A few weeks ago someone with less than 2 years of experience contacted me (via personal connections) asking me to help him find another job. The email cover letter was decent enough, showing his interest and promise, and his resume was attached. I told him I will keep him in mind if I come across something in my company.

Yesterday, someone in my team said they are looking to hire fresh graduates and I thought this person who contacted me would be a good fit. I sent him a single line email:

Are you still interested in job change and are you willing to move to [my city]?

To which he replied:

Yes I am still interested.

My problem with his response is that I am offering him a lead on the change he is looking for and he replies with 5 words. No salutation, no thank you, no regards and not even his name at the bottom.

Can I consider this an indicator of him lacking interest and ignore this conversation? Or I am expecting too much considering my original follow-up email was also a one liner with no salutation.

Edit: I am removing two points in the question I made which, due to my poor choice of words, has distracted lot of questions/comments away from the main question which is only about using one-liner as indicator of interest.

  1. I removed the part where I mentioned I am offering him job interview. As rightly pointed out by others, I was not offering him that at this point. My concern nonetheless would have been same about his response.

  2. I removed the part talking about respect based on seniority. The respect was not the right choice of word here and the entire point dilutes my intention behind the question. I could clarify what I meant but I think it is not important for the core question and I decided to remove it.

  • 67
    You're expecting way too much; to be more explicit, your expectations are absolutely ridiculous if you are providing all of the detail. If you wanted a prosaic answer, you shouldn't have asked a question which had a binary one. Jul 21, 2017 at 20:56
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    If he had 20 years of experience, would you take the same issue? It sounds like this is really about respect and not interest, and because he has less than 2 years of experience you seem to expect he should show more respect and gratitude regardless of your initially blunt query. I think it would be better to get off that high horse and try to objectively analyze if he's a potential solution to your problem or if the lack of respect you expect takes the higher precedence.
    – JarkkoL
    Jul 22, 2017 at 3:20
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    Even when the "A binary question was asked!" has been taken in consideration, his response clearly shows that he might not have an understanding for that you - as a professional in your position - expect a certain kind of communication (which is why you ask this question). This might indicate that you should have an eye open for communication skills in general. Note that especially IT professionals might have a very literal and sharp mind, where this is not considered important, and his skillset may make this unimportant. Follow up with a more verbose email where you essentially ... Jul 22, 2017 at 7:30
  • 7
    ... ask this question again but in more words and prompt for more details in the response, and then consider if it still is a problem. Jul 22, 2017 at 7:31
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    I always reciprocate the formality of the emails I receive. If they address me by my first name only, I address them by their first name only. Etc. If you didn't use a salutation or signature in your own email, why would you expect the other person to? Jul 23, 2017 at 9:16

19 Answers 19


My problem with his response is that I am offering him a job interview and he replies with 5 words.

I don't think this is a big problem. Yes, a salutation would be better, yes, thanking you would be appropriate, but the standard With regards, <name> you see in most emails is an automated signature, so there isn't typically any sentiment behind it.

You asked a simple question, he gave a simple answer. I don't think this shows lack of enthusiasm. It maybe shows that he was busy while responding, or maybe his signature failed.

Or I am expecting too much considering my original follow-up email was also a one liner with no salutation.

This may be a big part of it. If you're both already communicating in unformatted one liners previously, there is no need to expect the formality to suddenly increase just because you have something now. It's not important, and the general tone of conversation has already been set.

I have had executives and people superior to me sending/responding to emails like this to me but when someone who is far junior to me does it, it bothers me. I just do not know if it is right for me to expect respect based on my seniority.

I don't think using a formatted signature in email has anything to do with respect. I think you're overthinking this and the guy just responded in the way you wrote to him. It'd be weird to go all formal on an informal job lead someone sent to you, wouldn't it?

All in all, I would let this go. No need to assume malice or disrespect when that is so unlikely.

  • 2
    Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – enderland
    Jul 21, 2017 at 14:59
  • Great answer, I would also point out that the OP needs to decide whether they want to be a place that can get people who are not easy to impress or 'passive' candidates or they only want people who are falling over themselves to work there. In my experience, the companies that work hard to woo great people are doing a lot better than those that expect people to kiss ass to get a job.
    – JimmyJames
    Jul 25, 2017 at 13:53

This looks to me like Smart Reply usage, a feature available on GMail clients for both Android and iOS. You can see a sample below from my own inbox:

GMail showing three suggested responses: "Yes, I am interested." "Yes, that would be great." "I am not interested at this time."

