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Livid Over Company Silent Treatment

by Beth

I was reading your article about no call backs after a job interview. I recently interviewed for a job at a dream company - 5 interviews to be exact - very stressful; but, I was sure I was getting the job judging by the tone of the interviewers.

The hiring manager gave me an exact time when he would reach a decision. When I didn't hear back, I sent him an email reaffirming my interest. I didn't hear back so I sent an email to HR asking them if I will hear back even if I don't get the job.

No response.

Right now, I'm steaming mad. Not because I didn't get the job, but the lack of courtesy of not even getting a response.

You pointed out in your article the "3 strikes and you are out strategy", but I don't think just moving on will bring closure for me.

I want to write a letter to the hiring manager and HR telling them how rude they have been to me. I can understand them not getting back to me after one or two interviews, but to speak to five people knowing how much time it took away from my current job, and how much I showed interest, is just a plain disregard for my time.

The position is a senior level position - Assistant Vice President - to be exact. I deserve a call back. I just want to know if writing a short letter seems right to you.


Mike Petras Comments:

Hello Beth-

Thanks for your question. Unfortunately, I hear your story all the time from outstanding job seekers. You're right, it's very rude and inconsiderate to just leave people hanging indefinitely after they've taken several vacation days to interview, and even put themselves at risk of losing their job.

The reason why this employer is not calling you back is probably because another good candidate has surfaced and they want to complete the interview process with this person. They don't want to tell you this because if they extend you an offer, you're going to feel like "they're settling on me".

The reason I suspect this is because you've had 5 interviews with them. This is unusual, even for a senior level executive position. So this tells me the company is being extraordinarily selective for some reason. They obviously like you if they've brought you back that many times. So, more than likely you are competing with at least one other candidate.

Try and set your emotions aside right now. You've come this far with them. So don't say or do anything that might backfire on you.

Maybe one of the hiring managers had an accident or personal crisis. Maybe the president needs to sign off on your offer, but s/he is overseas or on vacation. Maybe an internal candidate came forward at the last minute, and for political reasons, they need to extend to them the courtesy of a thorough interview.

You simply don't know for sure why you are getting the silent treatment. When in doubt, be professional, patient, and keep your emotions in check.

If it's been over a week since your last message to HR, I would send the hiring manager (not HR) an email or letter similar to the example in my article. My example email/letter was designed to minimize any negative emotions, but make it appear that they are losing you. If you are a finalist for this position, someone will contact you immediately. After all, they've invested a lot of their time too.

After that, if you continue to get the silent treatment for 2-3 more weeks and someone eventually calls you, you need to ask yourself: Do I really want to work there?

Bottom line, although it's tempting to chew this employer out for bad behavior, what good will that really do?

You might feel better afterwards, but now they may never call you. Also, you're going to feel terrible if someone calls you with the news that something tragic has happened. This has actually happened to me on a couple of occasions and I was so glad I kept things positive.

One last's human nature to label a company as bad because one or two people failed to follow through.

Always give people the benefit of the doubt and leave the door open to be surprised on the upside. This keeps you in the driver's seat because you can always turn down an offer.

Hope this helps a little. I know how aggravating this can be. Let me know how this eventually plays out.

Mike Petras

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Apr 24, 2012
Recruiters who really hate to give bad news
by: Steve Levy

Beth, this isn't an excuse - and Mike knows what I'm about to say - but it isn't great giving bad news to people you probably like. This is what most recruiters do (funny recruiter job description: "No; No; No; No; No; No; No; No; Maybe, uh, No; No; Yes")

Every recruiter - including Mike and me - go through periods of not wanting to give bad news but eventually we suck it up and make the call, offer the real heart felt mea culpas, and honestly offer our assistance.

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