesn’t necessarily mean candidates won’t get that information. I have asked HR contacts for email addresses for interviewers who didn’t offer a business card on more than one occasion and was never told no.

    1. Clementine*

      If the interviewers are not being forthcoming with their contact information, they probably do not want thank-you notes. I know they are popular on this site, but they are not the norm in my industry.

      1. Alli525*

        That’s a conclusion I think most job searchers would not be willing to risk assuming. They are standard in MANY industries, I think especially so among “desk jobs,” but I have often inadvertently forgotten to bring business cards when I’m part of an interview panel.

  5. Leela*

    OP out of curiosity do you mean should they be left with a way to contact the company, or the individuals who were on the hiring committee?

    I definitely agree that candidates should have a surefire way to contact an internal recruiter, HR person, etc, and if a hiring manager decides they’d like to pass out their info fine but I don’t think it should be a default expectation. Anyone who’s worked in hiring will tell you that you’re opening yourself up to *so* much contact from hopefuls trying to assure you that they’re the right person for the role (which they’re basing on the job description and interview, and you are basing from intimate knowledge of team need and the pool of candidates), or to give a sob story about how their family can’t afford medication now and it’s all your fault for not hiring them, or for extremely frequent contact checking for updates you don’t have as if you’d have it and just sit on it doing nothing without them telling you to act on it.

    I will say though, that I once interviewed through an external recruiter for a company with an unbelievably good opportunity for which I was extremely qualified. The recruiter told me they never heard back but they did hear back from another job they’d sent me on, so I took it even though I really wanted the other one. I found out later that they had indeed offered me the job but the recruiter lied to me to get me to take the other job for reasons I still don’t know. I tried very, very hard to contact the hiring manager and explain what happened and to please consider me since they wanted me, but I couldn’t get through at all. I had no contact info so I had to desperately google any number that could potentially be relevant, due to privacy reasons those people wouldn’t put me through, and after a week of trying I was eventually able to contact the hiring manager but they’d already made the offer to someone else by that point.

    1. That Girl from Quinn's House*

      “So much contact from hopefuls,” really also depends on the type of job you’re hiring, and your local hiring pool.

      For some positions, you might have a high percentage of people who violate job-search norms, and you have to build a strict workflow to keep those people from taking up an outsized amount of time. But in other jobs, having that strict workflow would make it really difficult to communicate professionally with candidates, and you’d want to make sure your workflow isn’t causing quality candidates to withdraw altogether.

      I had a job where I hired for part-time student jobs, and I learned the hard way that you have to strike the right balance between being helpful (if they get confused, they’ll ghost their application, and you’ll end up very short staffed) and maintaining boundaries (telling a 15 year old that llama trainers must be 18, but they can apply to be a counselor at Riding Camp, might seem like the kind thing to do until their mom shows up an hour later to scream at you for age discrimination.)

    2. OP Writer*

      I’m sorry that happened to you!

      So how hiring basically happens at our company is candidates apply through a website portal and the applications and resumes get put into an inbox for the department head to look through. In our department’s case, our boss then calls the candidates from the conference line to set up a phone interview time and then the phone interview is conducted via that same line. Sometimes the call *might* be from someone’s office. Almost never during the call do the words “this is my number/email if you’d like to contact us” so they would only have the number based on caller ID should they chose to try and call back on that line. We don’t use recruiters and HR isn’t involved in the hiring process until the department head files hiring paperwork.

      1. OP Writer*

        I’ll also say often the person doesn’t even ASK for a contact number. I just offered the information during a few interviews and it brought up this debate among us.

        1. Leela*

          I see this handled differently at so many places and ultimately the right answer is “whatever’s right for what’s happening” which isn’t really helpful for sure!

          Even with the experience I had I certainly wouldn’t bar anyone from passing out their info if they wanted to. There are pros and cons to both but I’d say at bare minimum candidates should have *some* way of getting in contact and it sounds like there are, but I do think that someone might think the number that called them is a reasonable way to get in contact if they need to and then not understand if no one picks up when they try to call later.

          I’m not sure what the experience at your workplace has been, I know I’ve worked places where we as recruiters were told to not even give out the names of hiring managers (they’d just introduce themselves by first name in the meeting) because people would spam,, and so on, trying to get a hold of the hiring committee to continue to sell themselves or get really aggressive post rejection or things like that. And I’ve worked places where that wasn’t the case at all and the situations that caused the first case never came up! I’m not sure there’s a one size fits all rule there

        2. Senor Montoya*

          I would offer a name, email address, and phone number for just one person to be contacted, as that keeps your search tidy — I mean, easier to keep track of communication and easier to control the info given out.

        3. Senor Montoya*

          Hmm, I’m not clear –is this for a phone interview = an initial screen? In that case, I’d stick to email for contact/questions. For an in-person interview, supply email and phone number.

      2. Fikly*

        Does no one in your department understand how to block people from seeing the phone number you are calling from? Using the conference room phones seems cumbersome.

        1. OP Writer*

          Nope! What, like *67? Like for prank calls? I didn’t know that still worked with smartphones and all. Interesting!