The options may also change contextually, so a 'still' may have been added to one of the options based on the content of your email.

My personal experience is that younger professionals tends to use it quite more frequently, so I wouldn't take it as lack of interest.

  • 49
    In a few years all human communication will be canned responses and maybe a few emoji mixed in. Jul 20, 2017 at 14:54
  • 92
    I can't speak for the recipient in this case, but personally I initially mistook this new feature for something provided by the sender (rather than by Gmail), and therefore assumed that this was the intended method of responding. Jul 20, 2017 at 15:54
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    Does this not mean that the candidate is even lazier and less interested? He couldn't even be bothered to modify the response with to add "and I am willing to relocate"? He could have used the time he saved not typing most of the sentence.
    – stannius
    Jul 20, 2017 at 16:41
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    @trichoplax that was exactly my initial reaction as well.
    – OnoSendai
    Jul 20, 2017 at 16:44
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    @stannius “Does this not mean that the candidate is even lazier and less interested?” How many different ways does one have to say “Yes!” to a one sentence query? Why are you inferring other motives to an answer than what might exist? Jul 20, 2017 at 17:19

I don't think it's a big problem that someone would reply to you in the same manner that you initially reached out to them. You asked a one-line question that could essentially be replied to with a one-line answer and that is what you got.

There is quite a lot of talk about being aware of cues from prospective employers and matching responses to the questions asked, and that is what this candidate has given you.

The lack of a salutation might be concerning (but as Magisch points out, could mean their automated sig has just failed) but not really important.

  • 27
    I agree. I think (s)he could easily have asked the same question prior to answering: "Are they really interested in hiring me if the manager only sent me a single line email?" Or similarly overthinking the situation: "I think its polite to include a greeting but they didn't and I don't want to seem TOO interested WHAT DO I DO!?"
    – mkingsbu
    Jul 20, 2017 at 12:49
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    Personally, I do the same in any professional communication: reply in the same style as the email I received. I start communications off in full-on formal mode, but if the person on the other side decides to respond in a few words without any signature or greeting, then that's how I'll respond. I don't see how this suddenly changes when it concerns a job interview, unless you feel like you're "doing them a favour" as the employer...
    – Cronax
    Jul 20, 2017 at 14:03
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    Likewise @Cronax. I assume that if someone writes to me in a particular style, that is how they communicate most effectively & communicating in a similar manner is not only polite, but the most effective way of getting my point over. Your point about job interview situations not changing things is well made too I think; interviews are a two-way process & I could easily imagine a candidate writing a similar question here about a disinterested employer sending them a one-line interview invitation. I've actually walked away from a potential employer who didn't seem enthusiastic about hiring me.
    – Rob Moir
    Jul 20, 2017 at 14:06
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    "The lack of a salutation might be concerning" After the initial emails in each direction, I find signatures are more tedious than anything.
    – Brian
    Jul 21, 2017 at 14:47

Keeping things short is respectful

In a business setting, I try to avoid answering with anything longer than the initial email (unless the request specifically requires it). I'll endeavour to match the tone and formality, but I consider it much more important to avoid using up someone's work time with unnecessary prose, than to show off my etiquette skills.

I consider the email you describe to be more respectful of your time than one that adds extra flourishes or pads out the text with artificial evidence of enthusiasm, or quoting facts about the company. If it was a quick response, I would recommend assuming that it indicates they are keen to hear more, until you are given reason to think otherwise.

Automated replies

Many people are used to software such as Outlook including automated response buttons, so that the sender can gather statistics on how many people replied with each response. For example, an email may ask a question, and then have buttons for "Yes", "No", "Weekdays only". In that case it would create more work to send a response rather than just pressing a button, as that prevents the automatic collation of results.

As mentioned in OnoSendai's answer, recently Gmail has started including automated response buttons in emails that did not have such buttons added by the sender. Until people get used to this, many people may assume these buttons have been included by the sender, and that it would create more work for the sender to reply with anything else, as would be the case in Outlook. I can't guess how many people will be affected by this, but I have been caught out by it myself, and almost caught out by it further times even after becoming aware of it. If your candidate uses Gmail, they may not realise that a longer email was an acceptable option.

