Blog powered by Typepad

« Can smiling hurt your health? | Main | Great Quote for Monday »

June 20, 2008



Poor Fred. Yes, he should have been a little more gracious. He also shouldn't have resorted to email.. too quick, and too tempting! It's also possible that he misinterpreted your own letter to him... "we may be in touch again in the future" might have sounded like an insincere brush-off. It certainly happens, and who knows how many such letters he's already received? Did you actually mention specifically that you might have another position in mind for him?

I am being a bit of a troublemaker, I do realize. But job hunting is at least as wearing a business as recruiting, I imagine, even when one DOES follow all the rules. Ignore or edit this comment as you wish!

Career Encourager

Thanks for your comment Almostgotit - I love your insights and have no desire to edit them! ;-)

In this case we did not tell Fred during the interview that there was another possible opening so I can see why he thought it was just another platitude in a rejection letter. Also your point about how tempting it can be to fire off that e-mail is an important one.

Ask a Manager

I love his statement that he thought he was a "reasonably good" match. "Reasonably good" will always get squashed by "fantastic" and surely he knows that.


Plus, when you are that far along in the hiring process (back for at least a few interviews) of course your skills will be reasonably matched. But they (hiring personnel) are the ones in charge. Almostgotit seems to hit the nail on the head. Wait until you've separated the rejection for the position from a rejection of yourself BEFORE firing off an email.

This guy must not have the benefit of reading your blog to know better. It is hard to be "so close" but still without a job. I wish him well!

Internet Inc

Hi Peggy,

Your blog is one of the best career blogs I have found. Don't know if you've noticed that you are feeding into … which I launched a couple weeks ago (see ).

I would like to e-mail you But cannot find your e-mail address... I hope you won't reject me, lol. Would you pass it to me using the comments on my blog? it's moderated and your e-mail will not show up anywhere.


This text was transcribed using Dragon NaturallySpeaking software so please forgive any typos you might find...


Hopefully this isn't how Fred regularly responds to rejection. But it probably is, and unfortunately a lot of doors will continue to be closed to him. Whether or not you continue to work with him, will you give him feedback? Otherwise, he will continue to mess himself up. You know the whole interviewing process is very personal to the person job seeking, and can be stressful, and sometimes great candidates make big mistakes with the communication piece, even if they are generally confident.

Recent Trends in Human Resources

What I can find out from Fred response that he was too desperate to get the role. When he read your message, his frustration built on and out of sheer desperation he rplied in a rude manner. At a management level we should be very cautious in handling our emotions. If today he would have responded in a positive manner he would have earned respect in your eyes, and probably stay connected. What I can say is that we should "control our Emotions".


Employment Select

Regardless of whether he felt the line was a brush off or not, he needed to respond a little more kindly, if at all. It's standard to say, "thank you for the consideration, if another opportunity opens up, please keep me in mind." Isn't it?


Fred Failed to be Fabulous. This is true. However, just as email is too quick a thing to send sometimes, it's also easy to quickly misinterpret emails, and I'm not sure that's any more gracious a thing to do than what Fred did.

I didn't (and still don't) see Fred's brief email as in quite the same negative light as others here have done. I also note that Fred was previously seen as aconsistently "strong" candidate, and unless the reviewers doubt their own good judgement to have thought so, why not at least give Fred the benefit of the doubt and consider his final email within that context?

It may well be that while he'll always be one who needs to heavily edit his written material, Fred may be a sturdy, consistent performer; Darling Deirdre, on the other hand, though she fortunately managed to win this round, may simply not yet have had the chance to show her own clay feet. She may not work well with others, may always need the spotlight, or may have a tendency to seduce her coworkers and wreck the entire company's morale.

I'm just SAYING.

Would that we ALL could be fabulous, but it just aint so. I'm on another round of interviews at the moment myself, so must hold off a bit, but I've already drafted a post of my own which I hope to post soon, in which I list a few of the places where I think it's time for potential EMPLOYERS to act a little more fabulous, themselves.

