A company I’ve applied to had what I thought was a good job description. But when I got into the interview, the hiring manager mentions a key skill that isn’t listed in the description.

Therefore I get eliminated on an criteria that the hiring manager either forgot to write down or invented on the spot.

Should I point out to them, meaning the HR contact, that this criteria is missing from their job description?

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    Why didn't you bring this up during the interview? – sf02 Sep 6 '19 at 13:22
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    Were you explicitly told that skill was the reason you were eliminated? Do you know if they were applying that criteria to other candidates or not (regardless of if it was in the JD)? – dwizum Sep 6 '19 at 13:24
  • The hiring manager, or whoever I was interviewing with, said explicitly she was looking for people with "ABC" skill and asked for examples of that. Then she cut off the interview early. – user70848 Sep 6 '19 at 13:31
  • @sf02 Because I wasn't looking at the job description during the interview, I was talking to the other person and answering questions they asked. Also, don't you think it seems a little confrontational for an interview? It sounds nice to ask anonymously online, but when talking to another person it could come across as extremely direct. – user70848 Sep 6 '19 at 14:02
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    I don't know about you but I have always reviewed the job description thoroughly prior to any interview as part of my preparation as well as bringing a physical copy to use as a reference. Remember, you are also evaluating the company so the interview is the perfect time to bring up anything unclear or odd about the job description. – sf02 Sep 6 '19 at 14:38

I'm often feeling a need to do that. "No experience required - at least 5 years experience" "babysitter wanted - need to be able to wield" "high expertise level wanted - for a junior position".
The thing is - I would be wasting my time to let them know I THINK there is something wrong with their ad.
But was it? Maybe they know exactly what they're doing? Maybe the ad is not for hiring but just to be there? Maybe they want only naive gullible people? A specialist that will settle for junior pay?

At the end, I don't know. And I would only make them aware of that if I wasted time already (for example attending such interview). I would make them aware because that would be a thing I would other people know (for example by writing on glassdoor). That this company is hectic and unorganised that they can't even write proper ad. That it don't care about wasting people time. and/or have no clear goal and don't know what it want from it's employees.
In such case the feedback should be instant "You wasted my time".

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    Fair points. Maybe I'll just comment on Glassdoor. – user70848 Sep 6 '19 at 14:04
  • I'm selecting this as the answer, because it's the only answer that points out that on the face of it, it's unknown why some companies write the job descriptions the way they do. Maybe they're lazy. Maybe it's required by law. Maybe they don't know what they want until after they start interviewing. – user70848 Sep 6 '19 at 14:48

It's unlikely to help.

Chances are they noticed this themselves: Interviewing costs time and money and if the lacking requirement eliminated the candidate through oversight, they are likely to update the JD and more importantly the pre-interview screening process.

If they are not smart or organized enough to take action on this, your notification is unlikely to make a difference.

If it was the requirement was made up on the spot to have a convenient reason to reject you, your notification won't do anything useful either


What would you gain by telling them? You won't get the role, but I guess it might keep your name in a slightly positive light should you apply for a different role.

If they haven't put in a key skill to their job description then they will no doubt not get the candidates they actually want, to me it would seem if they miss something basic like that then I'd be less eager to join that company.

  • Well I don’t know if it was missed or invented on the spot to eliminate candidates for non-merit reasons. – user70848 Sep 6 '19 at 13:04
  • I'm not trying to be mean but you're missing the whole point of the answer. What would you gain? You have a slight chance of a loss and a zero chance of a gain (unless it's a HR position). I'm all for looking out for the company when in the job but while you are applying you need to look out for yourself. – user10399 Sep 6 '19 at 13:11
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    I guess it might keep your name in a slightly positive light should you apply for a different role - or, it'll make you look like a nit picky complainer... – dwizum Sep 6 '19 at 13:23
  • @KeithLoughnane The feedback would go to HR, although I'm sure he would pass that info to the hiring manager. – user70848 Sep 6 '19 at 13:31
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    @user70848 regardless of why it was not there, it is not your problem. It is very nice of you to think about saving time and effort from HR and Hiring Manager but the usefulness of it to the company is limited, it will not help you in any way and can even damage your image. – Juliana Karasawa Souza Sep 6 '19 at 13:53

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