I was rejected for a job, but I see no signs the new hire has started yet

A reader writes:

In April, I did a job interview at a small employer (less than 15 staff). I’ve often been told that I interview well, but this interview was probably the best interview I’ve ever done. The interviewers repeatedly told me how impressed they were with me, I built a great personal connection and rapport with the interviewers (who were laughing and smiling throughout the interview) and at the end, when I asked if they had any concerns about me, the only concern they raised was that I might get hired somewhere else.

But I guess they liked someone else just a tiny bit more. They told me that they hired someone else, but the decision was very difficult. They didn’t specifically say that I was second choice, but they strongly implied it. I replied to the rejection email to wish them well with their chosen candidate and to encourage them to contact me if anything changes. That was a little over three weeks ago.

Here’s the thing. They have a “Meet Our Team” page on their website with photos and little bios of their staff and there’s still no new employee listed. (I’ve also tried doing a Google search for “employer name job title LinkedIn” and nothing comes up, but I know not everyone updates their LinkedIn profile regularly.) I don’t want to get my hopes up, but if the new employee doesn’t show up on their website in the next few days, then I’m thinking it’s one of three possibilities: (1) they’re slow at updating their website (but they have a large communications team, so that seems unlikely), (2) something delayed the new employee’s start date (like an illness or a weird emergency), or (3) the new employee reneged or is considering quickly quitting or something like that.

So I’m not sure what my best course of action is. Should I just wait patiently and trust that they’ll contact me if they need me? Or, maybe at the four-week mark, should I try reaching out to them to re-express my interest in the position? If so, then what do I say without sounding like a creepy jerk who doesn’t respect their hiring decision? But if I don’t reach out and the first choice reneges, then will the employer feel too sheepish to reach out to a rejected candidate who they were worried might get hired elsewhere? This job would be a really great job for me, so I want to play my cards right. (Of course, all will be moot if the new employee’s picture shows up on the employer’s “Meet Our Team” page.)

You are reading too much into things.

It’s only been three weeks! It’s entirely possible that the new person isn’t starting for a month or even two (or potentially even longer — I’ve waited three months and longer for the right candidate in roles where getting the right person was more important than having them start quickly). Their start date might still be in the future. And once they do start, lots of organizations take a long time to update their online listings of employees.

If for some reason the new hire did fall apart, it’s very, very, very likely that the organization would reach back out to you if you were indeed their second choice.

Contacting them three weeks after they rejected you to say that you’re wondering if they want to hire you after all because you haven’t seen them update their website with the name of the new hire would come across pretty weirdly. Not “never consider this person again” weird, but a little off. If they want to get back in touch — and especially if they thought you were as strong a candidate as you believed — they will.

You’re overly invested at this point. I think that’s probably because you let yourself believe the interview went so well that a job offer was highly likely. But the things you describe that led to that belief — the compliments, the rapport, the laughing — those can all happen even when you don’t end up being a finalist for the job. Sometimes that’s because you’re one of the first people to be interviewed, and they don’t really know where you rate relative to the rest of their candidate pool until they’ve talked to more people. Sometimes it’s because they’re just nice people who genuinely connected with you, but that’s not the same thing as being exactly what they’re looking for (which can be extremely nuanced and difficult to assess as a candidate). Sometimes other people are just stronger. And yes, they told you their only concern was that someone else might hire you, but that can be a kind of throwaway remark in response to a question that put them on the spot (“do you have any concerns about me?”) and to which they weren’t prepared to provide a thoughtful answer off the cuff.

That can be a painful lesson to learn, but it can also be a liberating one because it can stop you from overly investing in jobs before you have them.

Or who knows, I could be wrong about all this in your case! The new hire could be stuck at a bottom of a well somewhere. But again, if the hire doesn’t materialize and you were the recent strong second choice, they’ll contact you.

The best thing you can do is believe the book is closed on this, as they told you it was, and let yourself mentally move on.

{ 228 comments… read them below }

  1. CTA*

    LW, it’s entirely possible the candidate has already started but asked the company to not put their name on the website for privacy reasons. Please take Alison’s advice.

    1. ThatGirl*

      It’s also entirely possible they needed 3 or 4 weeks to start in the first place – had to wrap up an old job, maybe a pre-planned vacation, etc.

      1. CJ*

        Yeah, at my current job I received a conditional offer and then needed the background check and physical and I waited for those to clear before I gave my notice. So it was a little over a month from the offer until I started.

      2. Ladycrim*

        Exactly this. I gave three weeks notice at my last job before I started my current one. Not every hire starts immediately.

      3. EvilQueenRegina*

        I can remember a former coworker who took a couple of months to start because he had to relocate from a different part of the country. There could be any number of reasons.

        1. Knittercubed*

          I once had an 8 week wait for a very niche nursing job because the hiring manager had to show she tried to find a male applicant for the job. Men are a small fraction of the nursing population so they had to demonstrate significant effort before hiring me.

          1. Media Monkey*

            if only they’d put as much effort into finding female applicants in male dominated industries…

            1. Bananapantsfeelings*

              Funny how careful employers are about advantaging the already-advantaged.

              Also funny how female-dominated education and healthcare have such disproportionately male management. It’s really a mystery how this happens.

              1. 1-800-BrownCow*

                Yes, funny how that happens.

                Only female Engineer at a company with an all-white, male upper management team

              2. Lexie*

                I worked in a female dominated field. At one agency our female executive director would fire woman but demote males.

              3. Arglebargle*

                Nursing is very much like this. Two men whom I precepted as new nurses were offered RN manager jobs within a YEAR of being off orientation, as female nurses with decades of experience and the desire to manage were passed over. One is now the VP of Nursing at a major urban hospital.

    2. Sparkle Llama*

      Or the person who updates the website just hasn’t done it yet! Whether that is that they always wait a bit to add people so they can get their footing, the web person is out or they just haven’t gotten to it yet!

      1. Rain*

        Yeah, we have an internal photographer at my company, but she only does headshots every other months, so it may take 2 months for someone to appear on our website. (My CEO is bizarrely averse to those “placeholder outline” headshots (he says they look like shooting range targets), so no one gets added until they have a headshot.

        1. Peanut Hamper*

          At my last company, I would just use a picture of a llama. People found it amusing.

            1. allathian*

              I don’t mind having my photo taken for internal use. It’s one of the best photos ever taken of me and I’m going to continue to use it for as long as I can.

              But my work is invisible to our customers and there’s no way I’d want my photo up on our website. There’s little risk of that because my role doesn’t require me to be visible to the public.

          1. OMG, Bees!*

            For the longest time on Slack, I used the icon of the offline dinosaur game on Chrome

            1. Workaholic*

              my work pic (internal Teams only) is of a screaming purple minion. IT and upper management laugh every time they see it.

      2. Doris*

        I’m in academia and our staff profiles are often updated late or not at all. I’ve recently worked somewhere for 18 months and not been listed (despite begging to be).

        1. AFac*

          Also academia, and at our place, we have little control over our own departmental website, and even the bits we can change need to go through about 3 layers of approval before publication.

          Something about “unified and consistent branding” which you can interpret as you like.

        2. I just work here*

          Also academia. I’ve been in my current tenure-track position for 2.5 years and am not listed on the college site.

        3. AGD*

          Also in academia, and yep. My previous unit’s website has some names of people who haven’t been there in years, including one who left before the pandemic.

      3. Captain dddd-cccc-ddWdd*

        We wait a little bit in case the new hire doesn’t work out (which generally becomes obvious within 1-2 months; we have a 6 month probation period but it is generally apparent whether the person is likely to pass or not much earlier than that). Also we don’t even have everyone on the website to begin with. How does OP know the website is (or should be) a comprehensive listing of employees?

      4. 1-800-BrownCow*

        Yeah, I’m guessing updating the website for a new hire may not be someone’s isn’t their biggest priority. Or the person who does that is on vacation or out on medical leave or a myriad of other reasons.

      5. Bear in the Sky*

        At my current job, I didn’t get added to the website until three or f0ur months after I started, because that was the soonest they updated it.

    3. Chas*

      Or maybe they’re just being slow to update the website. That seems like the sort of thing that could easily be forgotten in the onboarding process if the webpage was set up a while ago and hasn’t been touched since.

    4. Bananapantsfeelings*

      I just watched that new Mark Wahlburg movie, Family Plan, where the boring suburban dad was a former government assassin in hiding, and he repeatedly refused to get Employee of the Month because it meant a photo on the website that would have outed him.

      In real life, I had a coworker who legally used a made-up first and last name due to domestic abuse, but went by a different name in person. That coworker didn’t have LinkedIn and kept a very low profile on the Internet.

  2. Heals*

    I feel for you, OP – I’ve been in situations like this and it’s very disheartening. Keep your chin up!

    1. Observer*

      Yes, it’s really frustrating. But it’s really important to not let that legitimate frustration cloud your judgement.

    2. Policy Wonk*

      Ugh, I feel for them too – though I think their proposed course of action is very ill-advised. I just went through something similar. Had really great interviews with the hiring manager and team. Was told they had two candidates and both of us had opposite strengths related to the two most important aspects of the job, so they needed to do some thinking about which direction to go. Ultimately, the HR recruiter called and told me that they weren’t moving forward with my candidacy. Bummer, but I’m mostly happy in my current role, so NBD. I assumed the other candidate got it. That call came on Friday and on Monday, I saw the exact same job (same job description!) re-posted. I guess they didn’t pick either of us or the other person rejected the offer. Part of me has been hoping that they re-posted to try to find other candidates but they won’t find anyone better and I’ll get a call about it sometime later. But that was four weeks ago and I will not be contacting them at all!

  3. ZSD*

    Yeah, when I got to the line that said this concern arose only three weeks after they told you they’d gone with someone else, I realized you were going down this path *way* too soon. I think it’s very normal for people to give two weeks’ notice at their old job, then take two weeks off before starting the new job. So I wouldn’t even expect there to be a chance of seeing the new person on their website until four weeks after they told you they’d gone with someone else, and then waiting another month to allow additional start-date delays, delays in updating their website, is reasonable.
    Even if it had already been two months, it still wouldn’t be a great idea to check in with the employer, but at least I’d understand why you were asking the question.

    1. Roland*

      I took 3 months to start a new job once just because I felt like taking a 3 month break. Employer didn’t bat an eye.

