No Thanks, We Hired at the Office

Wednesday, July 04, 2007
I applied and was interviewed recently for a position at an office I used to work in. The interview went extremely well (one of the best I’ve had) and I was pretty sure that I had an excellent shot at getting the position. Then, this weekend, I had lunch with my former boss from that office (she still works there) and we had a big discussion about the current politics in the department, the reasons around why the position is empty, and the fall out from the previous employee leaving. Afterwards I was pretty sure that I didn’t want the job.

Yesterday, as I was packing up and heading home, I noticed someone from that office called but did not leave a message. No biggie, I’m sure they’d call back the next day and planned to leave my cell on while at work. I walked home, made and ate dinner, then sat down to check my email and see what was up in blogland. Much to my surprise there was an email from one of the people I had interviewed with. Here’s what it said:

Hi Captain,
I want to thank you for taking the time to come for an interview for the XXX Assistant position that we had available. It was very nice meeting with you. The people we interviewed were very well qualified and we had a difficult decision choosing between you and another applicant. We did offer the other person the job as she had more experience in the XXX program. I wish you all the best in your future endeavours.

As you can tell, I didn’t get the job. This did not bother me. By this point, I was pretty positive I would have said no if they offered. I was bothered though. This person tried ONCE to reach me by phone. Yep, just the one call…and no message. I wouldn’t have expected them to say in a voice mail what their decision was but I did expect them either to say please call me, or try again to call me back. Nope. Instead, they went directly to the preferred communication method of the 21st century: Email. I find that highly unprofessional. Am I wrong in this?

I’d like to also point out that they never once in the interview asked me what I knew about the program in question or how the department worked. I tried to steer the conversation in that direction when they asked me if I had any questions. However, their answers were extremely general and brief. I knew in advance that at least one other member of the department had applied for the same position and looking at the situation in hindsight, I think I may have been a courtesy interview, based on my previous history. They were already thinking of hiring the person already in the office but because of their Human Resources guidelines and company policies had to post the job and interview applicants.


Gardenia said...

I believe you assumed the whole picture exactly! And, yes, email is a crappy way to do business since communication is so delicate and is more than words. I liked to back up conversations with email however, so I would have a record.

I went back to a company after I got back here that I previously worked for. That was definitely "going back to Egypt." It was not the same. In fact it was an unpleasant experience. You are much better off. Besides it sounds like you know more than the human resource department and people are funny about being less efficient and capable than the person they hire.

Wandering Coyote said...

Yes, they could have tried harder to contact you in person rather than send an email.

After I mailed the infamous optometry letter, they tried calling once. I was not in the mood to deal with them, so I didn't answer, and they didn't leave a message. That was IT. I've had no letter or anything.

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