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Don't Call us; We'll Call You

 A client recently sent me the following observation:


In the past 5 or 6 interviews I have had, I noticed something interesting. In each of them, the interviewer mentioned to me that they will be out on vacation the following week. Is that a common industry practice so people won't bug them on the status of their job application so they think about who to move forward on?


Having never experienced this or even noted it, I posted the client's question at a coaching forum. Are they lying or telling the truth?


It turns out, my client has keen observation skills and is on to something!

Here are some coach responses:


  • I’m a recruiter. A lot of my hiring managers and interview teams schedule interviews around their vacations and meetings. So many are being forced to use PTO or they lose it where before it rolled over. They literally have 100s of days to burn. I can’t speak for any other companies but I’ll definitely poll my clients.  

  • This happened with a client of mine last week. He was told the leadership team would be in India the following week and then the executive recruiter from Korn Ferry would be on vacation the following week. We’ll see.  

  •  It happened to me in a recent interview on Dec. 11. “Next week” was Dec. 18-22, not a vacation week generally speaking. The way HR said it did not sound convincing. Next week, they announced the role again with a lower salary and a head office in a difference province than where I live. A month later the HR emailed me that they hired someone else.


 So, the observation appears to be correct, but what does that mean for job seekers?


The first hypothesis we can propose is--don't believe employers. Of course, given how nearly 40% of hiring managers admit to lying in job interviews (December 2023 survey by Resume Builder), that's an easy conclusion to reach.


The second hypothesis is--He's just not that into you (2009 American romantic comedy-drama film directed by Ken Kwapis, based on Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo's 2004 self-help book).


Given the shortage of qualified workers and how desperate employers are these days, if they really want you, they will let you know within a few days--not two weeks.


Yes, there's a chance you haven't been eliminated from consideration, but If they say anything that smacks of "Don't call us; we'll call you" or "We are taking our time," you should continue looking also.


Employer: Thank for coming by Mr/Ms Applicant. I enjoyed our talk. By the way, I will be on vacation next week; so you'll likely hear from us in two weeks.


Applicant: I understand. You have a demanding job and deserve a break. While you're away, I'll check in with some other employers with whom I interviewed. Have a great vacation. Going anywhere special?


What do you think? How would you reply? Let us know!

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