        2. RegularReader*

          Meeting room phones can usually have the message option switched off. We did this in my last office. We recorded a short message on each of the phones stating that it was not possible to leave a message at that number and providing an alternative one. Not only did it avoid missing important messages, it meant no-0ne had to go round clearing messages off phones once a week.

      3. T. Boone Pickens*

        I don’t mean to dismiss your colleagues concerns about candidates following up too often but frankly, they are being a little ridiculous. I’ve done full time recruiting for 10 years now and have hired hired conservatively over 1000 people for positions that have ranged from entry level customer service to C-suite executives in both temporary and full-time capacities. I can count on one hand the number of people who were excessive in following up. It’s just not a thing that happens very often.

        1. Leela*

          I think it’s not a thing that happens very often or doesn’t, but wildly depends on many factors (how desirable is the company you work for? How strong is the competition in the area? How cool are the projects you work on? How much more do you pay than other jobs in the same area? What about the benefits compared to other companies, etc)?

          I can tell you that it was definitely a thing that happened very often where I worked. We’d also gets loads of people bailing on huge companies in the same industry following a massive shift to contracts whereas we paid pretty close to what the big companies did, had way better benefits, and primarily hired full time roles across the board but especially for juniors in tech (and true juniors, not 3-5 years experience juniors) which made us a highly applied to company. Obviously YMMV but I don’t think the colleagues are being ridiculous at all. Whether this is a real concern or not depends on a ton of variables we don’t know.

      4. leeapeea*

        What happens when someone doesn’t answer their phone when your department head calls them? Does your boss never leave a call back number? I know I don’t answer unrecognizable or blocked numbers on my cell phone…
        The suggestion to use a shared inbox or even an alias address for recruiting functions (think careers (at) business (dot) com, etc.) would allow for a hiring manager to email candidates to set up initial phone interviews. This automatically supplies a candidate with a contact, and, I’m guessing here, might result in a more streamlined interview scheduling process.

      5. Smithy*

        If it’s correct that your office has a very small team, and perhaps not a designated HR person or another detailed to respond to questions – I would recommend sharing some kind of an email for follow-up.

        Having no email for follow-up means that candidates are unable to reach out with updates about their candidacy (received another offer, going out of town for a week – best way to contact them, etc.) as well as asking relatively routine questions. If you’re largely hiring for fairly junior roles, then perhaps interview rounds are few and go fairly quickly before a decision is made. But if I had no way to reach out and ask any questions during the process, that would give me a lot of uncertainty as a candidate.

        You may be interviewing around the holidays/other blocks of staff holiday or work travel. And 2-4 weeks could easily pass with no updates for candidates. As normal as that can be, being able to ask a question or share an update about your own timeline is pretty standard.

  6. NQ*

    If they’re so desperate not to share personal contacts, how about a email address, which you can assure candidates will reach the relevant person if they include the job number in the subject line?

  7. Alton Brown's Evil Twin*

    I find the question a little weird. How did you set up the time/location/phone number for the interview in the first place without exchanging some kind of contact info?

    Seems like the people on the interview panel just want to make sure that future contact goes through HR or a recruiter or whatever, not them personally. If so, then they should just tell the candidates that. No need to dance around. “Any questions about the position, or additional information from you, should be sent to your recruiting contact. They are responsible for keeping our files consistent, and they’ll forward anything appropriate to the interview panel or other employees as neccessary.”

    1. James*


      Many of the companies I work with (including my own) require you to put your name, official email address, and at least an office phone number on any emails, and often a cell phone as well. This means that anyone who gets an email from me has my contact information.

      It would frankly be weird for anyone in the company to not give contact information to someone they are corresponding with. It would require a bit of effort, and violate company policy.

    2. NotAnotherManager!*

      We have an HR recruiter assigned to each position so that candidate contact and scheduling is coordinated through one (highly responsive) person. I always close with something to the affect of, “If you think of any questions after we’re done, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Wakeen. He’ll make sure that we get you an answer from whomever is best suited to answer it, whether that’s me or someone else.” A lot of follow-up questions are about comp or benefits or something not in my purview, and HR handles all of that and just sends me follow-up that I need to weigh in on.

      If the candidate is interviewing for a management or senior-level position, I do give them my business card, but most of my hires are entry-level.

    3. corporate engineering layoff woo*

      The listed tactic is exactly what I’ve experienced with at least one place on my current search. Communication from HR and the hiring manager was consistent in “everything goes through [HR name]”. Nice and easy (though they haven’t seen fit to call back since the second screening call).

  8. Trout 'Waver*

    Hiring managers already have the process tilted overwhelmingly in their favor. To dehumanize the candidates even further by refusing to provide contact information is outrageous. Strong candidates will likely pick up strong signals about the manager’s ability to manage a team from this.

  9. Liz*

    I always love to have a point of contact! This would have been so helpful for me when I first interviewed with my current organisation. I originally interviewed for a different role, and we mutually agreed that I wasn’t quite suited but they really liked me and urged me to stay in touch. It wasn’t until after that I remembered that I’d applied through an agency, and of course the agency didn’t want to give out any contact details to anybody because then they wouldn’t get their commission. It took some detective work for me to find a contact email for the interviewer, whereupon she was delighted to hear from me and recommended me for another role, which is the job I ultimately got.

