There are a million and one reasons why an interview didn’t go to plan, let alone reasons why you haven’t heard back afterwards. You can also tell a lot about an organisation by the way in which they manage the (pre and post) interview process and in some instances this can reveal much about their company culture, good or bad. And how you are treated afterwards can be a good indicator or how you would be treated if you worked for them. But if you’re hell-bent on hearing back, at the very least avoid the following pitfalls:
1. Never impose or demand a deadline without a legitimate reason, such as relocating to the area by a certain date, accepting a promotion at your current company in lieu of an offer for example. They either want to give you the job or they don’t.
2. Don’t choke on sour grapes. They say that we are all separated by six degrees and you never know who somebody knows, especially as far as LinkedIn is concerned, in my opinion the online embodiment of this! And people move around and you never know when your paths may cross again.
3. Never attempt to communicate with an interviewer via their personal e-mail, home address, mobile phone or landline. You don’t want to wind up with a cyber-stalking writ!
4. Never criticise the company via social media. What goes on the internet stays on the internet providing an indelible permanent audit trail so be careful what you write and where you write it. And don’t forget that it’s not just the company in question who will see what you say and which could negatively impact your employment prospects with future employers Social media has become the new psychometric test for many companies and some are known to request your social media details as part of the application process so that they can get a clearer picture of you before they offer you a job or indeed an interview in some instances. It may not seem wholly ethical but it’s a fact of modern HR practice and increasingly so.
5. Practice appropriacy. Never complain to the employer about your frustration with them as this will be the death knoll to your prospects if you decide to reapply for the organisation at some point in the future. Take time to think about why it bothers you so much that you haven’t heard back about your interview. Be honest with yourself, learn from it and keep your fingers away from that keypad or telephone until the temptation has been removed!
6. Never call or e-mail relentlessly. Leaving three unreturned messages is a social and professional faux pas. Whilst it may be feasible and reasonable for an employer to miss or forget about a single phone message, missing or forgetting a second is terribly unlikely.
7. Don’t be tempted to use gimmicks. I’m thinking something like posting a shoe to an employer to demonstrate how keen you are to get your foot in the door. And yes, I’ve seen it done.
8. Don’t take it personally. Companies are legally obliged to advertise externally and go through the interview process even if they have every intention of offering the job to an existing member of staff. I’ve applied for jobs in the past where I’ve been reassured that the job is more or less mine, only to be pipped to the post at the eleventh hour by a last-minute, leftfield application from an internal candidate.
9. Flattery will get you everywhere. Except when you’re doing it out of an ill-advised attempt to emotionally bribe your potential future employer. You want the job based on merit and your skillset nothing else going down this route could call into question your ethics and even be seen as manipulate.
10. Don’t try and mind read. There are a million and one reasons you haven’t heard back and trying to second guess what they are is wholly unproductive and unhelpful.
Whilst you could be forgiven for thinking I’m trying to teach you to suck eggs here, these Ten No No’s are based on actual known reactions. Turn a no-response situation on its head and treat their lack of response as a lucky escape – do you really want to work for a company which doesn’t even practice professional courtesy? If you don’t ever hear back, accept it with good grace and preserve your energy for the next job interview you are offered.
Katherine Hanson is an experienced writer of persuasive copy, editor, researcher and English & Journalism graduate who has written feature articles for a variety of publications. She helps clients to communicate effectively through copywriting, website content, articles, blogging and social media. Katherine is Managing Director of Articul@te – Well Spoken Words For The Web.