Should I Patronize A Company That Treated Me Unprofessionally As A Job Applicant?

If you’ve applied for a job with a company and been turned down, how does that affect how you feel about that company? What if you feel that the company treated you poorly as a job applicant? Joe writes that he wonders just that. He feels that a company of which he was a customer treated his girlfriend unprofessionally after interviewing for a job there, and wonders whether he’s justified in taking his business away from them.

About a month ago, my girlfriend interviewed for an IT position at [redacted]. She did two phone interviews and then was invited to corporate HQ for a face-to-face interview. She met with four people, including the hiring manager, for several hours during the course of one day. Now at least a month later, she has not heard back from the company: not a word. She has contacted the HR person who set up the interview(s) but she also will not respond.

Now, we are smart people and know what this means. We don’t think anything illegal has taken place or that [the company] should be “punished” or anything like that. But we do feel wronged. It shatters everything we know about professionalism. So much so, in fact, that it is affecting our decision to [patronize this business.] So my questions to are…are you hearing about this type of unprofessional treatment from others? Is there anything we can do other than tell anyone and everyone who will listen? Why would a company do this? To save costs?

Should I consume good and services from a company that wouldn’t have me as an employee? If companies are inundated with resumes then have they realized that these hundreds or thousands of applicants might carry a grudge later on?

There are really two parts to Joe’s question. There’s his main question about continuing to be a customer of a company that you feel has treated you unprofessionally.

At the same time, there’s another question: was the company’s behavior unusual? I’ve been on a lot of job interviews in the last ten years, and I can probably count on one hand the number of actual rejection letters or phone calls I’ve received. I may just be forgettable, but this seems to be a wider trend. Are the people in charge of hiring so busy that they simply don’t have time to notify the rejects?

These are complex questions for a simple poll, so have at it in the comments.


Edit Your Comment

  1. pop top says:

    I love Ask A Manager, so I’m going to pimp her site here:

    That links explains it all really.

    • hotdogsunrise says:

      I was going to post the same thing, but glad you got to it first. Her site is fantastic. She covers all sorts of work-related issues and not just job seeking questions.

      • MGX42 says:

        LOL – the person who runs that blog actually hired me for an internship years ago – she was super quick about responses and good communication.

    • Hermia says:

      I just went through the same thing. Went through a phone interview and four in person interviews. Received a phone call from the recruiter indicating I’d be hearing from them in a week with “next steps”, also received responses to my thank you notes to two of the four interviewers indicating that they’d be “talking to me soon”. That was almost 8 weeks ago.

      No response to the phone calls and emails I’ve sent to the recruiter. Nothing.

      Am I still interesting in working there? I don’t know. Quite frankly after the experience I feel like if that’s the corporate culture there maybe I don’t. Thankfully I have a job right now so I have a choice to leave or stay, but how rude can you be? Especially when you set expectations that you’d be contacted within the next week for “next steps”.

      • redskull says:

        I agree that no response from a prospective employer is unprofessional and extremely frustrating.

        That said, in this economy where 1000 people apply for one job, it’s probably just not physically possible to respond to every single applicant. Sucks, but that’s life in our brave new world.

        • richcreamerybutter says:

          It’s completely understandable (and expected) not to hear after submitting a resume. Not responding after an in-person interview with even a form letter is completely inexcusable, period.

          • Outrun1986 says:

            I have to agree, it would take all of 5 seconds to send out an email saying that you didn’t get the job, they could even have a pre-crafted rejection email and mass mail it to all applicants that didn’t get the job. That would take less time than emailing each individually.

            Not getting a response from a resume is very common, but not getting a response when you have the potential to be hired, there is something going on there.

            If I am job searching and have put in multiple applications and decided on one job when I have many offers, does that mean I can just go work at the one company without informing all the other companies looking to hire me that I already have a job or that I have accepted another offer? From what I was told you are supposed to contact potential employers and tell them you already have a job and thank them, but if the companies aren’t responding after an interview then perhaps I don’t have that obligation anymore.

            • BridgetPentheus says:

              I think it is so frustrating not to hear from a company after you have had an in person interview, especially in smaller industries where you know exactly how many people they brought in to interview (if you interview 6 candidates, and hire one I think you should respect the other five enough to at least email a standard rejection letter) I had incredible respect for the companies that I was down to 1 of 2 candidates and they called to explain exactly why the other person got the job instead of me and actually did consider me for future positions. On the other hand job applicants aren’t much better, my friend who worked her way up at the company we worked at together only got the original job because she was the only applicant who sent a thank you note after the interview, I was picked for a job at another company because my thank you note gave me the edge. Both sides need to learn some respect, over here in Europe you apply to a job, even if there are hundreds of candidates you will get a response in a timely manner. US companies should be mandated to do the same.

        • Gnillish says:

          I wouldn’t expect a company to respond to every applicant as that can be a daunting task when you receive a staggering number of resumes for an entry level position. I would expect that if you make it past the initial phone interview to the in person interview stage of the screening process that the pool of prospects has been narrowed to a managable number and the company would then follow up with those who made it to this stage of the process with a final result of the process.

          In my most recent adventure in hiring we received a little over 200 resumes for a one-step-above-entry-level type position. I did phone interviews with around 20, and 6 made it to the in person interview stage. At the end of the phone interviews I indicated the time-frame that they would be notified if they made it to the second round of interviews. At the end of the in person interviews each person was given the timeframe that they would be notified about final decisions or additional interviews. The day we offered the job to one of the applicants and she accepted, we sent letters to the remaining 5 thanking them for their time (and in 2 of the cases telling them we were keeping their resume on file should we have additional openings in the near future). Basically I just approached the whole process keeping in mind my experiences and how I wished more companies had treated me.

          • DGC says:

            Bravo, this is exactly what I would expect. I had an interview with a company and was not selected and was treated in exactly this manner. Two months later when the person accepted suddenly quit, they called me and asked me if I was still interested. Because of the treatment I received before, I was happy to accept.

        • JMILLER says:

          One, it is not hard to put together a form letter that says yoru qualifications do not match what we are currently looking for.
          Two, the OP’s girlfriend had phone interviews and face-to-face interviews. Grow some balls and tell her one way or the other.
          When I was looking for work, i would always ask, what is your time frame for making a decision? I would then tell them, please let me know either way, because I am entertaining other opportunities as well. I always got a response. If I had not, I would have sent them a letter asking them to please remove my name from consideration, as I am no longer interested in the position.
          When I make hiring decisions, I always email all inquiries. Those that are not qualified are told we have no positions that match your skill set at the present time, but if one becomes available, we will keep your resume on file. I also believe in responding within a 1 week time frame. Many time I have set dates for interviews. I will tell them I am interested in meeting, but will not be conducting actual interviews until such and such a date.Those that get an interview are given a phone call, and follow up letter thanking them for their time and letting them know we had gone with another candidate.

          These are just common sense business policies. Employees and potential employees talk. I would rather have them say, I didn’t get the job versus, I wouldn’t work for that asshole ever.

        • craptastico says:

          not every applicant, but if you get to the point of face to face intereviews i feel like some response would be the appropriate thing to do.

    • backinpgh says:

      I agree that my highest frustration was people not responding. And this was everything from big corporations to little entrepreneur-owned boutiques. Some wouldn’t even respond when I directly called or emailed them to see if they had filled the position, which just disgusts me.

      I take time out of my day to prepare a customized resume and cover letter, get my interview clothes dry cleaned and pressed, drive or take transit to an unfamiliar location, get there early, put on my happy face and basically offer you by services. But apparently my time is meaningless and the company’s time is infinitely more important than mine, so I’m not even owned an answer? It really disgusts me.

      One employer I even had a conversation with them at the interview that I would appreciate an answer either way, and they said, but of COURSE we’ll email you and let you know what happens, we wouldn’t dream of leaving you hanging like that, how unprofessional! Yeah, never heard from them, even after I emailed to ask them specifically.

    • teke367 says:

      Did not know of this site, it is very good. I thank you, and I’m sure my boss doesn’t thank you as I’m probably going to lose a good 30 minutes of productivity now.

    • chalkboard17 says:

      I just went through an interview with the state of Michigan of all places. They took nearly a month to get back to me after telling me I’d hear the results of my interviews within a week. All I got was a couple of sentences in an email telling me someone else had accepted the position. I really couldn’t believe it took that long or that, after spending over $200 on portfolios and new clothes for the interview, they couldn’t even be bothered to make a call since I was one of only 2 people up for the job!

  2. chefboyardee says:

    To answer the post’s title: No.

    Was the company’s behavior unusual? No. But it was unprofessional bullshit. Be glad you didn’t get the job, it’s indicative of how the company runs things. You don’t want to work there, nor do you want to patronize them.

    Are the people in charge of hiring so busy that they simply don’t have time to notify the rejects? There is no excuse for this. It takes literally seconds with the invention of that crazy e-mail thing.

    • Oranges w/ Cheese says:

      You’re joking right? You’ve seen the unemployment numbers recently?

      • Ask a Manager says:

        As a hiring manager, the numbers don’t matter. It’s very, very easy to automate a system and create form letters that will politely let applicants know when they’re no longer under consideration! The fact that so many companies don’t bother is indicative of their lack of regard for applicants — which is appalling, since applicants are by definition people offering to help their company.

        Employers behave this way because they feel they hold all the cards — which is really short-sighted, because great people don’t want to work for companies that behave like jerks. And they have options — or will in the future.

        • Thumbmaster says:

          Absolutely! Also, those people have to keep in mind that it’s a small world after all. Some day they may end up being the applicants for a job at which the OP’s girlfriend is a hiring manager. It’s always good policy to be cordial and polite. Good manners can really take you far. Bad manners will generally not be soon forgotten. Karma is a bitch. So why take chances? If an applicant as gone so far up the process, it’s almost unthinkable to give her dead air.

      • greggen says:

        Yeah, cause its crazy for someone to paste 1000 email addresses into a BCC and send a generic response..
        If you have time to interview them, you can at least send an email.

        • mythago says:

          This wasn’t even about 1000 interviewees. His girlfriend had two interviews and a full day of face-to-face interviews. There’s no reason for ignoring someone in that situation.

      • aloria says:

        It takes about 15 minutes to draft up a form rejection letter and BCC all the recently rejected interviewees. Sure, it’s not as nice as a personalized “thanks but no thanks,” but it’s better than dead air.

      • coren says:

        Yes. I’m one of them.

        If they can invest a whole day and various amounts of time from 4 people, they could at least respond to her phone calls. That’s not even requiring them to initiate contact.

      • AustinTXProgrammer says:

        We aren’t talking about every resume! Clearly she made the short list. That should warrant proper rejection notification.