      1. Is butter a carb?*

        Ha! Also, I DO welcome questions, especially if it turns out I was interested in that person. It’s never been a bad thing. Although, someday perhaps I will have a crazy follow-upper, but I would immediately come to AAM and post about it :)

    1. JimmyJab*

      Sounds like the OP was asking specifically about phone interviews (she explains more in a couple of comments).

  10. Kevin Sours*

    I’ve generally referred candidates to the recruiter in HR that they’ve been working with before they get to me rather than give out my own contact information. And obviously I think that’s appropriate (HR can forward stuff to me or otherwise put them in contact with me if need be). But you *really* need to give candidate contact information that will put their messages in front of a actual human who will do something with it. That’s just common courtesy.

    Of course I’m a technical lead rather than a proper hiring manager so that might influence things a bit.

    1. Candy*

      Yeah, my company prefers for the HR recruiter to be the main point of contact with candidates and I think that makes a lot of sense, but I also give my card to everyone I interview and tel them to contact me with any technical questions about the position.

      1. Kevin Sours*

        Yeah, a lot of it is simply that dealing with candidates isn’t really my job and I have other things to do. Most of the questions people ask aren’t even things I can answer (and some things I could I’m not sure if I’m supposed to answer) so it just works better if they go through channels. If something comes up in the interview where they want to send me something after (code samples or the solution to a problem they failed live) I’ll give them an email address. Hell, half the time I’m doing the interview over skype so it’s not like they can’t find me.

    2. NotAnotherManager!*

      Same, I would hazard to guess that their recruiter, who’s sole job is managing candidates and staffing positions, is likely to get back with them faster than I could with my meeting schedule/workload.

  11. Wordnerd*

    When we do hiring, we have an administrative assistant who handles the scheduling of interviews, and that person is typically the point of contact for the candidates for things like emergency rescheduling, taking themselves out of the running, etc. This provides the candidate that space but also discourages the yelling at the interviewer (?) because the admin doesn’t participate in the interviews. However, it’s a public institution, so all our individual contact information is relatively searchable online from just our names and job titles, and I sometimes receive thank you notes from candidates that way.

  12. IT But I Can't Fix Your Printer*

    The kind of candidate who’s going to be belligerent is going to figure out a way to do so regardless of whether you give them your preferred contact, as I think we’ve seen from other questioners – they’ll request to connect with every person in your company on LinkedIn, they’ll cold call anyone in your company with a published line, they’ll show up in your office with a box of chocolates… you can’t protect yourself from these behaviors by withholding contact info, and you’re just hurting candidates who respect professional norms (which hopefully is most of them!).

    1. Washi*

      I agree! I’m also surprised that it happens THAT frequently. I’ve done hiring for Americorps and other very entry level jobs, and only had two truly problematic people (out of like 100+ interviews) and they definitely would have found a way to get through regardless.

  13. Candy*

    I’m confused about how OP’s company schedules interviews without giving some sort of contact info for someone at the company. Someone has to either call or email the candidate to set up the interview, right? So the candidate at least has an email address or a name of someone at the company?

    1. ampersand*

      It seems common for an HR contact to set up interviews, communicate with the interviewees, etc., and for the hiring committee/managers not to give out their contact info to candidates–even after an interview. I think it’s unfortunate, as sometimes you want to be able to contact the person(s) you interviewed with without having to go through a middle person (like HR or a recruiter).

      1. Candy*

        That’s how my company handles communication with candidates, but OP didn’t mention HR and seems to be concerned that candidates can’t follow up with anyone at the company so I assume they don’t have HR.

      2. NotAnotherManager!*

        If you have a good HR recruiter, it’s not an issue. Mine is amazing at triage and very responsive. My experience has been that, when I give my contact information to every candidate, many have felt obligated to reach out with some sort of question to demonstrate interest, and then I end up having to sort through the emails that HR has to answer (comp, benefits, policy) and send those back to them. This is fine if you have 2 or 3 candidates, but it gets burdensome when you have many, many more like we do for spring hiring, which, of course, also falls during annual review season for 40-50 employees on top of my actual day-to-day job.

        I’m grateful for my recruiting team, and I get really positive feedback on them from candidates, too.

      3. LJay*

        For a lot of companies though, I think they want the candidate to have to go through a middle person in order to keep messaging consistent and within compliance with hiring laws.

        Generally questions about benefits would best be routed through HR. And if the questions regard accommodations for disabilities or religion, etc, HR may not want the direct hiring manager to know about that information ahead of time as it could inadvertently (or purposely) affect their hiring decision. And HR may not want the hiring managers to phrase things in a way that could be construed as an offer before background checks are completed, etc.

        And really, at that point, most questions for the hiring manager can likely be held until the next round of interviews or until an offer has been made. (Or at least until the next round of interviews is being set up). If you’re not going to make the cut to the next round it’s not going to be a great use of my time to give in-depth answers about your day-to-day tasks or really anything that’s not going to make or break your candidacy. And if the question is a make or break question, HR can pass it on to the hiring manager for answering.

