1

I sent an application for a role at a startup. After a week or so I got an email from a recruiter and we scheduled a first interview. The recruiter was very enthusiastic, giving lots of good feedback about many of my answers and saying how it looks like I would be a great fit.

We scheduled 3 technical interviews in a week. They were all quite positive. The recruiter was in touch often giving me feedback and explaining the next steps. We made 6 calls in total, and I spent hours talking to people at the company during a couple of weeks. It all seemed quite positive and they were also open about my not so strong points and my willingness to consider different roles (for the same salary). After the interviews several people said I would be a great fit for the company.

My 7th or 8th conversation was with a VP. That was a friendly conversation but at the end the VP didn't seem convinced I was a good fit for the initial role. After a few days I got a call from the recruiter saying they wouldn't be progressing with me for that role but we would move ahead for the others and they would be in touch. A few days later I got a message saying they had a meeting to discuss this. The next week I got another saying they'd be in touch very soon, hopefully the same day or the day after. Then another nearly identical message the next week. I replied positively to all of them.

A week later I sent another message asking for an update on the situation and it was ignored even if it was read. Even if they contacted me again I would most likely reject an offer at this point, since I found their behaviour in the last few weeks very unprofessional and unkind, after so many hours spent together I think it's inappropriate to just ignore a person like that.

Now my question is: I kind of feel the need to send some feedback to the VP. Not about me not been selected, that's totally ok, but about repeated promises (unrequested by me!) to be in touch "today or tomorrow" and then just ignoring me. If this thing has happened with me I doubt I am the only one and the VP might not even be aware of it. It would also be a way to get this out of my chest. On the other way, I fear it could come across as condescending or vindictive and I don't like burning bridges even if I won't be working for this company.

Thoughts?

  • 10
    What do you hope to achieve? – Tymoteusz Paul Sep 30 at 10:51
  • Avoiding other candidates been treated this way in the future, and satisfy my curiosity about their views on this. I guess an apology would be welcome as well... – Livingstone Sep 30 at 10:53
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    8 conversations? That sounds like they're running a beauty contest, and I'd just move on to something else. – Steve Sep 30 at 13:26
  • Thank you all. I have decided against sending feedback – Livingstone Oct 1 at 15:35
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If you absolutely have to "get it off your chest", the only route is

  1. Reply to one of the emails (say from "Jack") asserting you would be contacted today or tomorrow (ie, quoting the shortest extract of that text)

  2. Also include the VP on that email

Use very brief language like this:

"Jack, I have heard nothing back from anyone since this time. As such, I'm withdrawing consideration of your company. Good luck with the startup."

Thus, note that the only factual thing you have to say to them is "I am withdrawing".

You can slip in a snipe that they completely failed to respond.

As everyone has expressed, in the hurly-burly and general nonsense of a startup, nobody will even know, care, or remember any of this.

Your stated goal is that you "feel the need" to just let the VP know about the idiotic non-replies, so, just do that - add it as a few words to a short statement that you're withdrawing.

Result:

  1. it's off your chest,
  2. you "for the record" pointed out (in passing, in the briefest way possible) the non-reply idiocy,
  3. and you've given them a virtual finger by clearly stating you'd never work for the SOBs.

Hope it helps!

If you want to make it a bit more pointed, add a mention the absurd amount of time they used:

"Jack, after the 7.5 hours of technical meetings, I have heard nothing from anyone since this email ten days ago. As such, I'm withdrawing consideration of your company. Good luck with the startup."

Bear in mind your writing goal is as few words as possible.


{BTW, regarding the "recruiter". It's simply the norm that recruiters babble unfocussed, meaningless, excitement. Unfortunately, this is completely unsurprising, normal, and not even worth mentioning. It means less than nothing, forget it.}

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  • Thanks for that. I think this is a good answer about how should I do it but the main question was just "should I"? Helpful nonetheless – Livingstone Oct 1 at 15:36
  • Sounds good , good luck in your journey on this! – Fattie Oct 1 at 19:04
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No

You don't have anything to gain by sending the unsolicited feedback - given that it's a startup, people involved in the process are already more or less aware of the problem and your email is likely not to change anything expect for burning bridges.

If you have to do something about it (i.e, make yourself feel useful), leave a review at Glassdoor or somewhere similar. Then move on (as you're already made up your mind about not accepting any offer from them).

Remember, anything you do at this point, is a waste of your time and is unproductive for you.

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  • 1
    Why do you think they are aware? – Livingstone Sep 30 at 11:18
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    @Livingstone , everyone who works at a dumpster fire, knows it's a dumpster fire. :) – Fattie Sep 30 at 11:48
  • @Livingstone and why do you think they are not aware? In a startup, If I have to invest my time in interviewing someone, I'll be interested in actually getting them hired given that we have a positive outcome of the interview. If they are stalling even after reminders, that's intentional. – Sourav Ghosh Sep 30 at 12:14
  • The fact that the recruiter is stalling doesn't mean the VP is aware of it. The VP is obviously aware I am not hired, but might not be aware they are ignoring people like that – Livingstone Sep 30 at 12:38
  • I dont think they are not aware. I simply don't know – Livingstone Sep 30 at 12:39

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