This Job Candidate Walked Out Before His Interview Started. The Reason Is Instructive for Any Employer

Miguel Olave waited 35 minutes for an interview. Then he walked out.  

He was absolutely right to do so. 

Five minutes, sure. Ten minutes, I’ll even give you a pass. But, when you let a candidate site for 35 minutes without acknowledging him, you’re going to lose that candidate.

Note, what I said–you’re losing the candidate.

So many hiring managers and recruiters still see it as a hirer’s market and figure they can just treat candidates like they have for years–as expendable. There will always be another candidate.

But, with an unemployment rate that reached a 50-year low in February, that’s changed. And candidates are changing. They don’t have to put up with hiring managers who ignore them any longer. Candidates ghost employers now. This is the logical response to years of recruiters and hiring managers ghosting candidates

To keep reading, click here: This Job Candidate Walked Out Before His Interview Started. The Reason Is Instructive for Any Employer

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20 thoughts on “This Job Candidate Walked Out Before His Interview Started. The Reason Is Instructive for Any Employer

  1. I don’t believe that candidates ghosting employers “is the logical response to years of recruiters and hiring managers ghosting candidates.” To the contrary, it’s simply bad manners on anyone’s part, candidates or organizations.

    1. Really? I see no reason to put up with this kind of treatment. Interviewing is a two-way street. They’re checking me out, but I’m also checking them out.

      I’ve worked long enough and had enough interviews to know that the way a company handles candidates is a big clue as to how they treat their employees.

      1. A cold “slap in the face” is oft a long overdue “wake up call” to those who believe in “hazing the help” because their company is so special.

        If you don’t treat me right, I’ll keep on looking, even if if accept an offer from you for now.

      2. If they treat you that poorly before you’re committed to them, imagine how they’ll treat you after.

      3. I agree totally with everything you said. What I don’t agree with is people attempting to rationalize behaving badly by using the childhood playground excuse: “He started it.” In the context of job interviews, we’re all adults and — presumably — professionals.

      4. Amen, sister. If an employer has a laissez faire attitude when it comes to interviewing that’s my cue to keep looking.

    2. Over my career, I’ve had a few miserable experiences with employers during the interview process. If I were still working (I’m retired now), I would not think twice about ghosting a potential employer who mistreated me during the interview process. I have a bigger bank account now, and I can afford to keep looking.

  2. I’m job hunting because I got laid off. I spent nearly three hours filling out an online application, including a skills survey and an aptitude test, for one company, which also wanted an uploaded PDF of my resume. More time editing my cover letter to the specifics of this particular job.

    Heard absolutely nothing for three weeks, then got a phone call at 4 pm asking me to come in that night for an interview. The interviewer would be there until 9 pm.

    Only I am working a part time job right now and had to work there from 6-9 pm. I explained this, and the reply was, “Well, we prefer people who *want* to work for us.” They did grudgingly agree to an interview the following morning, while muttering angrily about the number of people who were unwilling to change their plans on an hour’s notice to run in for an interview.

    If they offer me a job, I’ll probably take it, because my unemployment is running out. But I am not getting the impression that they are a great place to work for, so I will continue to search for another job. I won’t feel great about leaving after a month or two, but I am not going to let that stop me from finding a better job.

  3. When I graduated from college (1970s), I got an interview for a job at the company my father worked for. I was invited for an interview. I was asked to take a typing test, although the job probably did not require much typing. After taking the typing test, I waited in the waiting room for about an hour; I think they (Personnel people) forgot about me. I just walked out. My father told me later that I should have gone over to the receptionist and inquired about my interview. I was too angry. How could they have forgotten about me?

    1. You do get that your situation and the examples situation are completely different right?

      For starters you had a contact at the company. Your father. Secondly you were handed an interview, not made to go through a 4 hour plus application first and then left in the waiting room. Thirdly given the nature of your interview it’s very feasible wires were crossed. You did not go through an official process and get a confirmation from HR for an interview. Your daddy hooked you up with a work friend. The etiquette for those situations are completely different.

  4. About 25 years ago, I had an interview for a job at a Medical Communications company. I had pleasant conversations with a few people at the firm and left feeling that I had a good chance at being selected for the job. I followed up by phone a week or two later (this was before we had widespread email), leaving messages for the persons I had spoken with. I did this several times, a few days apart. Never was I called back. Never did I receive a letter in the mail. I cannot imagine why a company would treat people in this manner. After all, they had invited me for an interview and spent time with me. Just TOTAL SILENCE. I don’t remember the name of the company, but I certainly would not recommend their services to anyone, after the way they treated me.

  5. About 15 years ago, I tried to apply for a job at a medical center in the South. As I was working on the online application, I sometimes had to pause, to look up some piece of information about my work history or education. The web site and my application would then disappear, and I would have to start all over again. I tried to find a way to save my application, while I was looking up my information, to no avail. I tried about three times and eventually gave up. I thought about finding the address for the Human Resources Department and writing them a letter (via snail mail) to explain my difficulty with their web site. However, I had already spent so much time online and decided not to waste more of my time. I wonder how many other applicants gave up. I hope that their web site / software has been improved over these past years.

  6. Absolutely justified. I get worked up if I am 5 minutes late for an interview. I will almost always text or email if I think I’ll be late or if I am in the office, I’ll step out and let them know I’ll be with them shortly.

    Good on him!

  7. In the depths of the recession with a new certification, the only interview I could get was with a personal injury firm to do data entry for $10/hr. When I got there they told me it was to go back and forth between a medical clinic and their office and the rate was $10/hr as an independent contractor who filed two 1099s. The actual interview took four hours with constant interruptions.

    Since I was desperate I took it. My actual first day they literally didn’t even have a computer for me to work on and I had to spend hours cleaning out the workspace. And by cleaning, I mean I had to get rid of moldy coffee cups and an inch layer of dust. They also had problems with the fact I had just gotten another temporary job. I told them during the interview and asked them if was going to be a problem. I lasted four hours and they tried to claim they didn’t owe me money because it was “training.” What training?

    So, while it might not be “professional” to walk out of an interview, I completely understand. Even in an employer’s market, do they really think people looking for work have four hours to waste on bait and switches? Or people who have no respect for time?

  8. I’d be willing to bet that the employer, upon finding out that his candidate was no longer in the lobby, thought, “Well, it’s his loss. Jerk! He’s probably incompetent anyway. Wouldn’t want his kind here.” Until the end of the long standing employer’s market makes enough of an impression to change workplace cultures a great deal, I wouldn’t think that a candidate leaving over an excessive wait would result in any lesson learned. It would save the candidate from wasting any more time on a red flag of a job situation though.

  9. The interview process reflects the way the company is run, no matter what they may try and say.

    The place I work now is so considerate of candidates. First they require only a resume and optional cover letter. Then they do an HR phone screen, and it’s only if you are selected to move on from this stage for in person interviews that you have to fill out the full application and background check information.

    All timelines were communicated. Every step of the way you had a link to report on your experience as a candidate.

    And you know what? Now that am working here I’m treated just as courteously. Our benefits reflect the employee first culture.

    Listen to what companies tell you with their actions and inaction during an interview.

  10. As an IT person, I’m curious as to why so many of the comments for this article have a March 2020 time stamp on them, and I’m waiting to see if my comment will also have that date range as a time stamp. Great article and I agree with it completely.

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