Interview Feedback

Ever gotten as far as the interview stage for a job only for it to be a total waste of time?  There are a number of reasons that can happen.  Lack of experience / being overqualified are common ones for the jobless graduate.  Recently I experienced a pretty weird one though.  It consisted of turning up to discover they had already decided not to employ me, and as good as said so before asking me any questions.  I got a speedy rejection letter about three days later.

I duly drafted one of those replies that you write but generally don’t send.

Dear Mr Ridley-Thomas,

I am writing to acknowledge your rejection letter of April 20th.  It was kind of you to put it in writing, given you had clearly decided not to give me the job before we even met at interview.

I was surprised to hear there are no creative opportunities in your media advertising company.  I hope you found a candidate who was happy to do admin for eighteen months before progressing to a sales role in which they are happy to die.

Your insistence that I would not last the required five years doing telesales was probably correct, although I can’t help feeling it would have been better manners to ask me before reaching your conclusions.

If I may be so bold, I would suggest that if you want a mindless drone to mold into a cold caller, you should not advertise at a starting rate of £18,000 per year.  In Edinburgh, administrative roles are generally 13 or 14k.  Given the salary, job description, and assertion on your website that you have lots of opportunities and training for graduates in offices up and down the country, I think I can be forgiven for thinking you might be looking for a more vital individual to fill a more demanding role.

I would also like to inquire whether your aggressive stance at interview was designed to test me into fighting for the role, ‘Apprentice’ style?  Or were you merely upset at having to see me at all, perhaps after some minion went through the applicants and arranged for you to see unsuitable candidates?

In the context of a job interview, your assertion that I am too creative for your company felt like a backhanded compliment, whilst your explanation that ‘sometimes we get CVs from people who want to change direction, but it doesn’t seem like you do’ made little sense.  My CV is not ambiguous.  It clearly states that I want to work in media or communications, for which some knowledge of marketing and advertising would be beneficial.  If you didn’t want what you saw written in front of you, then frankly you shouldn’t have wasted both our time by interviewing me.

Further to this, your interview technique is appalling.  You consistently failed either to put me at ease or to ask the questions you wanted answers to.  There were at least two points in that meeting where I genuinely had no idea what you and your colleague wanted to know.  Repeating the same words in a different order does not count as clarification.

I hope this letter has been of some help, and wish you the very best of luck with future appointments.

Yours Sincerely,

Ali George

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