  4. Zelda*

    Two things come immediately to mind:

    1) I’ve worked more than one place where those ‘meet the team’ web pages were literal years out of date. The organization contracted someone to design them a brand new website, provided that person with then-current staff info, the website went up, and no one has touched it since.

    2) We’ve had LWs with safety concerns, including one pretty recently who was asking to be omitted from their new employer’s ‘meet the team’ web page to reduce the risk of an abusive ex tracking them down. Even a proactively maintained website can’t be assumed to be comprehensive.

    1. Antilles*

      For point #1 in particular:
      Unless it’s replacing the CEO or you just hired an absolute legend of the industry, updating the About Us page just isn’t typically a top priority. Even if they do keep their website reasonably up to date and have a large communications team, the online personnel roster just isn’t that critical.

      1. Ashley*

        So much this. I was at a place the spent a year doing a web page revamp so they had a really out dated meet the team section. At a small place this is even more likely to have someone wearing multiple hats and this could be a lower priority. Or, you may just want to wait a few months to make sure your new person is fully on-boarded before you put their info out there.

      2. Dawn*

        I also don’t know if I’d ever update it before someone’s probationary period is over, that’s just asking for issues.

        1. Gabs*

          We had two hires start a month and a half apart. We waited until AFTER the later hire was past their probationary period before adding both to the company website. We do headshots through a professional photographer and were not about to incur two separate costs for the photographer to come to our office, editing etc.
          Sounds like the LW is really disappointed that this job didn’t work out, but 3 weeks is SUCH a small amount of time before wanting to follow up due to what you’re seeing externally. There’s lots of hypotheticals that could factor in, but the reality is probably very simple – it’s not past the probationary period for the new hire yet.

      3. Lomster*

        Same here. And if it’s all company-style headshots it will take even longer (to get the headshot, write the copy, do the update, etc). It’s just not going to happen quickly.

        LW, I was a second choice candidate and it took at least 6 weeks for the initial candidate to flame out and for me to get an email. I had also responded to the rejection with a “thank you for letting me know!” friendly response and then I did nothing. The company reached out unsolicited. And I hadn’t even had a good interview! I was just adequate! And yet I still got the email. So if it went as well as you suspect, they’ll get back to you if they need you.

        (In my current job, we reached out to our second choice candidate 4 months after the initial interview when our first choice quit!)

      4. Zero Calories*

        This. I would give zero weight to OP’s theory based on a website. And I’m not sure how large a communications department could be at a company with less than 15 people. But even if 14 of the 15 were communications staff, it doesn’t mean that updating the employee section on the website is remotely a priority.

        1. Gray Lady*

          This. “Large communications team” and “high priority on ‘meet our staff’ page” are not remotely the same thing.

          1. orsen*

            If anything, I would think that if 14/15 employees were communications staff, that means the work itself is primarily communications, so the online Our Team page would be filed under low-priority, miscellaneous.

    2. Lacey*

      Yes. I’ve worked places where new hires were only added on every couple of years or when we redesigned the website. And in the same way, my name and photo were still up there long after I’d left.

    3. CityMouse*

      I once worked somewhere where the staff page listed someone who’d died like 5 years ago.

      1. Observer*

        OK, *that* is definitely bad. Even with a small comms team, that should have been fixed. But it does speak to how little attention is paid to this stuff.

    4. Donkey Hotey*

      Reiterating #1. I either at a small company for five years and they never updated to add me, let alone remove the person I replaced. Sorry, friend.

    5. PotsPansTeapots*

      Came here to say this. I do SEO-adjacent work and the “About Me” section is probably the least updated page on a given org’s site.

  5. BPT*

    Oh man. I know how hard it is to not get caught up in a job you really liked and thought you were going to get an offer for. But saying “Or, maybe at the four-week mark, should I try reaching out to them to re-express my interest in the position?” is really misreading the situation. If I got a candidate reach out to me four weeks after rejecting them to say “I’m still really interested in the position,” my first thought would be panic at thinking that I forgot to send a rejection email to them. Then when I realized I had actually rejected them, I would be very confused as to why a candidate was reaching out to express interest after they had been rejected weeks ago.

    I know it’s hard to move on! I get it. But unfortunately, you didn’t get the position. Could there always be a fluke case where they come back to you? Sure, but thinking like that is just going to drive yourself crazy. Take a day to get into the mindset of “I didn’t get the job, I need to move on,” and stop checking their website for your own mental health.

    1. Sparkles McFadden*

      The “Didn’t we notify this person?” panic would definitely be the first reaction from almost anyone. We had people who were advised to act like they got the job even after they were rejected (so much bad advice out there). They’d call back and say “When do I start?” and we’d worry that someone in HR accidentally contacted the wrong person, so our day would get derailed while we tried to figure out what went wrong.

  6. Wendy Darling*

    Can we talk about the “Do you have any concerns about me?” question? Do we think this is actually ever a useful thing to ask, as a candidate?

    I definitely have had people tell me I should ask that, including the people running a job searching seminar I took for graduate student career changers. But as a candidate I’ve never really gotten a response that I felt I could respond to usefully, and as an interviewer I just feel put on the spot. Often I DO have concerns about the person, but they’re not something they can realistically address in an interview — it’s stuff like “You claim you have a lot of experience with X but the way you talk about X indicates you don’t have the level of expertise we need” or “you seem like you’re not going to handle our customers very well”. Nothing they can tell me in the >5 minutes we have left at the end of an interview is going to clear up those concerns for me.

    1. Anonym*

      As a candidate I’ve had it surface interesting questions or topics once in a while. Not often, but enough that I plan to continue using it. I do wonder if making more specific could elicit more useful responses, but I’m not sure.

    2. Tisserande d'Encre*

      As a candidate I phrased the question differently, more like “Is there anything you’re looking for in an ideal candidate that I haven’t had a chance to touch on?” Generally this was met with positive feedback on it being a good question, and I’d say about a third of the time the interviewer actually brought up something that I had experience on but hadn’t mentioned yet.

      1. COHikerGirl*

        Oooh, I like this framing. I ask the “any concerns” question because it gives me a gauge on how concerned they are about my not having a degree in my field. And I’ve been able to address specific questions that they didn’t ask in the interview but I could do, even without the degree.

        But this is better!

    3. BoratVoiceMyWife*

      I ask it every time, and it’s very useful because it opens up opportunities to elaborate on skills or strengths I may have that didn’t organically come up during the conversation.

    4. Apples and Oranges*

      I think instead I might say “based on my resume and this interview, are there any aspects of the job that you think I will find challenging or need more coaching on?” Any challenges they raise are likely to be related to concerns or your areas of weakness as a candidate and it gives an opportunity to respond to those concerns. Even if they just give a generic response about things that are challenging about the job it gives the candidate useful information about the position.

    5. Cat Lady in the Mountains*

      Yeah as a hiring manager I hate this question. I feel like it’s just another way for candidates to parlay a question into an opportunity to talk themselves up some more. I also am…just probably not going to tell them what concerns I have, especially not on the spot before I’ve had a chance to process the conversation, in a venue that opens up room for argument.

      For candidates, I think the better approach is to ask something more specific to the conversation you’ve had. Anticipating what concerns might be out there, naming why they’re valid, and seeking more information about how it would impact your success in the role. Like, “You mentioned this job is 80% X, and while I’ve done that before, it’s definitely not the part of the job description that most closely aligns with my experience. Can you tell me more about your expectations for the level of skill someone walking into the role should have?”

      This will both give you more useful information/help you assess the role, and give your interviewer something really concrete to elaborate on.

      1. SnowyRose*

        I feel the same. I’d also add to that expose my association to a possible lawsuit. Although, given the nature of our work, we also probably get higher than normal percentage of candidates at either end of the spectrum whose passions run real high.

      2. House On The Rock*

        I’d also be put off by this question from a candidate. Whatever my answer in the moment, I doubt it would give the person much to go on and I’d be careful not to say too much. I think the interviewer’s response was pretty smart – it’s flattering, not specific, and shuts down argument. But it’s also not something the LW should take to be particularly meaningful.

    6. Combinatorialist*

      As I have seen recommended here, I add on “Do you have any concerns about me that I can address?”. This makes it much easier for an interviewer to say nope without feeling like they are lying, but still gives an opportunity for misunderstandings to surface.

      1. General von Klinkerhoffen*

        Yes, I’ve recently asked a similar question along the lines of, “Was there anything in my [application materials] that concerned you, or anything important you thought was missing?”

        They answered that we’d already discussed those areas (management experience, which comes from my voluntary work not professional career) and we quickly moved on.

        I think that when used carefully it can indicate a level of maturity and humility and willingness to learn. There is no one true perfect hire, so inevitably they’ll be choosing what weakness or disadvantage to compromise on.

    7. Olive*

      I think you’re more likely to get a useful answer if you’re young and inexperienced and genuinely don’t know all about professional norms. When I do recruitment with students and new graduates, I tell them very directly what I’m looking for on a resume and what I don’t want to see. (Knowing that you have worked before is good, but I don’t need bullet points about McDonalds).

      At higher levels, it’s more likely that either the candidate is qualified but someone else was more qualified, or the fit just isn’t good all-around even if that wasn’t obvious before the interview.

      I think it is helpful to know that you’re weak in a job skill that could be strengthened, not in the next 5 minutes, but with time. I’m not a database expert and have focused my career on other technical areas, but if I interviewed for 5 jobs and they all said “you’re great but we’re looking for someone with stronger database skills”, that would tell me something useful about the market.

    8. spcepickle*

      It is a bad question. As a hiring manager the only answer you are getting from me is no.
      Because there is no answer I have for you that does not lead to a disagreement from the person. After an interview I might have concerns about your ability to handle conflict or clearly communicate or just your general attitude and I don’t want to get in a conversation about those issues because you are not going to change my mind and I don’t need to waste your or my time.
      That said – If I have concerns that I think you can address I will bring them up – I have asked people about their ability to work in person, their ability to work that odd shifts, if I think you are way over qualified I will ask what draws you to this position.

      I think that specific questions about the position are way better.

    9. Panda (she/her)*

      I have never asked this question during an interview, but I did recently have a candidate ask if I had any concerns or feedback based on the interview. First of all, if I’m going to give feedback, it won’t be off the cuff at the end of an interview; I would want to think about that kind of thing before saying anything. Second, this person was really lacking many of the key skills for the role (being able to think big picture, connect the dots and communicate well were all critical, and this person had demonstrated pretty clearly they didn’t have those skills) and me telling them that wouldn’t have changed anything.

