…hiding behind voicemails, emails. . and just plain ignoring YOU…shake the dust off your feet

One of the most, if not the most, frustrating things that a job searcher goes through is learning to live with unreturned calls, and un-responded to emails. You are overwhelmed with disbelief. You just can’t believe that after all of those wonderful interviews where you were told that you were, “perfect candidate,” and that “you’ll hear back from us soon” and then NOTHING… nada…zip…
Frustration with this experience leads to downright anger. Jobseekers can’t believe that people in organizations can be so rude. They go through a number of interviews that seem to be excellent but beyond the encouragement at the end of a group of interviews they hear absolutely nothing. Even we, as recruiters run into this…a lot. We communicate with most of our clients over the phone. But it’s becoming more and more common for some hiring authorities to only communicate with email, whenever they decide the timing is best. Emails don’t communicate emotion. There is very little “conversational” give-and-take. It is extremely antiseptic. Well, you and I just plain have to get used to it.
Cursing this experience and getting mad about it isn’t going to do you any good. In fact, the more energy you expend toward a negative event, the more you reinforce that events replication. Expending energy this way detracts from your ability to devote positive emotions toward what you might be able to influence and control.
The first step is to never, ever, ever believe what people tell you until it is followed up with their actions. If someone tells you that you are a great candidate and that they would like to pursue you, only believe it when they follow up with the actions that reinforce yout being a good candidate, by communicating with you and, most importantly, inviting you back for interviews. Actions always speak louder than words, especially in this situation.
The second step, and this is probably the hardest, is to be as understanding and accepting of being ignored as you can. Over ninety nine percent of the time you being ignored is not because people don’t like you, or hate you, or think you’re insignificant or never want to speak with you again. It’s vastly more than likely that they are distracted from you by other things that you have absolutely no control over and most likely have nothing to do with you. Having done this since 1973 and probably been involved with at least 100,000 interviewing cycles, I’ve come to the conclusion that 50% of the time the company has found, in their eyes, a better candidate. In spite of what they told you, that you were a fantastic candidate and you are perfect for the job, they found someone else they thought was better. Twenty five percent of the time, their interviewing process is still dragging on and they don’t have the guts to call you and tell you that they are so incompetent that they just can’t make up their minds about what to do, so their interviewing process is still going on (… even though they told you three weeks ago they were ready to make a decision). Twenty five percent of the time they change their mind about hiring anybody outside the company, i.e. they move somebody from within the organization into the job (…which is probably what they were going to do all along, but wanted to look like they were practicing business intelligence by interviewing externally) or they “reorganize” and don’t fill the job at all, just divide up the duties and responsibilities to other folks. (This 50%, 25% and 25% may not be “statistically” accurate by any mathematical study, but my gut on these things is usually correct).
After you have sent a number of emails… with no response, left a number of voicemails… with no return call over a period of about a week, the third step, and probably the most important one, is to know when to move on. Say prayers for these folks, recognize that they are “spiritual beings acting human,” forgive them for their rudeness, practice “holy acceptance” (Google: St. Ignatius of Loyola), drop the idea that you are going to get a job offer from them and start focusing on other opportunities. That’s it! Don’t expend any emotional or mental effort on the opportunity anymore.
Keep the door open. The fourth step is to avoid any emotional response to “tell them off.” Do not send some ridiculous email telling them they are rude, have no manners or are stupid. In their hearts they know they are being rude, but they are busy with other things. If you are a viable candidate, you never know if their first, second, or third candidate might turn them down or take another job and all of a sudden you are the “#1 choice”. If you write some stupid email or leave a voicemail that tells them they can take their job and stuff it where the sun don’t shine, you may never get the chance at the opportunity if a number of others don’t take it for one reason or another. Always leave the door open for an opportunity to get a job offer. I had a candidate a number of years ago that was offered a job after eight others had turned it down. Twenty years later he was the president and owner of the company. You may not want the job if it’s offered to you, but always leave the door open.
Here is the key: If you have a number of opportunities in the queue, when this happens you won’t be devastated. You might be disappointed, but you won’t be devastated. This kind of, seemingly, insult is emotionally and mentally offset when you are involved in lots of opportunities and interviewing cycles. It may bother you, but you have so many other opportunities that you are looking at, you can’t afford to get lost in the “poor me” or victim syndrome. Get on with focusing on the job opportunities you have in front of you where you can influence the outcome and possibly get a job offer.
In Mark 6:11 and Mark 10:11, Christ gives great job hunting advice, “If any place will not welcome you or listen to you… shake the dust off your feet…” and move on. Jim Rohn used to remind us that we have other signals these days of communicating the same feelings, but the action is the same… move on!
Remember what the doctor says when the patient dies:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *