Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Just Tell Me I Didn't Get the Job

Please join me and your fellow unemployed at Caribou on Ingersoll at 10am this Thursday, 1 October for informal networking...

I would really like some answers on this one:

We apply for jobs. This can take the form of attaching resume/cover letter/references to an email and sending it to an email address; completing an online application through the company's website and attaching resume/cover letter/references; even sketchier is a 3-click system such as Careerbuilder's where we attached our resume/cover letter and have no idea who we are sending it to. In all three of these scenarios, we may or may not receive an e-response indicating that our application was received...From speaking with a lot of unemployed, this is a huge concern, but I'm slowly coming to terms with the "Lost In Space" reality of this process...

So, we get called in for an interview. We're on Cloud 9! We ask the correct questions at the end of the interview so we understand their timeline for making their decision and what the next steps are; basically, who is to follow-up with whom, how and when.

How many times have you had an interview and you do everything you're told to do, in terms of follow-up, and you never hear anything from them? I've interviewed twice sometimes and I never hear back as to whether I'm still in the running or if they've moved forward with another candidate. I've followed-up as they requested and now I'm left here waiting. When should I move on and stop hoping? Their timeline for making their decision has come and gone and I haven't heard a thing. I'm having a challenging time achieving closure with many the jobs I've interviewed for because of this.

I would really like some answers on this one. Whether you're in Human Resources or if you've gleaned some information as an unemployed person going through this process, please share your knowledge...


  1. Suzanne, two years ago I interviewed for a job with a company. Several months earlier, the HR rep called me a week after I was let go and expressed interest in having me interview. I went in the for the interview, I felt I did a good job. I was calm, explained my past responsibilities, and why I thought I would be a good candidate.

    I was told to expect an answer in a week. I followed back a week later. I was told it would in early next month.

    The next and last time I heard from her (HR) and the company was three months later in July, when left a voice mail saying that they found someone else. I had already taken a job, out of necessity, in early June.

    Anger is a good way of expressing my feelings, but "insult" would be the best term for it. I say this to potential employers, if you have other plans, be courteous and tell me upfront that I'm not going to get the job.

    If there is anything a candidate hates more than anything, and that is being "used" as "window dressing" so that you can cover up the fact that you already have someone in mind to hire. It's shameful, childish, and flat out pathetic.

    If you are honest with us, we will have more respect for you down the road.

  2. Having been on the hiring side of the fence, I can add a few words of apology/reassurance. HR staffs are slashed right now, and the workloads of those left onboard are massive. One person may be looking at hundreds of resumes and applicants for multiple open positions within their organization. Additionally, contradictory edicts, approvals, bans, etc., are received by HR people daily as management evaluates changing financials and reassess needs. The hopes of the person doing the hiring are frequently dashed, as they are advised to put positions on hold after working for days to fill them, or to hire the less-qualified but lower-cost candidate, or learn that they themselves have now been laid off. The consistency and follow-through that we expect as professionals simply cannot be delivered in some of the dire circumstances existing today. The positive take-away is that these jarring outcomes don't mean that the person you emailed, wrote to, or met with doesn't respect you or is intentionally blowing you off. And job seekers will again be in the catbird seat in 12 to 18 months, as the economy improves and those who survived the recession intact begin to look for better jobs or retire.

  3. Thanks for your comments. I'm glad to hear both perspectives. Anyone else have any thoughts out there?