How to maintain a relationship and not burn a bridge when you are no longer interested.
Ghosts are scary stuff, the kind of things that keep kids up at night. Ghosting an employer after committing to an interview, this keeps me up at night. We are noticing an increasing trend of candidates, especially junior candidates, getting into the interview process and then -POOF- disappearing off the face of the earth.
This is not just in the first interview, we have seen it happen for final interviews as well. Over the past few months, we guided two candidates through a multistage interview process for different sales positions with different employers. Both candidates continually expressed interest and maintained solid contact with our Recruiters. The Hiring Managers for each position asked us to coordinate one last interview, in which they would be extending the offer in person. That’s when it happened, our candidates turned into GHOSTS! No amount of calls, texts, emails, contact via social media could bring them back and garner a response. The Hiring Managers even reached out directly, to no avail.
We can only speculate what happened in this situation…another offer, a medical/health change, they moved to Borneo…but one thing was made clear by the Hiring Managers, the candidates will NEVER be considered in the future, for this position or any other in their organization. They burned the bridge and there is no return, not tomorrow and not in 5 years when this company now posts the perfect position for the candidate’s career!
My advice, when the desire exists to back out of the interview process AND maintain options for the future within that company:
- RESPOND – Do the right thing, give the Hiring Manager (and your recruiter) a notice that you are not interested in moving forward.
- BE HONEST – If the position has responsibilities that are of concern, address these with the company and/or Recruiter. Sometimes there are other positions with the same company that you may better suit your skillset. If the culture is not the correct fit currently in your career, it is okay to say this. BUT, ask to remain in contact with the hiring manager, as you never know what tomorrow holds or where she/he will be working in 2 years. Maybe the company is not right, but maybe this Hiring Manager ends up at your dream employer, and is now making the decisions there.
- BE TIMELY – We love to procrastinate, it’s so easy to things off until the last moment. Do not do this when withdrawing from an interview. Calling 5 minutes prior to cancel and withdraw is just as bad as ghosting, as it shows little to no respect for the Hiring Manager’s time. Be an adult, be a professional, be mature.
- BE THANKFUL – Always send a hand written thank you note, even if no longer moving forward. This is a great way to set yourself apart and make a great impression on the Hiring Manager.
By Kyle Hullmann, Business Development Manager, AllSearch
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