        I do generally give out my contact info during the interview. But other than thank you notes I don’t usually get contacted. And if I do get contacted for not a thank you note 9 times out of 10 it’s a question about benefits that I bounce right back to HR anyway. The one time outside of that it was a question about accommodations I had to bring HR into the conversation on my side to figure out how to answer anyway, and the candidate got impatient with me for how long it took me to respond when it was something that had to be researched through HR and legal on a couple factors.

    2. Fikly*

      And what happens if the person needs to get in contact to reschedule for any reason, or if they get lost on the way or something like that? They have no options?

    3. foolofgrace*

      Not necessarily; for example, most of my initial phone interviews are set up thru the external recruiter and I have to go thru them. I have often wondered about all the people who say to send thank-you notes, when I have rarely been given a contact for anyone on the interview panel.

  14. Goldenrod*

    Yeah, I totally agree with Alison! I personally would be weirded out (and even a little rattled) if I were unable to send a thank-you email after an interview.
    And if an applicant is going to behave strangely (hostile or otherwise inappropriate) that’s information you should WANT to know before making a hiring decision.

  15. Happy Pineapple*

    When I worked in recruiting we had one general email account (HR@CompanyName) that we gave out to all candidates. This way recruiters could check the inbox on a regular basis without having their primary accounts flooded with non-time sensitive inquiries. If they were really interested in a particular candidate, they could individually supply them with direct contact information. Similarly, we had all calls go through the company’s main line, which the receptionist could then transfer at their discretion. We had a few nutcases call or email (such as the woman who wanted to let us know she wouldn’t accept anything in writing because “Russian spies” were watching her email and texts), but otherwise it was very helpful to be able to answer legitimate questions.

    1. I Wrote This in the Bathroom*

      the woman who wanted to let us know she wouldn’t accept anything in writing because “Russian spies” were watching her email and texts

      Wouldn’t the Russian spies also listen in on her phone calls then? Best not contact her at all, to be on the safe side ;)

  16. Former Usher*

    Following a series of three phone interviews, I finally advanced to an on-site interview. Only one person (out of seven) shared his contact information. I later heard that they thought I wasn’t interested, in part because I didn’t send them thank you notes!

    1. Quill*

      Those are the worst, especially when you have to apply via an outside recruiting agency.

    2. Librarian of SHIELD*

      How very dare you not use your psychic powers to discover their email addresses and send them thank you notes! /s

      Although, I think I’m the weird outlier of a hiring manager who hates getting thank you notes. Not in a “you interrupted my day with an unsolicited email, you are now out of the running” kind of way, but in a “I barely have time to keep up with my inbox as it is and now I’m getting thank you notes from people I know I’m not going to hire and I feel bad about it” kind of way.

    3. College Career Counselor*

      Jerks! In my field, it’s not uncommon to have multiple interviews over the course of a couple of days. There is NO WAY I am sending 50+ personalized thank you notes to everyone I’ve had a formal interview with. Even in the case of the search committee, it might be 10 people or more. What I typically do is write the chair of the search committee a thoughtful thank you note (including acknowledging the time many people took to speak with me) and ask that person to pass it along to other members of the search committee.

      That seems to work pretty well, but you do have to have one person’s email contact info.

    4. Observer*

      This reminds me of the article from some (in her mind) hot shot hiring manager who doesn’t give out her contact information, because it’s your job to find it. And if you don’t find it, it’s a proof that you are either insufficiently interested in the job, or you are too stupid and / or lazy to discover it.

      1. Seeking Second Childhood*

        And not willing to ignore rules of privacy perhaps? Not my choice of manager.

  17. Jennifer*

    Parachuting into your windows??? Resumes in hand I’m sure. Bwhahahahaaaaaaaaaaa. That image is cracking me up.

    Most interview requests I’ve gotten have been by email, so I already have their email address anyway. And as someone already mentioned, if someone truly doesn’t respect boundaries, they’ll find your email or work phone anyway. It’s not difficult nowadays. If someone made it through the first round of interviews, they should have a way to contact you, for all the reasons Alison mentioned. I definitely understand why you wouldn’t want to give it out because there are some crazy people out there but I think it’s a part of hiring. Why I’m glad I don’t have to make decisions like that…

  18. Diana*

    I was a candidate in a process like that and, honestly, I very nearly didn’t take the job because of it. My hiring process was a GIANT mess and the fact that I didn’t know how to reach the people who were truly invested in hiring me made it even messier. Once I finally got email and phone for the hiring manager, a process that had been taking months was resolved in a matter of days.

    I ended up taking the job, but it’s been years and I still don’t trust anyone in HR.

    1. Salty Caramel*

      I wish someone had told me before I started in the working world that you shouldn’t trust HR. Their job is to protect the company.

      1. Observer*

        I don’t think that Diana meant “trust” in the sense of “they have my back”, but in the sense of “they are competent and what they say tends to be accurate” which is most definitely their job.

