Manners Matter in the Interview Process

October 5, 2009 at 9:02 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments
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Is common courtesy essential in the interview process? Do manners matter? The obvious answer is yes. Yet recently, I have witnessed a number of candidates that seem to think otherwise. Despite the economic climate candidates are still no-showing interviews, blowing off client requested tests and not returning calls. I am left wondering….do candidates really think this is acceptable?

People don’t blow off doctor, hair, or even car maintenance appointments for fear that they will be charged. Yet, many don’t think it is a big deal to no-show an interview when the consequences are much graver.

Here are a few reasons why this is poor business etiquette:

  • Someone will think you are irresponsible and rude
  • You are putting your reputation on the line. This is a very small industry and the world is getting smaller, with social    networks everyone is connected. You never know who knows who. Don’t give someone a reason to talk bad about you…word travels.
  • You could ruin a future employment opportunity. The duration that someone spends with a given firm today is much shorter and most people work for several different firms. In short, the person you blow off for an interview today could be the hiring authority at the next firm you want to work at.
  • Your resume will be red flagged in these firms. Most firms have applicant tracking systems that store every resume that is applied and their interview status. If you don’t comport yourself in a professional manner, it will be tracked and you will never be considered for any position with this firm again. Period.
  • Many firms only use search firms to fill their openings and often have exclusive relationships with them. If you are unprofessional to a recruiter for one opportunity- you could miss another.

Here is the bottom line- if you don’t want to go to an interview, can’t complete a test or just plain change your mind about a position. All you have to do is send an email to the potential employer/recruiter thanking them for their time, and letting them know you have decided to pursue other opportunities. It is that simple.



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  1. I agree with everything you said & I adhere to the etiquette rules. However, from my perspective these etiquette sins are equally, if not far more rampant, with hiring firms (Prop Trading firms are the worst transgressors) and search firms. The potential hire is on equal footing with the hiring firm and search firm so these rules should apply equally to each.

    * I’ve taken multi-hour interview tests where I have gotten every assignment correct, yet not gotten so much as an acknowledgment of receipt from the hiring firm.

    * I’ve had interviews canceled for nefarious reasons with so little advance notice that I was already en route to the firm. This is being terribly disrespectful of the candidate’s time.

    * I’ve had countless search firms claim to have submitted me only to never be heard from again.

    * I’ve had countless search firms have me invest 2+ hours to go & meet them at their office only to be given a list of ‘current openings’ – a transaction that easily could have been conducted via conference call. This is also being terribly disrespectful of the candidate’s time.

    I could go on & on but suffice it to say I, as a candidate, also maintain a tracking system & communicate my experiences across my vast social network.

    But rest assured that you are accorded good street cred!

  2. Awesome blog!

    I thought about starting my own blog too but I’m just too lazy so, I guess Ill just have to keep checking yours out.

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