The frustration in looking for a job is immense… you go through a bunch of interviews and many of the people you speak with don’t have the courtesy to let you know how you stand even when they say they’ll get back to you. For the life of me, I don’t know how to help candidates become less frustrated… it’s kind of sad and it’s not a very nice way to treat someone…but hiring and interviewing authorities do it anyhow.
This week, our candidate James, who had been speaking with an organization for four weeks, made it to the finals of the interviewing process. One of the hiring authorities even told him he was their “number one” candidate and they told him they would be in touch with him in a few days. James waited and waited and waited. He emailed and called; then he emailed and called. He got absolutely no response. This went on for a whole week and James got more frustrated and madder.
In the middle of the second week, he had about all he could take and wrote a real ‘venting’ email to both the hiring authority and his boss. It was clear James was a very good candidate. He made it through four weeks of interviewing and outran nine or ten very qualified candidates. In the final analysis, James came in #2. While the hiring authority and his company were checking the references of their #1 candidate, they simply let James languish. Not very nice, but that’s what they did…( and this is one of those companies that is recognized nationally as one of the best companies in the country to work for…go figure).
They eventually told James he had come in #2 and they wanted to let him know that if anything came up in the near future they would call him. James lost his cool…I totally understand… and he told them to stuff it where the sun don’t shine in very explicit terms.
The best way to handle this would’ve been for James to be graceful and smart in spite of his frustration and anger. He was actually told he was the #1 candidate, but until you receive a job offer, you can’t bank on anything. Objectively, James knew that, but it didn’t keep him from going emotional.
Unfortunately, James has likely burned his bridge with the hiring authorities of this organization. I understand and empathize with him, but it’s not worth it. Somewhere down the line he may very well run into these guys and there’s simply no reason to tarnish your relationship that way.
Again, as I’ve preached before, if the candidate focuses on the process and is not too distracted by the result, it isn’t as likely that James would be as upset as he was and lose his cool.
I know this is easy to say and a lot harder to practice. Always be graceful, even if it’s hard. Don’t let your emotions get the best of you.