(and now, Peggy, I'm really going to shut up and go away for a while! :)


Almostgotit -

Please don't feel like you have to "shut up and go away" - I like hearing your perspective and I appreciate your comments!

That said - I also want to clarify what this blog is about - I hear from the "Freds" of the world often enough about how they can't get a job and how disappointed they are. The fact is that we live in a very competitive economy, and if HR Magazine's recent prediction that 2008 is going to shape up to be the worst year for layoffs in the past decade comes true, then it's going to get even more competitive out there.

From a compassionate perspective I can totally relate to everything you say about Fred - my heart hurts for the guy. That's why I wrote this blog. As someone who is routinely asked to help people figure out how to "win the job" I want to show folks that details matter, and to explicate very clearly exactly what some of those details are. I want to take everything I hear in management debrief sessions about candidates and make it transparent to job seekers so that they can learn the details that will help them stand out.
For liability reasons I cannot always give a candidate direct feedback, but I can try to make the information generally available to the public without revealing anyone's identity.

And as for Diedre, she actually is turning out to be a darling. Her ideas are innovative and creative, and her results are beyond expectations. She's been a great addition to the team (which encourages me since I ran the hiring process!).

Good luck with your upcoming interviews and I will keep checking your blog!

~ Career Encourager

Thanks for your great indulgence and for your explanation. I've just published something here:

and plan to post the second installment later this week.


I don't find Fred's email at all objectionable.


Poor Fred. It could've been better if he think first before he made his steps.



Hard to believe anyone could say they don't find his email objectionable. Grace, truly, is the key word here and the best candidates understand this. Fred's word are severely emotional (and "personal" as he admits himself) and would be difficult to respond to. (He even uses the word "obviously"- so then why say it Fred? )

Derek Rosenstrauch

There is alot of pessimistic views out there having to do with career change and job hunting. I personally believe that an individual needs to keep their interviewing skills high when an opportunity presents itself. I found some good information on interview questions that really takes the edge off when your time has come.



I came across this after searching for how to respond positively to a job rejection and I was expecting something a lot worse than this as a negative example.

I think Fred's email is more informal than passive-aggressive, very honest and certainly not contrived like many other candidates. If anything I would appreciate his desire for the role and certainly pursue a further opportunity with him. It would be harsh to hold this against him.

Then again that's just my view if I were a recruiter. I think it depends on how professional a company feels its employees should be.


nice to

شات سعودي
دردشه سعوديه
شات السعوديه bag
شات سعودي


even at supervisory levels. You can't have any amount of

Lua Belle

Good tips, Ill have to keep those in mind.


I agree with your statement.i think your blog is famous for career and encouraging blogs.thanks fred for posting this blog


It appalls me so many commenters sided with the author. To those many 'Freds' out there, this is what I have to say.

I am an employer and have conducted hiring personally well before my business grew so much that I have since passed on the hiring responsibility to my HR persons. Fred's response shows typical disappointment but I wouldn't cut him off from any future opportunities. Fred wasn't being rude, just very disappointed. Instead of blaming Fred, who was simply being human expressing an emotion, the HR person should seriously reflect on her small minded micro management attitude. From what I have read, Fred is obviously capable, but just a little bit less better than Deirdre. HR persons like that often costs the company lost of immense human capital when obviously capable people are shut off just because the HR persons think they have a moral high ground and the power to decide the fate of the job seekers.

For my company, I have set up a system where I did random audits on hiring decisions which includes me personally interviewing some of the rejected candidates in a later date when I am not too occupied. I would give warnings or in some serious situations, fire my HR person if a hiring decision was deemed sloppy.

So my comment to the 'Freds': Be a bit gracious if you got a rejection, for you never know when you'll encounter a small minded HR person. And don't give up. If you're capable, then you're worth it.

The comments to this entry are closed.