Interviewing, thank yous and etiquette

Subject: Interviewing, thank yous and etiquette
From: Jodi Israel <jisrael -at- PCIWIZ -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 2 Jun 1999 12:13:55 -0400

I have found this thread fascinating because it shows how different the
world is becoming (at least in the US.)

I was laid off a little over a year ago from my job as a product manager.
One of the best things about this was the outplacement service. We were told
the following, among other things:

Resumes should be a page and half (assuming that you have been working for
some time.) No more scrunching type and margins.
Cover letters, which are still required, should be practically form letters
and printed on the top third of the page. Why? Because at many large
companies, resumes are scanned into a database.

Now I vociferously objected to this last. My background is in library and
information science. Though I was working for companies that sold technology
to libraries, resumes were definitely being read by hand and I thought it
would look silly (and me inept) if I couldn't center a letter on a page. The
response was to know your industry. He was just telling us what he was
seeing as a recruiter. I did use his guidelines for a form letter cover
letter. I can't say that it worked any better or worse than my previous
practice of laboriously crafting cover letters. In this economy, it is hard
to tell.

Onto the interview process. I was still looking at product management
positions and wanted to stay in my industry. After a several week dry spell,
I was suddenly inundated with interviews. I was always told to send thank
you letters but am the first to admit I am lazy. I ended up sending thank
you letters when I really wanted the job. And I spent hours crafting the
thank you notes. If I was interviewed by three people, all three received
highly individual thank you notes.
I know that I have only once been hired when I didn't send a thank you note
and that was because the offer came immediately.

What irked me, however, was NOT getting a tnt letter after I had
interviewed. The hiring process is subjective. I had no problem being
rejected from many of the positions that I applied for, but if I took the
time to come in, courtesy suggests that the company respond, even in the

One of the nicest rejections I received was from a large company whose HR
director called me late (after 9pm) on a Sunday night. She wanted to let me
know that I wasn't being further considered for the position that I
interviewed for, spent some time explaining why, and then told me that she
had some other positions and wondered if they might better suit. (They
didn't.) But I appreciated her willingness to let me know.

Several of the jobs that I really wanted and thought the interviews went
well, never got back to me. I'll admit I didn't follow-up, mostly because I
thought the silence was pretty clear. But would a rejection letter have been
that difficult?

The best, (in a sarcastic sort of way,) was the rejection letter I received
that said they had decided the position wasn't in my best career interests!

I have often suggested to recent college grads that they do call and ask, in
an informational way, why they didn't get the position. When I was a recent
college grad my best interview was one where both the interviewer and I
realized immediately that I was far too overqualified for the position but
we hit it off and it gave me the opportunity to ask her about whether I was
wearing the "right" clothes and doing the "right" things.

My own current position as a software trainer and documentation writer came
about by serendipitous accident. I am lucky enough to work for a company
that believes that potential and drive is every bit as important as
experience. Too many of the positions I interviewed for wanted candidates
that had the exact experience they needed and would rather leave the
position unfilled than take a chance on training someone. Which, as a
non-contractor, led me to wonder how long someone would stay in a position
where they walked in already possessing all the skills required. As far as
my company is concerned, I hit the ground running despite my lack of
industry (banking) knowledge.

My .02 cents.

Jodi L. Israel
PCi Services, Inc.
Boston, MA
jisrael -at- pciwiz -dot- com

From ??? -at- ??? Sun Jan 00 00:00:00 0000=

Previous by Author: FW: Stick with RoboHelp, or upgrade to something else?
Next by Author: Re: Double subscripts in HTML
Previous by Thread: Re: Don't call rejecting interviewer?
Next by Thread: Web page BBS

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads