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Wednesday, August 5, 2009

It's here: the You-Suck-As-An-Interviewer Automatic Letter Generator

It's here!

The You-Suck-As-An-Interviewer Automatic Letter Generator ®, which will anonymously email that interviewer who never bothered to respond after your interview, has now debuted:

www.EmailYourInterviewer.com

Spread the word.

(By the way, suggestions for improvements welcome.)

19 comments:

HR Minion said...

Awesome! And as I am looking for work, I may need this. :)

Anonymous said...

This is so brilliant -- I'm almost looking forward to the next time some interviewer completely blows me off so I can send one out.

Kudos AAM!

Jason Seiden said...

True trivia: What's the #1 Skill workers lack that keeps them from moving ahead in their careers?

Answer: The ability to handle ambiguity.

Just saying.

Also just saying: if you're more interested in making a point than getting a job... do I even need to finish the point?

Ask a Manager said...

I think that most of the many people who email me upset that they didn't even get the courtesy of a response after putting a ton of time and energy (and sometimes expense) into their interview can handle ambiguity just fine. It's rudeness they have problem with.

A Girl Named Me said...

I think it's inappropriate to send a letter like this. Just. Move. On.

Seriously.

It's rude of the employer (I get that), but tit-for-tat?

Who has the time? Put your efforts into finding the perfect job for you and Just.Move.On.

xoox

nuqotw said...

Ask A Manager, you and your tech volunteers are my personal heroes of the day.

There is a point. The point is that this behavior only goes on because employers have much more power during the interview process, and when they choose not to send a response to a candidate who has *come in for an interview* it is an abuse of that power.

The abuse of power is (if anything) a bigger problem than rudeness, and it continues precisely because no one calls employers on this bad behavior. They *know* it's bad but because there are no tangible repercussions, they persist.

AAM has struck a blow for rudely treated interviewees everywhere!

Anonymous said...

Wow -- I completely disagree w/A Girl Named Me's comment. To me, this is exactly the opposite of tit-for-tat: The note isn't a nasty revenge letter or a screed; it's a really measured, reasonable statement. It's anonymous, yes, but there's obviously a legitimate reason for that, and to me it seems like a pretty civilized way to try to do something productive on everyone's behalf -- interviewers and interviewees alike.

Prats said...

Awesome!!! Forwarding the link around.

TheLabRat said...

You're beautiful. Tweeted.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the bookmark!

The letter is very well written and professional, which makes it different. It would be a different matter if it was your typical rant.

I agree that you should just move on, but there have been many times when something like this would've been perfect to send to some people!

HR Wench said...

I am a huge fan of Jason Seiden, and I strongly disagree with his comment.

Being contacted by a company, interviewed and then being frustrated because one never hears from them again is not the definition of lacking skills in dealing with ambiguity. It is experiencing an unprofessional and unacceptable HR/recruiting practice.

Job candidates are just one of the many customers HR/recruiting folk serve. If I go to a restaurant and receive horrible customer service, I may wish to write a letter to them to express my dissatisfaction. I may want to stay anonymous as I want to visit them again and not have them spit in my food. This is the same deal.

If an interviewer doesn't close the loop with me, I usually consider that they may have done me a favor - as I don't want to work at a company that finds such unprofessional conduct acceptable.

However, perhaps one apple is spoiling the entire basket. Alison has developed a way to let that apple know in a non-passive-aggressive way, that the interviewer's behavior is burning bridges.

It's brilliant.

Here are some other thoughts to consider:

1. Not everyone is a "professional level" candidate (i.e. hold a degree in a specialized field, are typically exempt from the FLSA, have major autonomy at work). The interview and recruiting experience for a janitor is NOT the same as it is for a CPA. It should be, but it's not. If you're a CPA, don't kid yourself into thinking you know what it's like for the janitor. You don't.

2. Not every candidate comes from a privileged background. Many hiring authorities are from privileged backgrounds. How we interact with people from the opposite type of background from our own can be significantly different from how we interact with people from the same background, especially in a recruiting situation.

3. Not every candidate has, or should have, the same type or level of skills. What a company wants in a purchasing manager is different from what they want in an office assistant. Sure, there are some of the same things, but they are usually weighted differently. How then, do career coaches (and the like) reconcile their blanket advice? I'm not saying career coaches, etc should say "if you are an X you should do this, but if you're a Y then don't bother". But it's something to think about when encouraging folks to better themselves and try new and different ways of conducting themselves during job searches. We are all on different journeys, and at different legs of the journey at that.

