Telling off the hiring manager: πŸ˜† cathartic, but with consequences πŸ˜•

Hello, sunshine 😎 I want to tell you a quick story about a job I didn't get last year and, against my better judgement, decided to snub the hiring manager.

It all started when I was headhunted for a role.

They'd seen some of the content I was creating to help job seekers, so they thought I'd be great to put together a program to help students kick off their careers.

I got on a phone call with the hiring manager where they explained all of the details of the role, the benefits and expressed their interest in me being a part of the team. They even went into great detail about the application process and coached me on what to do at each stage - all the signs that they really wanted me!

Over the course of the next few days, I went through a phone interview, submitted a proposal of content with examples (I even received an email back from the hiring manager advising me to add a few specific details to my proposal that would make me stand out to the hiring committee) and then I did a video interview.

I don't typically get excited for roles until there's an offer in my inbox (saves me from getting my hopes up), but I admit, I had my hopes up. This role was a great opportunity, so I threw everything I had into it.

Then they went silent for 18 days. EIGHTEEN DAYS.

I followed up a couple of times, but nothing. I'd accepted they must have gone with another candidate, so I began going through my process to get over the rejection - until they emailed back.

They apologized for the delay, explained that they had 150+ candidates and I just unfortunately didn't make the cut.

Fine, that's ok. We could have parted ways there, but then they insisted I get on a call with them so they could share some feedback.

I was ready to move on, but didn't want to burn the relationship by turning down valuable feedback, so I agreed and scheduled some time the next day for them to call me at 1:00pm.

The next day...

At 12:50 I found a quiet space

At 12:55 I played my power song

At 12:59 I took a few deep breaths and mentally prepared myself

At 1:00... nothing happened

At 1:01... still nothing

At 1:02 I started to get angry

At 1:03 my phone rang and I sent it to voicemail

I have a pretty hard and fast rule about timing and professionalism: honour your commitments and be on time for your meetings, full stop.

So, now I was furious 🀬

  • They headhunted me

  • Coached me on how to apply

  • Made me commit time to putting together a thorough application

  • Didn't reply to any of my follow ups

  • Made me wait 18 days for a reply

  • Didn't hire me

  • Didn't let me move on; insisted I get on the phone with them again

  • Didn't show up to the call on time

There really wasn't anything they could say that would make me feel any better (or rather, now I didn't care.)

It felt like all they wanted was absolution for leading me on. But to hell with that πŸ™…β€β™‚οΈ

I wrote this:


"I appreciate the offer of feedback. I was excited and available for our call at 1:00pm, but at 1:01 was re-affirmed of my opinion on the experience I've had with your recruitment process. A follow up won't be necessary..."

Yes, yes, I know my response wasn't that bad, but it's still me throwing shade at a hiring manager. I was fed up. We never spoke again.

I'm reminded of this story today because recently I'd been sent a job listing at the same company. I don't believe the role is on this hiring manager's team, but it did make me pause and think about how I handled myself last year.

If I could do it again, I likely would have still taken their phone call and had a more civilized discussion about my feelings. I'm sure they would have understood and maybe we'd still be connected positively.

That said, I'm confident my career will be just fine. I just have to recognize that this is a bridge I've burned and it'll take some extra time to mend, should I choose to ever cross it again.

Que Sera Sera, right?

Have you ever been pushed to the end of your rope with a hiring manager? I'm curious to hear how you reacted or how you would have handled my situation.

Have a great week, guys!


Richard Gawlas