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Does following up even work?

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Does following up even work?

Post by 08pacollegegrad on Tue Mar 22, 2011 11:43 am

Back story:

Two weeks ago, I had four interviews at a restaurant for a hostess job, so basically I wasn't going to be making anymore than $8 or $9 an hour. I never did find out what the exact pay would be, but based on my knowledge of the food service industry, I didn't expect more than $9 an hour. That was OK, because I really just want to get out of the house and work at this point.

I met with the woman in charge of employee training when I dropped off my application, then had three interviews each of the three following days with two assistant managers and a general manager. The management seemed to like me and said I had good availability and then had me fill out a form to agree to a background check.

Each day of my following three interviews, I was on time. I was dressed up nice and was courteous to everyone I met.

But now, the job I thought would be mine has not come to. In fact, after all of these interviews I have not heard a thing back. They haven't called to even mention if there was a problem with my background check. I've heard nothing saying they are held up, that they can't hire me...just silence.

OK I guess I should make my point. I vented about this to a few of my friends, and they responded that I should call them because "it only takes a couple of minutes" and it "shows you're interested".

Is it ever the employer's responsibility to call the job seeker anymore, or do they just sit around expecting everyone to flock to them and bow down to them??

I could understand my friends' response if I had simply filled out an application, dropped it off and hadn't met with anyone. However, I had a hard time understanding that I still needed to "show interest" after four interviews. I think they know I want the job...

I'm not convinced following up even works in the job search. In my experience, in the times I have followed up, I have either been ignored or gotten ambiguous answers. After one such interview, I followed up with the hiring manager in a fair amount of time and was told that they were still "making a decision", and I never heard from that company again! In fact, they did the standard re-post the job because no one was perfect enough. Also, I have sent thank you notes after every interview, and here I am...still unemployed!

I just think it's outdated advice, and I apologize to anyone who has gotten a job from this. But it hasn't worked for me, and I just don't think it's worth it to keep trying. I have heard some advice that if the employer were really interested, they would contact you, and I wold have to agree.

Really, though, if everyone who was unemployed followed up and it impressed employers that much, maybe we wouldn't have a problem.

Am I being ridiculous, or is this others' experience as well?

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Re: Does following up even work?

Post by Guest on Tue Mar 22, 2011 11:58 am

In normal times I think its true. It does show initiative and shows that you really want the job. That is how I was taught. BUT during such horrible unemployment, and due the overwhelming amount of people that apply for each and every job, I have heard it doesnt matter. It is an employers market, things are very different now. Still it probably wont hurt to give them a call anyway. Maybe they will offer you some information. I have also heard that employers dont want to hire people who appear desperate for a job. It sounds insane, I know. It was a job search advisor that told me this.
My advice would be if it has been a significant amount of time, just give them a call. It cant hurt.

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Re: Does following up even work?

Post by Guest on Tue Mar 22, 2011 11:59 am

08, I hear your frustration. I am happy for you that at least you had follow up interviews. I think the thank you note and a follow up are a good idea, however, I would limit it to one. Sometimes, I think you damned if you do and damned if you don't.

One thing I have done is to personally ask during the interview to be contacted either way. When I have had the opportunity to do this, they always complied.

It's an employers market right now, they have so many to chose from, sometimes it's who happens to be there at a crisis moment gets the job, some employers are gearing up for a busy season and you may not hear for a month, some just hold off as long as they possibly can to make the decision. It can't hurt to follow up, but I agree, being polite works both ways.

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Re: Does following up even work?

Post by 08pacollegegrad on Tue Mar 22, 2011 1:10 pm

Sick & Tired wrote:In normal times I think its true. It does show initiative and shows that you really want the job. That is how I was taught. BUT during such horrible unemployment, and due the overwhelming amount of people that apply for each and every job, I have heard it doesnt matter. It is an employers market, things are very different now. Still it probably wont hurt to give them a call anyway. Maybe they will offer you some information. I have also heard that employers dont want to hire people who appear desperate for a job. It sounds insane, I know. It was a job search advisor that told me this.
My advice would be if it has been a significant amount of time, just give them a call. It cant hurt.

