75

I had a Skype interview with a large multinational. At the end of the interview, they told me that they had positive thoughts about me and that they thought I was honest and genuine, also that they would let me know in a week whether I would have a second interview.

22 days have now passed and I haven't heard a thing. I sent an email on day 8 but never received a response. I also tried to call but got the feeling that my number was recognized and maybe they pressed the do not disturb button.

My thoughts are that company of this size with quite a large HR department should be professional enough to inform me if my application has been declined.

New contributor
redbaron1981 is a new contributor to this site. Take care in asking for clarification, commenting, and answering. Check out our Code of Conduct.
  • 5
    Depending on cultural context, that "honest" and "had nice thoughts" statement may turn out to be more negative than you seem to have interpreted it to be. Not saying that's the case, but in some contexts they may have thought they told you clearly enough you are not considered for the role. – bytepusher Feb 12 at 13:32
  • 15
    I believe this is location/cultural specific question. It might be worth adding the country where this interview took place. – DanK Feb 12 at 14:39
  • @J... I have had that experience. I also have plenty of rejection letters - so I know strictly speaking you are wrong. – emory Feb 12 at 16:28
  • 7
    At the end of the interview, they told me that they had positive thoughts about me and that they thought I was honest and genuine This kind of feedback is polite, but doesn't really point to a second interview. – Matthew Leingang Feb 12 at 18:56
  • @MatthewLeingang exactly. I would feel that if that is the main thing they said after interview, that is a veiled dismissal. After all, everybody is expected to be honest. Being "genuine" doesn't say anything even on the lines of "we think you might have the skills we want". – Gnudiff 2 days ago

10 Answers 10

147

Standard as in ethical: Yes.

Standard as in practice: (Unfortunately) No.

My thoughts are that company of this size with quite a large HR department should be professional enough to inform me if my application has been declined.

Mostly on the contrary: Small to medium size organizations are seen to be more professional in this regard, but that's my personal experience.

You did your part, move on. There's really nothing more you can do.

A bit of advice: You can wait for them to reach out, but don't keep your hopes too high. Try searching for other opportunities.

  • 3
    I always forget about an interview once it's happened for this very reason. It makes it easier to deal with never getting a letter saying "We've gone for someone else" or "The job's not being filled." – Karl Brown Feb 12 at 12:34
  • 2
    There is the occasional company that will send out a bulk "sorry you were unsuccessful" email to their rejected candidates too. Hardly helps much though as they can't/won't have more specific feedback. – Kozaky Feb 12 at 12:49
  • 3
    (1) sadly after 22 days there is zero chance they will get back to you (2) you definitely should have contacted them to follow-up after say two days. – Fattie Feb 12 at 13:33
  • 3
    This is why I generally prefer working with agencies. The agent tends to want to keep in contact with people who might make them money ... as such they'll keep in touch with you about if you were successful or not and chase the company because they want to make money.... If they're providing quality candidates, then the firms will want to keep in touch with the agency and provide feedback so that they get more quality applicants. As such, the odd company that doesn't want to provide feedback exist, but no where near as many as direct applications. – UKMonkey Feb 12 at 14:22
  • 7
    I'd have to disagree that there's "zero chance" the company will come back to them. Granted the chance is very, very low, to almost be zero, but I've gotten a job that only got back to me over a month later. It's definitely super rare for this to happen, but it does. I'm not saying to hold out hope, though. – computercarguy Feb 12 at 22:32
54

Companies this size have serious issues with the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing, or worse, not knowing if the right hand even exists.

You had a somewhat successful interview. There are 3 jobs and 50 candidates. Some are clear "no"s, a few are clear "take him to the next level"... but there are also ones stuck in the middle. Good enough that they could go to the next level, but only if the eight people in front of them wash out. That's you.

In addition HR may not be sure if there really are 3 jobs (there can be more or less), and they are also recruiting at other events and are hoping that someone stronger than you turns up.

And then weeks pass and odds of them needing you get much smaller, but never quite fall to zero. Then months have passed and it's not worth their time to review the dozens or hundreds of people they've kept in the pipeline waiting.

In addition, this is a big process and "they" is more than one person. It's unlikely that the person who told you that you did well even knows whether or not you've made it to the next level.

