Who can relate: You’ve been sending out what feels like hundreds of resumes and maybe had a random phone screen or two. Then one day, you finally get that exciting interview request to meet the team! You make your way to the interview, talk with the team and hiring manager, and ultimately you feel like everything went pretty well.
And then you wait. The time passes like microwave minutes, just hoping that you receive a job offer. Finally, something happens: not only do you find out that you didn’t get the job, but you receive a robotic, automated email stating “Thank you for applying to our position. We regret to inform you that…”
Or hey, even worse, you never hear from the company ever again.
What is that about?
I’ll tell you what that’s about, my friend.
First off, let’s talk about why this bothers us so much. Most of us tend to want closure. Being “ghosted” by a company or getting a cold email response is subpar to the quality of feedback we set an expectation for. We also feel an unbalance in our relationship with the company. You spent your time researching the company, preparing for the interview, and taking time out of your week to meet everyone. They should put forth an equal amount of effort in return, right?
The main reason why you are not receiving feedback is because time is a limited resource. We never like to admit it, but there really are only so many hours in a day. Think about it logically: Say you’re applying to a company like Disney. How many jobs do you think they are trying to fill at any given time? Now multiply that by the number of applicants. In terms of time and productivity, having the hiring manager personally call or email each candidate to share why they are not moving forward would be near to impossible. Probably impossible.
It’s not that hiring managers pride themselves on being cold-hearted and removed from personal interaction. In fact, a lot of them probably feel guilty about hitting “send” on a slew of mass rejection emails. But unfortunately, there are not many alternatives.
Coming from the perspective of a recruiter, we struggle with a similar issue. Sometimes we don’t receive any feedback ourselves. And it always puts us in a difficult position because we would love to provide you feedback that’s conducive to helping your job search. On the occasion we do get more than a “We are passing on this candidate”, the feedback can be very generic or simply skill set specific ie. the role required a specific certification and you didn’t have it.
The ultimate goal is not to disregard your desire for feedback. Honestly, I encourage you to request it if you’re interested. What I’m saying is just be aware of the company’s perspective, set your expectations accordingly, and do not let a one-off rejection email discourage you or make you question your interview confidence!