  19. ProjectManager*

    OP – I’ve been interviewing a bit recently, and every company has a recruiter who I can contact, and that recruiter serves as the main point of contact throughout the process. In my industry, everything happens over email, and I don’t usually get phone numbers (or need them). Does your company not have recruiters or an HR function? I’m surprised that my experience isn’t universal.

    1. OP Writer*

      Our HR department handles the hiring paperwork once an offer has been made. The actual candidate screening, selection, and interview process is up to each department head/team. I’m not even sure how other departments at my company navigate the process (well I have *some* idea but not the details). This was just a question that came up for our team and I thought it was interesting.

    2. Blue Horizon*

      This is my experience as well. In most medium to large companies, managing communication is the job of the recruiting coordinator (typically an HR function, but sometimes a specialized department). They provide a responsive personal single point of contact, and follow up any questions to interviewers and the like.

      It’s not primarily to hide contact details – interviews are best approached in a spirit of optimism, and not trusting them to handle contact details responsibly is a bad start on that front – but for a professional job search experience. For example, if the interviewer goes on leave the day afterward, is sick or travelling etc. then they can locate someone else suitable to answer the question, have a conversation, or whatever is needed.

  20. Orange You Glad*

    This is what I do (following what my boss taught me):
    1. Every candidate has the contact info of the HR rep working on the opening. This is a person in our company who is responsible for setting up the interview and pre-screening the candidate. If the candidate has any issues before the interview, this is who they would contact.
    2. At the end of the interview, if the candidate had a strong interview and is likely someone I’d consider hiring, I give them my business card with my contact information. Usually candidates just use my e-mail to send a follow up thank you, but if they are ultimately hired, then they have a quick way to contact me with questions leading up to their start date. I make it clear that they can contact me with any questions after the interview.
    3. If the interview did not go well, I do not provide my card. I’ll wrap up with something vague like “We’ll be in touch” or “We have all your information and will contact you once a decision has been made”. The candidate still has HR’s info if there is anything important they might want to contact us about.

    1. pleaset AKA cheap rolls*

      This is reasonable – you recognize that not giving a card is for a reason. It’s part of not continuing a relationship.

    2. General von Klinkerhoffen*

      I agree this is a good balance.

      Candidate has some way of contacting the company whether for initial queries or logistical “there has been an accident on the freeway so I am stuck and may be late for the interview” messages.

      Likely candidates have direct contact details for conversations further along in the process.

      Not every single applicant has your inside-leg.

  21. not always right*

    I have never been able to send a thank you note on interviews with larger companies. Yes, I would have the interviewer’s name but not contact info. (A couple of times, the interviewer gave me a fake name!) If I interviewed at the headquarters location, I would Google the address and hope that my hand written note would get to my interviewer. At branch locations, I would try to send a note to the street address only to have it come back saying there was no mail receptacle. I guess they only received mail at a P.O.Box?
    A couple of times I played detective to get good contact info, but my attempts just didn’t pan out. For instance, I would find what I thought was a good email only for it to bounce back, or when I would call a phone number that I thought was for hiring manager turned out to be the mail room. I finally gave up trying to send them as it took way too much time away from my job hunt. Ain’t nobody got time for that

  22. PrgrmMgr*

    I email and call applicants using the same address and number I use for everyone else. Those that expect me to expedite the process for them when they’re not even employees yet are unlikely going to be pleasant to work with if I did hire them. ie, I had an open position a few years back, when my son was about a year old (so every illness hit our family), my MIL was in hospice after a long illness and eventually passed, and my father passed away unexpectedly. Keeping up with day-to-day work was hard enough, so hiring was slow. One candidate called repeatedly and ultimately showed up at a public event, letting me know he was aware of the two recent deaths, but he needed the hiring process to move forward ASAP. He hadn’t made it to a first interview yet (just a phone screen), and that solidified my feelings that he wouldn’t be appropriate for the job.

    1. NotAnotherManager!*

      What an amazingly inappropriate thing to do. I can’t imagine what sort of person would think that that sort of inhumane and insensitive behavior would move them to the front of the line versus the being filed in the circular bin. I’m so sorry that happened to you.

  23. Junior Assistant Peon*

    What the heck are interviewers so worried about?! If an interviewee turns out to be a PITA who follows up aggressively, you should be grateful that you found this out prior to hiring him/her!

    1. NotAnotherManager!*

      My concern is volume and that we have a process centralized around an HR recruiting contact. (By volume I mean that I have interviewed ten people in the past month and do not want to – and don’t have the bandwidth to – be the primary contact for the questions/contact from all of those candidates. Because my experience is that candidates prefer to contact the hiring manager rather than HR, even on HR-related issues like benefits.) HR recruitment also keeps good notes about where each candidate is, has scheduled reminders to check in with them within promised timeframes, and is basically the candidate concierge for all inquiries and contact.

      I am not opposed to giving people my contact info (and would certainly never refuse to give it) but I also don’t volunteer it for candidates who are not senior or management.

  24. The Man, Becky Lynch*

    Calling from a conference room for a phone screen makes sense to me but if they have an in person interview, it’s pretty over the top to shield your private information in my point of view!

    I give everyone my card when we interview in person, so do the other managers, at that stage we’ve already done the initial screening. They shouldn’t have to jump through hoops to contact you.