On Friday, it will have been two weeks since my last interview. The last manager to interview me said my background check shouldn't take long; in fact, he said on the Friday of my interview that the check should be back on Monday.

Question though: If something comes up in your background check that would cause a company not to hire you, do they have to tell you that? Something tells me they should, but with the way employers are these days, you never know.

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Re: Does following up even work?

Post by Judi58 on Tue Mar 22, 2011 1:59 pm

I am upfront... I tell them my credit sucks but am clean on everything else... so no surprises...

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Re: Does following up even work?

Post by Guest on Tue Mar 22, 2011 2:29 pm

It depends on who you are hired by. Large companies are required to disclose reasons for not hiring, ie criminal record, bad driving (if you are being hired to drive), domestic abuse. A credit check is different. There are many instances why you couldn't be hired for a problem with a background check, child care, nursing home, driving etc. Bad credit in this economy or any economy should not come into play. I know of many CEO's in small companies who are business, house and credit poor. It's complete discrimination.

However, as a "one time, in my previous working life" manager responsible for hiring, it takes two seconds to show someone the courtesy of letting them know, not keeping them hanging on, particularly in this economy. Even if you interview 20 candidates, a quick email, phone call or even a typed letter if they don't want to have personal contact, stating they have gone in a different direction doesn't take much time at all.

Bear in mind though, depending on the size of the company or restaurant, it may take 10 days to two weeks to get a background check back. Larger companies have contracts for these things. Smaller companies usually don't and as such, get done as needed and may not get top priority. You may still hear something. Let us know if you do. Don't lose heart, something will come your way.

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Re: Does following up even work?

Post by Hunterforjobs on Tue Mar 22, 2011 3:41 pm

Why would a restaurant need a background check in the first place when all you are doing is taking reservations and showing people to their tables. Doesn't make much sense.

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Re: Does following up even work?

Post by Scipio on Wed Mar 23, 2011 12:15 am

4 interviews for a 9 dollar an hour job?

Since they re posted the job position, I'm under the impression that they only pretended to hire to get a tax write off.

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Re: Does following up even work?

Post by Guest on Wed Mar 23, 2011 12:27 am

08pacollegegrad wrote:
Sick & Tired wrote:In normal times I think its true. It does show initiative and shows that you really want the job. That is how I was taught. BUT during such horrible unemployment, and due the overwhelming amount of people that apply for each and every job, I have heard it doesnt matter. It is an employers market, things are very different now. Still it probably wont hurt to give them a call anyway. Maybe they will offer you some information. I have also heard that employers dont want to hire people who appear desperate for a job. It sounds insane, I know. It was a job search advisor that told me this.
My advice would be if it has been a significant amount of time, just give them a call. It cant hurt.

On Friday, it will have been two weeks since my last interview. The last manager to interview me said my background check shouldn't take long; in fact, he said on the Friday of my interview that the check should be back on Monday.

Question though: If something comes up in your background check that would cause a company not to hire you, do they have to tell you that? Something tells me they should, but with the way employers are these days, you never know.

Was it a background check, or a credit check?

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Re: Does following up even work?

Post by JoanB on Wed Mar 23, 2011 12:51 am

I think that I probably lost a job because a background check revealed that I was arresteded at a No-Nukes protest in the 80s. Would have calling and sending them a thank-you note have helped my case? No Wink

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Re: Does following up even work?

Post by Sunrise on Wed Mar 23, 2011 1:19 am

JoanB wrote:I think that I probably lost a job because a background check revealed that I was arresteded at a No-Nukes protest in the 80s. Would have calling and sending them a thank-you note have helped my case? No Wink

Have you thought about trying to get that expunged from your record? It may make getting jobs a little easier because most companies do a background check.

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Re: Does following up even work?

Post by lendmeflight2 on Wed Mar 23, 2011 3:38 am

As far as background and credit checks go, I have had bad credit for many many years and I have never been turned down because of it. Unless you are going to work for a bank I doubt it would really matter. It won't be the sole reason you are turned down. I have worked with money and cash registers and been a retail manager and bad credit didn't make any difference on that. Background checks are different. Nearly any place will run one because they don't want anyone with a robbery or other violent crime on their payroll. If you have any kind of drug conviction (in most states) you can forget it. I doubt a minor arrest record would hurt you and certainly not a moving violation. Only convictions should hurt you, they are the only thing that stay on your record.