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    The "short is respectful" part was my immediate thought as well. Many people even consider this to be proper email etiquette. I know people who think doing otherwise is rude. It is not uncommon to omit the email body entirely if the message is short enough for the subject line. Ex: "Can you check if Bob's in? eom" with a reply of "Re: Can you check if Bob's in? - He's out. eom" This is a standard which seems to be waning over the years. "eom" stands for "end of message" and is put at the end of the subject if the entire message is in subject, ie: no body.
    – Aaron
    Jul 20, 2017 at 20:13

You asked: "Are you still interested?". You got a reply: "Yes, I am still interested". And you ask us: Does this show a lack of interest?

The first word of the reply is "Yes". If you asked Linus Torvalds or Kimi Räikkönen, then that word would be the whole reply, and they would mean it: Yes means yes. In this case, a whole sentence, starting with "Yes", so this person is interested. They said so. If they were not interested, they would say "No".

The short answer may indicate that you are not that person's first choice anymore. They may be talking to someone else already, but leaving their options open as anyone in that position would (one of the most repeated statements here: You don't have a new job until you have a signed contract). In that case tell them what you have to offer without delay. On the other hand, the short answer may just be caused by your short initial question.

Anyway, "Yes" means yes.

  • YES! The OP may already be moving down the applicant's priority list because the OP's communication was so terse and the questions were closed.
    – Qsigma
    Jul 21, 2017 at 9:25
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    +1 - this answer directly addresses the question. I would add that any concerns about the tone or ternseness of the response may matter as to whether the potential candidate is fit for the job (and if so, should be worked out through the interview process), just not whether they are interested.
    – S. Grey
    Jul 21, 2017 at 14:23
  • Obviously if youd have asked that question in Finland that's about the brevity you would expect. And yes, I have seen that exact question answered with "Yes" and no punctuation (altough the other one had a spelling mistake, go figure).
    – joojaa
    Jul 22, 2017 at 22:57

Two other perspectives I can think of:

Many people like myself like to keep emails extremely concise regardless to whom, any kind of salutation or signature beyond the introduction is just noise that makes you scroll more as the email thread gets longer.
Maybe the applicant is one of those people.

Another option might be that the person preferred not to say anything rather than saying saying too much about something that might put them in disfavor by making it look like they tried but nobody would take them or that they are not really interested in switching as they haven't changed their employment yet.

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    This was my immediate thought as well. Many people even consider this to be proper email etiquette. I know people who think doing otherwise is rude. It is not uncommon to omit the email body entirely if the message is short enough for the subject line. Ex: "Can you check if Bob's in? eom" with a reply of "Re: Can you check if Bob's in? - He's out. eom" This is a standard which seems to be waning over the years. "eom" stands for "end of message" and is put at the end of the subject if the entire message is in subject, ie: no body.
    – Aaron
    Jul 20, 2017 at 20:10
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    eg emailcharter.org
    – ping
    Jul 21, 2017 at 6:40

Another reason why a short reply doesn't necessarily mean lack of interest is that people are more and more likely to answer emails using their phones these days. And as anyone who has used a phone to answer an email can tell you, a phone keyboard does not really suit itself for extensive replies with punctuation and many line breaks. On most phones, you actually need to use a different section of the onscreen keyboard to type any punctuation beyond a period.

Anecdotally, my boss at my previous employment frequently answered emails from his phone. His replies were like yours: short and no punctuation. He did however have an email signature that read "Sorry for the short answer, am on my phone."

I can tell you that if I'm using a 4" phone display, with a keyboard that takes about 2" of that screen and an email client header that uses another 1", I'm going to type the shortest email I can get away with. And yes, sometimes that's just 5 words with no punctuation. If I need to type any real long answers, I'm just going to reply something like

I'll get back to you tomorrow once I'm at a computer.

And then just answer them tomorrow. If the request is urgent, I'll call them on their own phone so I can discuss it at length.

  • 1
    Yeah, I also hate touch keyboards with a passion. But Steve Jobs ruined the company making keyboard phones.
    – CodeMonkey
    Jul 21, 2017 at 7:21

The Response Seems to be in Equal Measure to the Guestion: Casual

My problem with his response is that I am offering him a job interview and he replies with 5 words. No salutation, no thank you, no regards and not even his name at the bottom.

Okay, how about this. Is this better; based on your criteria above:

Dear PagMax,

Thanks for getting back to me! I am really happy to have heard back from you.

