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Perplexed About No Follow-Up

Dear Dan,

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)

Dear Jim,

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.


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