The Interview No-Show?



  • We have been interviewing people for a part-time help desk / web developer position in the past few weeks. We narrowed it down to someone we asked back for a 2nd interview with more senior personnel who then approved of moving forward with a practical examination for the candidate. Today the person was supposed to be here at 3 PM. He did not show up and didn't leave a message with anyone. It looks like he tried calling my desk phone about an hour before the practical exam was supposed to start, but he did not leave a message.

    Has anyone ever had this happen? Based on our two interviews, this seems pretty out of character for the person in question. I did call him around 3:30 / 3:45 to see if maybe there had been some miscommunication between HR and him but had to leave a message. I'm just hoping he is ok at this point. And if he is ok, I wonder what he will say if he calls me back.



  • I'd hear his story out of curiosity, but unless it is a damn good excuse then he'd be out for me.



  • If it seems out of character, who knows what kind of emergency there may have been.
    I think the key is he did kind of attempt to get in touch, even if he didn't leave a message.



  • Yes, if it looks like he tried to get in touch prior to the interview, probably something could not be avoided.



  • But why not leave a voicemail? If I were in his shoes, I'd leave a voicemail. And/or e-mail. And if for some reason I couldn't leave a voicemail/e-mail, I'd probably call the company's general phone # and talk to a secretary or some other live person (sales lines are usually a good route to find a live person) and make sure they relay my message to the person I'm supposed to be interviewing with.

    To me it's a bit unprofessional to not leave a message. I could forgive having to delay an appointment, but I don't see how there was no way to leave a message (even if it was 5 minutes before 3PM.) Unless your voicemail system was down?



  • He uses Elastix, it never goes down 😉



  • Ah, no shows. See it with roommates, LUGs, conventions, et al. Depending on the event, "flake rate" can be 40% to 60%. Unfortunate it happens with a job interview, more so a second interview...happens.



  • I've had easily 25% of interviewers and sometimes companies pull no shows. The treatment of interviewers is so awful that I think a lot of people don't feel that they owe you anything because they forget that people and companies are individuals and not a pool.

    Maybe he took another job and just didn't want to have to turn you down.



  • @Nic said:

    I'd hear his story out of curiosity, but unless it is a damn good excuse then he'd be out for me.

    Exactly. Car wreck, kid/spouse/parent/etc. in a hospital, sure, no problem. Business-crical server went down? That could go either way. Nearly anything else is inexcusable.



  • @scottalanmiller said:

    He uses Elastix, it never goes down 😉

    Let's not jinx that, but I can verify that voicemail was working at the time of the attempted call. My greeting even says "if you need me immediately, press 2 to reach my cell phone."



  • @scottalanmiller said:

    I've had easily 25% of interviewers and sometimes companies pull no shows. The treatment of interviewers is so awful that I think a lot of people don't feel that they owe you anything because they forget that people and companies are individuals and not a pool.

    I've had a similar no-show rate from companies as well, particularly a large financial firm - which was surprising. Guess their IT folks didn't have it together.



  • Personally, I would be very wary, regardless of the reason. I've seen it enough times to become somewhat jaded, I guess. If there is an excuse or emergency right out of the gate, it often is a glimpse of things to come. There are just too many of "those people" who seem to have never-ending drama. Sometimes they have very legitimate drama, but I still think I know who causes it in those cases. Be your own judge, but don't pull that with me and expect a job offer...



  • @Katie said:

    @scottalanmiller said:

    I've had easily 25% of interviewers and sometimes companies pull no shows. The treatment of interviewers is so awful that I think a lot of people don't feel that they owe you anything because they forget that people and companies are individuals and not a pool.

    I've had a similar no-show rate from companies as well, particularly a large financial firm - which was surprising. Guess their IT folks didn't have it together.

    Often those are recruiters masquerading as financial firms. I've had Teksystems set up an entire fake office to pretend to be Bank of America in Albany. They used an empty floor in a building where BoA had another floor to look legit.



  • @scottalanmiller said:

    Often those are recruiters masquerading as financial firms. I've had Teksystems set up an entire fake office to pretend to be Bank of America in Albany. They used an empty floor in a building where BoA had another floor to look legit.

