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After 2 months and 3 interviews with a load of effort (with senior management) with a Big 4 firm:

The recruiter with whom I have been working with contacted me to informed me that I was not the chosen candidate for this role.

The reason: You were evaluated to be excellent in all other areas but your current role is too specialised and we're not sure how you'd fit into a more generalist culture.

My response: I pointed to a previous role where I did the same thing this role requires.

A few hours later, the recruiter informed me she has reached out to the talent acquisition of this role to inform her of this blunder and that the team will be re-reviewing my CV again.

I'll get to the point: I am not happy.

To me, if an offer comes, I will never take it.

  1. Decision makers makes themselves look bad when they blunder but are forced to extend an offer because they would have done so had this blunder not happen.
  2. Decision makers being made to look bad has a political implication on me right on the first day.
  3. My ego
  4. The trust is broken and a wrong emotional start is bad for everyone.

Resolution:

I have shared the above thoughts with the recruiter on why I would like to formally discontinue with the application but she jokingly mentioned she never takes a "no" - I believe she means it.

  1. I am not feeling the best but I want to put my point across in a manner that she (and the decision maker) takes it seriously. Her not taking this seriously invalidates what I am feeling. How do I do it?

  2. If the TA of the firm suggest another role, what is the best way to convey my disinterest to the role, via the recruiter, while ensuring that both the recruiter and TA understands that the trust is broken?

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    Unfortunately sometimes things get messed up in small and large companies during interview and hiring processes. I wouldn't take it too personal in regards to your ego. What you read from that blunder may well not relate to your future position within that company..
    – iLuvLogix
    Feb 28, 2022 at 14:37
  • "but are forced to extend an offer" - I've worked for a Big 4 company and can safely say there is zero chance a Big 4 company will be forced into extending an offer. (Also, you don't know who made the mistake - it could have been the recruiter editing your resume, for example). Feb 28, 2022 at 14:53
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    I am curious why you went to the trouble of telling the recruiter the big company was wrong if your response to "hm, you're right, we were wrong, we should take another look" is "omg this is so political I would never accept an offer even if they gave me one and I need them to know that before they even consider making me one!" What was the purpose of telling them you could in fact do well in this role, if it wasn't getting the role? Feb 28, 2022 at 14:54
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    What is your objective in asking this question? If you don't want to accept an offer from them, then don't. You don't need our help to do that, though I would caution you against passing a good opportunity just because a recruiter made a mistake.
    – Seth R
    Feb 28, 2022 at 15:52
  • @KateGregory it is important for me to correct their wrong impression. I don't enjoy being thought of lesser mistakenly Feb 28, 2022 at 16:17

4 Answers 4

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Decision makers makes themselves look bad when they blunder but are forced to extend an offer because they would have done so had this blunder not happen

Not necessarily - people aren't perfect, mistakes happen it's the steps that people take to handle making a mistake that defines whether they look good or bad in my opinion. They made a mistake and missed something and are apparently taking steps to try and correct that mistake. I'm curious as to what you wanted them to do instead?

Decision makers being made to look bad has a political implication on me right on the first day.

Again - if they haven't been made to "look bad" there's no implications.

My ego

I'm not sure I understand why your ego should take a hit - you're the one being vindicated here.

The trust is broken and a wrong emotional start is bad for everyone

This feels a bit.. dramatic. It's not like they lied to you, it's not as though you discovered they were stealing from you.

To be honest if I were in your shoes I wouldn't be seeing any need to withdraw from the process, but I'm not you and no-one can force you to continue if you don't want to.

I have shared the above thoughts with the recruiter on why I would like to formally discontinue with the application but she jokingly mentioned she never takes a "no" - I believe she means it.

You realise that she can't force you to do anything, whether she wants to take your no or not no-one's putting a gun to your head and making to take that job. If they get too persistent and won't seem to accept a polite-but-firm "No." then you can just break off contact, stop replying to e-mails, stop taking their calls.

I am not feeling the best but I want to put my point across in a manner that she (and the decision maker) takes it seriously. Her not taking this seriously invalidates what I am feeling. How do I do it?

She might think your feelings are silly, I might think your feelings are silly - but none of that matters in the slightest. If you don't want a job you don't need to convince anyone other than yourself of that decision.

If the TA of the firm suggest another role, what is the best way to convey my disinterest to the role, via the recruiter, while ensuring that both the recruiter and TA understands that the trust is broken?