Last edited by lendmeflight2 on Wed Mar 23, 2011 3:39 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : typo)

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Re: Does following up even work?

Post by JoanB on Wed Mar 23, 2011 9:07 am

Sunrise wrote:Have you thought about trying to get that expunged from your record? It may make getting jobs a little easier because most companies do a background check.

Well, in this particular case, it was a defense contractor that fingerprinted me the second my foot got in the door Shocked and it was more than your routine background check--I think they called it a "background investigation" and I had to sign a lot of waivers for it. These people were creepy and clearly not messing around. Fingerprint before the interview? Really?! I was too shocked to object.

This was the only time that I really suspected that that particular piece of my past might have hurt me...and to tell you the truth, I'm proud of it, and getting it expunged would make it seem like I'm ashamed, like it was a DUI or something. But thanks for the suggestion.

Guess I was just trying to make a funny...that no, a thank you note wouldn't have helped. Wink

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Re: Does following up even work?

Post by 08pacollegegrad on Wed Mar 23, 2011 11:15 am

Scipio wrote:4 interviews for a 9 dollar an hour job?

Since they re posted the job position, I'm under the impression that they only pretended to hire to get a tax write off.

I was speaking of a different job that re-posted the ad after never getting back to me (and others too, I'm sure). That was over a year ago now.

This job I interviewed for two weeks ago hasn't re-posted an ad yet, but I wouldn't be surprised if they did.

And oh yeah, last night I got called by a different restaurant I applied to on the hourly jobs site snagajob. I was pretty excited, even though they asked me to come in for the interview with only two hours notice. I said yes, because I can't imagine turning down an interview unless I really decided since applying somewhere that I didn't want the job anymore.

Anyway, this was for a serving job. I went in for the interview last night and had about a 10 minute meeting with a manager. Everything seemed to go well, but then he told me that they do a two-interview, and sometimes three-interview, process. So now I have to wait for another phone call to hopefully get a second interview. Remember, this is to be a SERVER, not any kind of manager.

It's sad what the job market has become.

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Re: Does following up even work?

Post by JoanB on Wed Mar 23, 2011 11:40 am

08pacollegegrad wrote:[It's sad what the job market has become.

Yeah. I'm so sorry that you have to go through this. I'm not sure who to feel worse for--the young people coming out of school or those of us over 50. I hope something good comes along for you soon.

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Re: Does following up even work?

Post by 08pacollegegrad on Wed Mar 23, 2011 11:52 am

Thanks. I am going to a job fair today, and although I'm doubtful about how well it will go, I am just trying to stay open minded. The job fair is for one of my chosen fields, so at least it's not going to be like one of those cattle call/free for all events.

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Re: Does following up even work?

Post by Hunterforjobs on Wed Mar 23, 2011 1:21 pm

What exactly are they looking for?

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Re: Does following up even work?

Post by New_Wave_Princess on Wed Mar 23, 2011 5:14 pm

Not surprised at all. Back in the 90's I waitressed on and off for many years, even sometimes while working a corporate job. I was good and it was always a fall back job. Now, I can't get one. One place even said it was because my experience is "old" (it's over 10 years). Exactly how could have serving changed from the late 90's to now?

And yes many places are going to many interviews. Best Buy required 6 interviews for a simple cashier job. After about the third one I got tired of this behavior so I quit going. Oh and they wanted a letter of recommendation from a former employer to boot!

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Re: Does following up even work?

Post by Scipio on Wed Mar 23, 2011 5:16 pm

Job fairs are a huge waste of time. Too many tables are those for profit colleges, others are companies that aren't even hiring, and too many tables don't even take resumes, they just say "go to our website".

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Re: Does following up even work?

Post by New_Wave_Princess on Wed Mar 23, 2011 5:18 pm

Scipio wrote:Job fairs are a huge waste of time. Too many tables are those for profit colleges, others are companies that aren't even hiring, and too many tables don't even take resumes, they just say "go to our website".

