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If I Didn't Get Job, Can I at Least Get Courtesy?

By Thelma Domenici
For the Journal
          Dear Thelma: In today's economy, finding a job has become very difficult. My question involves employers who do not have the courtesy to respond to an applicant after having several phone conversations, a group interview with four members of the company and two requests for references.
        I followed all the recommended tips on follow-ups to interviews: thank you e-mails, thank you phone calls, follow-up e-mails and phone calls, and still have yet to receive a response from this firm. Obviously I did not get the job, but they could at least have the manners to tell me that the job has been filled or been put on hold. I honestly thought that I nailed this job and feel like I wasted over a month pursuing this position. I don't want to become a pest, but I would like to know why I did not get the job. Any advice?
        A: In your situation, courtesy to those applying for a position is missing. Regardless of the number of applicants, all those interviewed should be notified of the decision by the company. It may be a call or a letter to the effect of "Thank you for your interest. We have selected another applicant for the position."
        The firm isn't required to offer you a detailed explanation, but if you have a personal relationship with someone there, you can explore with that person how you might have interviewed better.
        When you interview for a job, you are right to send an immediate thank you. When the process is over, the company should show the same courtesy by sending an immediate letter or making calls to notify all of the outcome and to thank them for their participation. Good manners during the employment process should always flow both ways.
        Dear Thelma: I am writing this in response to your recent column on etiquette for walking the various trails in our city. I thought I'd let you know that there is indeed a widely accepted guide for etiquette on Albuquerque's trails. The city's trail guidelines can be found at www.cabq.gov/openspace/rules.html.
        I think the person who asked you the question about how people should treat each other on trails would be interested in the section on public behavior. The city's guidelines state:
        "Always be courteous when using trails. Everyone must yield to horses. Saddle and pack animals must stay on established trails. Mountain bicycles must stay on established trails and yield to hikers, and saddle and pack animals.
        "Keep noise at a low level. The use of radios, tape or CD players, TVs or audio amplifying devices or instruments is prohibited."
        Thelma, thank you for taking the time to help those who love our open spaces and trails learn the appropriate etiquette. Happy Trails!
        A: Thank you for pointing out the city's guidelines. They are a good resource for all who use the city's open spaces. Like the recent column you mention, they encourage walkers to be courteous and respectful when encountering others on the trail. Also helpful is the instruction to hikers to stay on the right and provide enough room for faster walkers to pass on the left. Good advice for trails, and even for sidewalks and airports.
        The key to all etiquette questions is respect and what I call heartsense. We know in our hearts the behaviors that will make the walk enjoyable for whoever comes along. When we keep those in mind and stay aware of our own impact on others, we won't make a mistake.
        A refreshing excursion and good manners never go out of style.
        Have a question about etiquette? You can ask it at www.askthelma.com. Thelma Domenici is CEO of Thelma Domenici & Associates, offering corporate coaching and contemporary social skills development programs to all ages.

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