    Oh no, someone behaved badly and yelled at you? Good. Yell at me so I know that we can blacklist you in the future, I love a person who is messy like that, give me more reason why we didn’t hire you, thanks!

  25. Beanie Baby*

    I’d also be sure to use a clean email signature, as office protocol requires my phone number and extension to be in my company email signature, but when emailing candidates, I’d prefer to stick strictly to email.

  26. KP*

    “You also just want them to feel like you’re real humans who are treating them as potential colleagues — not potential annoyances you want to protect yourself from.”

    This right here.

  27. Observer*

    To be honest, if this is typical of the way they operate, your colleagues sound like absolute nightmares to work for or with. Making very broad reaching rules to deal with the outlier behavior of individuals is generally a bad idea. Especially when the rule is going to cause legitimate problems for people AND for your own staff. For instance, what happens if someone has an emergency and is not going to be able to show up for an interview? The interviewer’s time is going to be wasted because no one was able to contact them about it.

    Someone once took a sick day when they weren’t sick, so now everyone needs to bring a doctor’s note whenever they take sick days. Someone once forced a doctor’s note, so now everyone needs to bring a doctor’s note on the doctor’s letter head.

    Someone once fudged a price quote so now all price quotes need to be on company letterhead (this was actually a requirement by one government agency for YEARS. It doesn’t work, by the way.)

    Someone once burned popcorn in the office microwave, so the microwave got taken away.

    Someone left a mess in the bathroom so now the whole office gets a passive aggressive email about keeping the bathroom clean.

  28. AndersonDarling*

    I had an interview where I was asked a slightly inappropriate question and I wanted to let HR know…but it was one of those companies that doesn’t give out any info. All contact was made through a generic email address and I didn’t want to blab to whomever picked up the email from the inbox.
    So I guess they are still being inappropriate with their candidates.

    1. Salty Caramel*

      Out of curiosity, did you answer the question?

      I was once asked if I was married and had children under the guise of, ‘we want to see if you can travel.’ I told them I knew they weren’t allowed to ask me that question. I did answer it, but it was important to me to call them on it.

      Still got the job.

      1. Close Bracket*

        They are allowed to ask you the question. They aren’t allowed to make hiring decisions based on it. Did you tell them your family status or did you tell them when you were available to travel?

      2. Rusty Shackelford*

        They are allowed to ask you that question. They just aren’t allowed to use it in a hiring decision, so it’s pretty stupid of them to ask it. If you’d answered “yes, I have small children,” and they hadn’t hired you, you could have potentially brought them a heap of trouble.

      3. General von Klinkerhoffen*

        Top tip for interviewers: if you want to see if someone can travel, perhaps try the question, “Can you travel for work?” or “This job requires regular travel – typically four nights a month. Would that work for you?”

        My spouse has three children. The children do not prevent spouse from travelling for work, so are irrelevant. But because he presents as male, he has never ever been asked about his family set-up. And that’s why the question is a bear pit.

  29. learnedthehardway*

    As awful as it is to deal with candidates who are overly persistent or who are aggressive, it’s actually important to see those qualities. Bullets can only be dodged if you see them ahead of time.

    That said, it’s a good idea to have ONE person be the point person on candidate handling. If that means it is your recruiter, then make sure that person has all the information they need to manage the candidates effectively – that means providing timely updates, and a process so the recruiter knows who will move forward and who to turn off.

  30. OlympiasEpiriot*

    Good grief! Yes, the interviewee needs *some* kind of contact info! How are they going to send thank-yous? Or ask additional questions?

    I hand out my business card like confetti. That’s what they are made for. If someone starts bugging me at work, we have ways of dealing with that, up to and including blocking their phone number. Its not like I give out my home address.

    1. Kevin Sours*

      I feel like I’m in the minority here, but I don’t really care how they are going to send thank-yous because there is probably something I care less about than after interview thank-yous but I can’t be bothered to figure out what it is.

      Questions are important though.

      1. OlympiasEpiriot*

        I don’t care about being thanked, particularly, but, I do want to have an idea of someone’s awareness of social norms, one’s ability to follow up and even the ability to hone in on a thing or two from the interview and conversation that made us stick out to them or that they want to make sure we know about them. Even in my industry, although there’s the stereotype of an awkward nerd, I need people who can interact with clients and be relative smooth (not slick…I’m not looking for slickness).

        Maybe re-name the post-interview communication as a follow-up note rather than a thank you note.

        1. Kevin Sours*

          I don’t care what you call it. For me it’s pointless noise. I won’t hold it against a candidate — in part because so many people seem to expect it and it would be a jerk move to blame somebody for not guessing that I’m not one of them — but I’d really prefer people didn’t.

          I’ve already figured out my recommendation to the hiring manager before you’ll have a chance to send it. Generally before the interview is over really. A follow up email is going to have to go beyond meaningless pleasantries to change my mind.

