Career Advice Tuesday – ” The Waiting Is The Hardest Part”

December 22, 2009

Dear Infosecleaders:

As I am writing to you, I find myself in the middle of an interview process and I am hoping for some advice.

Let me describe my process to you thus far – first I had a phone interview with the human resources person, then I had a phone conversation with a person to gauge my information security experience, I then had a phone conversation with the head of the information security consulting practice.  At the conclusion of the phone conversation with the hiring manager (the consulting leader) , I was told that I had performed well, and I would be hearing from the internal recruitment person to coordinate an in-house visit.

As I write to you, I am now on my tenth day of waiting, and I have not heard a response.  I have placed phone calls to the human resources person, I have sent e-mails to the hiring manager, I have even tried contacting a “Linked IN” acquaintance about trying to help me.

None of these angles have worked and now I am writing you guys for help.

Can you give me any advice on how to handle this situation?  Should I write them off completely?  Any guidance you guys can give me would be appreciated.


Tom Petty

Dear “Tom Petty”:

I would tell you first that I believe that you have done everything correctly and within the bounds of expectations to show your interest in the opportunity and your intent to continue on in the interview process with this company.  The fact that none of your overtures have been returned can be interpreted in one of two ways – “lack of interest” or “rudeness.”

If they are not interested in your candidacy, I would think that at the very least they would be able to communicate to you their reasoning for ending your interview process and provide you with the simple courtesy of closure.   Many times, people involved in the interview process are not comfortable in providing bad news, or direct negative feedback.  They believe that by withholding this information, they are doing you a favor.   However, what they do not realize is that “interview purgatory” is a lot worse than providing you the closure that you need to forget about the opportunity, develop your interview skills, and move on to exploring other options.

On the other hand, if all of the parties that you interacted with have not returned your voice mails or responded to your e-mails, that is purely a sign of rudeness and a good inclination of how you would be treated and communicated with if you were to go to work at the company.  If they exhibit this poor behavior while they are courting you, can you imagine how you will be treated once you have already committed to join them.

Consider the fact that you are able to witness this behavior prior to joining them as a blessing.

At this point, even if they come back to you and apologize for their behavior, I would think really hard about reengaging in an interview process and entertaining employment.  If they are coming back to you after a long pause, (without any communication) you were most likely a second or third option, and they are only coming back to you because they have been rejected by the others.

Our best advice  is to move on and find a company that deserves you and will treat you with some professional courtesy.  The information security community is a small place, and it does not take much for a company to acquire a bad reputation for how they treat people in the interview process.

Hope this helps,

Lee and Mike

Posted by lee | Filed Under Advice, Career Advice Tuesday 


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