      Instead, I talked about the skills and expertise that would be important to succeed in this type of role. The candidate proceeded to tell me how great they were at those things, when k could clearly tell from the rest of the interview that they weren’t.

      So, it was annoying to me as an interviewer and not really helpful in moving the person’s candidacy forward.

    10. ClosingItOut*

      I think that’s a really strange question and, as an interviewer I would gave been really thrown off by it before I saw it on various recommendations lists. As an interviewee, I usually end with something like “Is there anything else you’d like to know about me?” which is more-or-less the same thing but with much better phrasing IMO.

    11. musical chairs*

      Yeah, I generally dont love the question as a hiring manager.

      We just had an interview. That was the opportunity for me to ask any questions to address any reservations I had. That’s literally half the point. It’d be kind of silly for me to leave anything unaddressed unless I really had already written off your entire candidacy early on in the interview due to a basic qualification or huge salary mismatch. That doesn’t happen if you’re making it past our screen call. Very often the reservations I have are related to things that the candidate cannot control or already did not explain well. Usually the answer to that question for me is “no”, for me.

      And, most importantly, we do panel interviews specifically for the sake of inclusivity. I have my thoughts in the interview, sure, but the full processing of your interview usually happens within that group shortly after, to help reduce bias and get multiple perspectives. Very often I can see something from another perspective through the way another interviewer understands an answer, or interprets the fit of the candidates responses. If after talking with each other we need the candidate’s further clarification, we have your email and phone and we can just contact them again, it’s not like the candidate ceases to exist once the interview ends!

    12. Project Maniac-ger*

      Yeah I don’t like it. “Are there any other questions I can answer about my candidacy/resume/field test/portfolio?” Is more neutral and relevant.

      “Do you have any concerns about me?” Is what I ask my doctor when he makes a funny face while looking at my lab work.

    13. Catwhisperer*

      I recently asked it in an initial screening interview with a manager and it was super helpful! He said he was concerned that I didn’t have enough SQL experience, which made me realise that even though I use it almost daily I hadn’t explicitly stated that/connected the dots between discussing the work I do and the skills required. While I didn’t get that job, the feedback I got was extremely positive and I know I wouldn’t have moved forward without being able to clarify that point.

  7. Medium Sized Manager*

    I am a hiring manager who makes an effort to make the interview process comfortable (i.e., positively engaging with a candidate, laughing when there are jokes) even if they are not my #1 candidate or, frankly, even if they are not qualified for the role. Do you have any recommendations that things hiring managers can or should do on the other side of it?

    I don’t want to overcorrect and be cold, but I would also feel bad if I am incorrectly giving the impression to every person that they are a lock. As an example: if they cite communication as one of their strong suits, I may follow up with agreeing that it’s important for working in a remote environment. I am clear about the interview process and do not make any promises re: hiring until ready to offer the job, but I can see how it could be misconstrued.

    1. Managing While Female*

      I don’t think there’s anything wrong with being friendly and engaging during the interview. As long as you’re being honest and not making false promises (which you say you are not), I think you’re probably fine. The difficulty in this situation is when someone wants the offer (and especially if they’re desperate), they’ll latch onto anything that points them to “yes, this is going well. I think I’m going to get it.” I don’t think there’s much you can do to combat a narrative someone so earnestly wants to believe.

    2. Typity*

      If they did tell OP that their only “concern” was “you might get hired somewhere else,” that was perhaps going a bit too far.

      Interviewing is so miserable, it’s hard not to read too much into things. That comment — which presumably just indicated enthusiasm or a generally positive response — was right on the edge of misleading from an interviewee’s POV.

      1. hypoglycemic rage*

        i was unemployed for four months and job hunting is a beast. i could def see myself reading too much into a comment like this at some point, especially if i hadn’t gotten far in the interview process in awhile and was holding onto any scrap of positivity i could…

      2. Zombeyonce*

        I can see a member of my team at work saying something like this, and it’s always unfortunate. That team member may see an interview going well and get along with the candidate, but they put way too much stock into a candidate “fitting in” with our team culture, even to the extent of saying how they seem to align politically with our team (we’re not politicians! their political opinions shouldn’t matter!). We’ve had to talk with them about how that’s a great way to introduce bias into hiring.

        This may have been someone going off-book and not getting reigned in.

      3. Glen*

        I don’t think it’s “right on the edge of” misleading, I think it is just flat out misleading and a bad idea. I get that they were likely just trying to be positive/friendly but they definitely went too far, imo.

    3. Festively Dressed Earl*

      The thing is, you can’t manage people’s reactions for them. Some people are going to wildly misread you no matter what, especially in response to a high-pressure situation like an interview. It sounds like you’re very professional and trying to give every candidate a chance to shine, and if a candidate ends up like ‘never makes mistakes guy’ or is crying in the parking lot because they think they blew it, there’s nothing more you could do and they need to write to Alison.

    4. Felicity Porter*

      Here to echo this. My organization is in the process of hiring two new roles right now and I’ve been involved in the process for at least 5 other employees over the past years. I always try to smile a lot, laugh, engage in chit chat, provide positive feedback after questions, etc, because *I* would never want to be in an interviewing situation where I was not treated similarly. Sometimes I am 100% on board with the candidate and think they’d be a great fit. Other times, often more often, I can see how they may not be the best fit, but I definitely don’t want to show that in the interview.

      I also want to add that I have a colleague who inevitably, in every interview, will tell candidates how impressed they are with the candidate’s experience. I have no doubt that this is sincere, but it has precisely zero effect on the hiring decisions that are made.

    5. Antilles*

      I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. You want candidates to feel comfortable in the interview, because that’s how you get to know who they really are.
      Besides, candidates are always going to over-estimate their chances. You shouldn’t be promising and you should be clear, but there’s always going to be people who just read way too much into things.

    6. House On The Rock*

      I also try hard to be warm, set candidates at ease, and also sell my organization and the job to them. I feel like it’s a good idea for me to make a good impression on them as well as them on me. But there have been a couple times I’ve rejected someone that I get the sense they took friendliness and interest to mean they were a shoe in. I do feel a bit bad about that, but as long as you are not actually promising them anything and being welcoming with all candidates, you are almost surely fine!

    7. Adam*

      I wouldn’t change a thing! You want to be friendly and positive with candidates, as long as you’re not implying that they’ve got the job. Putting candidates at ease gives them the chance to show you the best version of themselves, which is better for both of you.

  8. J. Cavanaugh*

    I had a similar situation last year. I applied for a job and through the entire process they kept telling me how much they liked me and how impressed they were with my resume. After submitting their requested writing sample, they ghosted me. That was late August.

    In mid-October, I was contacted by a headhunter recruiting for the job that I was, apparently, rejected for. I asked if it was [Company] and she confirmed that it was, that they had hired someone previously and that person didn’t work out.

    I saw all the same things you did during the time between being ghosted and when the recruited validated my suspicions. I saw them updating their LinkedIn and website, but not for the job I was gunning for.

    Friends and family suggested that I reach out to the company directly and try to get myself back into consideration, but I looked at the behavior as having warned me off of a really bad environment with bad communication. That’s not the type of company I want to work for. As badly as I needed a job then, and for the next 6 months, I would have been miserable working for a place that would waste weeks of my time only to leave me hanging.

  9. Daughter of Ada and Grace*

    It’s also possible that the new hire has requested that the company not add them to the “Meet Our Team” page. There are number of specific reasons they might request this, but they all boil down to wanting privacy in some form or another.

    (My company used to do something similar, and I opted out of being added to the page.)

    1. The Prettiest Curse*

      And the company may not even add new hires to that page until they’ve finished training or they’re sure the person is going to work out. Or it may be taking forever to get a headshot taken. There are all kinds of possibilities!

      1. Sam*

        I started a new job this year. They had a new hire that started with me up on the webpage within a week. It took me more than three months for a variety of reasons: I am in a less public-facing role so less likely people would want to look me up, I got sick (in my first month, ugh), then the comms person got sick, then they had to wait for their editor to come back from vacation to copy edit and approve my bio, but they were swamped for the whole week after they came back, etc.

        It just took a long time and it wasn’t a big deal or indicative of anything significant happening behind the scenes.

      2. Sunflower*

        That’s what I was going to say. Maybe they only update quarterly or they wait until after new employees complete their probationary period.

        The OP had a good interview and they were impressed. Don’t blow it after only three weeks.

          1. Sasha*

            Yep! I know Alison said contacting them wouldn’t put you on the “never hire” list, but actually for me it would.

            Knowing an unsuccessful candidate was stalking the company website obsessively three weeks after they were rejected, looking for evidence of their usurper? That would be creepy enough that I wouldn’t want that person working with me in the future.

            1. Tabihabibi*

              Early in my career (when I was asking myself: should I go to grad school to get going in the field, or learn a more focused skill, or am I just barking up the wrong tree) I occasionally looked up successful candidates for positions where I had interviewed. My goal was more piecing together what skills or experiences were more relevant as I figured out what might be a good fit for me. It was really helpful to calibrate where I stood as a candidate and think about what to apply for. I might also beat myself up less about a not-ideal interview answer upon seeing the successful candidate had tons more experience, etc. But yeah, I never contacted anyone. Ever.

            2. Bast*

              Yeah, I found it a bit obsessive and strange, and if someone came to me after we hired someone else (only 3 weeks ago) and pulled this, it would not be someone we’d look at again, because the behavior is so off. It’s not so much looking at the website out of curiosity that’s the problem, as I can see a particularly enthused candidate looking for new postings (reasonable, especially if you work for a desirable employer), or even just being nosy and looking to see who did get hired, it’s the calling, admitting you’ve been stalking the page, and asking to get hired. If you really were second choice and something had happened with the first, we would call and see if you were still interested. As others have pointed out, there’s plenty of reasons why someone may not be on the webpage soon (or ever, in certain situations) but I’d be a bit alarmed that someone is watching that closely.

  10. Peach Parfaits Pls*

    Three weeks is a pretty normal time if the candidate wanted a week off between notice and new start. Or they might not have been able to give notice immediately.

    And plenty of places, no matter how big their comms team, will take many weeks to update their “meet the team” page! Sometimes that task isn’t even on the list until the person is done training, or sometimes it’s just so low-priority that it gets kicked back awhile.

    Don’t do things with no upside, no matter how tempting :) If they want you, they won’t forget.

