Q: In November I had a job interview for my dream job. I thought I absolutely nailed the interview and met with all members of management team. I was told that I should hear back within the next two weeks. I sent each person a personalized thank-you letter. Each letter thanked the individual for their time and recapped a piece of our conversation. I also re-iterated why I thought I would be a good fit for the organization.
Fast forward two weeks and have I heard nothing. I sent a very polite follow-up letter to the HR rep asking for an update and expressed my interest in the position. She responded four or five days later and apologized for the delay. She explained that with the holidays, things were taking longer than expected and she was still "gathering feedback from management.” She stated that she would contact me after she had received feedback from management. Fast forward another two weeks and I have heard nothing. Although I did not want to be a pest, I also did not want them to think my interest in the position was waning. I sent another follow-up email. This time I have yet to receive a response.
This is my dream job and I really want it. I know the timing is crappy because of the holidays but shouldn't this process be done by now? Is there anything more I can do? Does this mean I didn't get the job?
A: I can understand your frustration. When you think you have found the ideal role and then it does not materialize, it can be maddening. This job hunting phenomena is sometimes called the “black hole” because the opportunity and any related communication seem to evaporate. It is discouraging for job seekers, but unfortunately a common complaint.
Several things could have occurred:
1. The company could have hired another candidate.
2. The HR Rep could still be soliciting feedback from the selection team. This takes time, especially in late December and early January.
3. The HR Rep may be pre-occupied with other pressing distractions.
I have one piece of feedback to share. I am concerned about the quality of your thank-you notes or emails. I had to revise and edit your original Job Doc question dramatically. There were several typos, run-on sentences and grammatical errors. Of course, submitting a question on-line to the Job Doc is not the same as thanking a prospective employer for an interview. However, you may want to have a trusted friend or colleague proofread your thank-you notes. I don’t know for sure, but your thank-you note may have been a factor in your candidacy.
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Patricia Hunt Sinacole is president of First Beacon Group LLC, a human resources consulting firm in Hopkinton. She works with clients across many industries including technology, biotech and medical devices, financial services, and healthcare, and has over 20 years of human resources experience.
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