If a candidate does not follow up after a job interview should I automatically dismiss them as a candidate?


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If a candidate does not follow up after a job interview should I automatically dismiss them as a candidate? I have interviewed a number of very qualified candidates for a position that I am hiring for who have not followed up in any way. I am wondering if I should extend an invitation to a second interview or just imediately discard their applications. Thanks!

Hiring Interviews

asked Nov 5 '11 at 02:12
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Dan Male
108 points
  • If you're willing to dismiss a particular candidate because of something so trivial, I think you answered your own question. – Brad Pineau 8 years ago

5 Answers


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Personally, I think that seems like a trivial reason to exclude somebody if they are qualified. Your primary objective should be to find the person who will do the best job, not has the best followup (unless the job is following up I guess. :)

I think there are other things that can influence this too?

  1. How did you conclude the interview? Did you give them an expectation ("I will get back to you next week.") or did you leave it hanging assuming they would followup? I personally think you must give an expectation, and if you did, they may simply be waiting for that time to followup so as not to bother you, you're a busy guy.
  2. Did they come to you through a recruiter? Do they have your contact info? Maybe they called the recruiter or receptionist and thanked them for the interview and you didn't get the message? Maybe it's in the mail? (ok, unlikely :)

I would consider a followup as a bonus if I was trying to decide between 2 equal candidates only. It usually doesn't sway my thinking on if they can do the job or not.

answered Nov 5 '11 at 04:05
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Jay
293 points
  • I agree. If the job description includes following up on job interviews, then don't hire this person. Also consider this: did the interviewee end the interview by "asking for the job" – Mike Nereson 8 years ago
  • Jay, I like your thinking because it brings up the different scenarios in the interview process. There is no third party recruiter involved. Looking back, I did slightly allude to me following up with them, so they are probably expecting me to reach out. I just think a "thank you" is pretty standard but considering it a bonus may be more appropriate. Very helpful, thanks! – Dan Male 8 years ago

2

If they came through a recruiter, its the recruiter's job to follow up with you not theirs, I am only speaking from experience but I would feel awkward following up directly with a company if I got the interview through a recruiter. Rather, I would talk with the recruiter to express my interest. Some recruiters are lazy and just don't get back to the candidate as soon as they should so the candidate assumes that the company isn't interested when it really was the recruiter, long story short if you're using a recruiter, ask the recruiter to follow up with the candidate to gauge their interest before dismissing them.

If you're not using a recruiter and dealing with the candidate directly, well I guess it depends. The jobs I have gotten directly with a company have been for very small companies so I was dealing directly with the owner and things were informal, so after the first interview we had already set up an "action" that would take place (either a second meeting or a small task I would do to prove my "worthiness") so this naturally led to a followup. If you end an interview by saying, "we'll be in touch", then its on you to contact them, if you don't they are going to assume you aren't interested. I would pay attention to how you're leaving things at the end of interviews if you are having a problem with this. Personally, as an interviewee I've learned to make my interest clear at the end of an interview, but only if I am actually interested. If I can tell I've gotten past their initial line of questioning to where they seem to have interest I then proceed to ask some questions such as inquiring about specifics of teams, work environment, equipment provided by them, etc and then basically make it clear that I am agreeable to everything. Then at the end, I ask how soon they are going to make a decision, etc. I feel as long as I make my interest clear, its on them to get back to me, if they haven't given me a clear "next step".

answered Nov 5 '11 at 15:41
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Rick
136 points

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Thin-skinned?

If many of your candidates aren't following up, then that's just how interviews work, and you should consider it normal. I've sometimes sent thank-you notes for interviews, but usually not. What exactly are you looking for? Have you followed up with them to express your interest in hiring them? If not, why are you expecting them to follow up with you?

answered Nov 6 '11 at 07:52
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User6492
1,747 points

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If following up on things (sales, bizdev, etc.) is critical then the follow up to the interview is critical. In other cases it is a tie-breaker or a good indication of their ability to follow up or an indication of their interest. I would never rule someone out based on this, but I would definitely use it as a bonus to otherwise similar candidates.

answered Nov 7 '11 at 04:23
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Gl Stephen
21 points

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Well, it depends.

There is perhaps no need to conduct a second interview. If the short-listed candidates are truly skillful, knowledgeable and best matched with your job requirements then it’s no harm to boldly ask their willingness if they want to become your employees. But if they don’t come up with an exact answer, don’t drop them straight away, keep them queued and start hunting for other talents.

answered Nov 5 '11 at 02:32
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Usman Sarfraz
1,326 points

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