Why do companies not follow-up after conducting an interview?

Friday, August 22nd, 2008 - Employment, Job Application, Job Interview, recruitment, resume

Ari asks: Why do companies not follow-up after conducting an interview? I notice a job ad, pitch myself to the employer, am asked to come in to their office for an interview, meet with senior managers, and am told I will receive a follow-up call or email in x number of days. Time passes without a response. I wait another week for good measure and call/email my interviewer or their assistant to inquire and 9 times out of 10 I never receive a response. I can cite numerous examples of this corporate behavior and I don’t understand why. If *I* pitch *you* and you respond to me, that indicates I exhibit enough interest to warrant an hour out of your schedule to meet with me. Then you don’t respond. I don’t get it. On the extreme, I was invited to meet with a firm last year THREE TIMES and was never told the outcome nor was responded to when I asked for a status. Thoughts?

In answer:
Simply, its horribly unprofessional on behalf of the hiring company. Under EU law, there could be a case for legal duress, so most HR managers are on top of this. But in North America and other parts of the world where there is not so much focus on HR and Human Rights law, then such incidents can be common.

A professional would always close out – how ever badly the interview went, and even if it was clearly obvious to all in the room at the time that it was a “Don’t call us, we’ll call you” opportunity. Plus, a candidate deserves feedback on an interview, and how they can improve/apply more relevantly next time.

I would change your approach in one area, and review your performance in another. Firstly, the way you describe this situation it seems to be happening very often – so if after the stated time period you have heard nothing, go back with “Look, I am assuming I haven’t got the position, but would appreciate your feed back on my application and interview performance.” That’s a far, far softer approach than a “have I got the job or not” question, and would allow even a wholly negative reaction to be delivered.

Secondly, I would review your choice of posts applied for, or your interview performance. Ask a friend before you apply for any new positions to check your application through for errors; if they think its appropriate and OK, then its probably your interview experience which needs a bit of buffing, so again ask a friend who has been a hiring manager to give you a mock interview, or take some training. Once you have learnt the skills, the situation should not repeat.

Good Luck!

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