Q: I and my journalist friends are often puzzled by the behavior of editors -- generally, of course -- but in this case, specifically during the courtship phase of the hiring process.
Why is it that encouraging, flattering talks with editors and recruiters that start off so well can suddenly come to a dead halt? E-mails are left unanswered; phone calls unreturned. Weeks and months go by in total silence. Are they just not that into us? What happened?
Lonely on Metro
A: Ah, the fickleness of it all!
Although it may not seem so, this is a two-part question. The first part has to do with how does one go from hot to not. The second part is all about why doesn't anyone tell me?
Many behind-the-scenes circumstances can cool off what had appeared to be a hot opening.
A hiring freeze, for example, can chill things off.
The application of a seemingly better candidate can, too.
Sometimes we see an internal candidate, applying late, snatch away the opening.
And there can be a botched handoff where one person starts the process and then hands it to another who is not so attentive.
We can give a hundred other reasons, but they all lead to one question: So why don't the editors simply pick up the phone?
Again, there is another multitude of possibilities.
Although you might doubt this, editors don't like to deliver bad news any more than normal people do. So, we drag our feet.
Sometimes, the situation gets bogged down -- say, with the appearance of additional candidates -- and we wait for things to play out. The first candidate to be considered for a job will have to wait a lot longer than the last one considered for their answer.
Of course, there are instances where editors are just inconsiderate and don't think or care about how much this means to the candidate. One person told me, "I interviewed with them and never heard from them again. I gues I didn't get the job."
So that's what happens. What can you do about it? The calls and e-mails -- to more than one person -- should shake loose an answer. But you're left wondering and worrying about how often to call.
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