    • Hooray4Zoidberg says:

      I think it goes with the whole avoiding confrontation aspect of management. From a corporate point of view you really have nothing to gain and everything to lose by rejecting someone. Most people don’t handle rejection very well. I have seen people beg and/or get angry when they’ve been told they’re not a fit. It seems like at best you’re not getting into an argument, but at worst it could open up all sorts of legal issues if you simply say the wrong thing while telling someone they didn’t get the job.

  3. KyleOrton says:

    But on the other side of the table, job seekers get all upset when I tell them they didn’t get the job but I want to keep seeing them. It’s lose lose, you know?

    • Nisun says:

      no, I don’t understand. part of taking applications is letting other know they didn’t get the job. a nice non-personal email, or letter is sufficient. simply not letting them know is a real dick move, and says one of 2 things.

      1) I just cant find the 30 seconds to send a form letter to you via email.
      2) I’m too cheap to waste a stamp sending you something in the mail.

      The fact is, if you don’t let them know, your a dick… its pretty simple.

    • Nisun says:

      no, I don’t understand. part of taking applications is letting other know they didn’t get the job. a nice non-personal email, or letter is sufficient. simply not letting them know is a real dick move, and says one of 2 things.

      1) I just cant find the 30 seconds to send a form letter to you via email.
      2) I’m too cheap to waste a stamp sending you something in the mail.

      The fact is, if you don’t let them know, your a dick… its pretty simple.

      • Nisun says:

        sry for double post… I got an error the first time :(

      • Oranges w/ Cheese says:

        Maybe, but out of the numerous calls I fielded and resumes I submitted while looking for a job a few months ago, I’d say about only 10% got back to me if they didn’t hire me.

    • ScarletsWalk says:

      I know it’s awful, but after getting hollered at by everyone I turned down for a job once, I won’t do that again. I’ll answer anyone who asks, but I hope to never have to do it again.

      The OP’s girlfriend got very far in the process, though, so it should have warranted some sort of explanation, especially when she asked.

      And while I think it’s awful, it’s not that unusual for many reasons. I don’t think that is enough of a reason to stop patronizing a company, generally speaking.

      I have stopped patronizing companies that I were awful in other ways during the applicant process.

    • coren says:

      I take it you work somewhere where someone who was turned down for one position is frequently applying for another/somewhere where there’s high turnover?

      • KyleOrton says:

        No, I was joking that I would start relationships with female applicants and was annoyed they broke it off when they didn’t get the job. It didn’t come through well.

  4. agent 47 says:

    I guess it would be ok with me if you don’t patronize there anymore. Thanks for asking!

    • pgh9fan1 says:

      I think not patronizing them anymore because she was treated poorly is the right way to go.
      1) It makes you wonder how they treat the people who are already working there. I’m guessing not all that well.
      2) I wouldn’t want to give my money to someone who treats me discourteously.

      If, however, I apply at a company and don’t get the job but they were cool about it, I would still keep going there. You don’t know what the future holds. What if the person they hires quits or doesn’t work out?

  5. MercuryPDX says:

    Are the people in charge of hiring so busy that they simply don’t have time to notify the rejects?

    Not sure where you’ve applied, but I’ve always gotten some form of notification when I was rejected for a job I applied for; even if it required a phone call to ask.

    As to holding a grudge, whatever floats your boat.

    • frak says:

      It happened to me even within the same company that I currently work for!

    • MercuryPDX says:

      To clarfiy, I am talking about hiring situations similar to what the OP’s girlfriend has experienced (eg. You’re “waist deep” in the interview process).

      I have fired off many a resume to get no response back. I wouldn’t call that rude; it’s expected.

    • flyingember says:

      I actually had a job interview at a small business. So small they fit onto a single floor of a building you could walk past in 5 seconds. I could never get anyone to call back after the interview.

      I outright refuse to ever do business with them and will tell people they’re my last choice if asked.

    • RvLeshrac says:

      I’ve never gotten a rejection letter, phone call, or email from any company I’ve interviewed with. Most of the time, from email or web-based submissions, I don’t even get an automated “We got your resume” response.

      The same companies that waste your time forcing you to check up on the process are the ones who have management with holier-than-thou attitudes, though, so I don’t think there was any great loss.

  6. danmac says:

    To answer both questions:

    1. There’s really no right or wrong about patronizing the company – if you feel like they mistreated you or don’t like something they did, go somewhere else. There’s no moral imperative stating that you need a justifiable reason to take your business elsewhere.

    2. I don’t know why you feel so offended in the first place. I’ve applied for many jobs, and I’m actually flattered when they do me the courtesy of letting me know that I’m no longer being considered. When there is no response, just move on; they’re obviously not interested or have already filled the position – nothing personal. For you to expect anything else comes across as a little entitled.

    • SkokieGuy says:

      Applying and not getting a response is very different from applying, being contacted, having two phone interviews, and then being called in for in-person and receiving an in depth (two hours and four people) interview.

      • Oranges w/ Cheese says:

        Granted that is true, but I’ve gotten notifications and had to actually call and get a turn down in both cases where I was granted numerous interviews and others where I was told no with no other contact previously.

    • sn1per420 says:

      I can understand not expecting a response from a resume drop or from a single interview with HR, cause at the early stages of hiring they’re rejecting too many people to bother with notifying everyone. But when you get a lengthy on-site interview with the hiring manager, I think it’s safe to say that you were one of a few people to get that far, and I don’t think it’s asking too much for them to send you a quick email or phone call just to let you know you didn’t get the job.

      • danmac says:

        I understand, and I’ve had this happen. I had a job interview that went as follows:

        1. I submitted my application.
        2. I was contacted and had to attend a testing session where they administered tests for about 40 candidates. I scored the highest (they told everyone where they ranked).
        3. The candidates with the 8 highest tests were contacted for face-to-face interviews with a hiring committee of city officials. Again, I had the highest quantitative score.
        4. I attended another interview with the manager of this organization and his assistant.
        5. I never heard from them again.

        I was annoyed, but I realized that if they treated a top candidate that poorly, I didn’t want to work with that agency anyway. And I moved on…ruminating over it wasn’t really going to help anything.

    • Shmonkmonk says:

      I agree that waiting for a response always sucks but, if I don’t get a response w/in 3 days, I figure I didn’t get the job and move on. I don’t take it personally.

      Not every company has a dedicated HR dept. and the person handling the hiring might be handling a million other things at the moment. Sure, it only takes minute to call someone and tell them they don’t have the job but it’s usually those minute tasks that always fall through the crack because you tell yourself, “Oh, I’ll do it later before XYZ”. I guess I’m willing to cut other managers some slack because I’ve been there.

      Now, what I HATE the most are the ones that leave a voice mail asking me to call them back. I can see how it might be considered unprofessional to not do it in person but seriously, I’d rather be rejected via voice mail rather then calling them to find out I’m rejected. The absolute worst is when you have to play phone tag to find out you’re rejected.

  7. scientific progress goes boink says:

    I have never had a company send me a rejection notice after interviewing and not getting the job. It’s horribly annoying and unprofessional.

    My boyfriend, however, has gotten maybe 2 rejection notices out of hundreds of applications.

    • coffeeculture says:

      same here…i was pretty sure “no response” = standard procedure for a rejected applicant. I operate under that assumption and i’m good to go.

    • Wei says:

      I agree, not hearing back is utterly frustrating

      also, I like your avatar and username

  8. sn1per420 says:

    I had a similar situation a year ago when I applied for an internship. I got an on campus interview, then a phone interview, and finally an on-site interview at HQ, then I never heard back from them. Multiple emails and phone calls never got answered.

    Honestly, a simple “sorry you didn’t get the job” would have been enough. Sure, I wouldn’t have been happy to hear it, but they can at least give me the benefit of an email or something, after giving me three interviews.

  9. cash_da_pibble says:

    Yeah, go ahead and quit patronizing the place.
    I mean, it’s AMERICA, you can choose to shop where you want.

    I avoid shopping at a local store simply because one of the bag girls stares at my boyfriend too much.
    Am I Insecure? sure.
    Am I Juvenile? maybe.

    but still my choice.

  10. SkokieGuy says:

    I am old fashioned enough that I think even an application or resume sent should be acknowledged (i.e. form letter….we’ll review and get back to you if you meet our requirements….. ). At least you know it was received.

    That level of basic professional courtesy is long, long gone, but this woman had two phone interviews and an in-person with four people. After that level of interaction, to not reply – even in this job market is a serious breach of professional conduct.

    Yes, the company may have received thousands of resumes, but the final quantity selected for in-person interviews is still low and perfectly manageable to send a reply.

    I totally support her not patronizing the company, and furthermore, it might be worth drafting a letter, explaining her decision and encouraging the company to rethink their interview procedures. Send to CEO / sales channels / HR. You never know when someone may admire her spunk, investigate what happened and maybe give her a call. Not likely, but little to lose at this point.

    • fatediesel says:

      I agree that she should have gotten a response since she had had 2 phone interviews and a face-to-face. She devoted a lot of time in her attempt to get a job and deserved at least a call, email, or letter. It’s clear she was a finalist for the position so it wouldn’t be too difficult to tell her she didn’t get a job.

      However, I can’t agree with acknowledging every application or resume. My company, which is fairly small (50 employees), gets at least 50 applications per week. It would take way too much time and postage to acknowledge each application. A couple years ago I was hiring a new secretary and got over 300 applications. It would have taken me at least a day to acknowledge these even with a form letter and over $100 in postage and supplies.

      • RandomHookup says:

        The best way to handle these is set up an email box with an auto-respond. At least the job seekers get something and don’t call to find out if you have received.

    • Blueberry Scone says:

      “I totally support her not patronizing the company, and furthermore, it might be worth drafting a letter, explaining her decision and encouraging the company to rethink their interview procedures. Send to CEO / sales channels / HR. You never know when someone may admire her spunk, investigate what happened and maybe give her a call. Not likely, but little to lose at this point.”

      I don’t know about this. I think it’s enough for the OP and his girlfriend to stop patronzing this company. Complaining about the interview process will, at best, make the girlfriend look like sour grapes. Who knows? She might be the second choice for this position, and they didn’t say anything to her yet because they’re still waiting to see how the first choice is working out for them.

      • oloranya says:

        “Who knows? She might be the second choice for this position, and they didn’t say anything to her yet because they’re still waiting to see how the first choice is working out for them.”

        In which case they should tell her that. There’s no reason not to.

        • coren says:

          Some people react very poorly when they aren’t first choice for a position.