    1. Glazed Donut*

      I agree with all of this! Also, in a 15 person office, I wonder how big the comms team is that is devoted to a website. I wouldn’t be surprise if they had a lot more high-priority comms pieces to work on, or if someone forgot the log in to the website, or if the person who normally does it just left for vacation, or whatever else.

      In ALL interviews it really truly is best to express interest, prepare accordingly, thank the people, and then move on. There’s just no way to know what is happening behind the scenes.

      1. Dina*

        My org has a fairly large comms team for our size, but I’m the only one that updates the website! And I can tell you from experience that those kind of updates are the lowest priority. It’s why I recommend against “meet the staff” type pages!

    2. Zombeyonce*

      We have “meet the team” pages on our website that are years out of date. This kind of thing should always be taken with a grain of salt.

  11. Bread Burglar*

    its also entirely possible they leave the new person off for security reasons. If they had an issue with stalkers or etc. they just might not want to be listed online and the company could be respecting that.

    I dont think looking for who they hired will do your mental health any good. Its disheartening but move on and put it out of your mind. They will reach out if they change their minds!

  12. CityMouse*

    This answer is perfect. To add some anecdote, in my organization we start people about 4 weeks after we hire but we’ve also pushed it as much as 12-15 depending on personal circumstances. And then pictures can come like a week or two after start.

    So yes, you’re reading too much into it. If something happens they will approach you.

    1. Hush42*

      Right, a few years ago my manager hired a new controller. The candidate he chose was given the offer in November. She requested to put her start date off until March due to the timing of bonuses at her previous company. My manager decided that she was worth waiting for and waited the 4 months for her to be ready to start. Other candidates in the process could very well have had the same thoughts as OP did but without all the information there is no way to know. We don’t have a meet the team page on our website but we do put out social media posts welcoming new employees so any of the other candidates could have done what OP did and it would have looked strange from the outside.

  13. Snow Globe*

    I agree with Alison that if something doesn’t work out with the new employee, they will almost certainly reach out to their second choice, assuming their second choice meets all of their criteria. Hiring processes take a lot of time, and no manager wants to start from scratch if they don’t have to. They are not going to feel too embarrassed to contact you.

    1. Zero Calories*

      Yes, this is business. They are not going to be shy about reaching out. I’m not saying that this never happens because I have had to reach out to my second choice candidate before and I have actually gotten a job the same way. But it is still pretty rare and not worth
      tying a bunch of hope up in.

  14. MG*

    From a hiring manager’s perspective:
    Just last week I had a great interview with a candidate. We had a very nice chat and his experience seemed like the perfect match for the opening we had. All was good. But then came the skills test (done as Alison recommends, just a couple of basic tasks that are the core of this position, and which usually give me good insight into candidates’ aptitude for the job) – and he did particularly badly in one crucial part, as in, showed a real lack of critical thinking skills. I did gently try to steer him in the right direction, but his problem solving was very much lacking, and this is a job that requires lots of problem solving.

    In short, it was an absolute no, despite the very successful interview part. Just to say that even an amazing interview is not always enough.

  15. My Boss Steals My Work*

    Oh man…you’ve got to let it go. It would NOT be a good look to reach out to them. They met you, they liked you, and if they want to hire you, THEY will reach out. It’s kind of like dating.

  16. Lacey*

    I totally get why it feels like you’re definitely getting the job when everyone is having a great time at the interview. But, I’ve been part of a few interview panels and… we often didn’t hired the person who had the best interview and it was always because someone else had a worse personality, but better skills or more experience.

    Also, the employee page is not a critical update for most employers. I’ve seen plenty of companies that forget to update their page even once a year. And even the one I worked for that was obsessed with updating it, would not have it updated with in 3 weeks of making an offer.

  17. Not Jen from The IT Crowd*

    3 weeks is nothing in the UK, but then a minimum 4-week notice period is standard here. Heck, my previous place of work had an 8-week notice period!
    Also, background checks can take weeks to come back, too, so that’s something else that they could be waiting on.
    I’d imagine them updating their website with current staffing is rather low down on their priority list, so you may find it’s not updated for a while or there are very valid reasons why they don’t want to be listed on the website or otherwise have a/any more of an online presence than they already have.
    I once interviewed and made it through to the final round but wasn’t hired. I got a job elsewhere. I’d been there a month when original company said they now had an available role for me, but I turned it down as I was happy in the other role I’d got.
    It sucks, but you need to move on.

    1. Not Jen from The IT Crowd*

      Also, from my experience of being on the recruiter side of things, if someone got in touch with me after 3 weeks having already been told they were unsuccessful, it would be a red flag for me as an employer/manager that you might have issue listening/taking on board written feedback and if you were still a maybe if first choice fell through, I’d move you down the list!!! So please don’t do it!

    2. General von Klinkerhoffen*

      Even assuming a two-week notice period, it can easily take a week from making an offer to actually settling on terms (salary, PTO, etc) and particularly in today’s hybrid workplaces it can then be difficult to schedule in a resignation.

      For benefits reasons (especially healthcare) there can be advantages to resigning at certain points in the month or pay cycle.

      All of which is to say I’d be astonished to see someone actually in post within one week plus their notice period of an offer, because that’s *rapid*.

    3. Media Monkey*

      haha – i’m in the UK and i haven’t worked a job in years that had less than a 3 month notice period! the last couple i;ve had have been 4 months.

  18. Dawn*

    My friend, I have all of the sympathy in the world, but you need to let this go. This is….. let us say, an uncomfortable, perhaps even slightly obsessive, level of scrutiny. I don’t want to use the other s-word here but I would be very concerned if I knew that you were actively doing detective work on the company to find out if we actually liked the person we hired, etc.

    1. Hastily Blessed Fritos*

      The other s-word, the one rhyming with “walker”, was the first thing that came to mind. This behavior is creepy.

      1. Seashell*

        That occurred to me too. I’d say it’s OK to check the website if you’re interested and it might make you feel better to know who got the job if they have a qualification that you don’t, but it’s not OK to act on any information you find or don’t find by checking.

    2. A long time big boy*

      Agree they should let it go and move in, but stalker? That word seems way overboard to describe what LW is doing

      1. Dawn*

        That’s why I didn’t straight up use it. But if you’ve ever experienced it, this is not entirely dissimilar behaviour and could potentially become worse.

      2. Hastily Blessed Fritos*

        What word would you use? They’ve been rejected and rather than moving on are obsessively checking in on both the company and the new hire wondering if it’s too soon to say that if it’s not working out and they’re still interested. Never in my life have I even considered checking up on who else got hired when I didn’t. Move. On! This is not healthy. It’s a very, very similar pattern.

        1. A long time big boy*

          Stalking is a criminal act – this isn’t that

          Of course it’s counterproductive and they should move on but stalking because they’ve checked the website and LinkedIn a few times? No

          1. Eldritch Office Worker*

            It also has a colloquial application and we don’t nitpick word choice here, per the rules

            1. A long time big boy*

              Not nitpicking word choice, disagreeing with the severity. They should absolutely move on, but checking LinkedIn to see who filled the role doesn’t seem like the most extreme behavior.

            2. Andromeda*

              The word here was *clearly* not being used in the colloquial “stalking an ex’s Facebook page” sense, though… Seems like an attempt to insult the LW for behaviour that really isn’t all that creepy (companies are not people, and distorted thinking happens when people are upset by a perceived loss!) then disclaim the insult.

              1. Seashell*

                I don’t think the anonymous checking part is bad (except possibly to OP’s self-esteem), but reporting to a near stranger that you’re checking their company’s website, watching for a new hire to be mentioned, and maybe they want to hire you because a new hire hasn’t been mentioned? That’s verging on creepy, if not already there, and seems to show a lack of understanding of social norms.

              2. Hastily Blessed Fritos*

                Companies are made of people, though. I know someone who’s received emails every few months for years from someone who they didn’t hire but told “we’ll keep your resume on file” asking if there was a position for them yet, and I’ve worked someplace where they had an armed guard in the lobby the day after a big layoff. So the emotional over investment in not getting one job doesn’t seem like just normal disappointment to me, but like a step down a really creepy road. Of course it’s not criminal, but I’d tell a friend it was a bad idea just like stalking a ex’s social media.

                OP, you say you interview well. Is this the first time you’ve had an interview and not been hired? Because that may explain this lack of proportion.

    3. The Unspeakable Queen Lisa*

      Yeah, when I saw “I was still checking their about us page”, I think I said “Oh no!” out loud.

      You shouldn’t be checking their web page anymore, OP. You need to move on.

      1. Dawn*

        This is not in response to your comment, but your name; do you now eat humble pie? (Don’t. Mention. Lisa.)

    4. Stuart Foote*

      I think what LW is doing is pretty common. I’ve certainly done it (anonymously) many times. I don’t think checking the company web page and LinkedIn is odd at all.

      1. Dawn*

        It’s not “checking them” that’s the issue – it’s refreshing them (which they have clearly implied) and trying to hunt down additional information (including trying to narrow down this specific person’s identity by searching for employer + position) because they’re not letting this go.

  19. Prudence and Wakeen Snooter Theatre for the Performing Oats*

    I had a great interview with people I really clicked with for a great position at a really interesting organization… and didn’t get hired. But when a similar position came up a few years later at that same organization, I applied, they remembered me and this time I was hired! Yeah, I wish it had been sooner, but it could still happen. Just don’t come on too strong and scare them away.

  20. Nancy*

    You didn’t get this job. Move on and put your focus on other jobs. If they do change their mind they will contact you, do not contact them.

    I started my current job 6 weeks after I got it due to holidays and my own request. At my last job, our website was always out of date in regards to staff.

    1. Hlao-roo*

      Move on and put your focus on other jobs.

      Yes! This is the answer to “I’m not sure what my best course of action is.” Look at different job ads, fill out applications, write new cover letters, go to more interviews. This will be a much more productive use of the letter-writer’s time and energy than looking at this one company’s “Meet the Team” page and/or reaching back out to this one hiring manager.

  21. Carol the happy*

    Our written policy is that nobody gets added anywhere on the website until (unless) they’re 60 days past their probationary 90 days. (This is because keeping noses clean until 91 days, then “going off the rails in stunning fashion” is rare, but it does happen!) They also have a written policy of telling every employee when someone calls for them whether or not they give a name.

    This also gives our HR to do a security assessment so nobody gets exposed to dangerous exes, stalkers, etc.

