Sorry, Well Sort of

As some of you will remember, I posted my thoughts after I was interviewed a few weeks back. Well, I got a response.  That particular position was not for me… Not something that anyone ever wants to hear. We all like to think that we are the perfect candidate for any position that we apply for. I know that is not true, I completely understand. What was disturbing to me is how this particular communication was done. There was no phone call! Email was used. Not a personal email from the hiring manager or anyone. An automated system generated form email response. The ones that politely say we regret to inform you that you have not been selected. Pretty personal stuff, right?

I have interviewed well over a thousand or so folks in my 28+ years as a manager. If I talked to anyone, I owed them a personal phone call to communicate my decision. I fully understand that this is a time consuming process of reaching out and communicating your decision. If you were good enough to make it through the screening process and interviewed twice – you should at least get a call. Why not? Afraid of the potential conflict or an awkward situation? Any adult would feel disappointed in not being selected. We all want to feel that we really were the right person for the job. Fact is, we were not. Someone was selected over you. It happens… I for one, am not one to take it personal. I would like to get some feedback. Only fair?

When making that call, which I have always done.. I would do the following:

  • Communicate my decision. “I am calling to inform you that you were not selected for my current open position. I am sorry to say. I would like to share some of my thoughts on the interview and your qualifications for the opening.” I would then go onto communicate the impressions that were shared in the interviews.
  • Be honest. Sharing your impressions and the impressions of the interview team can be tricky. If they are not experienced enough to get the job, tell them what they potentially needed to work on. I know, some folks are going to come out and probably be defensive on this, but the interview plainly did not demonstrate that the experience was there. Maybe doing a better job in sharing that experience will help in the future.
  • Ask for questions. Ask the candidate if they have any questions. Be honest with your answers to the questions.

Maybe it is the sign of the times – Automated Messages. It is bad enough that we get them when we submit for a job, wait around and never hear back. Once you have interviewed, we now have people involved. Especially if you have made it to the short list. Two separate interviews by two levels of the organization. Getting personal, I think.

Me being me, I found an email from someone within the company and sent them an email, to see if maybe the two folks that I interviewed with could provide some feedback. It has been a long time since I was on the other end of interviewing. Maybe my passion was really a bit much. Maybe this or maybe that. I am not really sure.

UPDATE: Over a week has gone by and nothing back in email from my request. I will probably never know really “why”. 

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  • Anonymous

    It may be a sign of the times.  I just heard that classes are now being given to teenagers to teach them to break up with each other in person instead of the Facebook relationship status change notification.  Maybe computers will really take over the world – kidding…I think (gulp).

  • Is starting to feel more and more like a sci-fi movie.

  • Let us know if your follow up email gets any response.

    @lauriebuczek:disqus – haven’t you seen the news about IBM’s new computers that are mimicking the human brain? Soon we will welcome our digital overlords.

  • Last update on this one….

    Over a month has passed. Email went completely unanswered. To show how automated everything is – I got another job request from the company on a position that I did not apply for. I guess they now know better than me – what I should be doing. One less employer that I have a desire to work for.

  • Welcome to the new corporate America Steve.  I too have run into these types of employers and I’m hearing from more and more people, that they too, have been on the prospect side and had the same happen.

    What’s really changed?  Who’s at  fault?  Can it be changed?

    What’s really changed in my view is managements attitude of its employee’s and vice versa.  Gone are the days and companies that seem to care about their employee’s.  The latest attitudes I’m seeing, during these recession days, is . . . I’m king, you’re my servant.  Don’t like that arrangement, there is a line of people that are qualified and want the job AND will accept my terms/requirements.  Employee’s no longer show loyalty or care about the company . . . it’s just a job, when I get fed up enough, I’ll move on.

    Who’s at fault?  Good question!  But, let me point out, 50 years ago, society required you to write thank you letters, respond to RSVP party’s and functions.  You respected your elders and those above you . . . in return, they respected you.  Today, with political correctness, impersonal communication reigns, and no body seems to care about others or in many cases, even themselves.  Personal appearance is a good example . . . tattoo’s and piercings are the norm, individualism is demanded.  It’s a two way street, what goes up, must come down.  As a older former manager, I had a hard time accepting the new attitudes of prospective employee’s.  But, I had to hire them, resulting in a barrier between them and me.

    Can it be changed?  I’m not so sure!  As long as an employer and an employee can’t come together and show the respect for each other, as long as the employee has no real value to the employer, other than a body and a tax write off for expenses of training, it can’t change.  It also doesn’t help when there is a line of qualified people waiting for the job.

    Just some thoughts.

    The world has really changed since we went to school Steve.  Look at what has changed just in the education system.   I remember getting hit with a meter stick for not paying attention.  I’m sure you  remember the types of “acceptable” punishment then, that’s no longer acceptable.  In many respects, these changes have been for the good,, but in corporate America, these changes have led to the experience you just had.

    Harder

  • Steve – thanks for the comment. 

    We all know that change happens. Even if we don’t like it. With the do more with less attitude and the fear of litigation if someone says something wrong – looks like this is a safer way to communicate back. In this case, I don’t feel safer is better. I felt used. They asked questions about how I would do things about situations. I gave them some pretty solid answers and ideas. Maybe they are using those ideas. 

    I know one thing for sure – I will not be applying for any positions with that company. In fact, I have already told them on another occasion – “Thanks for contacting me. I have already gone through your hiring process. I will have to pass. Thanks anyways.”