          Ignoring them is by no means the appropriate response, but I can see the logic in not turning someone down right away

          • RvLeshrac says:

            I can’t. Common courtesy. If she gets another, less desirable, job offer, her choices are to take it and then screw over that company when the original company calls up, or screw herself over by sticking with the less desirable job.

      • JMILLER says:

        I would bet the CEO or C level executive does not know this. Send a letter to all of them saying you have tried getting a decision through other means, but had not heard back. Tell them, at that point you were taking your name out of contention. A smart executive will read between the lines.

  11. Dutchess says:

    I had a potential manager treat me poorly in an interview, very standoff-ish, didn’t seem to interested in talking to me….asked me like two questions and that was it. I scored very well on a skills test and both his bosses loved me. TheI had a potential manager treat me poorly in an interview, very standoff-ish, didn’t seem to interested in talking to me….asked me like two questions and that was it. I scored very well on a skills test and both his bosses loved me. They told me so at the interview.

    I assumed this would go nowhere so I was surprised when I was called by HR with a job offer. I flat out told them I would never work for the manager that interviewed me. Apparently his bosses were not very happy with him, one of them even called me directly to see what the problem was. y told me so at the interview.

    I assumed this would go nowhere so I was surprised when I was called by HR with a job offer. I flat out told them I would never work for the manager that interviewed me. Apparently his bosses were not very happy with him, one of them even called me directly to see what the problem was. This guy would be a horrible mico-manager and I would never thrive in that environment.

    While I don’t think not getting a response back in this market is reason to pull your business but it all depends on how strongly you feel.

    • physics2010 says:

      ADD much?
      No matter what they say we really aren’t built for multi-tasking.

    • billin says:

      Jacob Two-Two, is that you?

    • Outrun1986 says:

      You are very smart, if the manager is like this, you probably don’t want to work for him anyways, and working for him would obviously make you miserable and probably just put you out on the street looking for another job in the very near future. If the person interviewing you seems extremely callous or like they have a very bad personality or something rubs you very wrong about them then you probably don’t want to work for that company. I would expect some degree of callousness from an interviewer, but they should be willing to talk with you at least a little bit, after all, its all about communication.

  12. Chmeeee says:

    I wouldn’t expect a letter of rejection or anything if I had just sent in an application, or maybe even if I had gone for a single interview. If I do two phone interviews and a multi-hour in person, then I expect the courtesy of a rejection.

  13. Vanilla5 says:

    This isn’t uncommon. I even applied for a position within my current workplace and wasn’t notified that I didn’t get it.

    But I do think it’s the professional thing to do to call/email/send a letter saying, “Thank you for applying and interviewing with us, but we have filled the position. Please check back in the future blah, blah, blah…”

    Does everybody do that? No. Some do, some don’t. If they actually, consciously know that you’re a customer there, I personally, as a manager, would’ve let you know one way or the other. It’s just the nice thing to do. But not everybody is nice like me.

  14. Sparty999 says:

    Of course not… It really hurts when you try to get a job with a company you really love, and they treat you like crap…

    Now, if it’s like… McDonalds… then you have more to worry about…

  15. It'sRexManningDay! says:

    If you send a resume, don’t expect any sort of reply. Even a phone screen might not warrant a call-back nowadays (though I think that’s borderline lousy.)

    If, however, you’ve actually been asked to a formal in-person interview, then it is totally unprofessional for the company to not give you a response within a reasonable timeframe (a week?) Even if the response is “we’re still undecided,” It is the least they can do for someone who has made it to the face-to-face interview. I think if I’d been treated that way I also might consider taking my business elsewhere.

  16. sickyd says:

    Just because the majority of companies don’t send a rejection notice, doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t. In this era of email and immediate communication, it would not be hard for the HR manager to send off a quick email to the candidate, especially this one that had two phone interviews and what seems to be a substantial in-person interview. If it had just been one phone interview or some other kind of brief communication, then I wouldn’t expect any notification, but after going through a multiple interview process with a company, I think a notification is in order, no matter how it is delivered, except maybe by text message :p

  17. HeyApples says:

    Lots of companies have really crappy HR departments. That doesn’t necessarily mean the company’s products or services are bad. HR is not PR, they’re trying to hire and manage people, not play nice.

    • sprocket79 says:

      Part of HR’s job is to inform candidates if they are not chosen for the position… ESPECIALLY if the candidate asks them for an update on their status. To not do so says that the HR person is bad at their job and should be the one who’s out of a job.

  18. Etoiles says:

    I do wish more companies could just send a freaking form e-mail saying, “Thank you for your time, this position has been filled, good luck with your life.” Especially if you’ve actually brought someone in to interview. I understand why calling could be awkward but e-mail’s not that challenging.

  19. dolemite says:

    I love that companies want you to have a professional resume, business attire, attitude, etc., but most of them can’t be bothered to call back/email/mail a letter telling all applicants the position has been filled.

    It’s a two way street. I understand some positions may get hundreds or thousands of applications, but you owe it to at LEAST the people you interviewed to let them know if they did or did not get the job. And of the applications…take all the ones that filled it out properly and had a nice resume….and RESPOND to them. At least an email.

    • NHpurple says:

      You stated the problem perfectly! As a job applicant, one is expected to do everything professionally and most of it on line. How hard is it for a company to send out a form letter stating a thank you for your interest and the job is filled?

  20. pantheonoutcast says:

    Isn’t the question that you’re really asking:

    “Should I continue to patronize a company that didn’t give my girlfriend a job?”

    If, after a month of not hearing from them, your girlfriend suddenly got a phone call offering her a position, would you still complain about their “unprofessionalism” and refuse to use their products / services? No, I posit – you wouldn’t.

    • qualia says:

      Yes, if the situation were entirely different, the OP would behave differently. That doesn’t reflect on his current reasons for not wanting to patronize this company.

  21. Miss Dev (The Beer Sherpa) says:

    When I was the HR manager at an IT company, we would get hundreds of applications for a single position. In our posts we would say that we would contact qualified applicants within 5 business days (it was usually 1-2 in reality). Unqualified applicants would not get a response.

    Of 100 applications, between 10-20 would be qualified and we would send them an email questionnaire. We would get between 5-10 replies. If we liked the replies, we would call and do a phone interview. We would then get the top 5 in for face-to-face interviews.

    Once someone responded to the questionnaire, we felt that they had taken the time and effort to pursue the job and that they deserved a response, either way.

    At my current position, however, I am constantly fighting with our managers to get them to call or at least email rejected applicants. It’s rude and reflects badly upon us not to.

  22. icntdrv says:

    It isn’t uncommon. I received just one rejection letter while I was applying. I got the run-around, the promised call-back, the “we’ll let you know one way or the other” countless times. I knew what it meant when they stopped returning my calls.

    What REALLY hacked me off was the time a friend of the family set me up with a job interview at the local hospital. The hiring manager was extremely rude. He told me straight off the bat that he couldn’t/wouldn’t hire me because there were “infinitely” more qualified people ahead of me for the job. Then he conducted a fake interview from standard interview questions while obviously disinterested in my answers. I HOPED that he was just testing my reactions, and this was some kind of interview technique, so I answered all his questions in earnest. But when he casually dismissed me when his secretary asked him what he wanted for lunch, I knew it had been a waste of both our times.
    Unfortunately, I do not have the option of refusing to patronize the hospital unless I want to endure an hour long ambulance drive to the next nearest ER.

  23. Sword_Chucks says:

    Thats up to you. This isn’t an ethics issue, as far as I can tell. If you don’t like the way you were treated, you can vote with your money. Noone is forcing you to utilize their services regardless of the job interview

    I had a similar issue with a bike shop I interviewed with, luckily I didn’t normally patron it, but it was closer to my house than one I am a member of the club team. Since then, I’ve purchased a couple tubes and got a free box for shipping a bike. Now I don’t live near them anymore, so its not a big deal. I’m hoping to be in the market to buy a new bike soon, I don’t know if I’ll shop there though. In another unrelated incident with the shop where I’m a member on the club team, the owner has made changes I didn’t like, so I haven’t made an effort to shop there, or attend the team meetings (but that’s due to being incredibly busy recently)

  24. Leela says:

    My son worked at a CVS and got fired because someone stole a case of beer. For a long time, I wouldn’t shop at CVS. Now I shop there occasionally, but only when I don’t have another choice. Like Sunday night I needed an emergency prescription and the only pharmacy open was CVS.

  25. dcaslin says:

    Perhaps I’m wrong, but I always thought this was part of a liability thing. It’s certainly unprofessional, but if a company never outright rejects you, you’re less likely to sue them (the slightly more professional “we’ll keep your resume on file” line is also common). I always lumped it in with the “our employees cannot recommend former employees/co-workers, as this could cause a lack of recommendations for other employees to be construed as discrimination”. I’ve seen those two things are more true of very large companies (which I’ll bet the OP’s gf was applying to).

    Bwt, this isn’t a defense of the company. I think any decent company should let people know when they’re not considering them anymore. I know my company does that (we actually say “You’ll hear back by X with a decision. If for some reason you don’t, please contact us.”).

  26. Odwalla says:

    Seriously? Someone needs random internet posters’ input on whether or not he should shop somewhere? No wonder we’re increasingly referred to as ‘consumers’ and not ‘citizens’.

    If you don’t want to shop somewhere, don’t shop there. It doesn’t matter if they annoyed your girlfriend. It doesn’t matter if it’s a Tuesday. You’re not going to hurt the company’s feelings if you stop shopping there. A company doesn’t have feelings. Sure, they might send you a letter saying something flowery like,

    “Gee, we recently noticed that you haven’t purchasing things with us. That makes us sad :( Please come see our new specials!”

    Here’s a hint, that’s not personal, it’s marketing.

  27. stebu says:

    I think it just comes down to, in our litigious era, that not sending any messages at all is the safest route for the interviewing company to take.

  28. humphrmi says:

    I’ve had hiring managers promise to call me either way, after the interview, without asking them. And they still didn’t call. I was upset the first couple of times, but now it seems to be SOP. As others said, probably better off. Out of hundreds of applicants, HR screens out most of them, phone screens kill a few more, preliminary interviews cull even more, and hiring managers only talk to about a half dozen. If they’re too busy to make a follow-up call to a half dozen applicants, they’re also too busy to worry about their employees career development.

  29. Skellbasher says:

    If not getting a rejection letter makes you not want to spend money with that company, then fine. If you decide you still want to spend money there, that’s fine too.

    It’s simply business. You do what makes sense for you, they do what makes sense for them.

    This really seems to be a total non-issue. The company wasn’t rude or treated anyone poorly during the interview process. They made a business decision not to hire the person. Happens all the time.

    With respect to shopping there, it’s your money. You spend it with whom YOU want to spend it for whatever reasons YOU may have.

