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I’m a college Junior who recently went to a career fair to look for summer internships. I talked to the VP of one department and really liked what he was working on. On top of applying and submitting my resume, I sent him a follow up email, and he let me know he was sending me directly to his senior talent recruiter.

I don’t want to copy the email chain directly (they have a message about confidential emails at the bottom of our messages) but it went like this...

Recruiter: Hi, it seems like you had a good experience with (VP) at the career fair. When would you be available to set up a phone call to talk?

Me: (gave my phone number and various times for Wed - Fri)

Me (on Monday): Hi, I never heard from you during those times. Would you like to reschedule?

Recruiter: Yes, let’s talk at 3:45 today

Me: sounds great, looking forward to hearing from you then

Me (at 4:15): Hi, I didn’t hear from you at our scheduled time. I hope all is okay.

It’s been 3 days since I sent the last email and I haven’t gotten a response back, or any explanation on why she missed the time we had set up. Everyone I’ve talked to who have had more experience with job searching has told me this is really weird and unprofessional. What additional steps should I take? Would it be inconsiderate of me to contact the VP I originally talked to and let him know the situation with his recruiter?

Thanks

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    Did you always confirm if it would be the recruiter calling you or you calling them? – user34587 Sep 27 '18 at 15:04
  • I was wondering that. Everyone I talked to said that a majority of the time they will call you. I also gave her my phone number. The only contact information I had from her was her number at the bottom of her email signature. Also, after we never called the first times I listed (Wed-Fri) and she didn’t mention that she expected to hear from me, I assumed it was clear she never called me as opposed to me never calling her. – G K Sep 27 '18 at 15:06
  • Also, if I had to call her, I assumed she would have responded after I gave her times for Wed - Fri and said “okay, this time works best, call me then”. Her lack of response made me think “I’ll probably just get a phone call unexpectedly during those times I said I was available”. – G K Sep 27 '18 at 15:10
  • Are you in the southern hemisphere since you mention a summer internship? Or would this be for 2019? Do you have this recruiter's phone number and would you feel comfortable calling them to inquire? Regardless of how you handle this company, make sure you talk to multiple companies about an internship, just like you would in a job search. – Lilienthal Sep 27 '18 at 15:21
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    Possible duplicate of Phone interviewer missed scheduled call (twice) – David K Sep 27 '18 at 16:02
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It depends, as all these sorts of questions do, on how much you want this particular internship, and who you feel is in control of the situation (i.e. do you want them to hire you, or do you think they want you to work for them?). There are really 3 approaches you can take:

1) If you really want this particular internship (i.e. you want them to hire you), then (assuming the company is small enough and the VP is friendly enough) I would email the VP, with the tone of "the recruiter never contacted me, can you take a look and see what's up?" In this case, maybe there was an honest (although still extremely unprofessional) error, and you can give the recruiter the benefit of the doubt (what the VP will say is out of your control).

2) If you don't really care whether you get the internship or not (you think they want you to work for them more than you want to work for them), I would email the VP and explain what happened, more or less the same as you explained here, and let him know that you thought the recruiter was very unprofessional and how this reflects on his company. I would further emphasize that based on this experience I would not be interested in talking to them now or in the future. To elaborate a bit more, this will have one of two outcomes:

a) You are correct, they want you to work for them. In which case, the VP will reply and be very apologetic and schedule you for another interview with a different recruiter or possibly himself (or herself), and the recruiter will get in a lot of trouble. At that point it is up to you to decide whether to accept the interview. If this happens, be aware that this means you are in control, and you have some leverage to use in future. This is also known as "calling their bluff".

b) The VP thinks you are an annoying child and you are not worth his time. In which case you have a mutual understanding: Neither of you wants to hear from the other one again. Which, given that they are already not talking to you, is not really a loss to you, but only a loss to them (if you are actually really good and they burned your bridge).

Option 3) If you don't care about the internship at all, you can just drop it and forget about it. They are not going to call you, for whatever reason, and that's the end of the discussion. Your bridge hasn't been burned with this company, and they may try to recruit you in the future; if that happens, I would keep this interaction in mind and mention it to the next recruiter who contacts you from this company. I would say something like, "I have been recruited by your company before, and at that time the recruiter was very unprofessional. They did XYZ (tell your story). I am not interested in having the same experience a second time" and see what happens; if the recruiter is still interested in talking to you after you describe this issue, then maybe the company is worth giving a second chance, if they're not, then consider their bridge burned. As the saying goes, "fool me once shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me". Remember: Recruiting is a two-way street; you're interviewing them to see what it's like working there as much as they're interviewing you to see how you would work, and if they don't pass your interview, you can reject them just the same as the reverse.

  • Awesome, thanks for the response. It's early enough in the recruiting season that I'll probably wait to act on this for a while. That being said, if I end up accepting an offer at another company, I do want to let the VP know what happened. Every person I have talked to, online and in person, has told me this was unprofessional by her. In my mind, that means that the recruiter has to be held accountable for their actions. I'm not going to act like it was a traumatic experience or anything, but my hope would be that letting someone know would stop another person from having the same experience. – G K Sep 27 '18 at 19:09
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It’s been 3 days since I sent the last email and I haven’t gotten a response back, or any explanation on why she missed the time we had set up. Everyone I’ve talked to who have had more experience with job searching has told me this is really weird and unprofessional.

Weird, maybe, unprofessional, definitely. If someone missed a first allotted time slot I'd be understanding so long as they were apologetic (these things do happen after all), but to miss a second allotted time, with no email follow up for days is beyond rude.

What additional steps should I take? Would it be inconsiderate of me to contact the VP I originally talked to and let him know the situation with his recruiter?

I honestly wouldn't waste any more time on this position at all. You could spend hours more writing emails and trying to get into contact with the right person for them to fob you off again. Cut your losses with it, don't expect any further contact, and start looking elsewhere.

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