A Plea for Mercy to Human Resource Professionals (and Anyone Else Interviewing People for Jobs)

If you are one of the people in charge of interviewing candidates…please please PLEASE keep the people you interview informed along the way. I never realized how many people are suffering through the interview process until I started writing this blog.

I realize that I too have been guilty in the past of not letting people know where they stand until the final decision is made. (Although I confess I did try to give hints where possible.) I understand all too well there are valid organizational reasons for not revealing too much along the way.

But that said…where you can do more to let people know what’s going on, please do. When someone is sitting at home waiting for that phone to ring, each day that you keep them in the dark feels like a torturous eternity.

That’s all. Just a reminder of what’s going on behind the scenes for the interviewees while the process unwinds. If at all possible, please tweak your policies to help keep the torture to a minimum. OK?

Thanks for listening. πŸ™‚

Oh…and if you want to see how people really feel about the interview process, just check out the comments here:

How to Tell If a Job Interview Went Well


About the author…

Ronnie Ann, founder of Work Coach Cafe, bases her real-world advice on her many years as an organizational consultant where she helped interview and hire people, added to a certificate from NYU in Career Planning & Development and her own adventures as a serial job seeker. She can also be found on her new blog, and on Google+.


  1. Good point, Ronnie.

  2. Thanks GradGirl. I hope people send this or some similar words to HR departments all over the place!

  3. How true! I have gone on interviews and never heard a thing. I had one in January that went so well, and I did follow up once a week, then once every couple of weeks, the last I heard, they were waiting for some internal moves to be done before they could actually fill the position and they’d keep me informed. I sent an email last week and called the week before and left a message – nothing. No call back, no “thanks but no thanks”.. nothing.
    Another frustrating thing is that I have sent out so many resumes (all for jobs that I am qualified for), and only two or three companies have bothered to even acknowledge my resume. It’s so frustrating!

  4. Hi Kathy W!

    I’m so sorry you’ve had such an especially frustrating experience. It sure would be great if we could at least know where we stand. Even in the case of the job you interviewed for in January, it isn’t impossible that they might still call you back for another interview. But why do you have to be kept in the dark for so long?

    One thought for the future: follow-up is excellent, but e-mails once a week are a bit too frequent in my opinion; glad you yourself realized that. At this point, I’d pull back even more and maybe drop them another e-mail a month from now if you still haven’t heard. (Although I hope that’s not the case.) They are well aware by this point of your interest. πŸ™‚

    I hope you get a nice surprise soon about a job you really want. In the meantime, keep sending out those letters and resumes. If you haven’t already, you might want to take a look at your resume to see if it sells you as well as it could. And also maybe brush-up on good cover letter techniques. (Susan Ireland has a few good tips on her website.) Also, if you are between jobs, try volunteering while you wait. You never know when a job there might open up! Also, think about places you might go to network. Job hunting is a real job, but the hard work pays off. And from what you’ve told us, sounds like you have the determination and follow-through to make it pay off! πŸ˜‰

    Thanks for taking the time to share your story with the rest of us.

    Good luck!

    Ronnie Ann

  5. Just thought I’d follow up – I got a call today for a 2nd interview for the job that I went on the interview in January for, and this is the one that I really want, so I’m one step closer! Thanks for the words of wisdom πŸ™‚

  6. Yay! It makes my day when I hear back from visitors – especially when I hear good news. Also good for others to read that even a few months later you can still be in the running.

    Good luck, Kathy W! Fingers, legs, and eyes crossed for you. πŸ™‚

    Ronnie Ann

  7. 2nd interview went as well as the first, and I was home an hour and they called me to do an pre-employment drug test. So I think as long as that goes well (which it should) I got the job. Yay!!! πŸ™‚

  8. Yay is right! Thank you for sharing this with us, Kathy W. This is the part of the interview process I love. I look forward to hearing you got the job.

    They sure took a while to get going, but now they’ve got you going. πŸ˜‰ Looks like they move fast when they are ready to act.

    Good luck! You made my day.

    Ronnie Ann

  9. They made my day! I got a call this morning and was offered the job – I start Monday. After being unemployed for 3 months, and finally getting the job I wanted, this is fantastic. Thank you!!

  10. This is GREAT news! Congratulations Kathy W. How I wish I could see you on your first day. Hmmm…that would make a great documentary, wouldn’t it? First Days: From job search to the real thing – in pursuit of a dream.


    Thanks for keeping us posted. It’s been such fun watching this happen for you. All the best!!

    Ronnie Ann

  11. Hi Ronnie Ann
    I thought I’d post here as I went straight to the link.

    I think you are amazing, the job agony Aunt..


  12. Hahaha! I’ve never been called that. Thanks. Kinda like the image of a cross between Auntie Em and Auntie Mame!

    Ronnie Ann

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