Edit to add more info: Small companies typically one HR person in charge of the entire process with a well defined number of jobs and candidates. My HR person is matching thousands (yes, really) of candidates to scores of jobs.

  • 3
    On a side note I do these first line interviews and I have no clue how far any of the people I recommend get. A lack of feedback is one of the big problems with the process, but to be fair there's a lot of moving parts. – Dark Matter Feb 12 at 13:33
  • Not sure where the "3 jobs and 50 candidates" came from, but: at 6 candidates per day, it would take about 2 weeks just to conduct the interviews (9 working days) - add in time to make decisions and a "first-choice" candidate interviewed on Day 1 wouldn't hear back until Day 15. Many companies would space their interviews out more too, and if you're a "second-choice" candidate then they won't tell you that you were unsuccessful until after the first-choices have confirmed that they will take the job. – Chronocidal 2 days ago
  • 1
    @Chronocidal When I'm on the "interview" line I'll talk to 50 people in 4 to 5 hours (in the Fall, half that in the Spring). There will be 6 of us interviewers. The next day the people who looked interesting will have have a 2nd stage interview which is supposed to take a half hour (so 15 that day) but in reality takes 15 minutes. This culls 300 or so people down to about 20. I do this twice a year but the HR person who leads us might do it 2-3 times a week. There's another filter after that, then we have on site interviews. At any stage there can be second-choice issues. – Dark Matter 2 days ago
7

Surely it is not professional, but unfortunately a rejection letter is not a standard. (Almost same situation happened for me earlier :/)

  • 2
    Think from the company perspective. If you are number 4... and they reject you. What happens if number 1 or 2 or 3 dont take the offer? Then they might want to offer to you after all. Thats why they never reject. – vikingsteve yesterday
4

Coming from a background in dealing with Enterprise-level companies, I have to say my experience has been entirely different from other answers. In every interview in which I participated (in 5+ organizations), either as the interviewee or interviewer, it was always considered proper etiquette to give a phone call or email to the candidate to let them know where they stood. Formal letters of rejection are unheard of in my locale (midwest US) but some sort of communication is absolutely expected.

Two items worth noting:

  1. Communicating an acceptance or rejection is typically the responsibility of the hiring manager or the placement company (not HR in my experience). If you have received absolute silence then you may be a victim of either an insecure/overly-busy manager or someone on the contracting side dropping the ball. Either way, I would take the breach of etiquette as an indication of individual failure as opposed to some company wide policy.

  2. In a large Enterprise things move extremely slowly. There are approval processes, budget justifications, bureaucratic steps you wouldn't expect. What should take days will take weeks and things that should take weeks can even take months. Believe it or not, for a massive organization, 22 days is not a coffin nail. To offer a glimmer of hope... if you happened to interview early in the interview window (and they have many other candidates to review), it is not outside of the realm of possibility that you could still receive a callback. Certainly, as others stated, the longer it goes the slimmer your chances but I have actually heard of candidates receiving callbacks as late as 3 months after an interview! That said, in cases where the decision process is moving painfully slow, it is usually in the hiring managers best interest to reach out to top-level candidates to "keep them on the line". So if you are not hearing a single thing, it is best to move on. My Enterprise moves very slowly and we've lost good candidates due to a slow hiring approval process (as we should).

Regardless of the situation, though, it is important not to stake all of your hopes on this one company. Just like they are interviewing many candidates, you should be interviewing with many different organizations. If you throw out many lines you are more likely to catch a fish. Good luck to you in your job hunt!

  • 2
    Plus no sane boss will send out the obligatory "sorry be we took someone else" emails until he has a conctract signed by both sides in his hands. Hi, the guy whom we wanted to give the job just bailed on us, would you still be available if we offered 20% more? is not a way anyone want's to start a letter. Restarting the hiring process would potentially be even more expensive. – Karl Feb 12 at 21:04
  • 2
    My last two jobs were as "runner up", as their first candidates didn't pan out. One took a different job and the other failed a background check. I was also sent the "Sorry, we hired someone else" letters, and also told up front why I was called back. I didn't take it negatively, since I needed both of those jobs, badly. – computercarguy Feb 12 at 22:38
3

While I agree with the feedback; They should, but do not expect it. I wanted to add a note about negotiation, project management, sales.. or whatever that is applicable in this case.

At the end of the discussion it is vital to summarize the key things you learned ( verbally) and then ask about the next steps and timeline for these things to happen.

In this case you would have been well served to leave asking and knowing:

1) When will the decision be made?

2) Who should I contact to follow up and when should I do this.

3) Do you need or want any additional info from me?

--- Close with some statement of mutual success, like " I can see my objectives / skills / research etc really being a good match here."

Also read an essay from Suzie Welch - do not be afraid to say, " I really do want this job."

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/12/21/suzy-welch-3-things-you-should-always-do-in-a-job-interview.html

New contributor
peej is a new contributor to this site. Take care in asking for clarification, commenting, and answering. Check out our Code of Conduct.
3

No. Don't expect any. Most companies suck at giving such feedback. In 30 years, probably I've heard two companies had the courtesy to do so.

Unless you are applying for a company that's well known for taking their time - say, Google - give them 4 weeks and assume a "no" is in order if you don't hear back.

In the meantime, keep interviewing and grab the first thing you see that's good for you. If that company finally replies with a "yes", but you are employed, well... ¯_(ツ)_/¯

New contributor
luis.espinal is a new contributor to this site. Take care in asking for clarification, commenting, and answering. Check out our Code of Conduct.
2

It's (arguably) unprofessional, but unfortunately not uncommon. (I say "arguably" because, as I'll explain in a second, it's often not deliberate).

The staffing process at the majority of companies - even large ones with lots of H.R. resources available - tends to be somewhat disorganized. Also, even in a tight job market, some jobs may receive a large number of applicants.

I'm aware of companies that actually run reports on stagnated candidates and other candidates who should've been rejected and weren't. Many recruiters have to be routinely reminded to reject candidates that they don't intend to hire promptly; this is an important part of a good candidate experience.

Also, as others have indicated, it's not unheard of not to hear anything for awhile and then to be asked fro an interview.

So, to answer your question: it should be standard practice, but it's often not consistently followed (especially if a particular job has a lot of applicants).

2

Sounds like you've been Ghosted

This has become common in hiring, and indeed some are now turning the tables by ghosting employers when they leave a job.

Here is some advice on what to do to avoid it happening:

Ghosted by Interviewers, what to do now

In your next interview, there are some things you can do to try to protect yourself from ghosting, or at least reduce the chances of being ghosted.

  • The advice in that article is crap. We don't have a deadline for deciding to proceed to on-site interviews. We certainly don't have a deadline for hiring - we'll hire when we find a suitable candidate. – Martin Bonner yesterday
  • So trying to tie a potential employer down on a date is basically saying "Can you tell me when I should assume it's not going further?" You may think it's fine to keep someone hanging on for months, but it's basic good manners to set expectations. – The Wandering Dev Manager yesterday
  • That is a perfectly fine question (although I would be deeply upset if I thought we weren't letting people know when we had decided to reject them), but it isn't either of the questions the article suggests. – Martin Bonner 22 hours ago
1

I agree with everyone else that your chances at this point are infinitesimally small, even if you have not formally heard so. It's still possible that their first choice won't pan out and they might get back to you in weeks or months. But Aristotelian possible, not probable, in fact highly unlikely.

What I really wanted to say was that you should never stop your job search just because you have an interview. In fact you shouldn't even stop it if you have an offer, as negotiations can fail quite late in the process. You might not even want to stop entirely till you've been at your new job a few weeks. It's possible to have a horrible surprise, one that did not come up earlier, that makes you reconsider the whole thing. And it's much better to quit within a month, something which will not show up anywhere in your history, than to have to suffer say a year so your resume doesn't look bad later.

0

The company specifically told you that they would let you know in a week if you would proceed further in their hiring process. They were implicitly telling you that if you didn't hear back from them in that timeframe that you were not going to move forward with them.

One issue that large companies get lots of candidates. It's often not worth their time to write rejection letters to all of them, even the ones who get to a phone screening stage.

Your Answer

redbaron1981 is a new contributor. Be nice, and check out our Code of Conduct.

By clicking "Post Your Answer", you acknowledge that you have read our updated terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy, and that your continued use of the website is subject to these policies.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.