    Our HR is much better than 5 years ago; under the old gang, a few of them gave out personal information whenever it was requested. This caused bad things to happen but the HR director was from a small town where privacy meant a locked bathroom.
    Since we have had people trying to avoid angry exes, the default is to protect them unless they say they’re actually not concerned.
    Men are given the same treatment because they can be abused or threatened, too. (several years ago, “Bob” in records was stabbed by his girlfriend. She had waited for him to get home from work and HR told her what shift he was on for the weekend.)

    The company you’re so interested in seemed to find a slightly better fit- but if you start chasing them this way, they WILL keep your name- under the don’t hire file.

    1. Brain the Brian*

      +1 to this. In the few departments with public facing “meet the team” pages, my company purposely waits awhile to update them in case a new hire doesn’t work out.

    2. Lady_Lessa*

      The sharing of personal info actually happened to me, but it was by the woman who worked in the apartment complex office. I had been avoiding giving too much info to this man who seemed interested in me, but the end result was he blocked me in my car when I was trying to leave. that was scary because reverse meant I hit his car and forward was over one of those concrete curb stop into a grassy area.

      Fortunately nothing else happened and it was many years ago.

    3. Ez*

      At my company, we also purposely wait at least 60 days to ensure the person is a good fit and that we can accurately explain what they do there.

  22. Person from the Resume*

    You’ve got to let it go.

    It’s very likely that they hired someone else who didn’t start yet or just barely started and hasn’t had time to get info together for the meet our team page. Or the person responsible for the meet our team page will get to it eventually, but it’s a very low priority task.

    Assume they told you truth about hiring someone else, and it is very likely that if you were a close second choice and their first choice doesn’t work out in the first few months, they will very likely reach out to you. It’s extremely unlikely that sheepishness will prevent them from reaching out if something happens very quickly.

    However key take away for you is that your “course of action” is to move on and move forward with your job hunt. Stop stalking this employer who has rejected your application. They said no; accept it and move on. It is extremely unlikely that the person who was hired will fail so fast that it makes sense for them to come to you to hire you instead.

  23. Jenga*

    Person gets hired for new job, has to give two weeks notice to the previous employer. In addition to that, the person may have previous plans (vacation etc.) they’re taking before starting the position. In addition there could be a training period, and chances are they don’t do the “meet the team” post on Day 1. It could be a few weeks until they get around to that. Or it could be an internal hire and that person has to finish up other duties before they shift into this role.

  24. Stuart Foote*

    I had that happen recently, where I did a great job in the interviews, would have been a great fit…and they went with someone else. It sucked a lot, especially since I’d told people I was excited for this role and felt good about it and had to explain it went to another person. In this case, I did see that guy’s LinkedIn announcement and he didn’t seem like his experience was even better than mine which made it even more frustrating. I’d been thinking and hoping for over a month at that point!

    Then a few weeks later I saw another job, applied, and got hired almost instantly. This job had almost the exact same pay and benefits, plus it was in a better sector of the industry. Hopefully something similar happens to the LW–you just never know when that that perfect opportunity will pop up. But yes, nothing sucks more than losing out on a job you KNOW you would be perfect for.

  25. Incognito Chaos Muppet*

    I interviewed for a job I really wanted earlier this year where I absolutely *crushed* the interview, they asked me if I wanted a tour of the office space at the end of it and talked on the tour like they were planning for my addition to the team and to the space, it was the best interview I’ve ever done by a considerable margin. Then they draaaaaagged things out in a way that made it very clear I was the second choice and eventually hired someone much younger/fresher out of school (presumably who they could pay less than me). They trumpeted this hire all over their website and social media, she announced it on her own LinkedIn and the company reposted it…and then two months or so later I saw the same posting come across my feed and found she’d been totally scrubbed from everywhere.

    It made me think that maybe they should change their policies to announce new hires at the *end* of their probation period, but it also made me wonder if they regretted not hiring me. In the time all that went down with them, though, I found and started a better paying job that’s an overall better fit, so even if they did reach back out I’d turn them down.

    It did give me a moment’s pause when my new job put bios of the new hires up right away, though! At least they didn’t do the social media tour of how great the new hires are. So awkward for everyone involved, I felt bad for the person they hired.

  26. CubeFarmer*

    Oof, I’ve been in LW’s position and it sucks. I think the advice here was solid: move on.

  27. Hosta*

    I work at a large corporation. We update the “our team” page for our team approximately once a month with whatever update tickets came during the prior month.

    So even with a super proactive manager and a new hire who had a headshot and bio ready to roll we’d still potentially be waiting up to 4 weeks.

    In reality, its sometimes as much as six months before updates are made. No that’s not ideal, but the reality is this particular webpage doesn’t see a lot of inbound traffic, managers forget about it, and if folks don’t have a ready to go headshot or bio it can take a while. We also don’t require that folks be listed. Some of our employees have privacy concerns like estranged family or exes.

    I think you should take the compliments that you got and take that confidence into your next interview.

  28. Web Marketer*

    OP, as the person at my organization tasked with updating our Meet the Team page: adding new folks often takes a month or more. Gathering headshots or finalizing bios also takes time, and honestly, it’s low on the list of marketing priorities.

  29. Zero Calories*

    This is almost like stalking the social media accounts of an ex who broke up with you hoping for any indication that their subsequent relationship isn’t working out or that they might be reconsidering your relationship. It’s just not helpful or healthy. Time to close the door and free yourself to fully embrace other options. You would not want to limit yourself to possibilities based on the thin hope that this might work out. And it’s human nature to do just that even if you tell yourself you aren’t.

  30. JO*

    “Here’s the thing. They have a “Meet Our Team” page on their website with photos and little bios of their staff and there’s still no new employee listed. (I’ve also tried doing a Google search for “employer name job title LinkedIn” and nothing comes up, but I know not everyone updates their LinkedIn profile regularly.)”

    i recommend you spend less (to be more specific – zero) time researching jobs you were never and will never be offered and instead more on those where that could still happen.

    1. Katherine*

      As Ben Wyatt once said, “Cruel, but fair.”

      Although, I wouldn’t go so far as to call this cruel, just blunt. I just really like Ben Wyatt :)

  31. RoleStart91*

    I agree w/ Alison. I recently started in a new role. I accepted the verbal offer on March 13, had my last day at my old employer on April 5, and started the new role April 29, so basically 6.5 weeks from when the other finalist was rejected until I started in the role and updated my LinkedIn. You never know!!

    1. Don’t make me come over there*

      I once started a job 2 months after getting the offer. The sticking point was that I had to repay relo costs to my old company if I left within 18 months, and I was nearly at the 16-month mark when I interviewed. Part of the offer negotiation was that I could start right away if the new place could give me a bonus to cover repaying the old company, or they could push the start date out. They pushed the start date out. (And I spent 12 good years with them!)

  32. Chirpy*

    Yeah, not being on the website doesn’t mean anything. I once worked somewhere that just completely forgot to add me (or chose not to, my male coworker who started the same day in the same role got added…there were other issues going on there, obviously.)

  33. Lab Rabbit*

    That’s a lot of very stalker-ish behavior. I’m getting a weird vibe just reading it.

  34. Observer*

    Do NOT reach back out to them. Any employer that would be “too sheepish” to reach out to their second choice if their first choice didn’t work out is not a great place to work. Because they are waaaay to invested in the way things look. So that’s the first thing you need to keep in mind. If these people are any good they would reach out and say “Hey, we know that you might have found something better, but if you’re still not committed, would you consider us.”

    On the other hand, Allison is completely correct that there could be a lot of reasons they have not updated their web site. And it’s even possible that they won’t ever put this person on their site (or maybe they will.) You simply cannot gauge anything by that, and by making such an assumption, especially so quickly, you are going to make yourself look a bit out of touch. And also a little . . . like you’re waiting for their first choice to crash and burn? I’m trying to get the words for what I’m getting at, but an email / contact like this would feel a bit much to me.

  35. MissGirl*

    Steps to help you move on (these can be temporary until you feel stronger):

    -block their website to keep yourself from checking the employee page (you can block with the company name to keep you from checking LinkedIn and other sites)
    -unfollow them on LinkedIn
    -apply for three jobs this week
    -list three concerns about this job even if you had gotten it. No job is perfect.
    -list three things you learned from this process
    -journal out your feelings on this. Try to understand why this job feels so important. I was once rejected for a job I really wanted. In hindsight, it had more to do with wanting to leave my industry than that job. I realized there were some things I wasn’t onboard with.

  36. Charley*

    I’ve been in my position for 8 months and my welcome finally made the newsletter last week. My experience is that ‘Meet our Team’ type pages often have only casual relationships with the true staffing of an org at any given time.

  37. Daisy-dog*

    I’m really sorry LW. One of my friends also believed she was guaranteed a job based on how the interviewers treated her, from the first phone call to the last conversation. I was disappointed for her!! It is so hard to job search and it is an emotional roller coaster.

    You do have to let it go though.

  38. Sparkles McFadden*

    Three weeks is a really short a time in a hiring cycle. Three months is more like it. Plus, there might very well be a shifting of duties when a candidate with a certain skill set gets hired. “She’s an expert in that thing so let’s put her in charge of that and move these other duties over to Fergus.” Then you need to wait for that stuff to get worked out before the person starts. I can think of many other scenarios that would result in what you’re describing. Maybe they don’t update anything public-facing until the probation period is up. Who knows?

    In any case, I’d be a little disconcerted if I heard back from another candidate who explained a bunch of cyber-research she’d done and said “I’m still available.” That would make me question the candidate’s judgment. As a person who has been someone’s second choice, they absolutely will contact you if things fall through with the new hire. They wouldn’t need a nudge.

  39. Martin Blackwood*

    I think this is most similar to emailing/calling between applying and getting an interview. Youve established your continued interest in the role, theyre not going to forget about you. From the outside you have no clue whats happening inside the business. Contacting the manager excessively risks annoying them and turning them off of you.

  40. Letter Writer*

    Oy! I’m the letter writer. A few points:

    First, I am NOT a stalker, but thanks for that. I initially checked their “Meet Our Team” page because I was curious who they hired. I thought if I could see this person’s job history on LinkedIn or in their company bio, then I might have a sense of what I was missing and how I could use those insights in my job hunt going forward.

    Second, I was not planning to email them at the three week mark. That would’ve been too soon. I sent this email to Alison at the three-week mark because I figured it would take her a week or so to reply and because people in my life were encouraging me to reach out to the employer but doing so seemed a bit too aggressive to me.