Don't get into "trust being broken" - because that's pointless noise at this point. If you don't want to consider any future roles with this company just tell the recruiter/TA that you aren't interested in that opportunity. You can say you'r pursuing other opportunities or similar if you like but essentially you're looking for some variation on "Thanks, but no thanks"

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  • It shows a total disregard of the candidate's time and effort. This isn't some interview process involving behaviors and whatifs question. It's lengthy and requires substantial preparation. Receiving a rejection is awful enough; being rejected because someone didn't did their basic homework is inexcusable. If she thinks it's silly, that's fine. I am happy to walk away so everyone ends up a loser - scorch earth works best Feb 28, 2022 at 16:22
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Firstly, the company HR person is probably just bluffing. She sent you a rejection letter. You're rejected. You then responded by lobbying for the job by arguing with their reason for rejecting you. She doesn't want to get into an argument, particularly over email, as to why you're unqualified for the job, so rather than try to nitpick your argument and waste a lot of her time, she said "we'll take another look" and shredded your resume. You're not going to hear from this company again (at least not anytime soon).

In the event you do hear from them again, why did you argue with their rejection if you don't intend to take the job? Why not simply take their rejection and throw them out, as they threw you out? Now you've opened the door to hearing from them again, which you stated you don't want.

The end of the story is: You're almost certainly not going to hear back from this recruiter. If you do, simply say you're not interested, and let that be the end of that.

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  • I have not argued with anyone. All I did was to point out that someone did not do their homework. After this, I said I'm won't be pursuing this application anymore. I do not care about the job but that's not the same as not wanting to point out the incompetence involved. Mar 1, 2022 at 1:17
  • At this point, the recruiter continues to pursue this application USING MY NAME for her personal gains despite repeated instructions from me. This hurts my reputation. Mar 1, 2022 at 1:35
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    "Pointing out that someone did not do their homework" and "arguing" are the same thing. You said that you did not deserve to be discounted from the position because they misunderstood your resume. That's arguing with their reason for rejecting you. And, what do you mean she is "using your name for her personal gains"? Is she contacting others saying "class_methods works here and so should you"? That sounds highly irregular.
    – Ertai87
    Mar 1, 2022 at 3:55
  • she insists that we should stay on course on including the new information. Perhaps you have never worked with head hunters. Their commissions can be up to 20% - 30% of a candidate's yearly income (: That said, I am done and I certainly have ZERO good impression of this firm. As a decision maker, concluding on basic of incomplete and inaccurate information shows how defective your mental process is. Mar 1, 2022 at 6:14
  • Our convo is done. Would definitely give a heads up to future applicates via glassdoor on this. Mar 1, 2022 at 6:36
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You're taking this at face value, when it very probably is something different.

To me, if an offer comes, I will never take it.

Your ego seems to think there may be an offer, but most likely there won't. Re-evaluate often just means, "say something nice to get rid of them for a while".

But that is all beside the real point which is:

I'll get to the point: I am not happy.

The best thing is to take issues like this in your stride and keep job searching. If you don't want to take the job, don't get further involved with it. Move forwards. There's nothing constructive about complaining and all the rest if you have made up your mind already. It will just obscure your focus on other opportunities.

Yet you have entered into what seems lengthy dialogue with the recruiter and taken it to strangers on the internet. That's a lot of effort and emotion for something you would refuse if given.

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  • I'm not job searching. I am in tech and I was headhunted for this role. It annoys me because it breaks the perfect rhythm of the interview process. I am OK with rejection but I am never OK with an unintended rejection. Its imperfect, trivialise an error and I abhore it. Feb 28, 2022 at 16:12
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    @class_methods don't let other peoples actions dictate your responses. It doesn't lead anywhere constructive. Focus on yourself and think of everything negative as a passing shadow from cardboard people. At least in these sorts of situations.
    – Kilisi
    Feb 28, 2022 at 16:58
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    No offense intended, but thats your ego talking, it comes through strongly in your whole question. From a third person perspective it all comes across as trivial at best or more likely sour grapes at not getting a job offer.
    – Kilisi
    Mar 1, 2022 at 11:51
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    Now you're heading into parallel worlds to rationalise being rejected? I don't think I can help you. I've done my best, good luck.
    – Kilisi
    Mar 2, 2022 at 6:01
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    @class_methods: It's very unlikely they made a mistake. They rejected you and just gave you some boilerplate reasoning for it. We live in a world where we can rarely be honest without repercussions, so instead we get fed "professional bullshit". In other words, don't believe everything you get told. Especially when it comes to reasons why you didn't get a job.
    – musefan
    Mar 2, 2022 at 13:01
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Unfortunately sometimes things get messed up in small and large companies during interview and hiring processes. I wouldn't take it too personal in regards to your ego. What you read from that blunder may well not relate to your future position within that company - personally I would give them a second shot..

In regards to the recruiter not taking your no for serious:

Maybe she's aware that you feel a bit disappointed because of how things went wrong in the first place and tries to make you rethink a possibly rash or even premature decision on your side - but that's just an assumption and she might just think about herself and the lost commision on a possible deal.

Again, people make mistakes, every single one of us - so keeping that in mind you might find a way to rethink your decision based partially on emotions (ego).

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