THE BRAZEN CAREERIST- Morning after: When the interviewer doesn't call back

You go to the interview and think you click with the recruiter. Yet the hiring manager never says another thing to you again. Ever. What gives?

I asked my well-placed, hot-shot human resource friend (who works at a company that a slew of you want to work for, but which can't be named here), and this is what he told me.

The primary reason candidates don't hear back after the interview is that most recruiters and/or interviewers don't shut the discussion down when they know it's a non-fit. This is rooted in human nature and the urge to avoid conflict.

For example, two weeks ago I interviewed a terrible candidate. I spoke with him for half an hour and then told him, "You know what? I have to be honest with you that I'm going to pursue other candidates who appear more suited for this role. I want to be transparent about that, because I know you may have other job opportunities you're considering, and you should know that other candidates I'm considering appear to be more suited for the role."

Most people won't have that conversation in the moment. Instead, they'll say, "Thanks for your time;

 I have some more people to interview, and then I'll get back to you with the decision on whether we'll be moving forward." This closing remark creates more work and clutter, and then the "getting back to them" never happens.

By not being transparent, the interviewer feigns that there will be more evaluation, and I believe interviewers think it makes the eventual turn-down more palatable. But in all honesty, it just creates inefficiency and friction in the system.

Another way to look at this problem is that it's simply poor execution, because the opportunity cost of letting people dangle doesn't have to be absorbed by the interviewer.

Example: If you interview with me, what are the consequences for me treating you poorly? Not any. You as the candidate don't want to burn a bridge lest I or my company call you in the future, so it's not like you're going to take me to task.

In the mix of hundreds of candidates in process, there's no clear measurement of what's really going on, unless you write a letter to my boss or blog about it (which few people take the time to do).

So what can you conclude from this? The people who get back to you and tell you flat-out no, or, better yet, are transparent enough to tell you no right there in the interview, are the best people to work for. And that's not helpful, is it? I mean, they're rejecting you. So what are you going to do with that piece of knowledge?

Here's an idea for candidates in the post-interview process. How about sending a thank you note, placing a follow-up call or two to show interest, and then if you don't hear anything, move on?

And instead of spending time whining about how rude the interview process is, focus on turning the next interview into a job offer. If you get good at interviews, you don't have to worry about people who don't let you know about rejection– because you won't get rejected.