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I had a job interview 3 weeks ago, at a company known for its hiring procedure (and its explicit rejection email).

I could tell that the interview didn't go well, but the HR told me in an affirmative way that she would provide a response, whether positive or negative, ASAP.

How should I interpret their silence?

Isn't it rude if they don't send anything?

  • 7
    It is rude and common. It is a nice formula to say goodbye. – Rui F Ribeiro Jun 1 '18 at 7:31
  • Maybe they are just using more time than you think. 3 weeks is not so much since it is very unlikely that they were able to interview all the possible candidates in a week or less – Gianluca Jun 1 '18 at 7:31
  • "known for its hiring procedure" in what way? – Geoffrey Brent Jun 1 '18 at 8:25
  • We don't know how long this company takes to send feedback or whether someone just forgot or just didn't feel like it, but every day that passes without feedback makes positive, or really any, feedback less likely. – Bernhard Barker Jun 1 '18 at 9:24
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It is safe to assume the interview was not successful and move on.

Unless you want to have their feedback on your interview so that you can improve your interviewing, you can avoid contacting them.

Sending rejection mail it's not the top priority of recruiters and interviewers, so it can happen that they drop that activity if they have other priorities to attend.

Just as anecdote, I once interviewed for a company and the interview ended with a common "we will let you know". After a couple of weeks of not earing back from them, I took the interview for not successful. They got back to me after 1 and half year (!!!) stating that they wanted to hire me. I politely declined their offer stating I had found a job since the interview took place and was no longer interested.

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    I've had this happen too, but 'only' half a year afterwards. – Belle Jun 1 '18 at 14:31
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Never interpret ANYTHING

You ask. Then you'll have your answer.

Follow up until they answer you with either a yes or no. Never make assumptions in job hunting.

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I think you can probably assume you didn't get the job if it was that long ago. It's not particularly professional if they haven't contacted you after promising to however. I'd be tempted to send them an email, thank them for their time and giving you the opportunity for the interview and ask for any feedback they might have for you.

The fact is some job interviews go well and some go badly and for a myriad of reasons. Contacting them politely means they might view you in a good light were you to go for a job there again and getting feedback will help you in subsequent interviews, giving you things to improve on.

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First of all, I wouldn't assume anything. The only thing that would make me think you didn't get the job is that you state that you didn't feel the interview went well.

Many times open positions get put on hold for various reasons, and/or other things get in the way. Just because you haven't heard anything in 3 weeks doesn't have to be a bad thing.

I would suggest sending a brief follow-up e-mail to the interviewer again thanking them for their time and asking if they have filled the position, as you haven't heard anything. (I said again as I would think you would have followed the interview with the standard 'thank you for your time' communication.)

Most likely you will get some type of response and that will put your mind at ease.

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How should I interpret their silence?

Interpret it anyway you want. They could be slow, they could have forgotten, they could still be interviewing. So If you want to know: ask politely, and accept gracefully whatever answer they give you.

Isn't it rude if they don't send anything?

Yes from your perspective it is rude. But based on experience it isn't unusual.

You expected a response becasue you applied at

"a company known for its hiring procedure (and its explicit rejection email)".

I have seen great variations within a single company regarding how they go through the steps of the hiring process. When I trying to fill a position I have experienced HR support that updated us everyday with new qualified resumes/applications. I have also applied for an internal transfer in that same company that only posted the opening for three days, but then took 3 months to move my application to the next phase.

You may have applied to the slow part of the vaunted company

Now in the weeks since the interview, unless this was not part of a systematic job search, you should have continued to apply and interview. Just continue down that path, there is no reason to wait for company x to respond before you contact other companies. Job searches are not done in neat phases, they involve juggling many opportunities, and many possible paths to a new position.

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You should always assume you haven't got a job unless you've been sent a contract and asked to sign it.

The situation you are currently in is actually easier to deal with. You know the interview didn't go well, so you know you probably didn't get the job.

What's really difficult is when you're not sure how it went and spend days and weeks wondering what you did wrong.

So just move on.

Btw, this blog has a quite realistic stance on recruitment and waiting for companies to answer:

http://www.askamanager.org/2017/12/how-long-should-you-wait-to-move-on-when-you-havent-heard-back-from-an-employer-2.html

http://www.askamanager.org/2018/02/how-long-should-it-take-to-hear-back-after-you-apply-for-a-job.html

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If you absolutely need a rejection email, then can you configure your email client to send yourself an email at a later date.

  1. you apply for a job at Acme Co on June 1
  2. immediately after configure your email to send yourself a rejection email on July 1
  3. forget about Acme Co until you have some reason to think of them.

Your rejection email can look like

Dear Awesome Guy:

We decided not to hire you because we are not cool enough.

Sincerely,

Losers

Of course if Acme Co does contact you, then cancel the auto rejection.

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