Yes I am still interested. Please let me know what the next steps are.

Thanks again for getting back to me, PagMax!



Maybe I exaggerated the tone of what you describe, but to me what else can one say—or be expected to say—to a query like this? You asked a simple question and you got a simple answer.

Can I consider this an indicator of him lacking interest and ignore this conversation? Or I am expecting too much considering my original follow-up email was also a one liner with no salutation.

You are definitely expecting too much given the question presented. And to be honest you seem to be playing the horrible game many recruiters, HR people and hiring mangers seem to be playing of over-interpreting every action as if you are in some life or death game of chess with a potential candidate.

Approaching hiring—or recommendations for a hire—this way is instantaneously adversarial and helps nobody. Someone asked you if you could help them find a job. You said yes. And now you are providing them with requested info. Someone who wants a job is asking about a job; they are not trying to trick you into passing along nuclear secrets.

Maybe the Issue is You Are Questioning Your Role in being a “Go Between” Here

And that said, if you are thinking like this I will dig deeper psychologically: You really don’t know this person, you said “Yes!” to help them out of politeness but now that the process is really happening, you have doubts… Meaning you might feel like “Why am I essentially vouching for someone I don’t know?”

If that is the case, at this point I would recommend you state as much to whoever is offering the job you are recommending this person to: Simply state, “Look, I don’t really know who this person is but their skills seem in line with what you want so I passed the info to them. But past that it’s your call whether this is a good fit.”

Situations like this are the reason I rarely explicitly state to someone “I will help you find a job…” because that is just too heavy a responsibility on both sides. I simply keep in touch with people, pass on info if a potential match can happen and then clearly state the reality of my relationship to both sides of the equation.

There are honestly some people straight out of college who think people older than them have some “magic list” of job contacts and they don’t understand otherwise. You have to be honestly but blunt with people like that: “I passed your name on, that’s all I can do and I don’t know what else you want me to say…”

Jobs are jobs. People are people. There is no magical “short cut” to getting hired or hiring the right person. You just have to be clear, honest and persistent.

  • Thanks Jake. Yes your hypothetical answer is slightly exaggerated but I was expecting around that lines. I did not know or think of it as "Horrible Mind games"! Other than that I agree with your thoughts !
    – PagMax
    Jul 20, 2017 at 14:14
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    @PagMax Thanks! And I said, “…playing the horrible game…” not “horrible mind games.” That said, you might not be consciously aware of it but there is generally this “role” that many people seem slip into when hiring—or recommending—someone where they make them jump through more hoops than one would need to in order to get a job. Yes, you have to “vet” someone before passing them on. But if you are concerned the way you are stating, my gut personally tells me you are uncomfortable about some aspect of this. Go with your gut and be honest to both sides. Jul 20, 2017 at 14:29

Actually, your message to the candidate was far too short and vague. You only said...

Are you still interested in job change and are you willing to move to [my city]?

... yet you were thinking that it's implicit that you're offering an interview and there's a job lead at hand. That's not at all obvious. It could very easily be interpreted as a query to check if the candidate is simply still interested.

A clear message would be more like this:

... A colleague has a job opening for a job in department xxx as title yyy. Attached is the job description. Let me know if you're interested in this opportunity. If so, I'll make an introduction. If you want to update your cover letter and resume send it to me ASAP.

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    I see what you mean teego. I just thought I will write those details once I get a positive response from him (which I did and clearly I overthought !!)
    – PagMax
    Jul 21, 2017 at 5:21
  • By tomorrow, there will be a question titled "Does a one-line email question from my job contact show a lack of a true job opportunity?"
    – cdkMoose
    Jul 21, 2017 at 18:45
  • @cdkMoose, A little bit of context doesn't hurt. I like short emails too, but a one-liner is too terse for a situation like this. And anyway, the email is still reasonably short even with full unambiguous details included.
    – teego1967
    Jul 22, 2017 at 1:44
  • @teego1967, that was more in response to PagMax's comment. I could envision the candidate having the same thoughts about OP's original message. Maybe candidate was expecting to give more details later after he confirmed the opportunity was real.
    – cdkMoose
    Jul 24, 2017 at 13:10

Personally, I'd feel very weird replying with a formal tone for several reasons. One is that, as others have said, the tone was set at "we can send each other one-line emails now", so it would be unusual to re-escalate. This is similar to someone calling you by your first name: in most situations in modern life, it would be unusual to keep calling them "M(s/r). Lastname". Similarly, someone sending you a one-line email either means that you're on informal terms or that they're too busy to format email and doesn't mind if you are too.