    Third, I don’t think this new hire would’ve been able to opt-out of being on the “Meet Our Team” page because it’s a public-facing role. If they were uncomfortable being in a public-facing role, then they wouldn’t have applied.

    Fourth, the “Meet Our Team” page includes contact info for all of the staff. Based on this type of role, I have no doubt that the hiring manager would want this person’s contact info on the website asap to relieve pressure on another staff member’s inbox.

    Fifth, they have a HUGE communications team, so I don’t buy the too-busy-to-update-the-website excuse. And the photos aren’t professionally taken, so there’s no wait for that. And, again referring to the fourth point, I can’t see the hiring manager wanting to wait.

    Sixth, my comment that the employer might be too sheepish to reach out to a rejected candidate was based on Googling, reading Reddit threads, etc. with many hiring managers expressing that they’re often extremely reluctant to reach out to rejected candidates (in case the candidates are upset at being rejected).

    Seventh, in response to comments that the new hire may take months to start, the interviewers stated pretty clearly that they wanted to fill this role quickly. Obviously, I don’t know what they’re thinking, but they sounded pretty determined to fill it quickly.

    Eighth, I know you don’t know me and I know you weren’t in the interview room, but I wasn’t reading too much into a few smiles. The interviewers repeatedly said how impressed they were with me, so if they were faking, then they were VERY good actors.

    In any case, as much as I appreciate Alison’s reply and your comments, this all came far too late. I ended up talking to a career coach, someone who works in HR, and a few friends, all of whom urged me to reach out. So, I did, as carefully and professionally as I could. They never responded and there’s still no new hire on their website. And it’s now been over six weeks since I was rejected. At this point, I don’t know what’s going on and yes I’m sad, but yes I’ve moved on. While I appreciate Alison’s answer and all of your comments, this came so late that it’s actually just dredged up old wounds and made me want to cry. I don’t know if I made the right decision or not, but, in any case, it’s all over now.

    1. Henry*

      Employers are not sheepish when they want to hire someone. Please try to let this go for your own sake and best of luck to you. Once you’ve interviewed you’ve done your part. The rest is up to the employer. They don’t forget who they interview.

    2. Calm down*

      Wow, OP, this post is kind of aggressive and worrisome. You got bad advice to reach out, and if you did something like that – especially if you were even slightly as aggressive as you were with this post, we would be congratulating ourselves for not hiring you and making sure you were put on our never interview, never hire list.

      I’ve had lengthy job searches. I’ve had great interviews that didn’t pan out. I’ve been ghosted more times than I care to count. I’ve had companies reach back out to me to resume previously stalled interview processes. I’ve had hiring processes take months to get through, even when they said they were in a hurry. I’ve had companies put on a hiring freeze right before the offer stage for positions (I once had that happen after 5 rounds of interviews when I was one of two finalists).

      Stuff happens. Hiring usually goes much slower than expected. Reach back once with a thank you, please leg me know if something changes and move on. I mean really move on, as in forget it ever happened.

      If you get this worked up about every job you think you deserve but didn’t get you’re going to be miserable and, likely, it will bleed through in your interactions on future interviews and job search discussions and make it harder to get hired.

      Good luck. I know it’s hard, but please chill out a bit and don’t put so much emotional energy into any potential job until it’s signed, sealed, and delivered.

    3. sarah*

      If there were 3 weeks between sending your letter and getting an answer, that seems like pretty good turnaround time for a popular advice column. It seems like a lot to say it ‘came so late’ that it dredged up old wounds.

      I dunno, OP, you are coming across defensively and not really open to hearing what people are telling you. I hope you find a great new job soon.

    4. musical chairs*

      I totally understand how you feel piled on, especially after such an acute rejection from a place that seemed like good fit and then everyone here adding to what I imagine was a season of some self-doubt.

      I just want to say explicitly that I’m sorry for how this experience must have made you feel exposed and judged all over again. I didn’t quite respond to your exact question in this thread, but I read the other comments and how you’re saying you feel, today especially, makes complete sense.

      I hope you can get some distance from this whole thing and land the position and rapport that you’re looking for! I wish you the best of luck, I really mean that!

    5. EA*

      Wow! You’re really overestimating this website piece. There are many reasons why it might be unchanged. What’s going on is that they hired someone else. It is completely possible that you had a great interview AND so did another candidate. I do get that it’s rough when you feel like you nailed it and still get rejected. But I wouldn’t send emails like this less than a month and a half post-rejection again…

    6. Dawn*

      I….. am sympathetic, OP. But you seem to be working very hard here to reject everyone’s thoughts on why they might not have got back to you or why they might not have put the new hire’s bio on their website and turn this all into something very personally targeted at you, and it’s just not, and I will say again…. that’s not particularly healthy.

      I do hope that you will consider talking through your difficulties handling rejection with a professional. And I’m sorry that some of my comments earlier obviously touched a nerve, but they’re coming from a place of genuinely wanting to help the people who write in here asking for advice.

    7. Sparkles McFadden*

      I am so sorry you are going through this LW, but please be aware that we’re commenting because we’re trying to be helpful. We’ve been where you are and we know it’s so difficult to not be invested in the idea of getting the job you want. It’s hard not to look for signs of how things are going to go. You may have had a great interview, but any interview is just the tip of the iceberg. Maybe that 10% went great, but there’s still the 90% you cannot know anything about, because that 90% has nothing to do with you personally. Many of us have experience as both the candidate and as part of the hiring process, and that’s why we’re saying that hiring takes a long time, businesses don’t update their websites in a timely way, and so on. We’re saying it’s best to get some perspective and move on. That’s not easy to do, but the alternative is torturing yourself looking for signs and portents in everything.

      It’s rough to open yourself up to scrutiny via an advice column but there really are some helpful comments here. I hope you will come back and read them after some time has gone by. There’s also lots of great advice in some of the older columns. Best of luck in your job search.

    8. Yasmin Kara-Hanani*

      I’m also sorry you came away from this feeling maligned, LW. As you already saw, the vast majority of people on this site wouldn’t have sent a follow-up, but whether you did or didn’t probably isn’t all that consequential in the scheme of things (assuming you take their silence as a definitive answer). The right decision isn’t “don’t contact the company” so much as it is “let yourself move on from this experience without causing yourself any more stress about something that is a done deal.”

      You took the time to explain why each of the possibilities people have floated about why the new hire isn’t on the site yet probably aren’t applicable in this instance, but whether or not any of those guesses are right is beisde the point. The fact that people can throw out upwards of 5 thoroughly uninteresting reasons why bio pages on organizations’ websites might not be up-to-the-minute should tell you, in and of itself, that you can’t let the timeline of this update dictate whether you get closure.

      Even if the new hire’s bio went up tomorrow, it likely wouldn’t tell you anything about what you were “missing.” It really could be the case that they liked this person “just a tiny bit more.” That’s what most hiring decisions come down to most of the time in any reasonably competitive process.

      It sounds like you’ve caused yourself a fair amount of stress and grief by deciding (twice, in six weeks) that you can’t have closure until someone posts something on the internet, and moreover, that it should be posted within a certain timeframe you arrived at without knowing any of the variables at play in the process. That’s giving an awful lot of power over your emotional wellbeing to strangers. Take care and remember that you, and only you, are in charge of whether you get to make peace with disappointments like this.

    9. Frogbert*

      Oh dude, no! Oh dear. You are WAY over-invested in this and are over-thinking every little thing in a truly alarming way. This is not a good look! You are making assumptions that are unwarranted and unrealistic, you are interpreting everything though a very narrow lens, and you are putting a lot of weight on some really unimportant and unrealistic expectations.

      I’m sorry you didn’t get a job you wanted. That sucks. But it happens, a lot, and how you handle it is going to be critical. This? Is not a good look. And it will make you less desirable as a candidate. You have got to learn to move on at the appropriate point – and them literally rejecting you is that point. They didn’t love you as a candidate enough to hire you. Everything else is irrelevant.

    10. Jellybeans*

      My company had a very crucial person quit (got headhunted), and needed to fill the role urgently, but the very best candidate couldn’t start for three months, so they decided to make her an offer and just kind of cope without anyone in that role for three months. If happens alllllllllll the time.

    11. KParr*

      I’m sorry but you’re still way overthinking the website thing (and a lot of other aspects). And frankly, it doesn’t matter what a job coach or hiring managers on Reddit say—I’d trust their word about as much as I’ll trust someone trying to sell me a bridge in London.
      Job rejection sucks especially when it’s a job you’re excited about or you really need a job or the hiring manager swears they’ll let you know right away, etc. But we all have to deal with it without losing our minds and this website obsession is not helping you in that regard. Turn your phone off for a while and go outside. Please.

    12. Arthenonyma*

      “it’s actually just dredged up old wounds and made me want to cry”

      LW, that’s… a lot. It rather reinforces Alison’s point that you were way too invested. Is this always how you feel about job rejections, or did this one just happen to hit a really sore spot somehow? If it’s the way you normally feel, it’s worth trying to distance yourself a bit more. But I know sometimes something just hits badly as a one-off.

    13. Seashell*

      Are you sure your friends didn’t say, “Sure, reach out” because you were so focused on this one particular job and they were ready to move on to another topic of conversation or get you to stop worrying about it so much? It’s not going to affect your friends’ lives if you get the job or just aggravate the hiring manager, so perhaps take their advice with a grain of salt.

      Interviewers may have been impressed with you, but they may have been slightly more impressed with someone else. The options aren’t (1) they were faking or (2) they definitely were going to hire you.

      I wonder if perhaps you’re young, because for us older folks, something that happened years ago is an old wound, not six weeks ago, and you seem very convinced that you know what this company is doing regarding their website. Age and life experience has a way of teaching us that we don’t know everything, especially what goes on behind closed doors.

    14. RagingADHD*

      I’m sorry you’re upset, but you have convinced yourself that you know things you can’t possibly know.

      You’re so busy insisting that every little comment is wrong, that you’re not thinking realistically about what you’re saying.

      How does a 15 person org have a huge communications team? A website with too many people in charge of updating a single page is a disorganized mess. And regardless of the size of the team, there can always be something else going on – upgrades, redesigns, vendor issues.

      I’m sure the interviewers were sincere in their interactions with you. It is completely normal for interviewers to like a candidate and think they’d be a great fit, and still hire someone else. There is rarely only one great fit for a role.

