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I am currently a part-time employee at Home Depot.

After a nine-month job search, I finally landed an interview at Home Depot through their internal portal. Although the interview seemed positive, I now have a post-interview chat coming up, despite the careers page indicating my application won't proceed.

The job search has been incredibly stressful, and I'm not eager to join a 30-minute call just to learn why I wasn't selected when an email would suffice. I'm unsure of what to ask or do during the call besides just listening, and I worry it will only demoralize me further.


Update: I reckon I found myself sitting down for that post interview chat, and I got me some mighty fine pointers in return. They said they'd be hollering at me when a position of the like comes knocking. Now, I got to swallow my pride and say I'm sorry for acting all sour-like to some good folks who meant well. This job hunt has been chewing on me something fierce. Much obliged and a tip of the hat to you all in this community.

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    Were you told that you were not selected, or are you simply assuming because the job ad was pulled?
    – Aida Paul
    Commented May 4, 2023 at 14:37
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    Have you considered that maybe they could be considering you for a different position? Regardless, it's always helpful to get feedback so that you can learn from any mistakes and improve your candidacy for future positions.
    – sf02
    Commented May 4, 2023 at 14:37
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    @mishsx Having them tell you why you are not a good fit is valuable information...especially if it is something you can control/correct for future opportunities. If you have been searching for 9 months, 30 minutes of your time for feedback doesn't seem unreasonable.
    – sf02
    Commented May 4, 2023 at 14:57
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    Wait, is this a different position at a place you already work at? As that changes the dynamic significantly from random unrelated company X.
    – Aida Paul
    Commented May 4, 2023 at 15:00
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    I've added that to your question, hope that's ok with you - if not, feel free to edit it out.
    – Aida Paul
    Commented May 4, 2023 at 15:03

4 Answers 4

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Myself and several of my family members have had post-interview chats (formal and informal) like you describe on different occasions. In those chats we learned things like:

  • The interviewer had a different, not-yet-posted position that they felt would be a much better fit and wanted me to apply for that instead.
  • The interviewer thought I was a great fit but while they were in the process of filing the paperwork to make a formal offer, their budget got cut and they no longer have the resources to hire anyone.
  • The person who got the job was a truly rare find that was significantly more qualified than me (I would have hired them too), but that I was the runner-up and would have been successful in the position if hired. They said that the next time a similar position was posted, I would likely get it if I applied.
  • A recruiter informed me that my candidate profile in their applicant tracking system was suspicious and nonsensical, leading to automatic rejections before a human ever saw it. She looked into it further and noticed that their system couldn't parse my resume correctly due to the fancy formatting, and helped me re-format it and get past the automated screening systems.
  • The interviewer (who was a coworker of mine around a year prior) let me know that he intended on hiring me, but the legal department vetoed it due to internal anti-poaching rules. He said I could easily get a similar job at that company on a different team, or even get that same job if I waited several months for the anti-poaching window to expire.
  • The interviewer was familiar with my skill set and quality of work and thought I'd be a perfect choice. They let me know that I really needed to get certain industry certifications in those skill sets in order to be competitive even though they weren't technically required. Hiring committees will almost always favor people with those particular certifications, even if the non-certified candidate clearly has more actual skill and experience.

The common thread in these is that the interviewer believed that I could do the job well despite not being selected, and was helping me be more successful (and by extension, helping themselves by making it more likely they could hire me in the future). HR people are fairly well paid, and they won't be wasting their time making these types of calls if they weren't worth it. If they really didn't want you, they'd just send a rejection form letter and not waste another second on you.

Of course, it's possible that you could end up in a call that only exists for CYA legal purposes and is a complete waste of your time. But it could also contain key information that turns your job search completely around. For me, that tip about fixing my resume was the end of a grueling, year-long job hunt with zero success.

If it were me, I'd definitely take the meeting. Worst-case scenario, you play solitaire for half an hour and then move on with life. Best-case scenario, you learn something that completely changes your job search (current and future) for the better. It seems far too risky not to take the meeting.

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    I did ended up attending the meeting with a positive demeanor. Learnt that I was a runner up choice and got constructive feedback of things I can improve upon. The hiring manager told me if a similar position becomes available he will contact me first.
    – shuberman
    Commented May 5, 2023 at 2:59
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    @mishsx: That's good to hear. Commonly people here will edit in a resolution like that to the end of the question at the top, I bet people would appreciate seeing that there. Commented May 5, 2023 at 3:32
  • What does "internal anti-poaching rules" refer to? I'm not familiar with the term.
    – Neinstein
    Commented May 5, 2023 at 9:05
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    @Neinstein: "Poaching" refers to "stealing" another company's employees. Of course, in some exaggerated sense, every time you hire someone who is not long-term unemployed, you are "stealing" them, but that is normal business. It sounds like in this particular case the employer wants to avoid any hint of impropriety: employee X leaves company A for B; shortly thereafter, employee X hires employee Y from A. The problem is that they want to avoid it looking like X uses insider knowledge about their old employer to hire "away" their employees to their new employer. Commented May 5, 2023 at 9:32
  • @Neinstein internal anti-poaching means you can't "steal" an employee from another department. It's a anti-worker tactic.
    – cde
    Commented May 6, 2023 at 22:03
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Of course you should go. While job seeking is stressful, failing at it is more so.

