There is a lot of information out there about interview etiquette for applicants, but not for businesses. I wonder why? There are always horror stories about what interviewees said, did, or how they acted. But what about interviewer etiquette? I think there needs to be a crash course on what business professional behavior is from a business/employer perspective because they need to be reminded on what professional behavior is.
I have noticed a rather quick and sudden devolution in what is considered professional behavior from major companies in the last few years, which is LARGELY connected to the economic meltdown that occurred in 2008.
Example 1: A few years ago I applied for a position and received a call to schedule an interview. After I called and scheduled the interview for Monday, I waited. On Sunday, I get voicemail asking for the interview to be rescheduled because of a potential snowstorm that would likely snarl up traffic. She says she will call back with a new interview date. I leave voicemail assenting and wait. Monday comes around. Nothing. Tuesday. Nothing. I call on Wednesday and leave voicemail. I wait another week and leave voicemail. At this point I know I have been given the brush off. My question is what was the harm in letting me know that they would not be interviewing me because: a) they were no longer interested in filling the position, b) they decided to go another direction, c) the position no longer existed? I don’t know which of these happened but the point is clear. This is very unprofessional. However, do not think it didn’t cross my mind that this woman may have also have lossed her job rather suddenly.
Example 2: A year and a half ago I applied for a very well known global financial services company. I got through the initial interview and had the follow up, second interview. I sent the standard thank you letter/email. After two weeks, I send a follow up communication. Crickets. I discover some time later that this company is infamous for not responding to rejected candidates even AFTER interviews. I told a coworker about what happened and she matter of factly said, they don’t communicate if you are not given the position. HUH!?
But this get’s me to the reason why I was inspired to write a post on this subject.
Example 3: A month and a half ago, I receive a call to schedule an interview for a position at a major global company. My dream company. My dream industry. The opportunity I had been been waiting for and cavalierly throwing aside OTHER career opportunities for to get this one chance. Score! Unfortunately, I had missed the call on Friday. The Friday before SANDY. I call on Monday and leave voicemail unaware of the devastation that SANDY has caused. I had avoided the news. I leave voicemail a second time just reiterating my interest in the position and the interview for it. Due to the crippled transportation system many offices were closed, as well as people having devastated homes in the near suburbs. My contact had been out of the office for a week. A week and a half later I reach her and we schedule an initial phone interview that she will initiate with a call. She locks in a LARGE amount of time for the call. The day comes, I wait for this specified time. NOTHING.
Since the designated call time was so close to the end of the business day, I wait ’til the next day to reach out to the interviewer. I leave voicemail. I call again a week later. More voicemail tag. At this point I know I have been given the brush off. WTH? Apparently, business professional behavior at major global companies now includes scheduling interviews and NOT following through and then NOT telling the interviewee you will not follow through.
UPDATE: You know, this has weighed on my mind for a while so I finally decided to give it one more shot to see if the internal recruiter would pick up my call, or let it go to voicemail. She picked up the call and said they had given the position to an internal candidate and stopped the external interview process shortly after. Her tone suggested she was caught off guard and was embarrassed. Hey – even though I knew I was already out of contention, official closure was nice. Now, I am over it. Officially.
I am just shocked. But then again – NOT. Consider my earlier examples. However, this says a lot about the current labor market and what global businesses are now getting away with as far as non-management candidates go. I doubt this would have happened had I been a management level hire, or been “sponsored” by an internal member of senior or middle management. This brings me to my next point. In this market, based off of my experiences and observations of other former classmates and friends job search process…you really do need to be SPONSORED by someone high up in the company to get a job inside large corporate companies. Short hand – you need to know someone high up who can basically vouch for you. I am not aware of a single person amongst my peers who was NOT offered the job after this happened. Of course, at this point the interview is nothing more than a meet and greet to see if they like you.
So, now I must get to meeting “new” people. Preferably the kind that will say, “I like you! Come on board!” I have never been much of a networker. I am more a busy worker than the “hey everyone look at what I did! Aren’t I awesome” person. But busy worker bees do not get noticed and do not get promoted and do not get great job opportunities. The talkers, the socializers, the “lock on the most important person in the room with tractor beam efficiency” folks are the ones who get those opportunities. Sigh, it really is about promoting yourself and your work. Your work will never get noticed unless you make a point to “highlight” it any way you can. So networking it is. I am not going to get where I want to be unless I focus on making it very much a part of my daily habits and not a chore.
Oh, let the adventures begin.