This post is in follow up to “The Phone Interview”.
During this phone interview, the HR Manager who was doing hiring for the position told me that I was one of the final five candidates and that, because I was only one of five, they would contact me whether I was selected or not. She said, I will contact you by October 4th, no matter what, to let you know the outcome. And the outcome will be one of three things:
- You are selected for an in-person interview and we ask you to come out.
- You are not selected for an in-person interview and we wish to let you know so that you’re not left wondering.
- The hiring process gets put on hold for a few weeks. The boss of this position is heavily pregnant and could go into labour any day. Though she’s not taking a maternity leave, she may need a few days off when she has the baby to recover.
I’m including the fact that they promised they’d contact me REGARDLESS of the outcome, because it’s an important piece to this story.
October 4th came and went and I heard nothing. Not a thing.
I thought to myself, ‘Okay maybe they’re busy. But, she said that she really liked me, so perhaps I’ll wait and see if they contact me on Monday (Oct 7). After Monday, then I’ll reach out’.
October 7th came and went and I heard nothing.
On October 8th I decided to send over a quick email. It was something along the lines of “Hi! Just wondering if the phone interview process had wrapped up yet? I know you’d mentioned I’d hear from you about the outcomes on Oct 4, so I just wanted to check in! Hope things are going well. Thanks!” It was just more so meant to be a brief ‘Hi! Remember me?’ type of email.
On October 8th, about an hour after sending that email I got an email back that said:
‘Hi Vee (my real name used), We had some delays in the process last week so we’re still conducting phone interviews this week. We’ll be in touch once phone interviews are finished this week to let all candidates know if they were selected for an in-person interview or not. Great to see you’re so excited about the position! Will be in touch on Friday.”
So, I waited. Somewhere in here I went to a really useless job fair. I kept applying for other jobs, but my fingers were crossed with this one. It would have been a really cool position. It was one I knew that I was more than qualified for. I thought, with how well I’d impressed them, that I’d at least scored myself an in-person interview so that I could really wow them.
Oct 11th (the end of that week) came and went and I heard nothing.
October 18th (the end of the next week) came and went and I heard nothing.
On Oct 20th (Sunday) I decided to send another email – something I figured they’d find on Monday morning and hopefully respond to. At this point I was presuming they had counted me out for the position and were just hoping I forgot about them. But truthfully, I didn’t want to let them off the hook that easily. I really cared about this position and I didn’t want to just disappear.
I sent an email, a very brief email, that said “Hi there, I haven’t heard from you in a couple of weeks. Is this hiring process still ongoing? If it is, that’s great! But if it isn’t, could you please tell me so that I don’t have to keep wondering when someone is going to contact me?’
On Oct 21st I get an email.
“Hi Vee (full name used), We’re sorry to inform you that a candidate was hired for this position on October 10th.”
The email went on to give two more paragraphs of token HR bullshit – you know the whole ‘You’re a strong candidate and we were really impressed with your skills and qualifications’ and ‘Don’t give up. We have no doubt you’ll be a great success in your career endeavors.’ Just the typical HR language for ‘Please fuck off!’
I was mad.
It wasn’t even that I didn’t get the position. At this stage of the year, I’m well used to rejection and not being selected. I know the feeling of being rejected all too well and I can deal with that.
What pissed me off was that they promised me they were going to contact me NO MATTER WHAT, and then I got ghosted. What pissed me off was that they didn’t bother to contact me unless I initiated the conversation. They hired someone on the 10th, and I didn’t get to hear about it until I email them on the 20th.
Is this how job hunting works these days? Do I literally have to beg to find out that I wasn’t selected for a job? Why couldn’t she just fire off a quick email that said ‘Hi Vee, we’ve hired someone’? Why couldn’t she just phone me? Or text me? Or send me a carrier pigeon? What’s with this notion that… if we don’t contact a candidate then they’ll forget about us…?
Angry at their complete lack of communication, professionalism and candor, I wrote a finely worded email back to her. Content of this email included:
“Stating you’re going to communicate with candidates for any and all outcomes and then ghosting them is extremely disrespectful and a big part of what makes unemployment so difficult for so many people. “
“I wish you the best with the candidate hired I hope they bring great benefit to the organization and that you have nothing but success with them at the helm. I also hope that you change your attitude towards how you treat all candidates in the future.All candidates deserve a lot better treatment than I’ve been given in this process.“
There were some other paragraphs in there too, but I’m keeping the brief points because of cataloging. Bottom line – though I wanted to call her out, tell her all sorts of nasty comments, I tried to keep it as professionally constructive as possible.
Am I burning a bridge with this email that I sent to them? Probably. Should I have even sent it? Probably not. I guess I just don’t care at this point. I’m passed a point in my life where I’m willing to tolerate this behaviour. Potential employers need to be called out for their bullshit. If no one calls them out, they continue with these stupid actions and continue to get away with it. I can absolutely respect a company that is up front about rejection. I cannot respect a company that just chooses not to contact you and hopes you forget about them when you don’t get selected.
Anyways, I guess my email struck a chord. I was called this afternoon. I didn’t have my phone with me at the time so they left a voicemail.
The four minute long voicemail explained that ‘If a company decides they do not want to contact candidates who’ve already been interviewed for a job, they’re not required to do so and that I don’t get to tell them how to conduct business.’ They also went on to say that my email was extremely unprofessional to send to them and perhaps I should consider my own behaviours as a contributing factor to why I am still unemployed.
Alright. Got it. You told me I was one of only five candidates, promised me you’d contacted me NO MATTER WHAT, ghosted me, and I’m the asshole. I guess I’ll be the asshole then. Hey, if I need to be the asshole, I’ll take one for the team.
If you don’t want someone to call you out for lying then don’t promise to contact a candidate no matter the outcome… You didn’t have to say that. You didn’t have to say that you’d ever contact me again. You promised, though, that you would.
Do I regret sending the email? Not at all. Will I be working for them, or any of their ‘friends’ any time in the future? Not likely. Will they take a new approach to hiring? Probably not. I would hope they do. But, if I know anything about the human race, my email made them mad enough to leave me a nasty voicemail but not mad enough to think they did anything wrong.