After an interview – silence

This is what is now happening to me for a second and third time, simultaneously.

I apply for a job, get invited to an interview, attend it, they thank me for coming, we say goodbye. Then, nothing.

I attended an interview as an o2 Guru (essentially the same as an Apple Genius, but based in the O2 store, helping people with phone problems) on Wednesday 3rd August. I had a telephone interview prior to this, and I had to give a 10 minute presentation on something that showed my interest in technology. To how many people, I had no idea – but figured it probably wouldn’t be more than five.

I was nervous as shit, so I spent the week planning meticulously, checking my timings, making sure it wasn’t longer than 10 minutes. I researched a lot about Google – their products, history, previous names (they were initially called Backrub). At the interview – a nice sunny hot day, I arrived on time, had to wait around, then was beckoned through to a tiny cupboard of a room, full of computers, two members of staff, and me. And in a shirt and tie, I gave the sweatiest presentation I’ve ever given. Then I answered questions about previous customer service, some of which I had covered already in the telephone interview. I was probably marked down as, when asked about why I had never worked for a single company for more than three years, I explained they were all small companies with no career progression available, and then they told me that this £14,000 p/a job I was interviewing for had no career progression available.

Wednesday lunchtime this was, and they told me they’d make a decision by the end of the week. So, end of the week came, went. I didn’t get an email or a phone call.

The following week, I sent this email:

“Hi <contact>,

As I haven’t heard from you, I have assumed I will not be offered the position as an O2 Guru. I do however, have a couple of questions for you.

1. Would it be possible for me to have feedback regarding my interview? Was there any particular area that I might improve upon, or anything I was missing?

2. While I was waiting in the O2 store, I saw a flyer advertising O2 Techies, who go out to businesses and configure mobile devices for servers, in a corporate capacity. Given my IT support background, I wondered if you might know how these are recruited? I can find very little detail about them on O2’s website.

Any information much appreciated.


She had emailed me several times to confirm the telephone interview and the face-to-face interview, and we’d all had a conversation about the usefulness of the Blackberry in a corporate environment for managing the emails you get on an average day. So you’d think I’d get a reply back to this reasonably quickly wouldn’t you? Well I sent that 3 months ago, and no reply yet.

And O2 are not an isolated incident. I’ve had two more interviews since then for other technology-based companies. One was a business ADSL and VoIP provider who told me they would get back to me “by the end of the week”. No reply yet after nearly two months.

The other – a company that developed software for payroll/staff management, told me they would get back to me “by the following Monday, with feedback“. Monday came and went, with no reply (obviously). I left it another few days, then phoned. My interview had been in two parts – first part computerised tests, second part face-to-face with different staff. All the organisation/emails/agreement-of-time had been set up by the person who did the computerised tests, so I asked to speak to her. After being on hold for several minutes, the receptionist said (in a very nice way, I should add) that essentially, she had refused my phone call, and said that I needed to speak to the guys who conducted the second part. The receptionist had tried to put me through there, but they were away from their desks, so emailed on my behalf.

I got a phone call that afternoon from the guy, to say that they were still interviewing more candidates, but that they hadn’t ruled me out. So why are you interviewing more? Either make a decision from the candidates you have, or reject them all and start again. Either way, to neither offer-a-job-to nor reject someone who has been to an interview is just rude.

I’d be especially interested to see the feedback for this, based on the fact that I never applied for this role in the first place. They found my details on Jobsite and contacted me to invite me for an interview. One question they seemed to raise a lot in the second part of the interview was what experience I had of supporting bespoke applications. If I was giving an honest answer, I’d say “not much”, but I had to learn Microsoft Exchange, or how to manage a Sophos Enterprise installation at some point. What does it matter whether it’s Microsoft who wrote the software, or a local company? And there’s no mention of supporting bespoke applications anywhere on my CV, so given they found me and invited me to the interview – you know – they should have known I had little experience of this.

I know it’s an employer’s market, and I guess the average company has 150-300 applications for every job, but so what? I attended a group interview at Apple a few months back. They were holding three (that I knew of) the same week (and more within a few weeks), with at least 15-20 people attending each. They were kind enough to tell me I wasn’t going through to the next round of interviews within 48 hours of me attending, and I can only imagine (if they were inviting 60 people to first round interviews) how many applications they have for jobs.

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