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I sent in my resume to a company that was hiring for an Inventory Control position. I was called in and interviewed by the dept. supervisor.  Then five day later, I had a second interview with the department manager . After the second interview, I sent an e-mail thanking them for the interviews, and looked forward to hearing from them. It has been over a week since the second interview and I haven't heard anything yet from the company. 1)Should I contact them inquiring about the position? 2)Should I assume that I didn't get the job? 3) What is the correct protocol for an HR dept. in dealing an applicant after the second interview?

Hi Rick,

Congratulations on your interviews.   This is a stressful and exciting time.  In response to your specific questions I recommend:

first, you should acknowledge that not everyone who hires employees does so fairly , effectively, ethically, etc.  In a perfect world , the best person is always hired, but this is reality. and I have watched companies who hire a guy who walks in off the street and asks for work and gets it.   No interview- nothing.    These companies don't interview well- they just try employees like throwing pasta at a wall to see if it sticks.  

Interviewing can also have many different styles, so there are so many factors here.  My responses here are not given to you in a vacuum.   Bottom line, there is a science to it,  but not everyone is good at science.

1-   I would not suggest following up to ask about status.  Other HR pros may disagree.   The fact is they "found you" twice to conduct an interview--- they know where to find you again - if they would like to hire you or contact you to ask more questions.    Again, others might disagree and say "go and ask for an update".  So, there is no right answer.   Surely it would not hurt to ask for an update,  but asking will not change their mind or sway them to or from selecting you in my opinion.

2-  Absolutely not.  Each company has a different hiring cycle.  Some hire quickly, others slowly over weeks.   Still there may be people on vacation and other things the company is working through.  Also, they may have already hired someone and they are waiting to make sure they start,  and all is well before contacting the #2, and #3 applicants to tell them,  Sorry- we filled the position- thank you for your time."    The fact is there is 1 job, and likely many many applicants.   

Also, sometimes being #2 is not so bad.  If the # 1 candidate turns out to be crazy or tests positive for drugs, etc,    then the company would go to the # 2 candidate to offer them the position.  This doesn't always happen as sometimes candidate #2 is still not the best for the position,  but you never know with interviews.          Last,  you could get the call and job offer this afternoon--

3-  there is no "correct" protocol.  Even if there was, there is no guarantee that every employer would follow it.  There are different "best practices" and courtesies that employers will offer like sending a thank you note to applicants  or maybe a  "sorry" note to those applicants who didn't get the job.  Something as simple as a return e-mail or call often are never made to applicants who were not selected-- they apply and never hear anything.    At a minimum, if you had interviews, the company should contact you to fill you in on their decision as a courtesy since you spent time with them and they spent time with you-  a mutual investment.

  So, the other point is some companies may have three or four interviews too.  It all depends on the company.  For one job, I had 5 interviews in 1 day.

So, relax, keep looking for work, keep sending out resumes and if you have other interviews, go and do your best.  Don't sit around waiting for the call.  Make your own luck.  

I hope this helps.

Brian Phillips

Human Resources

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Brian Phillips


Foreign and US university students -*PLEASE*- DO NOT waste your time asking for my opinions, comments or analysis of your homework questions. Homework questions are not answered and are rejected. I am happy to help answer questions asked by employees and employers regarding United States based state and Federal wage and hour, OT, Fair labor standards, FMLA, COBRA, Recruiting, Interviewing techniques, employee manuals, discipline, terminations/quits, unemployment, HRIS rollout, Employee Leasing or Staffing company cost analysis, day to day scenarios, work situations and more. Essentially a well rounded HR generalist who operates Harvis, Inc., a human resource consulting and service business based in Northeastern Pennsylvania "NEPA".


At Harvis, Inc., we provide Human Resource products, services and advice to small businesses that may not have the time or resources to hire a full time HR department. For larger companies with HR managers in place, we compliment their expertise to help with time consuming or time sensitive projects like updating policy manuals, screening and interviewing and more. We make workplaces better by becoming that 1/2 person they need to help handle HR responsibilities on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. Formerly responsible for all Human Resource activity for a staffing agency with 2,500 annual employees as well as an employee leasing / PEO business with 1,500 annual employees. Designed and implemented the HR structure to support hundreds of clients in excess of $ 500 million in payroll volume over career in Human Resources.

* President 2006- Harvis Inc. HR Services * President 2010-13 Business Association of the Greater Shickshinny Area - Shickshinny PA * President 2013- ShickshinnyForward Not for Profit Community Long Term Revitalization Organization and former member of varios Chambers of Commerce and HR Taskforce, former President of NBC Business Club 2 years

Bloomsburg University - 1993 BS Marketing, Bloomsburg Pennsylvania and Luzerne County Community College - 1991 Business Administration, Nanticoke Pennsylvania

Awards and Honors
* Better than average - 20/10 vision * Bestowed with an occasional "Thank You" from clients and their employees.

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