Another, and probably more to the point, is that since the initial email was just a couple of general questions, it could have meant anything from "come on in for a job interview" to "just checking in" to "maybe I'll check in again if we get an opening in a few months". The recipient can't read your mind and doesn't know which you mean. Since the recipient only has your single sentence to go on, it seems presumptive to respond to what could be "still searching?" with "I'd love to come in and interview, thank you!"

It's natural to extrapolate when you're trying to figure out if someone will be a good fit and have limited information, and personally I probably would have put my name at the end or asked followup questions or something, but as JakeGould pointed out, it's important to be aware of this tendency and to avoid focusing on details that are unlikely to be relevant.


If you want to set up an interview, just ask that. If the person is interested, they will want to set up the interview. If not, they won't. Now you're several steps ahead of what you were doing.

Think about what you really want and go as directly toward that as you can. Don't add extra steps.

If I had received your message, I would have thought you weren't that interested but you were keeping me hanging in case something else fell through. You know what you mean because you have more information than I do, but you excluded that information from your message.


It doesn't show enthusiasm, but for completely different reasons than the ones you raise.

You set the language for your discussion as "informal" by writing a one liner. If anything, respecting your decision of informal language and responding in the same short and concise format is a good thing.

What worries me is the implied complete lack of interest for details, and also the lack of clear answer regarding the "move to [my city]" part. Someone who's interested, and has time to write a proper response, will usually have some questions in such a scenario.

I'd wait a few hours to see if there's a follow up in case he was simply busy at the time.

  • Good idea and yes you are right. I did not even think about the relocation part!
    – PagMax
    Jul 20, 2017 at 15:21
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    @PagMax One thing I forgot to say: People can be a good fit and incredible value even if they aren't initially enthusiastic about the job. And they can be enthusiastic and turn out to be totally useless. Enthusiasm certainly helps, but it's not necessarily a dealbreaker.
    – Peter
    Jul 20, 2017 at 17:58
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    I would see the exchange "Are you still interested", "Yes, I am" as the very first step. Only after the "Yes, I am" would the recruiter spend the time to send out all the information for the job. That first exchange is just to avoid wasting time.
    – gnasher729
    Jul 21, 2017 at 8:59
  • All the question looks like it's asking is whether to consider this guy or to rule him out due to relocation/no further interest. Come a specific job, sure, then details matter, but the OP's query mentioned nothing that indicated such a thing was on the table yet. Pretty sure that's not a point where more details are in order, yet.
    – The Nate
    Jul 23, 2017 at 13:55

Text on the email sometime can have a misleading tone. If it's not too much a hassle for you to help him pursue this opportunity, I would recommend to send him a one-line email, "Great! Call me at {your number} to discuss further at {some date time}." If he doesn't give you a call in timely manner at this point, your gut is probably right. If he does, you should be able to gauge his interest within a few minutes anyhow.

He may or may not end up becoming one of the great assets to your company in the future, so don't let the one-line reply bother you too much.


I think you're putting far too much emphasis in this junior vs senior stuff. Given the fact that a job search can be exhausting for many, nobody's got time to kiss the a-- of every recruiter that they're in contact with. This doesn't negate the need to be polite, but consider the chance that for this applicant, you're just one more name in a long list of lukewarm opportunities. I'm sure the job posting doesn't indicate how long you've worked on your job -- should the applicant treat you differently based on your seniority?

What more were you looking for? Supplication? Bowing and scraping? You mentioned that the applicant contacted you a "few weeks ago" (no distinct number) and I'll say that for someone about his/her business, a longer span of time with no feedback could easily be considered a cold lead. The short response is for sake of efficiency.

I respond often here to applicants about not getting hung up on recruiters, namely because there are ten times more staffing agency recruiters than in-house recruiters, and the former group -- paid on commission -- tends to make lots of empty promises and waste a lot of peoples' time. I've even had staffing agency recruiters call me up and recommend that I spend a few hours reformatting my resume, even in the absence of a bona fide prospect. What nerve!

In summary: cut the applicant some slack; stop taking things so personally; and realize that the applicant has no duty to play the "hierarchy" game.