    • RvLeshrac says:

      They were clearly rude. They wasted her time making her call in, and then failed to even have the decency to return the call.

      You don’t think the company would be upset if someone showed up 5 minutes late for the interview? Of course they would, they’d fell that their time had been wasted. So why is it OK for them to waste the applicant’s time?

  30. smo0 says:

    The lack of response is unprofessional… this isn’t just a “faxed your resume, didn’t hear back,” she obviously went through an ordeal or some time – and they had to have at least “considered” her at some point. That… deserves a response. I’ve usually received a letter.
    I had an almost similar thing happen to me when I applied at Zappos back in 2007. The guy that conducted the interviews, was a very rude, flamboyant, poorly dressed individual ( his hipster 5-sizes-too-small pants were hanging below his green striped tighties.) I’m sure I had 5 years on him at least.. and he was pretty snippy even though I was extremely professional during the interview (this was at the time I was escaping Citi.) Everything else about my interview process was pristine…. except for this guy – and I’m almost 100% positive that I didn’t get the job because of him, most likely because he had a bad day… probably because his pants didn’t fit. Either way, I didn’t hear back.. and it wasn’t until I called their reception… who had access to my files… somehow… she emailed me their standard, “Sorry, not at this time, holding your app for future openings, etcetcetc.”

  31. Tim says:

    Umm. It doesn’t sound like the company did much of anything wrong. She was applying for a job and she didn’t hear anything back from them. Maybe you could conclude that the HR department is a bunch of cowards. Maybe. But these actions are so common today that they’re to be expected.

    I was expecting to read that the managers sexually harassed the girlfriend, made fun of her, offered her a job that doesn’t exist or generally did something that is actually bad. This is, at most, disrespectful.

  32. Oranges w/ Cheese says:

    This same thing happened to myself recently, INCLUDING a plane ride to corporate and an hour long meeting with the hiring manager. Granted, the whole time I had been working through a recruiter and the recruiter kept me as up to date as possible, but the hiring manager kept getting new interviewees.

    However, I don’t feel slighted by the company, they were doing their due diligence and I just didn’t wow them enough to make them pull the trigger for me. I had another offer come up, and though I would’ve enjoyed it more I think to work for this first company, I’m at the new job now and its great! :)

  33. DanKelley98 says:

    Do you need to? If not, then don’t. If so, then yes.

  34. SlappyFrog says:

    From chefboyardee’s comment: “Was the company’s behavior unusual? No. But it was unprofessional bullshit. Be glad you didn’t get the job, it’s indicative of how the company runs things. You don’t want to work there, nor do you want to patronize them.”

    I’m a contractor so I am always looking for work and this is absolutely SOP for companies these days, weeks and weeks before initial contact, sporadic communication, then dropping off the face of the earth….both for contract and permanent (I use that word loosely) positions.

    • clint07 says:

      That’s another thing that is dumbfounding to me. You can send a company your resume and not hear anything for weeks upon weeks but if they decide to hire you, they want you to start without even giving your current company two weeks.

  35. INsano says:

    I’ve gone the middle path…

    I just tell all candidates I’ll contact the person(s) being hired by X date. It saves them from wondering past that date, and makes the process a bearable workload for me. In a perfect world I’d love to be more personal with every candidate, but when some people show up for their interview 10 minutes late in shorts…I’ve already wasted enough time on them. If I can see you’ve really made an effort I’ll still probably even give you a call or an e-mail thanking you for your time.

    • Oranges w/ Cheese says:

      Wow, people actually show up to interviews in shorts? O_o

      Maybe a gardening position, but REALLY?

  36. Suburban Idiot says:

    I remember several years ago going on a long job interview (with multiple people in the organization), being told I was one of only THREE candidates they were considering for the position, being asked for follow-up documentation after the interview and then the organization going into complete “We can’t be bothered to contact you” mode when they, presumably, chose one of the other two people for the position.

    Nobody is too busy that they can’t contact the TWO people who didn’t get the job.

    As it happens, the organization was my wife’s alma mater, so now when they call her asking for donations, she justifies not giving them money by mentioning their treatment of me after my job interview.

    In the years since, I’ve had opportunity to hire people, and I make it a point to contact anyone who I’ve interviewed and will usually send at least an email form letter to those who have applied and didn’t warrant an interview.

  37. Anonymously says:

    Should you continue to patronize a company you were forced to leave from due to carpal tunnel if your worker’s compensation was denied?

  38. HogwartsProfessor says:

    If they took the time to interview you, they should contact you regarding their decision. To just blow you off is rude. I think that if you just sent in a resume or filled out an application, they are under no obligation to respond to it. BUT if you went in and spent time interviewing, it’s just common courtesy to send at least a postcard.

    I mean, come on. They may get hundreds of resumes and can’t even look at all of them, but there’s no way they are interviewing that many people. At the very least, they can have a pre-printed postcard and every week someone makes some labels off the rejects, slaps a stamp on it and there ya go. When we were interviewing a lot, I did that. It’s not hard and doesn’t take that much time.

    • Blueberry Scone says:

      No kidding. Or, even send a form email. Or something.

      I definitely think the company should have contacted the g/f at some point to inform her of the decision. But as I posited upthread, it’s possible that she is choice #2, and the company wants to see if choice #1 is working out.

  39. TBGBoodler says:

    This happens all the time. One friend who was applying for positions within her own company (a school system, actually) only found out she didn’t get the job when the email went out to everyone announcing the new person in the position!

    When I was last job hunting, I specifically thanked every HR person who contacted me to tell me I hadn’t gotten the job. One of them actually said to me, “It’s hard to give bad news.” I told her, “yes, but I’m a grownup. I can take it.”

  40. MsFab says:

    I heard from my boss (I work for a Fortune 100 company) that legally they can’t give feedback to applicants until a decision has been made to either hire someone or pull the req. So if they interview 10 ppl & don’t want to hire any of them, they can’t tell them that until they find someone they do want to hire. It sucks as a person who is interviewing, but companies don’t want to open themselves up to liability & accusations of discrimination.

    • TBGBoodler says:

      Yes, but companies aren’t even doing that. They just hire someone and never tell the rejected applicants or even interviewees.

  41. Supes says:

    In the modern era of e-mail, there’s really no excuse for not getting back to someone. Just have a form e-mail ready, it takes 1 minute to send out.

    I’d encourage some form of “rejection” e-mail for basically all applicants except maybe unsolicited resume drops. It’s simply the professional way to handle things.

  42. NarcolepticGirl says:

    Yeah, okay.

    This happens constantly. Especially when they’re interviewing 6 people a day for a week.

    When we were out of work, my boyfriend went to several interviews (including one with multiple interviews) in which he got no response even after calling H/R or the manager to ask about the status on the position.

    I have received one rejection (form) letter from one company I interviewed for, otherwise the rest I never heard back from.

    Is it professional of them? No. But I can’t believe you guys are surprised.

    “Should I consume good and services from a company that wouldn’t have me as an employee?”
    Well, if that were the case for me and my boyfriend – we wouldn’t be doing business with ANYone since we pretty much applied everywhere last summer.

    Also, just because a company’s H/R department blows, doesn’t mean you have to stop doing business with them.

    Send them a letter if you want. Who cares.

    On another note – the current job I have – they took about three weeks to get back to me.

  43. badcomedian says:

    Who expects a rejection letter anymore? Get over it already. Employees are too busy to send rejection communication, and also too afraid of saying the wrong thing to a rejected applicant. Move on…

  44. theirishscion says:

    Here’s a little counterpoint to the ‘if you haven’t heard back, there’s your answer, now move on!’ comments;

    When I was hunting for my current job (nearly 10 years ago now) I interviewed with a cool little security software company and a big stodgy hospital. The little company told me at the interview that they would make me an offer and that it should be getting to me within a week or two. The big stodge hospital also, much to my amazement, offered me a position, which after a certain amount of soul searching about merits of free soda in the break room and mandatory Friday afternoon massages at the cool little company, versus business casual attire and spiffy benefits with the hospital, I decided to accept. Both events happened within a couple of days of each other. I settled into my job at the hospital and forgot all about the little software company till nearly a year and a half later, which I get a phone call from them asking for an address to send the offer to. The sounded genuinely hurt when I pointed out the I’d found it expedient to accept another position in the intervening 16 months and that I would, on the whole, prefer not to work for a company displaying that degree of mismanagement.

    So in conclusion, nobody has any follow through any more.

  45. Quake 'n' Shake says:

    You’re right about managers not calling candidates back with a “sorry, but we’ve decided to go with someone else.” I’m not sure why that is. Are they afraid the rejected candidate will come their home and kill their pets? If you make a phone call, the worst that can happen is the person gets snippy and unprofessional on the phone, which would then validate the decision not to hire that person.

    With respect to this question: Are the people in charge of hiring so busy that they simply don’t have time to notify the rejects?
    No. They can spare 5 minutes to call a candidate such as Joe’s girlfriend. Obviously, they’re not going to call everyone who had just one phone screening interview, but someone who went through what she did deserves a courtesy call.

    What Joe’s girlfriend should have done was get the contact info for the hiring manager and contact him directly.

  46. rdclark says:

    Why do you need advice on this? You seem to be asking other people to tell you how to feel.

    Will it hurt or inconvenience you in any way to stop doing business with them?

    Yes? Then why let them do you further (perceived) damage? Do you enjoy punishing yourself?

    No? Then do whatever makes you feel less bad.

  47. reynwrap582 says:

    I quite literally just interviewed (25 minutes ago) for a job at the place I volunteer. : Maybe not relevant to this story particularly but, meh.

  48. prizepatrol says:

    I applied twice for tech. writer jobs at Home Depot. They didn’t even acknowledge receiving my resumes. I’ll do my shopping at Lowe’s.

  49. outoftheblew says:

    As an accountant who had HR duties tossed in her lap (having little HR background), then having to coordinate the hiring process when we needed to fill one of our 10 positions (on top of already doing the work of two accountants), and being inundated with so many applications, most of whom were GROSSLY unqualified, as if they didn’t even read the job description, I can say it’s hard to respond to all of you applicants. And when people above me are dragging their feet about making a decision, there’s nothing to tell you when you call, so I try to avoid the call, especially if I’ve already told you I don’t know anything further and will let you know when I do. And if we’ve offered someone else the position, but they haven’t accepted it yet, then we still can’t tell you anything because you might be our second choice if the other person declines the offer.

    I can’t respond for companies who have an actual HR department, with HR employees, whose job duties are supposed to include responding to applicants … that seems luxurious to me.

