Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Notes from 4/30/2010 - Interview Etiquette

Welcome to two new OCA members:
- Michael Heavener has more than 10 years of experience managing external and internal communications programs or projects, and has recently done so with Microsoft in several contract positions.
- Jennifer Wilson, Meeting and Event Specialist, was most recently with the The Red Lion Hotel at 5th Avenue. Prior to that position, Jennifer worked with Seattle's World Trade Center for 4 years.

At last week's OCA meeting, we talked about, what I'd refer to as "Interviewing Etiquette." Not from the job seeker's side, but rather from that of the hiring company. Specifically, those at Friday's meeting aired their thoughts and opinions on the difficulty, at times, of trying to find out exactly where you stand in the interview process - especially with a final decision. Call it the "Seattle passive/aggressive approach," but many interviewers simply won't tell a candidate, "No" - even if there truly isn't a fit or they've "decided to move on with other candidates." And rather than being up front, companies sometimes simply don't get back to the job seeker at all. Are they waiting it out, hoping the candidate decides to move on as well?

As a friend of mine once said, Sometimes a 'No' is just as good as a 'Yes.' If you know exactly where you stand, you can close the loop and focus your efforts elsewhere. You can also sometimes gather valuable feedback that could help you down the road in your job search. One of the most difficult things to decipher is why you may have been passed up for a position, but if you can get someone to divulge that crucial piece of information, you're that much better off for knowing.

Some of the best conversations I've had have been with hiring managers or recruiters who have specifically called to let me know I didn't get the job. Rather than a form letter, it's personal, and while rejection isn't fun, you leave the process feeling good about the company and it's representatives. It also opens the door to be able to connect with them for future openings.

All that being said, we completely realize recruiters and HR departments are slammed right now. During a recession, when employment is down, those areas are one of the first to go. And as hiring starts to pick back up as it has, recruiters (or, in many cases currently, contract recruiters) are often doing double-duty and wading through hundreds of applications for every job opening they're responsible to fill.

Still, in a world where relationships are proving to be the best thing a company can develop, wouldn't you want to have everyone who has interacted with your company feel good about their overall experience?

No comments:

Post a Comment