Get advice on how to deal with jerks at work Check out the book 'Jerks At Work' and other titles by Ken Lloyd Ph.D. Return to the homepage Learn more about Ken Lloyd, Ph.D. Submit a question to Ken Lloyd, Ph.D.

You asked, Ken answers ...

This item is filed under these categories:
Job Interviews Screening Applicants Assertiveness Inconsiderate Actions Incompetence Workload

I just had a job interview that lasted ten minutes. The interviewer kept me waiting for thirty minutes and did not even apologize for that. He said he was very busy and then rushed through a few questions. I have not heard a word from the company since then. Is this common, and should I take any action?

Whoever interviewed you should be a candidate for an exit interview. This type of treatment is unprofessional, unkind, and unacceptable.

First, if an applicant is kept waiting for a job interview, the appropriate words are an apology, not a rationalization regarding the interviewer’s busy schedule. Secondly, an interview that lasts ten minutes is not an interview at all. It is nothing more than perfunctory comments. In addition, the lack of follow-up from the company, even if it is a rejection letter, further bespeaks the lack of professionalism in this entire matter.

If an interviewer is only able to conduct a ten minute interview, the applicant should be advised as soon as possible, hopefully before he or she arrives at the company. Either way, a follow-up interview should be scheduled. And if the interviewer becomes too busy because of a major last-minute development, he or she should apologize and reschedule the interview.

Assuming that you did not do anything to merit a short interview, such as destroying the furniture in the waiting area, you should send an email to the interviewer’s manager and/or to the Human Resources Manager. Describe what happened and express your dissatisfaction. The response from the company will tell you if it is worth even a minute more of your time.

Comment on this item

Your name (optional)
If you leave this blank, we'll list you as "Website visitor"

Your comments
Please keep your comments focused on the topic. Thanks!