    As far as the company having her come in for multiple interviews, then giving the silent treatment, welcome to the club. I’ve gone in for four interviews (including with the VP), and a friend went to TEN interviews, before finally getting the silent treatment. It sucks, but it happens. Make your own choice about whether it’s a company you want to patronize.

  50. parsonsdj1 says:

    As a hiring decision maker in a law firm, I see lots of resumes. If we are not hiring at the time, these resumes do not get opened, read, or any sort of response. If, however, we are soliciting resumes, a form rejection will be sent to all those who didn’t get an interview, and an actual letter to those who interviewed unsuccessfully. I learned long ago not to engage in discussions with unsuccessful applicants, which are never productive and offer the potential for misunderstanding and even litigation. In the event, though, that the decision was close and we want to keep channels open in case hiring needs change, I would call and discuss in a very cautious manner.

  51. donjumpsuit says:

    I don’t know if this is any consolation, but I am going through the exact same thing. I am applying for the position of Scientist with several biofuels companies, with suitable skills and experience. There appears to be much competition in the area, because all positions are being interview with several candidates.

    Here’s the thing. I get a face to face day long interview within 2 weeks of my initial application, and am grilled about being able to start as soon as possible.

    Then MONTHS go by without any contact. When I try to inquire, I am either ignored or told “due diligence”. The positions are still being advertised (except for one) which I have not yet gotten a denial email.

    It would be nice to get some feedback about the interview process or more detail about what the are looking for in a candidate, or how long the process would take, but no, always in the dark.

    I feel its terribly rude, but what do they care? I am so disgusted, that there are other positions with these same companies that I am perfect for, however, I don’t feel good about them anymore.

  52. prizgrizbiz says:

    People who work in human resources do so because they have no talent to work at anything else.

  53. Ilovegnomes says:

    Is this unusual? No, not at all in the IT field.

    However, just because you haven’t heard anything does not mean that the position is already filled either. I have had hiring managers drag out signing requisitions for up to 2 months after we interviewed a candidate! That would explain why HR has not or cannot respond at this time. Or maybe there is a momentary hiring freeze? Also, I’ve learned to ask if there is actually an open requisition for the position that you are interviewing with. In the IT field, sometimes companies interview just to interview. I flew down south for an eight hour marathon of interviews at one company only to find out that there wasn’t even an open requisition. Yeah, that really bent me out of shape.

    But would that stop me from patronizing a business? No. It’s the way that this industry works. If you want a polite industry with perfect manners, you might need to switch fields.

  54. Marshmelly says:

    I’ve actually never gotten notice that I haven’t received a job after interviews. I usually just figure I didn’t get it if I don’t hear back for awhile, or I’ll send them an email if I’m really curious and they’ll let me know it has been filled already. Thought this was actually pretty commonplace, although that doesn’t make it right.

  55. sirwired says:

    I would still patronize the business. The fact that there is an unprofessional manager that happens to work in the IT and/or HR department has only the most tenuous relationship with customer service.

  56. tsmvengy says:

    I wouldn’t expect a call when I send in a resume or I go in for an interview with one HR person (though if I meet with someone it would be nice). But if you meet with 4 people over several hours? That usually means you’re in a top 5 (unless the company is boneheaded and is bringing in dozens of people for hours of interviews…). In that case I would expect that someone would call me to say they had picked someone else.

  57. EyeintheLAsky says:

    Similar happened to me as well.
    Heard this one company was hiring, applied, gave them my resume…and got a call to come in and interview a day or so later.

    Things seemed to go well…and after being told “we’ll let you know” – nothing.

    I didn’t expect a letter – just a simple phone call, voicemail, or even text would have been fine.
    The point is, they should have taken the time to inform me of their decision like they said, instead of just leaving me hanging.

    I don’t believe i’ll ever need their particular service. However, if i DID…i believe i WOULD be calling a different service company for that purpose.

    Funny thing is – seems they’re looking again for someone to fill that position. i see their ad and just smile…knowing that they’re short-handed.

  58. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    As others have said, you’re not obligated to shop there.

    However, to answer the real question, “Is this a GOOD reason to stop shopping there?”, I’d say that depends on how much it would bother you to shop there. If giving them more of your money would make you cranky then don’t do it.

    I’m not sure whether or not this is unusual behavior from companies should matter when it comes to whether or not you should shop there. It being commonplace doesn’t make it any less unprofessional.

  59. brinks says:

    If the OP’s girlfriend was treated unprofessionally, I’d never given them my business again. However, I have to disagree that she was treated unprofessionally.

    Maybe it’s common in some industries to inform all of the interviewees that they did or did not
    get the job, but, as a former hiring manager for many years, I can tell you it’s not the norm in my industry. I’m in the retail industry, so it’s different with us, but the only email we usually have is inter-company email, so sending a rejection letter by email is not possible. Sending a snail mail letter is often out of the question, too, as the stamps are not paid for by the company (who mails stuff anymore?) and I’d have to shell out personal money for that. As for calling back the 20 applicants I interviewed, tell me when I’m supposed to find time to do that when I have 12 pallets of freight, markdowns, angry customers demanding to speak to me, and ONE person on the sales floor? And I often worked 60 hours a week, so I really wasn’t going to stay even later to make phone calls. Out of all of the interviews I’ve ever been on, I received ONE letter in the mail and ONE email saying they decided to pass on me, so I know it’s not just me.

    Yes, it SHOULD be common courtesy…but often it’s not. Any employee who has survived the layoffs is now stuck with double or triple the workload and there is simply no time for niceties. I’m sure it’s no different in most industries.

    Granted, unlike in the OP’s case, if an applicant called back, I’d politely tell them that we went with someone else. If this firm has dedicated HR people, someone should be there to answer the phone. I’ll give the OP that one.

  60. failurate says:

    I have stopped patronizing businesses over less.

    Not enough blue-berries in the blue-berry pie? F-U! I’m not coming back! Enjoy your 2% tip on that cup of coffee.

  61. Geekybiker says:

    Its annoying. I don’t know about unprofessional. Its the de facto standard not to notify anyone these days.

  62. osiris73 says:

    I was offered a great position about 9 years ago. I accepted and upon the discussion after the acceptance, I mentioned that my wife was pregnant. The next day they called me back telling me that because my wife was pregnant, they were going to rescind the offer.

    Had I been a woman, I could have sued them,. However, because I was a man with a pregnant wife, I could not. I even spoke to our states attorney’s office and the EEO people that they agreed that I had no case. It was bullshit if you ask me.

  63. brinks says:

    Pantheonoutcast’s post made me remember this:

    I was once offered a job two months after an interview, long after I had given up on it. I wasn’t the first choice, but I was the clear second. When the same position opened up in another location, I was then offered the job.

    Same thing could be going on with the OP’s girlfriend, hence why she hasn’t heard anything. She could still be in the running for a future position.

  64. kjs87 says:

    I applied for a job at a restaurant once; it was about 40 minutes away from where I lived at the time (without traffic), but I was going to be moving about five to ten minutes away from it in the next few weeks. They took all the information, asked how far away I lived, ya de ya de ya. The next day, I get a call asking me to come in that afternoon if I wanted a chance at the job. I showed up on time for my appointment, waited half an hour, and finally the manager came out and told me that they weren’t hiring for another six months so I’d have to try again then.

    I haven’t gone back since. They knew how far my commute was. It was information they could have conveyed over the phone. If they were lying and just didn’t like the look of me, he could have just asked how long I’d worked in the restaurant industry and then said, “We’re looking for someone with more experience.”

  65. richcreamerybutter says:

    I recently received a polite rejection letter from a company. I was actually surprised to have scored 2 interviews in the first place, and their interview process was very professional and pleasant. I figured I might not make a good fit for various reasons, but was very impressed with the overall experience. In fact, I shall make even more of an effort to patronize them due to their positive approach (it really renewed my faith in the whole process).

    In my industry, it’s completely normal for me to be in the position of choosing a company I’d interviewed with previously for a current employer’s project. If I was treated unprofessionally by a certain company, you bet that will factor into my decision. In fact, one agency lost out to an epic account simply because I was “the decider” for that project (you really never know when the tables will be turned). Their previous behavior was recognized in their awful pitch, and I ended up choosing an incredible agency.

    Clearly how they respond to an inquiry after the in-person interview is probably indicative of their overall working environment. It’s not unlike how you just know that the company with corporate clients (especially pharm) only willing to pay sweatshop rates is *probably* not going to be a pleasant experience. The companies that pay a livable rate are more likely to treat you properly.

    The author’s girlfriend should be grateful she dodged a bullet.

  66. kunfushuss says:

    My wife didn’t get any rejection letters from the 5-6 places she interviewed. It’s apparently not necessary these days? I think it’s nuts, but if EVERY company in that field is doing it, can we honestly not patronize any of them? I don’t think so.

    She also won’t call and ask for someone that could say whether shes been rejected or if its in the works. She disguises it as her being polite, but really she’s a little bit of a wimp.

  67. Apple Brown Betty White says:

    i think it’s just a waste of time to not respond. Say you had 10 rejected candidates at this round.
    When they don’t hear back from you, you’re going to get (at least) ten minute-long voicemails and probably 20 or 30 emails that you have to parse and hit delete on.

    Isn’t it less of a bother to have a standard form letter and hit copy and paste on a bcc with 10 emails?

    • RandomHookup says:

      The reality is that most people don’t call to check in after an interview. You’ll probably get 3 calls and 5 emails.

      But my philosophy is that an emailed rejection stops a lot of those (but you’ll still get 1 call and 2 emails asking for followup information).

  68. Tamar Weinberg says:

    I’ll go one further. I was also interviewed for a big search engine (no, not that big) a few years ago. I was told that their work days were 10 hour days (4 day workweeks), and I was excited at the prospect. I was hired almost immediately. After I received my acceptance letter, they mentioned that some of those shifts would be on the weekend. I’m an observant Jew and could not do Friday nights under any circumstances. Because of my religious beliefs, the company reneged on the acceptance letter. I never heard from them again. Not even an apology.

    • Oranges w/ Cheese says:

      You could probably sue them for that.

      • RvLeshrac says:

        You can’t (and win), actually. You can sue (and win) if they “fail to make reasonable accommodations,” but you can’t sue (and win) if your religion directly conflicts with the position’s requirements.

        Much like a Muslim or Jew couldn’t sue (and win) for not being hired at a sausage-making plant.

        • Tamar Weinberg says:

          [OOPS. Missed the replies. Sorry!]

          Funny you mention that. My Jewish friend actually worked at a sausage making plant. He made it work and was hugely successful there but then got a job with Amazon. They were so sad to see him go.

          As far as suing, I considered it, but while the acceptance letter was written, the revocation was done orally. It’s been a few years and I’m happy where I am jobwise so I’m over it. I still laugh at the story though, but it did suck.