  31. Gwen Stacey*

    Our HR dept has a special recruiting phone number and email for this and they forward any messages or email requests to the hiring manager and then don’t delete any messages from candidates that have already been removed from consideration as a bit of a triage for this. Personally I like this system a lot but understand it can be expensive and difficult to manage if you don’t have a large HR dept

  32. I Wrote This in the Bathroom*

    Team “give it out”, because:

    1) On two occasions – one a phone tech screen and the other an in-person interview – my interviewer was late and I had no way of reaching them. With the phone screen, the person was 15 or so minutes late and my only contact was their corporate recruiter, who wasn’t answering my messages and I did not have their phone number. Didn’t have the interviewer’s number either, I’d been told that they would call me. I had no idea if we were still on and whether/when the interview would start. With the in-person, my only contact, their corporate recruiter (is this a pattern??), unbeknownst to me, went to lunch at about the same time they’d scheduled my interview to start, were not answering their phone, and I had no other contact information. Finally showed up 1.5 hours after they’d told me to come up to the office and have them come get me to take me to the interview. I’d found my own way in by then. (Figured out a way to call their front desk.) Both are large nationally known companies that a lot of people are dying to work for.

    2) As an interviewer, last year, we interviewed a few candidates and the next day I was surprised to find emails from all of them but one in my inbox. Apparently the expectation now is to send every person who’d interviewed you, a direct thank-you email. If you don’t have someone’s email address, it’s on you to figure it out I guess?! I found it awkward and invasive and something I would not want to have to do as a candidate – just give me the address if you want me to use it. The one person who didn’t email each of us directly, sent one email to our corporate recruiter and asked to forward to each of us – I liked that approach better, to be honest – but again, to be able to take this approach, you’d have to have at least one email address. This is a job interview, not an escape room, don’t make your candidates hunt for clues.

    1. Kevin Sours*

      “This is a job interview, not an escape room, don’t make your candidates hunt for clues.”
      That can depend on the job. One lawyer who’s blog I read occasionally posts there for paralegals. He doesn’t provide contact info to submit a resume because “part of your job is going to be figuring this stuff out. Figure it out”

      1. Observer*

        Well, we know that lawyers can be less than reasonable bosses. This is a perfect example.

      2. General von Klinkerhoffen*

        In fairness, paralegals spend A LOT of time finding appropriate contact details for people.

        Even so, yuck.

  33. Teelo*

    In this conundrum now. Application wants a writing sample, but gives no details on what kind of writing sample they want. I’d love to be able to ask what kind they’re interested in because I have a lot of different types for one job.

    1. pepper potts*

      Are you able to submit a few pages? You could do a single page letter, a report, and something else? Just examples, but varied?

  34. Lady Blerd*

    I just went through a hiring process and made sure to include my contact info when I set up the interview although it was done via email, they got my info right there. But I was replacing the hiring manager who’s info was in the advertisement, it was my way of letting them know that I was the new point of contact. Years of AAM has made me very aware of the frustrations of job applicants so I try to make it a point of being as reasonably accomodating as possible.

  35. Hiring Mgr*

    Besides the fact that you should just give them your email add, if someone wants it, it’s VERY easy to find out a corporate email address…. There are lots of free services that provide them. There’s no point in disguising or using a general one.

  36. NomadiCat*

    As a candidate, I always hand out calling cards (not business cards, but cards I’ve printed up for all non-work contact needs like volunteering or interviewing) to my interviewers and make a joke about “doing the ritual of the exchanging of the business cards”. I find it puts people at ease and centers it as a regular business meeting. Plus, it’s a way to get contact info for thank you emails after.

    If I don’t get cards or contact info, I always make a point to jokingly say at the end of an interview “I’m a thank you note kind of person, so if you want a thank you note please give me your contact info.” When I’m in an all-day, multi-interview round I’ve had people pop back by later to give me cards because now that I’ve told them WHY I want it, it makes them more comfortable handing it over.

    As an interviewer? I always give out cards. I WANT to see how candidates handle my info. If they’re inappropriate or not appropriately suited for my role, I want to know. I also explicitly mention thank you notes (I tend to hire for positions where your ability to write and your ability to follow up with people is incredibly important) near the end of the interview so that they understand that if I’m giving them the ability to follow up I would like them to do so. I respect that some people just don’t do thank you notes anymore, but in my particular industry– think politics or event planning– they’re still very much a thing.

  37. Jdc*

    I have never even heard of not having at least an email to contact someone. I’d assume it was a scam and wouldn’t have anything to do with any of it. That’s so weird

  38. i should be applying right now*

    I am extremely confused at how you manage NOT to do this. You’ve got to contact them already in some manner to set up the interview. They have your info. Or, if not your info, they have the info of the scheduler, and then they can pester the scheduler, if that’s what you’re really concerned about.

    But unless you’re doing your interviewing by sending snail mail letters to people assigning them an interview time with no way to negotiate… you’ve already given your candidates a way to contact you.

  39. AntiSocialite*

    As someone who has been doing a lot of applications lately, so many places rely on the automation of their ATS, and it’s terrible.

    Everything is anonymous, from the do not reply type emails to the booking software for an interview slot. It’s really frustrating, especially when the recruiter misses your appointment and doesn’t contact you to reschedule, which has happened several times. In one instance I was finally able to connect with her but in another instance they cancelled my interview about 10 minutes beforehand through their scheduling app, and there was no opportunity to reschedule or any further contact.