    Teksystems - I vaguely remember that they are suspect. It's good to be able to reference headhunting firms any know which to avoid.



  • So did you find out what happened? That reminds me of my interview with Spiceworks story. I got stuck in Houston due to weather, and they couldn't guarantee that I'd get a flight the next day. I went and rented a car and drove instead and got in at 3am for an interview the next morning. I think that story helped seal the deal 🙂



  • @Nic said:

    So did you find out what happened? That reminds me of my interview with Spiceworks story. I got stuck in Houston due to weather, and they couldn't guarantee that I'd get a flight the next day. I went and rented a car and drove instead and got in at 3am for an interview the next morning. I think that story helped seal the deal 🙂

    Yeah, I remember reading about your story - a very good one indeed. It certainly showed how bad you wanted to get the job and that it was important to make the interview.

    In this case, I actually called the guy yesterday afternoon at 3:40 PM to see if all was well or if there was some kind of miscommunication with HR about the time (since we rescheduled once). I was only able to leave a message. There has been no word today...at all. I've been encouraged to call one more time to make sure the fellow is ok / at least find out what happened.



  • We had a guy go silent for a month once. Turns out it was a horrific car accident.



  • We had that happen with one of the members of the Webroot community. Vanished off the community, nobody had heard from him. We all assumed he'd gotten fed up or we'd offended him. Turns out he was in a really bad car accident.



  • Guess I should post more, lest all you think I am face down in a ditch covered in rum and stripper glitter.



  • @PSX_Defector said:

    Guess I should post more, lest all you think I am face down in a ditch covered in rum and stripper glitter.

    Why wouldn't we just assume you are in a ditch with a charged phone?



  • @scottalanmiller said:

    @PSX_Defector said:

    Guess I should post more, lest all you think I am face down in a ditch covered in rum and stripper glitter.

    Why wouldn't we just assume you are in a ditch with a charged phone?

    Because the strippers stole it.



  • They do that.



  • Seems he is not interested Or he find better than your offer and feel shy to call.



  • At this point it is probably safe to assume that he turned down the job or something happened and he has given up.



  • I had a candidate turn up late and he never apologised. So I knew straight away that I wouldn't employ him. But annoyingly, I still spent half-an-hour going through the motions of an interview. Why did I do that?

    This begs the question, if you know very early on that a candidate has failed an interview, do you end the interview early or do you go through the motions to avoid any embarrassment?



  • @Carnival-Boy said:

    I had a candidate turn up late and he never apologised. So I knew straight away that I wouldn't employ him. But annoyingly, I still spent half-an-hour going through the motions of an interview. Why did I do that?

    This begs the question, if you know very early on that a candidate has failed an interview, do you end the interview early or do you go through the motions to avoid any embarrassment?

    If you're 100% sure, I don't see any reason to keep going with the interview. Just make sure not to do it with your 2nd-5th candidates, just in case the leader doesn't take the offer. As an interviewee, I've ended interviews early.



  • I always end early if I know.



  • I always try to provide a lot of feedback. Technical or otherwise.



  • @NetworkNerd said:

    @Nic said:

    So did you find out what happened? That reminds me of my interview with Spiceworks story. I got stuck in Houston due to weather, and they couldn't guarantee that I'd get a flight the next day. I went and rented a car and drove instead and got in at 3am for an interview the next morning. I think that story helped seal the deal 🙂

    Yeah, I remember reading about your story - a very good one indeed. It certainly showed how bad you wanted to get the job and that it was important to make the interview.

    In this case, I actually called the guy yesterday afternoon at 3:40 PM to see if all was well or if there was some kind of miscommunication with HR about the time (since we rescheduled once). I was only able to leave a message. There has been no word today...at all. I've been encouraged to call one more time to make sure the fellow is ok / at least find out what happened.

    Have you heard anything? I have popcorn on standby.



  • @Nara
    There has still be nothing. I have no clue if the guy is still alive. This is after 2 calls with left messages and and e-mail. I won't contact him again but do hope he is alright.


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