  • 'What more were you looking for? Supplication? Bowing and scraping?' If you start imagining what more I am looking for and answer based on that, it is completely useless to me.
    – PagMax
    Jul 20, 2017 at 17:09
  • And I am not putting far more emphasis on anything. I did not know how should I consider this and hence I am asking.
    – PagMax
    Jul 20, 2017 at 17:16
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    It started right off with "someone with less than 2 years experience", segways into "executives and people superior to me", and "when someone who is far junior to me does it, it bothers me". Those are your words, not mine. In my world view, a person's "rank" doesn't matter, but ANYONE reading your question can see that it matters greatly to you. Don't shoot the messenger.
    – Xavier J
    Jul 20, 2017 at 17:22
  • I see where you got the emphasis on rank part but still does not explain bowing and scraping. In any case, I agree with rest of your points. Btw, you are messenger of your own message.
    – PagMax
    Jul 20, 2017 at 17:28

He is doing this because an offer is nothing. An offer to an interview is not a job. He can get 100 interview offers, and he can waste 50 days for that, while it is quite possible that he doesn't get a simple job offer or what he gets, would be a step backward to his current one.

If you would be a spammer, he could send you to the hell, or silently put you to a spamlist. But you aren't - or, not a very heavyly different one.

But he gets still everyday at least multiple similar "offers" from you (plural).

And, he can't do anything. He must count the possibility, that maybe you will be very important in his life, and although this possibility is mainly a nightmare for him, he must count with it. Thus, he has to remain polite with you. He simply can't burn the bridges to you.

Thus, he answers politely, and tries to minimize the time he wastes for you - but without burning bridges.

Your suspection about the lack of interest is right, but please care also about the wider context.

If you really want him, show him very clearly, why would his position by you better as his current one. Do something. Only calling in somebody, between 20 other people, is absolutely not convincing. You can't await from anybody to waste 10 days, 10 workdays of his life for a little chance to get a job offer for a similar job as his current one.

If he wants money, make cler that he will. If he wants to become a boss, make clear that he will start as team lead entwickler and will get access to many useful schooling program. If he wants to use Linux on his desktop and hates the Big Company where he is working since a decade, then make clear the he can do it.

  • Other than the last paragraph, I did not understand anything.
    – PagMax
    Jul 21, 2017 at 18:02
  • @PagMax My English didn't change in the last weeks, and there is an important improvement in the latest day. Most people understand my posts very well. But you are the second in 2 days saying the same. I am surprised. Could you please make clear, what you don't understand? Even a little info would be already useful, I have the intent to make this post better.
    – Gray Sheep
    Jul 21, 2017 at 18:06
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    @MorningStar: the answer is unclear because you bring in a lot of hypothetical context, but the question doesn't support it. Which makes it seem like you are talking about a different question entirely.
    – jmoreno
    Jul 21, 2017 at 20:50

No. It shows that the job seeker is professional, knows how to use email efficiently (a very valuable job skill), and respects your time.


I'm going to dissent with the majority of the answers here.

Does a one-line email response from a job seeker show a lack of interest?


Here's an example reply:

Hi So-and-so,

Great to hear from you! Yes, I'm definitely still interested in new opportunities. I would appreciate it if you could forward my information to the hiring manager. Can you tell me more about the role?


That took me < 2 minutes.

Their lack of effort shows:

  • laziness
  • lack of decorum
  • inability to follow basic social conventions
  • lack of interest
  • lack of motivation to learn how to respond to employment inquiries (google)

The only exceptions I would make to the above, is for someone that has some sort of disability, or English as a second language.

If someone cannot be bothered with pleasantries, then I cannot be bothered to forward their information and I definitely would not recommend them for employment. A google search of 5 minutes would have resulted with the appropriate way to reply, regardless of age.

(Even better attach a current copy of your CV or resume in the response.) Utterly lazy.

