Calling all HR people! As I search for a job, one of the more annoying, thankless tasks that people are forced to do from time to time I found myself wondering if there are any hints that HR people give away. Hints that say “yeah, I like that guy” or “wow, how did he pass the first test?”. I am wondering because I just had a 2nd interview, a phone one (the job is a lot of phone work, not telemarketing though so calm down please ), the 1st interview went really well, it seemed like she thought I was a great candidate, but the phone guy not so much.
So are there things like “I just want to be friends” or “I love you, I am just not IN love with you” for HR people/interview process?
HR people generally try to keep it neutral. Hiring managers are more likely to communicate how they feel about you as a candidate. HR people have lived through the situation where the hiring manager and candidate had a great rapport, but then the references/drug test/background check came back with something horrific, and it needs to be clear the candidate did not have the job.
Another thing HR people are pretty cognizant of is that, even if you don’t get the job, you may be a customer, now or in the future. So even if you’re totally not suited for the job, but somehow got an interview, they’ll keep it pretty upbeat. “Thanks for your interest in XYZ Co.”
There is a wide range of competence out there, so I’m sure you’ll find exceptions to this, but upbeat/neutral is the general approach HR people should take with just about everyone. It’s REALLY no fun when the candidate leaves thinking they have a job offer, and they don’t, due to poor communication by the hiring manager.
I’m in the middle of graduate interviewing at the moment. I’ve already done five interviews and I have three more to do today. As Harriet said, we always say something bland: “Thanks for coming in. We still have several candidates to interview. We will have completed all the interviews by (insert date). We will then get back to all candidates.”
And nearly as bad - and maybe worse from the HR managers standpoint - when they give a candidate the impression that they didn’t get the job and the hiring manager LOVED the person. Because sometimes that person goes and takes a different job while the interviews are finishing up.
Because interviews involve so many people - the HR Manager, the interviewing manager, maybe their boss, maybe the team you’ll work with. the lab that tests for drugs - consensus needs to be reached after you leave. They don’t know when you are walking out the door if you got the job.
There’s no stock phrase that I’ve ever used. If someone seems really good, I still don’t want them to think they have the job. Someone better may come in the next day. If they’re clearly not qualified, I don’t want to say so right off the bat. They may seem better after I’ve talked to other people, they may be right for another position, and I don’t want them to walk away hating the company.
So everyone gets the same stock line: “thanks so much for your interest, I appreciate your taking the time to talk with us, we have other people to interview, but someone will get back to you by XXX date.”
One exception: if a candidate flat out asks something like “do you think I’d be a good fit for this position,” I may say that I think they could benefit from more experience in a particlar area or whatever my concern is. That gives them a chance to bring up something they may have neglected to tell me earlier.