          Also, reasonable accommodations were requested — I didn’t HAVE to have my four day workweek over the weekend. Monday-Thursday would have worked fine for me, but they said that senior staffers take those days and I would have to earn my way there. They declined the request and that was that.

  69. skapig says:

    Sadly this is not at all uncommon. A lot of places just don’t care once have been eliminated as a candidate no matter where you are in the process. It’s terribly rude and unprofessional. I would much rather any kind of notification rather than waste my time waiting on them and trying to get answers.

  70. Outrun1986 says:

    For me it would depend on my business relationship with the company, if I was spending hundreds and thousands with a company and I find out they do not treat their employees or interviewees professionally then yes I might pull my business especially if there is a viable or equal competitor. But if its just pop and pop money here and there, then I probably wouldn’t think twice about it.

  71. Duke_Newcombe-Making children and adults as fat as pigs says:

    Just because there are commonly no rejection letters or communications from companies to rejected applicants doesn’t mean the practice isn’t in fact disrespectful.

  72. El_Fez says:

    As someone who’s sent out hundreds of resumes over the last year, having them fall into the void, never to be heard from again is normal. Frustrating, yes – but I never ever hear back from anyone unless it’s a positive result.

  73. Invalid_User_Name says:

    This is why I NEVER buy Samsung products. (I’m talking about you, Christine

  74. Mira Mi Huevo!!! says:

    I think people’s ego is their worst enemy. If you are not hired don’t take it personally, especially if the company you apply with has an IT and Human Resources Depts (This generally denotes a larger company). There are tons of possible reasons why she has not been hired/rejected: position was eliminated at the last minute, interdepartamental red tape, waiting for budget clearance of the position, better qualified applicants, approval from bosses, etc ,etc.

    I applied for an IT position at a bank and went through all the hoops this girl went through, they called me 4 weeks after the phone and live interview to give me the job.

    Basically, not patronizing the business because of how IT or HR Depts work is not a very rational way to deal with things. HR and IT have no direct negative impact in the “Customer Service Experience”… if anything they improve it, by ensuring you get to deal with the best qualified job applicant they get their hands on and the tools they need to provide great service.

    Like I said… People’s ego is their worst enemy… rejection is a normal thing and we have to learn to live with it…

    Besides, Dude they rejected your girlfriend not you…

    • RvLeshrac says:

      They aren’t taking the *rejection* personally, they’re taking the *complete failure to be a person* personally.

  75. RandomHookup says:

    It’s unfortunate, but it’s very much the norm these days not to hear back.

    I do recruiting inside a big company for a living. I make it a point to reject everyone that I talk to if they aren’t moving forward. I’m about 85% successful. I send out an email rejection if we talked on the phone; I call if you came in for an interview and I try to catch you live if you can in for a full-slate of meetings.

    Why do I miss on 15% of candidates? Some I set aside to keep if the other candidates weren’t good enough. Some I send to the hiring manager and never hear back on. The worst position to be in is the #2 or #3 candidate. You come in, but we decide to go with another candidate (maybe there was a delay getting that person in and then making a decision), but don’t want to reject you because the other person might turn us down. It could be 6 weeks after your interview and we have a decision (but like waiting too long after a date to call, it is awkward to let you know we’ve moved on).

    The reality is that most employers in the hiring process are cowards about turning folks down. They are afraid of getting it wrong or offending someone or don’t have any help to make sure it happens. There are some I don’t want to deal with because they are going to try to convince me I’m wrong and, since I may not remember the conversation previously, I start to question myself. Some people want “feedback” which really isn’t useful to us and even the candidate. We probably didn’t turn you down on something you can easily fix. Most of the time the other person was better (or we just didn’t like you).

  76. kylere1 says:



  77. Rachacha says:

    ” But we do feel wronged. “

    How exactly do you feel wronged? You participated in several phone interviews and an in person interview, and it would appear that you were not selected as the best qualified applicant or perhaps budgeting was cut. The bottom line was that you did not get the job…accept that and move on.

    Now had they told you that you were hired, you quit your current job and they advised you that they were closing their doors permanently on your first day, you would have a right to feel wronged.

  78. swat1227 says:

    During my eight months of unemployment, I applied to over 4,000 (and have a list to prove it). I color-coded my list, highlighting when I received a rejection, and interview/rejection, second interview, phone interview. Easily, out of the 4,000 jobs (with a college degree, great GPA, six internships, and lots of extracurriculars and leadership), I got about 30 interviews. Of those, about 10 didn’t get back to me out of the interview. I think what struck me more was that easily 70% of the rest of the 4,000 never sent me anything–no letter, no phone call, no simple one sentence message–sorry, we chose someone else. Very frustrating.

    Yes, there are places now that I will never apply again after seeing how they treat applicants like cattle. (Most of the places someone with my degree applied to aren’t places to shop.) More, I kept a mini-rolodex in my head of the terrible experiences, the great experiences, and vow to remember them as I help friends find jobs, and search for another career.

  79. OnePumpChump says:

    If they’re doing day-long interviews, no they aren’t too busy to notify the rejects. There is no way they have more than a handful of interviewees.

    If they’re doing 10 minute interviews with 150 people, then maybe they don’t have time. But even then they could send an email or something.

  80. Dre' says:

    I’d drop them like a hot potato, no questions asked.

  81. krozfan says:

    It’s fairly common to not hear anything. I recently applied for an internal position at my work and never heard from them. No hard feelings, it’s just the way things go these days.

    You can stop shopping there if you want, but you’ll probably run of out places to shop if you do.

  82. wellfleet says:

    1. Was the company’s behavior unusual? Sadly, the answer is no. I remember when my parents were applying for jobs in the early 90s and they received a mailed, typed form letter indicating a “thanks but no thanks”. Now, it’s practically unheard of for anyone to even ackowledge your CV. In smaller companies, managers who dislike confrontation will be passive-aggressive. They don’t want to have to let you down, so they just don’t respond. In a large company, with dedicated HR team, it would take a few minutes to out together a mail-merge and e-mail the candidates that were passed over.

    2. Should you continue your patronage? Maybe. How a company treats its internal customers is often how it treats its external customers. I work for a large company that is the undisputed leader in its field. A former employee had e-mailed me a simple request, which I blew off for a few days because she had left us with little notice and without fulfilling her contract. The employee e-mailed my boss and he rightly gave me an important talk about how our internal customers are just as important as our external ones. I will never forget this. I now make it a point to be extra-responsive. I used to work for BBY and used to make our interviewees wait for sometimes 30 minutes to an hour while we got organized, or we forgot about them, or didn’t return calls… Sound familiar?

  83. JGB says:

    a few years ago, I was looking for work and was shocked at the way courtesy has gone out of the process. I had many interviews that were never answered. More than one were second or third interviews, even involving travel. Once a decision has been made, the majority of HR people will go to extreme lengths to avoid telling people they didn’t get the job. Once I got mad after the umpteenth time this happened and I sent an email complaining about it to the HR manager, her boss and (after a little google research) his boss. I am sure, without the CCs, there would have been no answer, which might have been better. Instead, I got one of those “it is certainly regrettable that you didn’t realize that we didn’t do anything wrong” sort of apologies. She also included the claim that she had notified me, which was for the CC audience, I am sure, since we both knew that she had not.

    A couple of years later, I was (and am) Director of Engineering for a company in the same field. This outfit came to me wanting me to buy their product. I sent them on their way after telling them EXACTLY why.

    I make it my business to personally contact ANYONE that has sat in my office for an interview. I don’t leave it up to HR.

  84. tungstencoil says:

    As a hiring manager, if someone gets past the pre-screen point, I send them an email rejection if at any point they’re not forwarded. A lot of places don’t because of either the human factor (they feel bad or don’t want to be bothered), or think it might open them up to lawsuits (it won’t – you don’t have to say why, just say “sorry we elected not to forward you in the process).

    As someone who once worked both retail and for a Major Telecommunications Company in a position to hire lots of front-line-type staff… they made particular emphasis to handle applicants – including rejections – with respect. They would say, “These people might be applicants today, but yesterday and hopefully tomorrow they are probably customers.”

  85. BuyerOfGoods3 says:

    I was pulled through a hour long interview with two different people, then introduced around the office to everyone as if I had already been hired. They told me to call back in a few weeks, because that’s the day they would need me to start. Then; I was told they “kept it in the family” and hired a Relative.
    Nice. That’s just my personal experience, or at least, the most recent.

  86. teke367 says:

    I wouldn’t patronize the company anymore if I had a choice in it. Where I work, we have files for all applicants and the email address is in that file. Anytime the hiring folks do anything to the file (advance to the next stage, or close out the file as a “no thank you”) an email is automatically sent to the applicant. I believe when they get a personal interview, they are still supposed to get a call, but I wouldn’t be surprised if that didn’t always happen. Either way, they should still get the email.

    I’ll admit, the response time has slowed down in the bad economy, a month seems pretty long though.

  87. Dalsnsetters says:

    I just started a new job this past Monday, 8/9, after interviewing for four months.

    No, this behavior is not unusual. At every interview I went on (30+), I always made sure to request that they contact me with their decision, whatever it might be. At least 50% of those folks I interviewed with said “Oh for sure, we’ll call you” and I never heard a thing.

    Not unusual at all. Frustrating, yes. Unusual no.

  88. Dalsnsetters says:

    Actually, here’s my nightmare interview story.

    I responded to an ad for an office manager for a psychiatrist (my background is in psych, would have been a good fit). We had an extensive phone interview, followed with an extensive in person interview. He said he still had to let his current office manager know she was fired but would contact me as soon as that was done.

    When he called me back, he said that he had spoken with her and she was deciding what she was going to do. I said WTF are you talking about, deciding what she is going to do? Turns out, he was interviewing people and then he went to her and said (basically) “See all these papers? These are people who want your job and can be here on time.” She shaped up, but I was simply boggled….he placed an ad and interviewed people just so he would be have something to hold over her head and get her in line. I was used as a threat! Pissed me off righteously.

  89. Bob says:

    This practice of not notify candidates for a position is really recent. When I graduated in 1990, during another recession, my goal was to do the best interviews I can and be able to wallpaper my dorm room with rejection letters. After Grad school and 3 years later I half-way reached my goal when I got a full-time position.

    Now you don’t even get that gratification.

  90. Phil Villakeepinitrreal says:

    While I do agree this is unprofessional (and incredibly RUDE), you have to keep in mind that this sort of non-feedback is absolutely the norm for every company, these days. The days when you could expect to be treated like a human being and be told if you were going to be denclined, much less get any sort of feedback on what you were lacking, are gone.