      The hiring manager may well have *wanted* to fill the role quickly. They may *want* to get the info posted ASAP. People don’t always get what they want.

      I don’t think reaching out harmed your chances here or was a very high stakes issue, because you already didn’t have the job. But I hope you can look back in a little while and learn something from your thought process here, because it will not serve you well in the long run.

    15. Cheetah*

      If you’re talking to a career coach who told you to reach out, then you should probably find a new career coach, because that’s not great advice. I’m sorry this happened, but agree with the others; best to move on. Job searching can be frustrating.

    16. Nancy*

      I am sorry you received bad advice. Companies absolutely will contact candidates if their first choice turned them down.

      There is nothing going on other than they went with someone who wasn’t you. Why they haven’t updated their website is not really your business. Good luck with your search.

    17. Lucia Pacciola*

      I don’t get how they have only 15 people on staff, but a HUGE communications team.

    18. Tobias Funke*

      Sometimes when I really want to do something, I will interpret any feedback including the eventual “uhhhhhhh, I guess, if it’s that important to you, I mean if X, Y, and Z aren’t concerns of yours, uhhhhh, I mean, uhhhhhh, yeah, I guess you’re going to do it” as the go ahead to do what I want because I really want to do it. I am also able to rationalize this to myself as “I was encouraged to do this thing!”

      I wonder if that’s what happened here.

    19. Zero Calories*

      While I am sympathetic to an extent, LW, the tone and aggressive attitude of the update makes me feel like the employer probably dodged a bullet. You clearly have a problem taking any constructive criticism unless it falls in line with your perceptions which generally doesn’t make for an ideal employee. I would take a step back and do some very careful self-examination before moving ahead with a job search.

  41. Katherine*

    I feel for you and am not immune to this kind of thinking myself, but you are probably overinvested. If they did lose their first hire somehow, and if you were a strong second choice, they aren’t going to forget to reach out to you and they don’t need to be prompted. At this point, your last card to play was your gracious response when you didn’t get the job (which not everyone does, so good job). Until you see another job advertised, don’t do anything.

    It reminds me of the Office episode where Michael found out he wasn’t invited to a party at Jim’s, and then dropped hints about it all day. Jim didn’t forget to invite him, so reminding him wasn’t necessary and didn’t help Michael’s case.

    Also, re: your three possible explanations – I thought of two more pretty quickly= either they opted not to fill the job (I know they told you they did, but maybe they decided it wasn’t in the budget and didn’t want to be forthcoming with that explanation), or they don’t list all the employees on the website (you’d know better than I, but its possible this role isn’t one of the ones they list publicly).

  42. Manders*

    I was on a small panel interviewing a candidate, and when one of my colleagues heard an answer she liked, she stood up and pronounced “you’re hired!”. I had to have a little talk with her after the panel to point out why that’s not a great thing to proclaim in an interview.

  43. Tabby cat lady*

    I held an interim job and I applied for the permanent version. I got a phone interview, but not a final round interview. I had to work six more weeks while knowing someone else was going to get the job I wanted so much. It hurt bad!

    I was acting as if I let it go, because I had seen co-workers at previous jobs be super destructive when promotions and other things didn’t go their way, and that was not the road I wanted to go down.

    Alison’s advice is solid. Let this particular interview process be over and keep on moving on.

  44. You want stories, I got stories*

    Thoughts and prayers that they find the poor guy trapped in the well, so he can start his new job.

  45. Life Screams*

    Don’t read too much into website team and contact listings.

    I worked at a school a few years ago. I know for a fact that the rather contentious principal that had just started not long before I left, was pushed out by head office (due to very poor performance), and her details are *still* on the school’s website more than half a year later.

    It sucks, but you’re investing too much in an opportunity that was closed (at least for now).

  46. I should really pick a name*

    Please stop looking for evidence that the new hire has vanished.

    If you want to work for this company, periodically check their website for postings.

    If something new pops up, you’ll see it.

    If this new person quits (and there is no indication that thus has happened), the company will either contact you, or repost the job which you will see when you periodically check their jobs site.

  47. Joey*

    When a company doesn’t hire you it stings, but you have to move on. Don’t email them about it and don’t monitor their website. Good luck. This is extremely common.

  48. Young Business*

    This letter could have been written by me. Went through a recent, promising recruitment process where I was convinced I would be offered the role. Didn’t end up hearing back even though the hiring manager wanted me to meet with additional people and the HR person emailed me weekly updates saying they were waiting on coordinating these next steps.

    There ended up being a big shakeup with the executive team and the hiring manager was appointed to a leadership role. I thought perhaps this was delaying the process but either way, I wanted closure on the situation. I emailed the hiring manager a congratulatory note and they told me the role had been offered to someone else. I was actively checking LinkedIn to see who got the role and it wasn’t until a month after that where I spotted an external communication with who I assume is the candidate they went with.

  49. Bert*

    having an amazing interview means zero.
    I’ve had interviews where the person interviewing me told me I’d made the entire process worth it, another where the interview ended with the recruiter asking which sports teams i wanted to join when I started and another where the two interviewers flat out said they were taken with me, got told the interviewer had contacted head office to tell them he wanted me hired specifically to his store.. and I didn’t get the job in each case.

  50. smirkette*

    I was once the second choice that was hired for a position, and it ended up being a horrible job full of bees. They thought you weren’t the best fit, and sometimes they are right, and as awful it is in the moment, it can also be to your advantage. I know rejection is hard (I’m unemployed and have been looking for over 6 months now myself), but maybe try to think of it as a bullet dodged if you can.

    Also re: the team web page: my last gig still has me on their team page, and I quit in November.

  51. JammiGo*

    At my company, I was hired into a customer service role three years ago and have since moved on to something new. The website still lists my predecessor as the contact person. They very likely just haven’t updated the website and may never.

  52. Danish.*

    Aw Im sorry LW. Its so hard when you really want a job and it looks like youll get it.

    When I worked at a company of ten people, there was a period of six months or so where our employee page only listed three people, one of whom had already quit.

    When you are a small team there is almost ALWAYS something more important to do than update the About Our Team page.

  53. That Coworker's Coworker*

    The last time I interviewed I didn’t start the new job for 7 weeks, and then they still needed to book their photographer to take headshots of me and some others who started before and after me, and none of us were added to the website for several months. A former coworker who left last October still hasn’t been added to his new company’s website, though he has been in lots of pictures on their social media over the past 8 months.

    Also, you may not have been the only rejected candidate who was led to believe that they were the 1st runner up and told that it was a difficult and close decision: that’s the standard script for some companies. Even though it sounds like you had a great interview, if the person who got the job does back out you don’t really know that you would be next on their list, or even that they would revisit that list rather than look for fresh candidates.

  54. hi there*

    I’ve been on the receiving end of this kind of inquiry, and it does not reflect well on the candidate. It felt pushy and entitled – which is not what you’re going for! You have no idea what is involved in the decision-making for the job. Trust the hiring manager to do what’s best for them.

    1. Henry*

      Yep. You don’t have the job until you have the job. Being overly invested is good for no one.

  55. TerrorCotta*

    I’m sorry, because this is painfully familiar in the “absolutely killed it, basically offered me the job, and then they [seemingly arbitrary rejection].”

    But as a side note, “…maybe their chosen candidate is stuck down a well” has had me chuckle-snorting whilst imagining “Lassie from HR” scenarios all afternoon.

  56. Worldwalker*

    I’ve seen websites from competent companies where they’re still listing people who left the company years ago, and haven’t added the new ones. It’s far more likely that they’re just slow to update their website (especially since that’s a section that almost nobody generally cares about).

    1. GythaOgden*

      Welcome to public healthcare. It’s not people who left years ago, but our customer trust recruitment moved out of our building in 2016 and they were still listed as being located there last year while I was on reception. What was ironic about the situation was that the web development team who could change the listing sat down the hall from us, but would not change the website without authorisation from recruitment themselves. They never even changed their own signatures, let alone contacted the devs.

      Glacial is a good word to describe it :(.

  57. Practically*

    People generally take up to two months to update their LinkedIn profile, after they know the job is a good fit, and they’re planning to stay. (That’s if they update it at all.) Companies can be lazy about updating their bio page, too, until the probationary period is over. You could follow up in a year to ask whether there are any new positions. Or just let it go and you’ll find something which is actually better.

  58. Jane*

    I worked at a place for like, 3 months, watched people come and go, and the “Meet the Team” webpage never included me and was never updated for anyone else. Lots of times, those webpages are graveyards of old info.

  59. hmna*

    Just for OP’s information, I got an offer letter for my current role in mid-April, and didn’t start until July 1.

    My situation required relocation across the country, so YMMV. But it’s entirely possible that onboarding is taking a while.

  60. Keymaster of Gozer (She/Her)*

    I know OP has been back and read the comments but here’s some advice from someone with a long history of obsessing over things.

    I WAS you. Woman I went out on a great date with and made plans for another only to cancel at the last minute and heard nothing further. This was pre-FB and LinkedIn and all that but I investigated heavily, torturing myself with the ideas of her ‘playing hard to get’ or having got amnesia and forgotten me or hooked up with some godlike man. Any particle of information got lodged in my brain. (For the record I still don’t know).

    With job interviews I got worse. It’s a hideously stressful and self-destructive mindset. Over the decades though I’ve got very good at putting things into the ‘meh I’ll think about it later’ folder and then forgetting to open them again. Takes practice but it’s refreshing.

    (On a side note though, I’m also prone to doing that with things like bills so don’t take it as far as I did).

  61. EvilQueenRegina*

    Another time I just remembered was my ex-coworker who ended up waiting several months to start her new job because the hiring manager went on sick leave for several weeks after the interview and that held up the process. Something like that wouldn’t have been obvious from an About The Team webpage had one existed for that team.

  62. James*

    From my experience, a large communications team makes it *less* likely that a “meet the team” vanity page on a website will get updated quickly — it’s always going to be someone else’s job to do it and the pass-the-parcel game around the task can take forever.

  63. holidaze*

    I honestly just thought of another random reason why the new hire (if the place even has a person they’ve already hired) isn’t on the website yet: their contact info isn’t even ready yet.

