Perplexed About No Follow-Up
I applied for a Fire Chief’s position in March. On June 7, I received notice that I was slated to be interviewed via Skype over the next two weeks.
Well, it’s now been three weeks and nothing. Not even a courtesy email, letter or phone call stating I was actually turned down.
I did, however on June 27 watch their June 19 township meeting on Youtube. They said they finished the interviews. I have been in the Fire Service for over 35 years and was a Fire Chief for 3 years.
I am not offended, just perplexed. Just asking for thoughts on this.
(Sent on June 29, 2018)
I wouldn’t blame you if you felt offended. It’s easy to take these things personally. Dr. Dawn Graham has a chapter in her new book Switchers titled It’s Not Fair.
Hirers aren’t thinking about how YOU feel. They’re thinking about how THEY feel and making a safe choice.
Hirers seem rude. In reality, they’re navigating bumpy terrain. If they succeed, they’re heroes. If the new hire doesn’t work out, they take the brunt of complaints.
My first thought is be more proactive.
When someone gives you a window of two weeks – follow up with them in two weeks – if they don’t follow up with you. Follow-up to show initiative and for your mental health.
I’ve hired a lot of people. The ones I hired followed up with me. They called to let me know they applied and to be sure I had seen their resume’. Usually, I didn’t remember their resume’, but I dug it out while they were on the phone.
After the interview, they followed up again. I had the feeling they really wanted the job.
Follow-up doesn’t mean you’ll get the job. But you won’t be in the dark.
What thoughts do you have for Jim?
After note: According to the National Fire Department Registry, 9.2% of firefighters in your State are career firefighters. The location information you provided – that I left out – suggests you are in a low population area. I wish you the best in your search.
Interview: A conversation with Dr. Dawn Graham.
I’m with you on the ” follow up’, its shows your more interested perhaps than others.
Don’t beat yourself up over the process, dig in and start over.
With the qualifications outlined, you will make a fine addition to any Fire community.
Thanks Tim. “Don’t beat yourself up.” Choose a forward-facing attitude. That always helps.
I’ve just completed a 7 month interview process (https://www.broadcenter.org/broad-residency/residency-selection-process/matched-residents/) and over this time period, I learned that networking and follow up was the key. I sent emails and thank you letters to everyone from the assistant that scheduled my interviews to the different interviewers at every stage of the process. I studied my potential organizations as well as the different stakeholders and formulated a plan to take control of my future. Jim, you are a fire chief, which means that you are in a position of authority and you have been in some rather harrowing situations and have led junior firefighters. Attack your career objectives like a fire chief. Think about the planning and processes that you perform when you get a call. I would even suggest a career coach or subscribing to a few podcasts.
Congratulations tedrickdh. Bring the qualities you already have to this new challenge. That’s a coaching approach that works. Very helpful.
Dan, Great advice. Not only does it keep you in the loop, but it is a quality that I have admired and looked for in others. As a hiring manager, to me this demonstrates the tenacity that is necessary for many of my team members to be successful.
Thanks David. I don’t think I ever hired anyone who didn’t follow up with me.
While applicant initiated follow-up is extremely important, especially for leadership positions, the lack of company response used to usually mean the applicant didn’t get the job.
The reader stated the interview was to be via Skype. His question did not include that when wondering about lack of response from the company. Had it been me, I would have done a Skype search for the recruiter as well as checked LinkedIn to see if I could find it there. My question to the reader would be, did you have their Skype id & did they have yours? Since the interview was to be on that chat server, it’s also another means of following up.
You definitely need to follow up over and over again. And one way to be remembered is to send a thank you card after any interview, handwritten! Make sure it is neat and legible! Send it to those you interviewed with (ask for their business card at the interview) and to HR.
Glad you joined in, Al. An added step is declare when you are following up. I’ll touch base in two weeks to see how the process is going for you.
