16

Recently a kickass tech company offered internships when they visited our campus. Everyone applying for the internship was to go through the campus' screening process before they would make it to the company. However, since I got along with them well, they extended me the privilege of skipping the campus' screening and also let me pick a few of my friends who would also get to skip the screening process.

On the day of visiting the company for final selection, everybody chickened out. I made it in.

Now a few days have passed and those who chickened out want me to talk to the company again and see if they would schedule another interview.

I know that from a professional standpoint, this is beyond question. It also puts my neck on the line.

How do I handle this situation?

  • 11
    What do you mean by "chickened out"? Your friends skipped an interview, and now they want a second chance? – djohnson10 Feb 27 '15 at 14:40
  • 25
    Is "Sorry, I cannot do that. You missed your chance" an option? – Thorbjørn Ravn Andersen Feb 27 '15 at 14:51
  • 64
    Do not let them convince you to do this. You already stuck your neck out once for them (by vouching that they were good to skip screening), and they burned you. You can't run the risk that they'll flake out on you and the company a second time. Your credibility with your new company could take a serious hit. – djohnson10 Feb 27 '15 at 15:09
  • 2
    @LittleChild Well, would you like these persons as coworkers now you've seen their morals? – Thorbjørn Ravn Andersen Feb 27 '15 at 16:18
  • 5
    @LittleChild I would not worry. If you are asked to be a reference, say "No". If you are asked by HR because they used you anyway, just say that you have not accepted being their reference and that will most likely be the end of that. If HR remembers that just say that your recommendation back then was before they chose on their own accord to skip the tests. I would not worry. – Thorbjørn Ravn Andersen Feb 27 '15 at 16:30
66

On the day of visiting the company for final selection, everybody chickened out. I made it in.

Now a few days have passed and those who chickened out want me to talk to the company again and see if they would schedule another interview.

I know that from a professional standpoint, this is beyond question. It also puts my neck on the line.

How do I handle this situation?

Your friends made their choice, you made yours. You should tell your friends you are sorry, but at this point they will have to approach the company on their own.

You aren't in a position to offer them any more help at this point. You don't have enough influence in the company yet. Doing any more might make you look bad.

  • 47
    "Even when opportunity knocks, a man still has to get up off his seat and open the door." – Joel Etherton Feb 27 '15 at 16:06
  • 6
    Even if he did have influence with this company, the last time he exerted that influence, these friends blew him off. – corsiKa Feb 28 '15 at 0:47
  • 1
    @corsiKa: Exactly. His "friends" betrayed his trust and made him look bad in the company's eyes and now they want a second chance? They're not friends. – Wayne Feb 28 '15 at 3:32
  • 1
    @JoeStrazzere: Perhaps I was a bit strong, but there is the loose usage of the word "friend" to mean "acquaintance" or "classmate" and the stronger usage of the word and the sequence of events described to us -- which is admittedly only one side of the story -- does not meet the second usage. – Wayne Feb 28 '15 at 16:34
  • 1
    @JoelEtherton Opportunity is knocking - man yelling: "I'll just finish watching my favourite TV-show and the six-pack of cold lager and I'll be right with you.." ;) – iLuvLogix Jul 15 at 15:46
13

You have no power to negotiate for them. They had a 'take it or leave it' offer and chose to 'leave it'. You cannot stick your neck out for them now, not without undermining your own standing with the company. If they want to have the interview after all, they should contact the company directly, but if they were a no-show for the earlier interview there is almost no chance they will get a second chance.

10

I'd just tell them that you'd really like to help but there is nothing you can do. You're new with the company yourself and have zero influence. I don't think it's even necessary to lecture them about having missed their chance. Just say that there is nothing you can do. Under the circumstances that's completely plausible.

There are times when you have to get tough with people and tell them that they screwed up and now they have to suffer the consequences. But if you don't want to be the bad guy, it's nice when you can blame someone else. In this case, it's not your fault that the company won't listen to you: it's the company's fault. Blame HR.

I've often told my kids that when they don't want to tell their friends no on something, they can say, I'd love to but my father won't let me. Then someone else can be the bad guy. Do I care if my kids' friends don't like me? No. Does HR at this company care if your friends don't like them? No.

  • 1
    +1 for the advice - I believe this is the kind of "out" the OP was looking for! – TCSGrad Feb 28 '15 at 18:26

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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