“You haven’t been successful on this occasion.”
“We have offered the position to someone else.”
“You are not the successful applicant.”
“We are not able to offer you the position.”
As well as not being told how to interview people, I have never been told how to tell people I have interviewed that I they are not good enough. I don’t even get any pleasure out of it. God knows how all those women have felt telling me I wasn’t good enough over the years*.
The thing is everyone tells themselves they either know they haven’t got the job OR that they don’t want the job (really). Mostly, though, people have a natural optimism when they walk in the room after the person who interviewed them calls them and asks them if they can come to the office for “five minutes”.
I contemplated emailing the unsuccessful applicants. I have in the past. Don’t judge me: they were external applicants and I had offered them the weapon of their own execution at the end of the interview. Unsurprisingly, I thought, several had said email. Why would you want to go somewhere to be told you weren’t getting the job? I would much rather receive it via email, slowly reading the words again and again until the worlds lost meaning (apart from the ‘you’re not good enough’ meaning which they ultimately maintained).
At the end of these interviews I had just said when I would let people know. I didn’t say how. There are protocols. But they are helpful protocols that are not written anywhere and that no-one tells you unless you ask about them. And if you challenge them you are told that it is ultimately up to you. So I can tell people via a barbershop quartet? I can do it via a mime troop? How about delivered in iambic pentameter by an Abdul Amzah lookalike?
I discussed it briefly with the person with whom I interviewed the candidates. She refuses to say that I SHOULD tell everyone face to face because it is me that has to do it and she clearly feels a bit guilty about this. Instead she doesn’t say anything. And the silence/my bizarre set of morals and values implores me to pick up the phone and start summoning people to trudge to a room with differing amounts of optimism before I crush it.
They shouldn’t force you to tell the successful person first. I like getting hard things out of the way and then enjoying the easy things. You can’t properly enjoy things when there is an approaching bad event on one’s mind. It’s why the whole last meal thing is overrated for me. I really couldn’t enjoy my lamb chops and chips knowing that someone was going to pump me full of death in a couple of hours. It would undoubtedly take the shine off the whole thing.
Instead I had the real heartwarming experience of making someone’s day, seeing the real pleasure at getting a job they really wanted, eroded very quickly by telling five other people that I wasn’t able to offer anything other than rejection. And though I enjoyed giving the right person the job and making the day it doesn’t enrich my soul, it’s just doing my job correctly. You could say the other bit is also just doing one’s job correctly – but rejecting people does have an effect on my soul.
It’s a real shit.
*Admittedly this is mainly fiction. Everyone loves self-effacing humour don’t they? I have rarely put myself in situations to be rejected by women – thanks to my crippling self loathing!! HAHA!