    Everyone, raise your hand if you’ve started a new job somewhere and your work phone/computer/email account/etc wasn’t all immediately up and running by the end of your first day???? Or even your first week????
    At my most recent job, it was probably close to 2 weeks before my work voicemail was fully sorted out and involved IT having to reset everything from my predecessor. So I hope no one was leaving messages on that line during the 5? months between my predecessor leaving and me being hired!

    I don’t know, OP, I think you might need to do some cheap exposure therapy to deal with rejection a little better–ie, hit the “Easy Apply” button on LinkedIn for a bunch of jobs, and then step away from your email for several hours and practice not being bothered when the rejections come in.
    (NB: In my experience, the “Easy Apply” function is a great way for spammers and scammers to get your info so maybe only do that with a throwaway email address if possible).

    Again, rejection sucks and I don’t want beat a dead horse about this but: you’re reading way too much into this website thing and the interview itself. And you’re still stewing over it, no matter what you claim otherwise. That’s probably coming through in your job search so you should maybe work on that.

  64. I'm just here for the cats!*

    Besides what everyone else has said I would like to add that the person may not have started yet. depending on the company and the role they may do a background check. Once it took 3 weeks for the background check to go through. No specific reason except there was a delay with the company that does the checks.

    Also, the other person may have had to give their previous company a bit more than 2 weeks notice.

  65. AmuseBouchee*

    I am a charming person and often have interactions like this, it’s truly just the vibes and everyone is being friendly and on their best behavior because that’s what interviews should be like. I excel at parties, interviews and dates. But that doesn’t mean I’m the best person for the job, even though the interviews always go well.

  66. SansSerif*

    I’ve actually been hired as the second choice. It was early in my career, and they picked someone with more experience. She had been a freelance writer, but was switching to full-time working for one company. Well, that didn’t work out – after a couple months, she went back to freelancing and they gave me a call and offered me the job.

    So it happens, but yeah, if you’re really their second choice, they’ll reach out to you. But it’s also likely that it wouldn’t happen as early as three weeks. She probably hasn’t even started/barely started the job yet.

  67. Letter Writer*

    You guys are making WAY too much out of this.

    Your comments make me want to cry because many of you are effectively accusing me of being some kind of mentally unstable, obsessive, crazy, stalkerish psycho who needs to see a therapist. None of that is true and none of it is helpful. I can handle rejection; this isn’t about that.

    I checked the employer’s website because I was curious who they hired. I noticed there was no one there. I’m a logical person, so I started to think of reasons why that could be the case (slow to update the website, etc.) and I started researching things online (with an open mind). And I asked people for advice. I was trying to gather as much info as I reasonably could to make a strategic decision; that’s not obsessive. Based on everything, I concluded that the most likely scenario was that something had gone wrong with the chosen candidate. I emailed Alison because I thought she could maybe give me advice on what to do (but, of course, I had to keep my question brief, so I couldn’t go into all the details). I didn’t get an answer from Alison in time, so I made the best decision that I could with the information that I had.

    For the record, there have been three times in my career where I was interviewed and rejected for a job only to be hired for the same job later, so it’s not really that rare.

    In terms of Alison’s timeline, it’s been many years since I emailed her a question. But, in the past, when I’ve emailed her a question, I’ve gotten a reply within a few days. Maybe she’s busier now (I don’t know), but I didn’t expect her to post this weeks after I sent it.

    1. orsen*

      LW, I really think you should step back now and disengage from the comment section. You’ve gotten what value you can from Alison’s advice. For your own good, move on.

      You keep trying to convince the commenters to agree with you, but that’s clearly not going to happen, and more importantly, it doesn’t matter. If you get 200 internet randos to agree with you, that still won’t get you that job. Your IRL situation will be as it was before. You are continuing to engage with the comments, and it’s at the point where you want to cry. You now want to cry over a situation that is both out of your control and has no direct impact on your real life employment situation.

      Take what good advice from Alison that you can, then apply it to your job search. Do not keep trying to convince internet strangers of anything; it is futile, and you are only hurting yourself by continuing to look at and engage with comments that make you want to cry.

      1. Letter Writer*

        This might be the only actual good advice I’ve gotten on this page. And, yes, I’m leaving this page and I’ll never post another question on this blog ever again.

        I don’t really care if random people agree with me or not. And, truthfully, I don’t know if following up with the employer was the right or wrong thing to do anyway. I felt damned if I do and damned if I don’t, so I did. It felt like a gamble either way. And, truthfully, any employer who would reject me over a polite follow-up isn’t someone who I want to work for anyway.

        What’s sad and hurtful to me, though, is that many people on here (not all, but many) seem to have forgotten that I’m a human being. And rather than offer meaningful advice, they’ve chosen to attack me as a crazy and obsessive wacko, almost as if doing so is a form of entertainment. And the moderators have done nothing to stop it. That’s not okay, especially on professional blog/forum.

        1. Katherine*

          Ok, I actually did read every comment, and you are just wrong. the majority of the comments are people’s anecdotes about the time they got a job and didn’t start for two months, or got a job and didn’t get listed on the website for three months, or were sure they were going to get a job and then didn’t. The word “stalker” appears, at most, 10 times, and primarily in the context of “maybe the person who got the job has a stalker and therefore doesn’t want to be on the website.” There are maybe 5 comments total that come anywhere close to personal attacks, and none of them “attack you as a crazy and obsessive wacko.” The moderators didn’t stop it because it didn’t happen. Alison moderates comments all the time, when it’s justified.

          Saying you got no good advice to a group of people who were trying to help is rude.

          Saying you don’t care if random people agree with you or not loses its impact when you craft an eight-point argument about why those random people are wrong.

          Blaming Alison for not answering you in the time frame you anticipated seems kind of pointless. You sent the email, got no response, and still think you’re right, so would she have changed your mind? Really?

          I have been in your shoes. I try to parse out meaning in emails from HR, I google to see if a job is filled, I hold out hope way too long. I feel for you. But what I haven’t done is lashed out at a group of people, many of whom did give well-intentioned advice.

          I think your problem is that you’re defining “meaningful advice” as “telling me what I want to hear.” No one did that, so you don’t like what they did say.

    2. Zen*

      You’re giving way too much credence to a company directory. And too emotionally invested in the whole thing. Give yourself a break. Three weeks is not a long time for an advice column answer.

    3. bighairnoheart*

      “For the record, there have been three times in my career where I was interviewed and rejected for a job only to be hired for the same job later, so it’s not really that rare.”

      Hey OP, I kind of hope you’re not still reading comments, but if you are, I just wanted to point this out because it seemed interesting to me. Since you’ve been in this situation before, have you reached out to those hiring managers after being rejected to see if the rejection was still true, or did you let them reach out to you on their own? I suppose a secret third option is that a job was reposted/opened up later on, so you reached out or applied again (but even in that case, the employer took a step to indicate a position was open and you responded to that, rather than you making an overture soon after a rejection).

      I think you just really wanted this job and were looking for an excuse to reach out again. That’s not me assigning blame! Most people look for excuses to do what they want, it’s natural. But maybe in the future, you should let your experience guide you more (and maybe reassess who in your personal life you should take career advice from, since you said several people you talked to told you to do this–I’m assuming they just saw how much you wanted this and were eager to support you, but it’s still a little odd that so many of them were off base).

      Good luck with whatever’s next!

      1. Katherine*

        LW, I haven’t ready every comment, but most of the ones i’ve read have been, at worst, blunt, and at best, pretty compassionate! Your update was defensive and vaguely blamed Alison for not answering you on time, and it also doubled down on your “no, I’M right” attitude. Really, an eight-point argument? You seem like you needed some perspective, which the commenters gave you, mostly in a compassionate manner, as I said.

        Also- I know it’s annoying when people split hairs, like “I didn’t say you were a bitch, i said you were BEING a bitch!” BUT. I’m pretty sure no one called you a stalker (if someone did and i missed it, I apologize, but it wasn’t the majority of these comments.) Saying that your proposed step of following up because you think the job may be open may SEEM stalkerish IS kind and good advice- because the commenters were telling you HOW YOUR BEHAVIOR WOULD COME ACROSS. It would come across poorly, and you did write in for advice (how were we supposed to know how long it had been since you sent your letter, and that you had already moved forward with sending the email?) so we were giving you advice. “Don’t do that, it would make you come across as a stalker” IS very different than calling you a stalker. It’s constructive, actionable, and in my opinion very sound advice.

        1. Dawn*

          I’ll raise my hand to being the first person to bring that up, and my whole entire point there was that there were absolutely some similarities when comparing the LW’s existing and proposed actions, and that it’s a bit of a slippery slope; in isolation no one of them is particularly damning, but taken together it’s a sign that they might continue to spiral and become increasingly obsessive.

          If this were a dating situation and I had been turned down by someone who said, “I like you but I already have a girlfriend,” and I kept scouring their social media for signs that they’d broken up, and trying to find out who the girlfriend was so I could check her social media for signs they had broken up, and proposed reaching back out three weeks after the rejection saying “well I haven’t seen her mention the girlfriend on Facebook so they’re probably broken up,” people would be rightly concerned about it.

          This isn’t that, but I think the parallels are clear, and that’s something that I would like to think a compassionate person would tell you that they see when you reach out for advice. It’s an observation, not a judgment, and I had hoped it would be a valuable one.

    4. Katherine*

      “Your comments make me want to cry because many of you are effectively accusing me of being some kind of mentally unstable, obsessive, crazy, stalkerish psycho who needs to see a therapist.”

      OP, PLEASE listen to me here. One of these things is not like the other. Mentally unstable, obsessive, crazy, stalkerish, and psycho are extreme, loaded, controversial, negative-connotation words. Needing to see a therapist doesn’t belong in the same sentence. I see one. LOTS of high-functioning, mentally stable people do, and even more people would benefit from it. Therapy is not exclusively for mentally unstable people. We could give your letter the benign read that “this person is having trouble moving on from a disappointment.” Doesn’t make you mentally unstable. Doesn’t make you a psycho. but, if this happens a lot, it IS something that a therapist could help you with.

  68. Melicious*

    Alison is right. They will contact you if that’s the case. It happened to me. I was not chosen for a job. Several months later when they had another vacancy, they contacted me with a job offer. Not an invitation to interview again, just a straight up offer. Apparently I was a strong candidate, and I don’t actually know what edged the other candidate to the top. I worked with her for years, and she was great.

  69. Crabby PM*

    Every place I have worked has waited to update their employee page for at least the length of the trial period, sometimes as much as six months. No one is rushing to update that page It is just not any kind of priority in most places.

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