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My Interview Took Place a Long Time Ago And I Haven’t Heard Back. What Now?

September 7th, 2012

You submitted an application for your dream job, waited hopefully by the phone for a while, and finally got the call. On the day of your scheduled interview, you showed up early, dressed for success and seemed to get a positive reaction. As the interviewer walked you to the door, she suggested you would receive a final answer within the next few days.

All of this happened two weeks ago. Since then you haven’t heard a peep from the employer, not even a short message apologizing for the delay and thanking your for your patience. What should you do? Should you take this as a sign of disinterest? Should you fold your cards and go? Or should you start reaching out and insisting on a clear yes or no answer? Here are a few things to keep in mind if you find yourself in this situation.

Following Up After the Interview

1. It may be a little late for this now, but after every interview, it’s a good idea to send your interviewer a short handwritten thank you card. Place the card in the mail less than 24 hours after the interview, and accompany it with a quick email containing a similar message. Simply tell the interviewer that you enjoyed the conversation, you’re excited about the job, and you’re looking forward to a final answer.

2. Don’t stop looking. The very next day after the interview you should be back to the grindstone, searching for jobs, reaching out to contacts and sending applications. The interview may have been promising, but no actual promises were made. So don’t put your job search to rest just yet.

3. Wait quietly for one week during the spring, fall and winter, and two weeks during the summer vacation and holiday season. After that, it’s time to act.

4. Once the waiting period has passed, reach out by phone or email. At that point, you’re not being pushy—you’re simply asking for the respect you deserve as an applicant. If you don’t receive an answer, call two more times total before moving on. Sometimes employers interview several candidates and only contact the ones who are in line to receive offers. That’s not a very professional policy and it can harm a company’s reputation (employers, take note), but it does happen.

5. During every interaction, make sure your communications are polite, positive, and respectful, and expect others to treat you with the same courtesy.

Need specific guidance with your job search process? Try our employment staffing services at Merritt! Reach out to our office today.

Should You Complete Background Checks On Your Applicants?

August 17th, 2012

Hiring a new employee can be a significant act of trust. Depending on the level of responsibility you place in the employee’s hands, he or she may be able to make or break the success of a small business, so hiring managers usually want all the facts before they make an offer. But be careful. Before you decide to dig deeply into a candidate’s background, keep these considerations in mind.

When is it Okay to Investigate an Applicant’s Record?

Potential employees have a right to privacy, and in many cases, this right is protected by law. If you violate or attempt to violate a candidate’s privacy rights, you could find yourself facing lawsuits, criminal charges, fines, or worse. If in doubt, the best way to protect yourself is to explain clearly which aspects of an applicant’s background you intend to investigate, and then obtain the applicant’s written and signed permission. This will give the candidate a chance to withdraw her application if she wants to. Meanwhile, limit your inquiries to those which:

1. Are clearly relevant to the job. If your employee will be carrying a gun, you may want to conduct a criminal background check. If your candidate will be working with children, you may want to investigate any past allegations or convictions related to child abuse. If your candidate will be driving while on the job, you can contact your state department of motor vehicles to obtain her driving records. But if the check isn’t relevant to the position, think twice.

2. Won’t expose you to accusations of discrimination if you decide not to make an offer. Some employers decide to request medical records in order to determine an employee’s ability to perform certain job duties. The Americans With Disabilities Act allows employers to ask only about specific, job-related capabilities, and forbids the examination of an applicant’s medical records. Also, employers may not make hiring or promotion decisions based on a candidate’s disability.

Regarding financial information, it’s unwise to investigate a candidate’s history of bankruptcy, since federal law prohibits making hiring decisions based on this information. Credit checks are also unwise, since the Fair Credit Reporting Act requires written consent from the applicant before releasing credit reports, and also allows the employee to formally challenge any hiring decisions based on credit information.

3. Are reasonable and not overzealous. Aggressive background checks may seem like a form of risk mitigation. But without written consent for every aspect of your investigation, they actually expose your company to higher levels of risk in the form of lawsuits and backlash. Err on the side of caution, and perform background investigations only when they’re absolutely necessary.

Make sure you understand all federal and state laws related to privacy rights before you launch an investigation into a candidate’s school records, financial records, military history, or any other aspect of her past. If you need help with your research or have additional questions about employee background checks, contact your local recruitment agency in Connecticut at Merritt Staffing for more information.

 

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