In 25+ years of hiring people, I have never hired anyone who did not follow up with me, I actually gave preference to people that were proactive and had more than one follow up touch point. To me this meant they really wanted and were interested in the positions. There was one guy years ago that it was a toss up for a position and the other person got picked for it by a hair, the unhired fellow followed up with a nice hand written thank you note. When the person hired ended up relocating a month and 1/2 later due to a death in the family, I reached out to the fellow who had sent the note to ask if he was still interested and he was, turned out to be one of the best hires I ever had work for me. Persistence does pay off!
Thanks Chef. Great story.
I’m with you. everyone I ever hired followed up with me. Frankly, I appreciated it.
Another reason to follow up on important issues is simply that they may have reached out to you, but the message was never delivered. Very few methods of communication are 100% foolproof.
Thanks Ann. I’ve had emails get caught in someone’s spam folder. Better to give a call to be sure they received it. 🙂
This is an easy “in” to follow up on the status of anything. “Just checking to make sure you received my email about…..” Works great when you are waiting for an answer, quote, delivery – gives them a little push without being offensive.
I have experience on both sides of the interview table. You can ask some initial follow up questions during the first contact. Saying we’ll be scheduling interviews in the next 2 weeks is very vague. Ask for the name of the person who will be doing the scheduling and a contact number and email. You can also ask about the time interviews will be scheduled generally to show you are interested in being available. If you haven’t heard within a week, you can use your contact information to follow up. Good luck in the next round!
Yes you must follow up and often repetitively.
But there is another problem here. In the last couple decades, the hiring firms have become increasingly poor at communicating. I have had people told they were one of the finalists for a job. A month goes by with no word even if you try to follow up. Then in another month a new search person or HR person calls to start the same search all over again! Organizations have the power and are busy but I am not sure I would accept a job under some of these unprofessional circumstances.
So true! Follow up is part of org life. Its not about hiring alone. Its about getting your objectives the priority they deserve! I keep running into “idealists” who keep questioning the “philosophy follow-ups”.
A person who does diligent follow up without sounding a jerk demonstrates he/she understands how orgs run!
Thanks for the great advice. As someone looking to further my career, I am always looking to find the balance between showing true interest in a position I have interviewed for and being a tenacious pain. Love reading your posts and sharing them with my staff!
Just a thought – When receiving a notification that your going to be interviewed, it is good to reply and let the orginzation know you received it and you are looking forward to meeting with them. When an orgization sends out an email letting you know they are interested in you, it is good to reciprocate with your interest. Otherwise, the organization may think you changed your mind or found another job not mention your name may get forgotten amidst the others who are expressing their interest.
I have the same question, one aplies to a job, they tell you they are going to give some notice in the next days however they (recruiters) dont back again with you most of the time. If they were an organized and discipline guys, they should return with at least a phone call.
If this is true, why do they dont call again?
Follow up, follow up, follow up! I would not have my current job if I had not been persistent. The Hiring Manager, a VP/GM and her HR team are were very busy people and I knew that I would have to on the top of my game to get hired, I followed up with her often. As a hiring manager, nothing works better than a follow-up letter. My favorite was a letter that came as a registered mail letter to me. I hired her and she was one of my best hires ever. Jim will learn from this. He also has a great mentor named Dan! 😉
Would request you to consider writing in more detail on the topic “Success comes from taking the initiative and following up… presistently”… guess there’s more to learn on this powerful statement… and get more insights from your pool of wisdom… Thank you in advance…
As someone who has had to interview a lot of potential candidates lately, I don’t give anyone “extra credit” if they contact me before the closing date of the position to “remind me” that they’ve submitted their application. I may have 50-100 applications and I’m simply not going to remember you at that time and quite frankly, it’s a bit annoying. However, we do our best to follow up with each and every applicant within a reasonable time, as to the status of their application. We greatly appreciate follow up after the interview. An emailed “thank you” is always looked upon favorably; hand written notes are nice too, but they take too long to be received and we are often trying to make a decision as soon as possible after all interviews have been conducted. What I have noticed a lot lately, after interviews, when I have to notify a candidate via email or voice message (I prefer personal phone calls but that’s not always possible due to time constraints) that they have not been selected, we almost never get a “thank you for the opportunity” follow up. Disappointing. That opportunity may come up again some day.