  • 2
    Great relief to see an alternate opinion not because this is what I wanted to hear but at lest someone understands what I am trying to say instead of making unnecessary conclusions about me. yes I was expecting similar response from the candidate may be even shorter. I am very open to other answers people have given but still good to see yours!
    – PagMax
    Jul 22, 2017 at 5:05
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    @PagMax, Honestly, I was surprised our sentiment was not echoed earlier in the multitude of answers. Sad. However, I do see where some of the answers come from, such as you already having an informal tone, and some of the auto-response messages provided by the email client. Still, the answer I provided provides the safest, most professional route and it doesn't cost much of anything in regards to time. Cheers.
    – James
    Jul 22, 2017 at 15:47
  • @PagMax: This sort of reply would be expected if even a little bit of extra information had been included in the question. You don't have to even go as far as teego gave in his example, just "A position opened up and I thought you might fit. Are you still interested in opportunities in [my city]?" By mentioning the position, you expect him to ask about it. But you gave nothing to ask about, in fact your email gives the impression that you're cleaning resumes off your desk that haven't been matched to any job and are starting to collect dust.
    – Ben Voigt
    Jul 23, 2017 at 1:21
  • 2
    @BenVoigt, My answer is solely based on the fact that the candidate wrote a one-line reply without salutations or signature. I only mention the CV update for the general case, that someone reaches out to you after some time has elapsed. It's a perfect time to send a fresh CV/resume.
    – James
    Jul 23, 2017 at 2:48
  • 1
    @BenVoigt I agree. This is in discussion so much because I started an informal tone and asked a question without providing any details. Had I done that and if I would have got the same answer, I would not have even asked here and directly ignored it. My point was even though my own email was rather blunt (may be wrong thing to do in the first place), he really had nothin to lose if he would have shown little more excitement. I can agree with comments/answers which say I should not read too much in to this but I surely do not agree with others who say this was the perfect answer.
    – PagMax
    Jul 24, 2017 at 7:22


Absent a compelling reason to believe someone is lying or doesn't understand the language, yes means yes and no means no, and maybe means maybe. And a whole lot of other words mean what they mean. To the OP: you asked a question, I see absolutely nothing that would make any reasonable person conclude that the respondent was lying to you when he answered your question, or that he didn't understand the language. So, when you ask "Are you still interested in job change and are you willing to move to [my city]?" you can't reasonably interpret "Yes I am still interested." as a lack of interest. In short to answer the question in your title: No. (ps, that should not be read as "yes", "maybe" or "your money or your life". I really did mean no).

  • 1
    For anyone wondering, I spent a lot of time on the above answer.
    – jmoreno
    Jul 21, 2017 at 20:40
  • Question has been undeleted based on the improvements. Post is being discussed on meta.
    – Lilienthal
    Jul 25, 2017 at 7:53
  • Thanks for your answer. I am little annoyed with comments and answers saying 'yes means yes and no means no'. They are great bumper stickers but do not help me in anyway. (Unless you really think core of my question was 'Does yes mean yes or it means no'. ) One mistake I think I did was use the word 'interest' both in this question and my email to the candidate but context of both were very different. An (exaggerated) analogy: Yes I am interested in becoming CEO of my company but if I do not show traits for it or work for it then that INTEREST does not mean a lot. Does not mean I am lying.
    – PagMax
    Jul 25, 2017 at 13:32
  • @PagMax: if you've read the meta question, you'll see that I wanted a one word answer. It seems to me that the question you posted was basically "can/should I disregard the answer because it wasn't long enough", while the question you were really trying to ask was "can/should I use the short answer as a yardstick to measure the respondents interest in getting the job". The answer to the first question is no, length is not the determining factor for completeness, accuracy, honesty or any other relevant criteria, except brevity/consiseness, with which it is negatively correlated...
    – jmoreno
    Jul 26, 2017 at 0:28
  • ...the answer to the question I think you were trying to ask is a bit more involved. At first, it may seem that the answer should be yes, after all, it is a communication from them and you'd certainly prefer someone that says yay to getting the job instead of meh. The problem is you have asked a question, and the respondent has no way to determine whether you want the answer with a side of rah-rah or not. Someone looking for a yes/no answer may view the rah-rah answer as incompetent (going off on a tangent). A rah-rah answer doesn't mean they are enthusiastic, it means they thought that's
    – jmoreno
    Jul 26, 2017 at 1:00

I'm not going to reiterate what others have already said. So to add to them, here's my interpretation:

You say this person is young and inexperienced. It's likely that he needs more information to go on in order to write better responses. I'm sure he's expecting you to reply with further information. If he was more experienced he would probably have outright asked for the information he needs, but your question was very open-ended and he might not know exactly what to ask about.

So, no. It doesn't show a lack of interest. Give him more information and he will probably have a better response and perhaps also ask further questions.

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