Lance said...

Unfortunately, I think it is wasted effort on the interviewee's part. It is likely that if the organization truly valued maintaining connections with past applicants, they would be rewarding HR people and processes that did that.

Sending a letter that is both anonymous and targeted at the wrong person is not helpful. An HR person who toes the line to that process isn't going to do anything with an anonymous letter. And if the person is truly incompetent and doesn't care, it seems even more unlikely that they will not take action.

If I were truly upset by the process, I would write a signed letter (a real one, with stamps and everything) to top company management and use this outline:

1. I really wanted to work for your company because...

2. This part of the process really turned me off because I spent a bunch of time working with you guys on this and never got a word back afterward.

3. I know you're busy. We all are. But a couple minutes by phone or a form e-mail that an assistant sends out isn't too much to ask for in exchange for an interview.

4. I'm not trying to get your busy hiring people in trouble and I understand that there may have been a better candidate but do you think there is a better way to do this?

If it is truly professional and doesn't smell like sour grapes, where's the real risk? The people at the top may not realize that their process comes off as inconsiderate (or that it is their process at all). People at the top have the power to change processes while an interviewer may not (or may not care). Attaching your name to it actually gives them the opportunity to respond.

And if they feel like black listing you for some professional feedback? Let them! Why are we so scared of not getting hired by rude companies? Is it ridiculous to anyone but me? I showed up for an interview once and they said my interviewer traveled out of town two days before but forgot to call me. I wasn't going to respond anonymously, they already burned their bridge with me.

Gene said...

Posted the link on User Friendly and generated an interesting thread.

Clicky

Laurie said...

Punk Rock HR endorses anything that disembowels the current process of hiring employees.

Two bowels (I mean thumbs) up!

Anonymous said...

Sooooo, if you don't like it, how about if you... don't use it.

I am actually very pleased with how respectful the letter is. In fact, it does not even say "you suck" anywhere in the text (which is refreshing, since there are already lots of anonymous "you suck" letter generators). I'm glad AAM has given us this resource -- even if I never use it, it's nice to know one of "them" is actually on my side.

Lance said...

I wasn't planning on using it. I have no problems dealing with strangers who waste my time and are rude without the anonymity. Just pointing out how doing something that is easy but ineffective is still ineffective. At least that's how I see it.

The intention may be good with education and soft correction but I know HR folks who do this consistently and they either 1. don't care so they won't care about some anonymous note or 2. their company implicitly supports it by continuing their employment. Neither problem is solved by going to the person causing it.

bg said...

This is awesome! Thank you, AAM.

Five years ago I began looking for a new job. Two years ago, I found one. During the three years in between only two companies sent me any notice of any kind indicating that I was no longer under consideration. One of those companies sent me a letter over SIX MONTHS after the interview. (I had already concluded the obvious.) The other company ... is the one I work for now. (I had applied for other positions for which I had not been hired.)

This courtesy reminder to interviewers is a very needed service. Thank you!

Kelly said...

I really like this idea, though Lance has a valid point. A signed letter to higher-ups is going to carry more weight than an anonymous one to the HR person.

However, while nobody wants to work at a rude company, the economy does suck right now, and working at a company full of jerks may be better than not working at all. And while a reasonable, professional person isn't going to black-list you for honest feedback, people can be petty, or rubbed the wrong way by silly things. And things that seem completely polite to some seem rude to others. I thought the letter was the model of professionalism, but A Girl Named Me found it rude.

Basically, you look at the potential risks and rewards and weigh your choices accordingly. If you were treated so shabbily that there's no way you'd work for the company anyway, you don't risk a thing by sending a signed letter. If you just got another job, you're probably not worried about repercussions from a signed letter either. On the other hand, if the company seems to be hiring a lot and you might be going for another position with them soon, maybe you take the lower-risk option, but with the lower possibility of success.

The other thing to consider is that you might be dealing with a crappy policy and a decent HR person who would love to get it changed. A raft of letters pointing out how problematic that policy is might help them make the case that it's a problem and needs to be fixed.

Franklyn said...

Might be a good way to relieve frustration, but in most cases it has no other value. The people who SHOULD get the letter are not in HR, they are in the executive suite - assume they simply don't know how inconsiderate HR has become and that when they suddenly see the problem, HR will be told to improve or its people will be sending out resumes.
Sure, I know that's wishful thinking, but everyone needs hope.