  91. Dopaz says:

    Not unusual. We get thousands of resume’s for EACH opening right now (also IT, small company). We interview maybe 20-50 each week. We try, but sometimes it is impossible to get back to everyone who interviewed, especially ones we think should KNOW they won’t be getting a call back.

    That being said, I’d definitely do what you feel about being a customer. I’ve cancelled million dollar contracts because the vendor didn’t hold the elevator for me as we were heading to the meeting. (He didn’t know he was meeting with me, the look on his face when I walked into the conference room a little late was priceless).

    If I feel slighted, I vote with my wallet. I’ve also gone with inferior or less established companies just because they treated family, co-workers, or myself right.

  92. jurupa says:

    I am surprise no one brought this up yet. But did the girlfriend in the article followed up with a thank you letter to the company? Everyone is bashing the company for not being professional, but was the girlfriend professional her self with following up with a thank you letter after the interview? Sounds like one was never sent on her behalf.

    Another thing, people say how unprofessional it is for companies to no send out rejection letters. While I agree it is unprofessional, I can’t help but wonder if this is the new way of doing things, especially in the corporate world.

    • RvLeshrac says:

      Because when I’m out of work, searching for a job 24/7, I always have plenty of spare time to do things like write letters.

      The time spent writing a letter to the business could be better spent finding another half-dozen positions to apply for. The HR personnel are being paid for their call. My writing a letter doesn’t put food on my plate or gas in my car.

      If the business calls back with a rejection, or sends out a rejection, they might get a thank-you for the rejection, but that’s just in-kind treatment.

  93. tinyhands says:

    The Personnel or Human Resources department is responsible for sending rejection letters, not the hiring manager. HR always claims that they cannot contact everyone who applies, but that just means that they’re too incompetant to lick a stamp. HR people, in general, aren’t intelligent enough to actually work in accounting, IT, engineering, or whatever the core business happens to be. But don’t get me wrong, I’m happy that they’re not out panhandling or wards of the state.

  94. jurupa says:

    I am surprise no one brought this up yet. But did the girlfriend in the article followed up with a thank you letter to the company? Everyone is bashing the company for not being professional, but was the girlfriend professional her self with following up with a thank you letter after the interview? Sounds like one was never sent on her behalf.

    Another thing, people say how unprofessional it is for companies to no send out rejection letters. While I agree it is unprofessional, I can’t help but wonder if this is the new way of doing things, especially in the corporate world.

  95. invisibelle says:

    Had the exact same thing happen to me recently. 4 hours of interviewing (without being warned ahead of time that it would be that many hours and meeting w/ many people), only to never hear from them again. The worst part is that *they* contacted *me* initially because I knew the VP. The bad one isn’t a direct-to-consumer company, but if it were, I wouldn’t personally patronize them.

    The bright side for me is that I was already planning on choosing another job if I got offered both – in large part because the recruiters treated me with respect and were communicative and generally great to deal with.

  96. sheriadoc says:

    I’ve had two interviews where I never received so much as a phone call in response. One was for a local economic development council and the other for a city school department (in different states). And my former boss knew the director at the economic development council and got me the interview, yet I still heard nothing even after I tried to get in contact with her. I really can’t boycott in protest or anything, but if they treat potential employees like that I wouldn’t want to work for them anyway.

  97. sassypants says:

    Good strategy is asking for the timeframe that the employer will make a decision. Then at least you know if you haven’t heard back after that timeframe, you didn’t get the job.

    My hiring has been outside the US and the HR people handle the rejected candidates…I hope.

  98. NydiaGeben says:

    Of course not. … Why would you frequent any place that treated you badly?

  99. Jenng says:

    As a recruiter I have a few comments to make in regards to the above. I’m assuming since you say you are a customer of this organization that it is a fairly large company. That said they should have an ATS (Applicant Tracking System) in place that contains all of their candidates. If they do have one in place it has settings to create auto generated emails when a job is filled (declining the other applicants not hired). Ours also has a form letter to let candidates know we have reviewed their resume but not a fit, or declining after a phone screen or on-site interview.

    As as recruiter do I try to respond to every candidate I have? Absolutely, however I am human. I currently am recruiting for over 30 positions in about 5 different states. With each position averaging over 200 applicants, it’s not always easy to respond to everyone (even if automated email) in a timely fashion.

    Did you work with a Recruiter at the company you interviewed with or an HR person? If it was a Recruiter are you 100% sure that person even still works there? A lot of recruiters are contractors and come and go. I would suggest you reach out to the folks you interviewed with if you aren’t getting a response from the HR person. It is pretty easy to find people’s contact information online or just asking the receptionist to transfer you. Also (I’m not justifying this) but sometimes I have hiring managers who are impossible to get feedback on candidates that came in to interview or they can’t make a decision. Yes sometimes even weeks or over a month before a decision will be made. Maybe this HR person is waiting and instead of doing the right thing by contacting you and letting you know they don’t know how to manage the situation.

    My suggestion at this point would be to reach out to one of the people you actually interviewed with and if they say you need to speak to HR, let them know you have reached out several times and never received a response. Then see how they handle the situation.

    Good luck in your job search.

  100. adam_e73 says:

    My wife interviewed for a job in the corporate office of a national clothing chain. They called her in several times, and then waited 2-3 weeks and said “no”. Ok. They called 4 months later and said that they wanted to see her again. Came in again, waited 2-3 weeks and then said “no”.

    at that point, we got fed up and won’t shop there again. they told her that she was highly thought of, but rejected her twice. She was out of work for awhile and it really hurt her.

    They then said, three months later, “we’d like to see you again”. She politely said “no thank you. I don’t agree with your employment practices”.

  101. invisibelle says:

    I just remembered that at some point since I hired on at my current company (8 weeks ago), someone mentioned that each person our recruiters deal with is a potential customer, which is why everyone gets treated as well as they would be if they were dealing w/ customer transactions.

  102. jenl1625 says:

    Where I work, the people who interviewed you aren’t allowed to call you up and tell you whether or not you got the job – only HR can do that. And HR doesn’t want to tell you that you weren’t hired, because if the first-choice applicant doesn’t show up for the first day of work, or gets tossed out after a week on probation, they’d like to still be able to call the second-choice application up and see if he or she is still interested in the job. And then it’s been a month or more since someone got the job, and HR’s busy, and there were 20 other positions that were interviewed for/filled during that time, and rejection letters just aren’t high on HR’s priority list…

    The one that freaked me out just a little was the time when I not only got a “sorry, you’re not hired” letter, but the letter actually gave the full name of the person who did get the job. Never saw that before!

  103. TuxRug says:

    If the manager acts like an idiot when I turn in my application, then yeah, I’m gonna avoid them for at least a while. But if it’s an employee that acts like a DN (figure it out, I’m not gonna spell it), then I’ll give them another chance. If I stopped going to everyplace where a clerk gave an angsty sigh or a wise-ass remark when I ask if the hiring manager is available, I’d be shopping online exclusively.

  104. kursk says:

    Being unemployed and not having looked for a job for a VERY long time, I was surprised by just how many companies send me “thanks but no thanks” emails. It’s running at about 50%. As a former hiring manager, I used to call people to let them know but the problem was they’d ask questions as to why they didn’t get hired or specifics and it was a HUGE legal minefield to answer. So, HR came in and made a company wide policy that quite literally prevented the hiring managers from doing anything but asking questions from a script and referring people over to the HR dept email. Sadly, I knew that nobody answered that email….

    Still, I am personally not going to a couple of businesses that I used to do business with because they were downright jerks. Employees tend to treat people the way they are treated and I for one prefer to deal with companies that treat their people right.

  105. Seano666 says:

    As a recruiter, I can say this is complete BS. An integral part of the selection process is the wrap-up, in which you let people know they they have not been selected. Not only is it professional to do so, if you ever end up needing someone else and contact one of the previous applicants, you don’t ever want to hear, “you never got back to me.” click. FIRE THIS PERSON lol

  106. Snakeophelia says:

    I agree completely with the other commenters who say that Joe’s girlfriend should complain (appropriately and civilly) to the company for not letting her know if she got the job. She should contact whoever is the boss of the HR person who is ignoring her calls, for starters.

    Two years ago my company did a nationwide search for a very high-level job (applicants had to have a Phd or MD and many years of experience). Our HR at the time was being run by someone who was quite incompetent. She brought in three candidates in the fall of 2008, each of whom had multi-day job interviews over several weeks that included presentations and so forth.

    When one of the candidates was hired, the HR head never contacted the other two to let them know they did not get the job. One of those people only found out several months later when he contacted HR, only to get an impersonal brush-off. He contacted the president of our company and raised seven different shade of holy hell. The head of HR was fired that week.

    Even though Joe’s girlfriend may not have that clout, there’s no reason to let HR folks get away with not doing their jobs.

  107. Ouze says:

    Out of all the jobs I’ve ever applied for in my life, ever, the only one that ever formally informed me that I would not be hired and the position had been filled was Barnes & Nobles, when I was a teenager. They sent me a form postcard, but nonetheless, I really, really appreciated it anyway. It was nice to not have to keep hoping for that call back.

  108. Aennan says:

    There is nothing wrong with voting with your dollars. You aren’t saying that the company should have hired your girlfriend, so now you’re mad. You’re saying they should have treated her professionally.

    In the past, I have been turned down so nicely by companies that I liked them just as much after they rejected me. I have also learned that companies that treat candidates (people that have been interviewed) badly, will treat customers in the same way.

  109. RayanneGraff says:

    I absolutely hate it when companies do this. I’ve had countless interviews that went absolutely swimmingly- got along great with the interviewer, was qualified for the job, had the right experience, etc. They would end the interview on a happy note & tell me, “Ok then, we’ll give you a call in a few days & let you know the next steps!”. I leave all excited, SURE that I’ve got the job. A week passes… nothing. I give them another week… still nothing. Not even so much as an email. During this time I’ve been waiting on their call, not applying to other jobs because of how well the last interview went. I call the company back, and get a nonchalant response- “Oh, we decided to go in another direction, sorry!”

    Ok. Fine. But it wouldn’t have killed you to give me a fucking PHONE CALL about it so I could go put out more apps!!!!

    I don’t care how ‘commonplace’ this despicable, cowardly practice has become, it is WRONG. If you make it to the interview phase, they OWE you a phone call or email if they decide not to hire you. This is the thing that pisses me off most about job hunting.

  110. Mcshonky says:

    You are justified in expecting a reply after a face to face interview.
    Had you simply sent an unsolicited resume a reply stating your resume was received is expected.
    Once you are contacted and interviewed, whether on the phone or face to face you deserve a rejection communication.