  40. Buttons*

    Every interview I have ever had every person who interviewed gave me their business card and I always give my business card to candidates.

  41. TootsNYC*

    Do you want to lose a really good candidate because they can’t call to tell you they got the flu and need to reschedule?

  42. Steve*

    I know it is always recommended to send a “Than You” email after an interview. Many times the initial interview is with a phone screener or HR person. If the interview moves to the in-person phase, a job seeker often does not have the contact information of the hiring manager. I’ve often wondered if this is some kind of test to see if the job seeker is motivated/resourceful enough to figure out the interview’s email. Sometimes this can be reverse engineered, for example the phone screener’s email follows the format of first name dot last name @company name dot com. Other times the interviewer’s email can be found with google.

    I’ve also wondered if this is a bit of a test, specifically in sales roles. Is it expected that I ask for contact info as the interview is winding up and as I am giving a handshake? Am I overthinking or just missing things that are obvious to others?

    1. Jdc*

      I’ve for sure called to ask for an email. Or even just asked the HR person to forward it on. People like nice emails. It’s like i say about cards, I still send them a lot because mail sucks now days. They will mention it or forward it on.

    2. Jdc*

      Oh and my trick is call the main number and say you sent an email to Barb but it bounced back can you verify what her email is? Always works and they don’t think your selling something or block you from having it because they think you should only go through Hr or something.

  43. Ewesername*

    We have a account and a dedicated phone number (its webbased) that any department manager who is hiring uses. We take turns checking for messages a few times a day and forward the to the appropriate person. The system haso it’s pitfalls, but for the most part it works.

  44. voluptuousfire*

    I schedule interviews for a living. I’ve done it for years and have not gotten a rude or off the wall response. My recruiters have! Some of those have been pretty entertaining.

    I also have people ask for their interviewers’ contact info. I’ll ask the interviewers before I do anything to be sure they’re OK with it. I don’t want to subject my HMs to those looking for updates or to be yelled at since they didn’t get the job.

  45. Marira*

    I’m curious as to how candidates are contacted in the first place?? I recently went through the whole apply/interview process and I had email correspondence from every place (HR or a team lead) that set up the interview/s.

    I guess maybe this is more applicable to recruiter-type situations?

    It definitely seems like a liability and a kind of bizarre position for HR to take. If you don’t like occasional rude people, it seems like the wrong job fit

  46. Sara*

    Hmm, I agree that candidates need to be able to reach out with questions, though my team uses a generic recruitment email address that is monitored by our recruitment coordinator and a few key hiring managers. This seems to work well.

    I almost never give my personal information to candidates, unless I’m confident that they’re a strong candidate post-interview. I interview a large number of people each year (mainly for entry-level positions) and I have had too many interactions that were either uncomfortable or scary (i.e. candidates making personal attacks after I declined them, candidates emailing every 20 minutes with progressively more aggressive language). I know that these candidates may still find my personal contact information in other ways, but from experience, it’s been helpful to use a generic email address as a way of distancing myself from these interactions. Yes, hiring people means occasionally interacting with weird people, but these interactions aren’t just a “minor inconvenience” and hiring managers have a right to protect their time and emotional energy.

  47. Rich*

    When I’m an interviewer, I always make a point to do this. If I’m the hiring manager, it’s an easy way to show engagement, and it helps keep communication flowing with candidates.

    More often, I’ve been a skills/technical interviewer. In those cases, I have two jobs — assess the candidate, and give the candidate a peer-level ability to assess the company. My first priority is always to get what I need to make a recommendation to the hiring manager, but I take the two-way-street part of the interviewing role really seriously. It’s better for everyone if the candidate can make a good, fully informed decision about the job.

    I’ll get follow-up questions about 20% of the time, but invariably when we hire someone, they reach out to express appreciation for the follow-up offer.

    It treats people like people (rather than spreadsheet scores), it makes it easier to ensure that everyone on both sides of the hiring process makes the best decision, and it builds a good-will bridge. Those are huge upsides against the possible downside of someone following up too often.

  48. Peggy*

    I interviewed with a company with that practice. The hiring manager would not give me his contact information and referred to HR, even after I explicitly asked for it after the second in-person interview. When they made me an offer, all I had was a contact in HR, who was not reachable at the previously agreed upon time and the day that followed and the deadline for another offer (that they did not know about) was approaching. While I could have hunt them down by calling the central, them not caring about me being able to contact them, was the main reason I decided to accept the other offer, even they were my favourites initially.

    (After I sent my rejection e-mail, suddenly a lot of people from there called me asking what I needed to still come work for them – too late, just treat me like a human being during your process.)

  49. Andi*

    As an interviewer / hiring manager I’ve had candidates message me on linkedin after their interview. I’m in a large enough company I have no control over what goes on in recruiting after we’ve done the interview and given a go/no go and a general recommendation for an offer. It kind of weirds me out when I get messages from them. One “thanks for the interview” message, I guess is OK. Multiple messages and wanting to add to my network before they’ve finished negotiating an offer just feels weird.

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