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Submitted by krishead on


When hiring for a position, I always phone all the unsuccessful applicants to let them know that another applicant was selected for the position.  Recently, an unsuccessful applicant voiced his frustration that when I couldn't reach him directly, I instead left a voicemail message about my decision.

I'd like to know the community's thoughts on whether voicemail messages about unsuccessful applications are appropriate.  Should I have instead left a message for a callback?  I typically try to advance the conversation with voicemail messages as Mark and Mike's advice.



BJ_Marshall's picture
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I think you did the right thing by leaving a voicemail message. If an unsuccessful applicant voiced his frustration to me, that would have reinforced my decision not to hire that person.

- BJ

ccleveland's picture

Mark says it's okay to turn down a candidate in a voicemail (although not by email):

Along w/ BJ's comment, even if you had spoken directly, do you think the candidate would not have been disappointed just because you told him in person?


krishead's picture
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I appreciate your thoughts.  It's good to know I'm not too far out in right field.


wendii's picture
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The only time I wouldn't leave a voicemail is if I'm not sure that I've reached the right person. If there's no message which says 'You've reached so and so', I usually leave a cagey message.. just in case I've got the wrong number. You wouldn't want to have got one number wrong and called someone's boss!


AManagerTool's picture

Good for you no matter how you do it!

ken_wills's picture

...or something like that.  On behalf of interviewees everywhere, THANK YOU for taking the time to inform candidates of your decision.  Using my recent experience as a guide, you're in a teeny tiny minority.

Good for you!

pamartin's picture



It's been my experience that good news comes by phone, bad news comes by email (if at all). I can't tell you how many hiring managers have failed to inform me of a negative decision; they just left me hanging.  No one has ever phoned me to tell me that I didn't get the job. As far as I am concerned, even trying to reach the person by phone puts you ahead of 99% of the hiring managers out there. Good for you!