  1. Maybe the portal is wrong, or maybe it's showing that till they get some specific information from you.
  2. Maybe they have a different position to offer you.
  3. Maybe they don't have anything for you but want to give you feedback - if you've been searching for a job for 9 months consider that something may be getting in your way and you probably need to hear about it.

In any world, they're not going to spend a half hour of their time with some rando rejected from one of the 10,000 positions they have without some reason. Engagement is good, use it.

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  • Well this position appears to people who work for the company. So we don't have 10k applicants. I work part time for Home Depot that's how I was able to get an interview easily. Additionally, this has happened in the past where they scheduled an interview just to tell me how thankful they were for my time. Sugarcoating with the good old -"I think you are a very strong candidate and we will definitely reach out once we have a position open."
    – shuberman
    Commented May 4, 2023 at 14:54
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    You asked us for advice, @mishsx. You got advice. You're free to disagree with it.
    – keshlam
    Commented May 4, 2023 at 16:47
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    Yeah, if you don’t want to go don’t go, I don’t care, but in my 30-years-in-the-workforce opinion it’s the smart play.
    – mxyzplk
    Commented May 5, 2023 at 2:26
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    It is never a good idea to become memorable to a hiring manager by being spiteful, petty, or unpleasant. They know others who do that job, and can move to different companies. Commented May 5, 2023 at 13:28
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Given that this is an internal hiring process (thank you for clarifying in the comments) you should most definitely attend the meeting, if for no other reason than to not set fire to the job you hold now.

It may not be what you want to hear, it may be demoralizing to have to sit through another "you are amazing, so amazing that we won't hire you", and if it was just a random company X I wouldn't suggest attending for your own sanity. But here you have to think about your current relationship with the employer, and how not attending may reflect badly on you and possibly cause harm to the job you have now.

And who knows, maybe it actually is good news, but the portal is wrong for one reason or another. From what you describe, it's not likely, but it's not impossible either.

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  • Not attending a post-interview chat is not a ground to fire people. Besides there are laws to protect workers from these situations. I can write up an email and tell them I can't make up since I am not available.
    – shuberman
    Commented May 4, 2023 at 15:08
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    @mishsx Just because it's illegal doesn't mean it won't happen. Or that someone simply won't hold a quiet grudge and then quietly undermine you in very legal ways. Ultimately the decision is up to you, but I would take a deep look at possible downfall and whether that risk is worth a 30-minute possibly unpleasant meeting.
    – Aida Paul
    Commented May 4, 2023 at 15:10
  • Thanks @gidds I did edit a bit for clarity. Feel free to suggest edits in the future, I always welcome those.
    – Aida Paul
    Commented May 5, 2023 at 5:41
  • I would also assume (but I could be wrong) since this is an internal hiring process that this will be a compensated post interview chat - which further suggests that OP should go.
    – emory
    Commented May 6, 2023 at 12:52
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You will get nothing useful from such an interview. No interviewer will tell you why you didn't get the job.

This is them trying to be kind.

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    I disagree. In my career I've had feedback from failed interviews that was extremely helpful. Also, if they didn't care at all about your future with them it is unlikely they would bother to offer a follow-up.
    – Mark Meuer
    Commented May 4, 2023 at 23:07
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    It could be a waste of time. But what if job portal shows the application won't proceed because the hiring manager has something else in mind, like offering them full-time work at their current position? Or another position that hasn't been opened yet? What if poster's current manager had no idea they were looking for FT work but has now been notified by their applying?
    – spuck
    Commented May 4, 2023 at 23:36
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    Strong disagree. Nobody is going to take 30 mins out of their day to speak to OP, unless they feel it's worthwhile for OP.
    – SiHa
    Commented May 5, 2023 at 11:03
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    Most common practice with handling job applicants who will not be hired is to end communication. I have been in the job search market for a few years (non-consecutive and not current) and have friends in a similar situation, and even getting a rejection letter is unusual.
    – user139762
    Commented May 5, 2023 at 14:05
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    Nobody will waste their own time to be kind. Time is precious for a business but even more precious to an employee. If there's nothing behind the chat then they wouldn't schedule the chat because their time is more important to them than talking to you.
    – slebetman
    Commented May 6, 2023 at 10:22

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