EP 1972 I answer this question about job-hunting and being rejected.

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So, today, I wanted to answer a question from you. Want to get back to the
original one so I language it just like the questioner asked. The question reads
if you didn't get the job, if I didn't get the job, do most employers call you
back to tell you that you didn't get the job after the interview? So this is a
question about being rejected and what an employer . . . I'm going to add in what
recruiter behavior is like if we're being turned down for a job. Yeah, the classic
complaint that job hunters have is no one tells me that I'm turned down. But they
do tell you. It's just the language that they use doesn't make it obvious to you.
The language employers tend to use, the language recruiters tend to use is they
don't call you. You know, it's like in dating situations, if the boy doesn't
call the girl, if the girl doesn't get back to the guy, I'm going to do the the
gender-neutral stuff, if a guy doesn't get back to a guy, if a girl doesn't get
back to a girl, what's the message in the behavior that's being
communicated? The answer is, "I'm not interested." That's the language of
employers and recruiters. When they are interested they are all over you. They
are reaching out to you. They're confirming information. They're trying to
get a sense of what you're looking for in the way of salary. They're doing a lot
of things to communicate and connect with you. When they're just not that into
you, they're not going to be getting back to you so fast. They're going to be a
little cold and curt. They may be uncommunicative and the reason is they're
not interested, they're just not that into you. So it's just that you're not hearing the
words that say, "John, Susan, Ramesh, Wei, I'm just not, we're just not going to be
hiring you. Go leave us alone." Instead they're trying not to hurt your feelings
but they're leaving you anxious and,
as a result, you think that maybe there's still a chance and statistically, it is
so rare that after a long period of time they're going to get back to you. Now, if
in the course of your interviewing, what I want to give you this tip because
I think is very helpful, in the course of your interviewing, you may be asked , your
asked if you have any questions, and at the very end of your list of questions I
want to ask this, "As you're looking at this first round of interviews,
what's your timeline for making choices?" "Well, you know, we're not absolutely
certain about that?" "Well, do you think this is going to be going on for a
week? A month? How long do you think it's going to take before you narrow it down
to second interviews?" You can say "I'm not looking for a
commitment that's cast in stone, but if you say two weeks and it's a month from
there, I've got a pretty clear message about your lack of interest, right? So could you
give me a sense of what your timeline is," and that's as general a language and
I don't want you to treat that like it's cast in stone.
Treat it like it's a guideline, that, it could be a few days later than that.
Once it's a few days after what they say, the probability is they are not going to
call back. They may. It's certainly possible. But the probability is against
against it. So there you'd have your answer and if you want to get the phone call,
I'd simply say it's like the breakup phone call. They call up and
say, "it's not you. It's us. We need someone who has this." A lot of
firms don't want to do it. Now, it's a. US-centric answer that I really give here
but the short version is it's not in their interest, it's a waste of
time for them. All that's going to happen is you're going to hear something , get
angry and argue with them. Why should they want to put themselves
through that? Now, in other nationalities, there may be different reasons for it but
generally, a firm, firms don't want to make that phone call and recruiters clearly don't
want to make that phone call. Now, I'll speak as a recruiter. I've had situations
with people arguing with the feedback that I'm relaying from my client. "But they didn't
ask me about that!" Well often, what it is, is they're extrapolating information
based upon the answers that you did give, to give them a clearer idea that you
haven't done, what they didn't ask you to do, didn't to ask you about. There are
indirect ways that firms can probe in the course of the interview to get their
answer. So recognize that you've turned down. There is no arguing. They
don't want to put themselves through it.. Treat their silence as your answer.
That is probably the best advice I can give you. Hope you find this helpful. Have
a great day.


Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. His work involves career coaching, all as well as executive job search coaching, job coaching, and interview coaching. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 1900 episodes, and is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council.

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