    So yes, take your business elsewhere.

  111. piscesdreamer222 says:

    To be honest I think I have this story beat. Earlier this year I put in a resume for a job with a company that is known for being very formal and upscale. The position was for an hourly manager and me having 10+ years in the field thought I had at least a fair shot. Within a week I was contacted for an interview and was more than thrilled – as it was for the company I always wanted to work for doing exactly what I loved.

    My first interview was with the general manager, and it went GREAT. The actual interview lasted 10 minutes and we spent the next 70 minutes just sharing our favorite work stories and whatnot. Before I get home I was contacted by the GM telling me he really thinks I am perfect for the position but another interview with another hourly manager would be necessary. A few days later I have my second interview and again it goes exceedingly well. Before I get up from the second interview the GM comes over and asks me into his office. Naturally I follow. He begins to tell me that not only do they want me to work for their company but they think I would be the person to replace him – as he would be leaving the company in a matter of weeks.

    Of course I was completely shocked and overwhelmed that not only was I going to work where I wanted to, doing what I wanted, but that I would be the General Manager of the location as well. wow. I was enthralled! By this time my credit/criminal background check had processed and everything was all clear and in the green. The only thing left was to have a sit down with one of the Vice Presidents of the company to interview for the GM position.

    The big day arrives and the VP and I have our meeting. We sit down and talk serious business for an hour straight. After all of the no-nonsense grilling is over we actually share stories and laugh for a bit. As the interview is winding down the VP and I get up and shake hands. He smiles warmly and tells me that he will have a decision within a day and that as a formality he will be calling my references. Of course I reply and we close on a hearty handshake.

    That was the last time I ever heard ANYTHING from the VP or ANYONE at that company. I did not recieve a phone call, an email, a text message, a letter in the mail, not even monkey-gram with a little note pinned on his shirt reading “PISS OFF”. Nope. Nothing. My references are high-ups in other companies I had worked for and also really close friends of mine so of course I ask them how the conversation with the VP went during the reference check, and each of them replied that they had never even heard from the guy.

    Of course I did not sit down on this and just wait, like a good interviewee I immediately sent a ‘thank you’ note to both the GM and VP and waited a few days. After which, I called the location, I emailed both the GM and the VP, I called the VP’s secretary, and the VP even gave me his CELL PHONE at the end of the meeting so I called that and left a message. Again, nothing. This was over 6 months ago and I hadn’t heard anything since my last interview.

    6 months ago was also the last time I stepped foot inside of the location or any other. I have no desire to waste anymore time or offer up my money in support of a company that is not only discourteous, but unprofessional. The poster has EVERY RIGHT to do the same. Allowing the company to get away with this sets precedent for other companies to not only follow-suit but tread down a slippery slope.

    Side Note: I did my research and found that the VPs best friend from another city had gotten the postion. Awesome.

  112. Mcshonky says:

    You are justified in expecting a reply after a face to face interview.
    Had you simply sent an unsolicited resume a reply stating your resume was received is expected.
    Once you are contacted and interviewed, whether on the phone or face to face you deserve a rejection communication.

    So yes, take your business elsewhere.

  113. Kelly Bufkin says:

    I’ve never been notified that I was rejected. I thought that was the way people do things. Weird.

  114. beyondzero says:

    A month? Calm down. A large company can take 2-3 months to decide, and if the decision is being made over the summer, it might take a month just to get the decision makers together to review applicants after the process has finished (think – vacations). The higher level the position is, the longer it will take.

    Nagging the people with whom you interviewed is not a good idea.

  115. Willow16 says:

    I’m assuming that the OP’s girlfriend hasn’t been looking for a job for long. My husband has been unemployed for 3 1/2 months and has applied to hundreds of jobs. He has had at least 10 face-to-face interviews (plus many more phone interviews) in that time and one company sent an email and one sent a letter to let him know he didn’t get the job. The norm is to not contact you at all. In the beginning, he would email or call to find out about the position but you learn quickly that if you don’t hear in a week or two, it’s a no go.

    One of his recent interviews, who didn’t let him know if he got the job or not, was with a well know fashion company for an IT position. The headhunter told him the rate (it was contract to hire) which was acceptable and set him up with an interview at the company. The interview went well but during the interview the hiring manager started talking money. My husband was told that they couldn’t pay what the headhunter had told him and quoted a figure that was $40,000 less a year. It seems that they wanted my husband but had interviewed someone who agreed to the lesser salary. This for someone with over 15 years of hands-on IT experience. The headhunter couldn’t believe that they low-balled him but then my husband got a call from a VP at the headhunting firm trying to talk him into the lower salary and this is all without any job offer. They never made him an offer yet kept talking money – my husband was willing to take less than the original amount quoted but I guess they decided to go with the less experienced person who was willing to work for dirt. The thing is that after being treated this way during an interview, it probably would have been a terrible place to work and, even if he got the job, my husband would have been looking for another one anyway.

  116. haggis for the soul says:

    Not hearing from a prospective employer seems to be standard, unfortunately. That said, I would probably go out of my way to do business with a company that did take the time out to respond to job seekers.

  117. RobofNYC says:

    If it was just a phone interview with no request to come in, then the lack of response is understandable. If she took the time to meet with several people, then the courtesy of a response, even a rejection (IE you were qualified but we had so many qualified with more experience….) would be appropriate behavior.

    Unless that store was critical (IE only electronics store in the area) I would cease patronizing and explain fully why. Maybe then you will get a response (or not).

  118. pot_roast says:

    Uh, that’s usually how it works. When I was unemployed, I very rarely got rejection letters or emails. Phone calls were even more rare. The overwhelming majority of the time it was just silence and un-returned phone calls.

    She just didn’t get the job, plain and simple. She wasn’t treated badly. That’s just how things are. Courtesy went out the window a while ago, especially in this job market.

    Then again, I’ve applied for jobs and heard back three months later. Who knows, maybe the person in charge of such decisions was in a bike accident or had a death in the family. It’s only been a month. To me, boycotting a place because they didn’t hire your girlfriend just seems childish. And I can assure you, the business will never even know.

  119. Not Given says:

    Almost same thing happened to my son including phone interviews, they flew him 2600 miles, rented a car and put him up in a nice hotel for two nights. When they decided against hiring they let him know right away, though and not through the snail mail.

  120. bwcbwc says:

    Company’s behavior was unprofessional, but not disgustingly so.

    OTOH, barring contractual obligations, you have no moral or ethical obligation to do any business with them in the first place.

    How satisfied are you as a customer with their professionalism?

  121. erinpac says:

    I rarely got rejection notices in my last job search. Some companies would, some wouldn’t. Several jobs got to the point of flying me out to see them, hotels, saying they are signing the offer letters to mail them now… and vanished. One told me two months later I’d gotten the job except they then lost approval from their financial dept. They’d even paid for a trip for me to look for a place already. It’s not necessarily number of candidates or the size of the company – many just don’t tell you much anymore.

    On the flip side of the coin, the job that finally did pan out gave me a 5 minute phone interview. Then I didn’t hear anything for 3 weeks. Then I got a call that said they thought I was starting now and would I come in to get my building badge and stuff? *sigh* I had to call HR and sort through everything, then start work on a day’s notice, but hard to be picky on manners at the moment – the offer was right.

  122. WeirdJedi says:

    After the recession began, I have probably visited about 140 different locations. After awhile, I realized that none of them called me. I called my references and my employers – they didn’t hear anything. On average for every 30 places I went to, I would get 1 that would send me a letter, 1 would send me an email for at least acknowledging I came by, and 1 would want an interview.

    My uncle told me that if I really wanted the job, I would have to visit them everyday and ask them what they decided about hiring me. To me, that is just harsh. Not knowing is probably just as harsh.

  123. Awesome McAwesomeness says:

    I have a friend who is a hiring manager for a major corporation. They do contact people though e-mail to let them know they weren’t chosen for a position. If they might be right for a position down the road, she asks them to apply for another position.She said that in this economy, she has people e-mail her cussing her out, calling her and telling her she is a bitch, etc…People are insane. I can completely understand why HR doesn’t call those who didn’t get the job.

  124. Munkeyhed says:

    The only time you can count on feedback if you have not been hired is if you are using a professional recruiter. I am in IT, currently job hunting, and always get a follow up call from the recruiter, not the company doing the hiring.

  125. Scorps1 says:

    Usually I tell people that there are several canidates for the position, we plan on hiring them by x date and we will contact them if we have further interest. If the recruiter has the ability to send an email to a canidate saying that the position has been filled but their application will be kept on file for future openings, great do it. Calling them just invites the pleasentries of dealing with nurotic individual hell bent on finding out how come they didn’t get the job. Generally it’s not a black and white (no pun intended) answer.. sometimes the difference between two canidates is little more than a gut feeling. It isn’t worth the grief and potential legal issues.

    Having searched for jobs numerous times all I can say is some of you need to put your “big boy pants on”. “I don’t want to work for them because they are so rude for not calling me back” . If they called you a month later and offered you a job you would snap it up… A better job search strategy if you really need a job is to apply everywhere you can and don’t stop until your first day of work. Honestly it doesn’t matter if they notify you or not that you don’t have the job… If you don’t hear the words “you’re hired” you don’t have the job and really no one should have to tell you that. Save your energy to network and find new places to apply.

    Finally, most hiring decisions are made in the first 30 seconds of an interview. I don’t care what job you are applying for- if you can’t take the time to be clean including fingernails, well (appropriately dressed) and on time don’t waste the interviewer’s time. Also, unless you are applying for the circus don’t expect to be taken seriously if your body is covered with tatoos and you have more metal sticking out of you than a junkyard dog.

  126. kujospam says:

    I’ll never forget when the company told me I was hired a day after they said they were laying off people and that then I would not be hired.

  127. JayBents says:

    I once had an interview with a guy who told me that everyone that lives in the area of town that I do is a thief and a liar and he would not hire people from there. He went on to tell my wife(then girlfriend) during her interview 20 minutes later that she got the job and could start that week even though she had the same address.

    We both told him where he could stick his business and haven’t been back since.

  128. unmeitatakau says:

    I’m kind of curious, for most job interviews how many people do you believe actually call up after a rejection to gain feedback to see what could make them a better applicant for the future, or improve and do you think it’s wrong of a company to completely deny that feedback?

  129. David Cortright says:

    I am actually astounded by the low level of basic courtesy with most recruiters out there. I’ll say that it does make the good ones really stand out. What’s really crazy is when a company reaches out to me, I respond, and then nothing. If you weren’t interested, then please don’t waste my time in the first place.

    Ironically, this happened to me with the startup Jobvite, who claims to be streamlining the hiring process”. I blogged about it here.