Not to mention all the scam jobs like PrimeAmerica.

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Re: Does following up even work?

Post by 08pacollegegrad on Wed Mar 23, 2011 5:46 pm

The one I went to today (I just got home) was specific to the kind of work I want to do. It was sports and entertainment companies/teams with a couple of nonprofits, so it was actually geared towards me. It wasn't crowded either...I'd say no more than 20 job seekers were there. But there were only like eight employers. A couple of the exhibitors didn't even show up, and then the one woman from a company came late and was standing at her booth texting. I wasn't impressed, so I didn't go to her.

I did talk to a couple of places that had solid opportunities. But others were just non-paying internships or weren't hiring.

Now, there is supposed to a big/general job fair in a couple of weeks here, but I'm not sure if I'm going. I looked at the list and the booths include Avon, Mary Kay, two staffing agencies, a career center, and some colleges. I don't want to sell Avon or Mary Kay, I don't really like dealing with agencies, and I know what I want to go back to school for, but that college isn't going to be at the fair, so not worth it going to the booths for the schools that will be there.

I might go because there is one employer there I want to work for, but everytime I apply online, I never get a call back. So maybe the fair will help, but who knows anymore?

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Re: Does following up even work?

Post by lendmeflight2 on Wed Mar 23, 2011 6:22 pm

New_Wave_Princess wrote:Not surprised at all. Back in the 90's I waitressed on and off for many years, even sometimes while working a corporate job. I was good and it was always a fall back job. Now, I can't get one. One place even said it was because my experience is "old" (it's over 10 years). Exactly how could have serving changed from the late 90's to now?

And yes many places are going to many interviews. Best Buy required 6 interviews for a simple cashier job. After about the third one I got tired of this behavior so I quit going. Oh and they wanted a letter of recommendation from a former employer to boot!


I am astounded that any job would require 6 interviews. I have never in my life been interviewed more than three times. How hard could it be to make a decision on something like that? A few years ago the District manager of a company like that would get pissed if a manager couldn't make a decision after one interview for that position. He would say "just hire one and stick by it", now it's like passing a homeland security exam to stand with a blue shirt and point at stuff.


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Re: Does following up even work?

Post by Scipio on Wed Mar 23, 2011 8:18 pm

lendmeflight2 wrote:
New_Wave_Princess wrote:Not surprised at all. Back in the 90's I waitressed on and off for many years, even sometimes while working a corporate job. I was good and it was always a fall back job. Now, I can't get one. One place even said it was because my experience is "old" (it's over 10 years). Exactly how could have serving changed from the late 90's to now?

And yes many places are going to many interviews. Best Buy required 6 interviews for a simple cashier job. After about the third one I got tired of this behavior so I quit going. Oh and they wanted a letter of recommendation from a former employer to boot!


I am astounded that any job would require 6 interviews. I have never in my life been interviewed more than three times. How hard could it be to make a decision on something like that? A few years ago the District manager of a company like that would get pissed if a manager couldn't make a decision after one interview for that position. He would say "just hire one and stick by it", now it's like passing a homeland security exam to stand with a blue shirt and point at stuff.


I couldn't work there, by the 3rd interview I'd flat out ask the guy "are you guys this frigging incompetent that it takes 3 interviews to make up your mind for a simple cashier position?"

I bet they had no intention of hiring anyone. I bet they're only pretending to hire to get some kind of tax write off. I can't prove it, but this sounds very screwy to me.

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Re: Does following up even work?

Post by New_Wave_Princess on Wed Mar 23, 2011 8:24 pm

I didn't get it either for a part time job. I quit the interviews because it does become rather idiotic.

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Re: Does following up even work?

Post by Guest on Wed Mar 23, 2011 10:52 pm

Not to mention the stupid online questionnaire or "personality quiz" most of those places have us fill out!! Its RIDICULOUS! I remember years ago walking into a place, filling out and application and getting hired on the spot. There was none of this paranoid and invasive interrogation just to get a job as a cashier or a burger flipper. Now its like you are applying to be a CIA agent or something. Its degrading at times.

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