Q: I have been to two job interviews for a position and received positive feedback both times. On my second interview I met with the department manager. After the second interview the person to whom I would be a direct report told me not to worry and she would contact me soon. She planned to talk to the manager the next day. It has been over one week and I have not heard anything. I sent thank-you e-mails immediately after each interview and after one week I sent another e-mail asking politely for any feedback and offering to provide any more information they may need to help with a decision. I still have not heard a word. Is it time to move on and is this the norm with employers?
A: Unfortunately, the scenario you describe is increasingly common. I call it the “black hole syndrome.” You may never learn why you were not offered the job. However, hold your head high. It sounds like you interviewed well and you were smart to send thank-you emails to the individuals with whom you met. There are several possible explanations for what occurred. Some include:
- The company offered the role to another candidate.
- They don’t understand the “unwritten rule” of re-connecting with a candidate (especially one that has interviewed) to tell the candidate the final outcome of the selection process.
- The role was put on hold.
- The position no longer exists and the responsibilities have been absorbed by others.
- The company is being acquired or merged with another company. Often when this occurs, open positions are put on hold indefinitely.
- The company representatives are uncomfortable giving you feedback.
I would suggest exploring other opportunities. You don’t want to continue to waste time and effort on a role that may no longer exist.
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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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