ON THE JOB
When the call never comes
You went as far as you could — all the way to the final interview. You researched the organisation, showed your respect by arriving on time and in the right clothes, struck up a rapport with the interviewer, and felt you had given the best impression you could. But in return the employer treats you with contempt. It’s not so much that they don’t offer you the job, it’s the lack of respect they show when they tell you. Here are some of the worst responses you can get after a final interview, and why they happen. They send you an e-mailed attachment called unsuccessful-at-interview.doc This really speaks for itself, but it’s probably the result of administration staff failing to think, rather than the mick-take it seems to be. You get a letter, which tells you they will keep your details on file This means nothing. Employers who say this obviously don’t have a strategy for dealing with unsuccessful candidates. If they were a good fit to the organisation but not for the role, candidates should get a tailored letter inviting them to apply for other jobs, and other relevant departments should be alerted to their suitability. When they’re not a good fit, they shouldn’t be told something that gives them false hope.
You get a letter, but it’s just a couple of lines “I regret to inform you that after careful consideration we have decided not to take your application further.” Employers should give feedback and where it is objective information, such as the results of aptitude tests, they are often happy to give it. However, final interviews are a lot more subjective and employers are wary of saying anything that could be seen to be discriminatory. It is always worth ringing them to ask if they could be more helpful.
They never call back They say, “We’ll ring you on Friday”, but the phone call never comes.
Some people, even senior managers, just hate giving bad news and even though their intention is to ring they often can’t bring themselves to do it. You never hear from Ring if you want to, but, if a company hasn’t bothered to contact you, it’s unlikely that you will hear anything positive. Unhelpful or dismissive feedback This is the worst kind of feedback a company can give. Saying a candidate just isn’t suitable, but not explaining why is a terrible practice. Twenty-something line managers particularly in IT and the media can often have an arrogance that isn’t matched by their experience. They may only have worked in one or two companies and be extrapolating from this limited experience.
Deciding that the job wasn’t there after all It may be that the person making the hiring decision has failed to communicate with the person who authorises the financing of the job. It could also happen that your recruitment agency tells you that the job’s yours, but nothing ever comes of it. This is common when an agency is involved and is almost always due to a failure of communication between the agency and the employer. You are offered the job, then get a letter saying you have been rejected Believe it or not this has happened, and it
is obviously heartbreaking. But a verbal contract is impossible to prove, and the organisation will always maintain that it was a misunderstanding. It is of course a classic cock-up between interested parties in a large organisation.