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I recently went through a job interview process. For about two weeks, the company was eager to have me come in for meetings with various staff. I sent thank-you notes promptly to each person I met with. My contact at the company emailed me often to check in, set up new meetings, and ask questions. After my third or fourth interview, all contact stopped. I sent a couple of emails to my contact but never received a response. Is this acceptable behavior on the company's part? If not, is it appropriate for me to send my contact a note pointing this out?
The company’s behavior was not appropriate.
When a business has involved candidates in a job in a hiring process, it's incumbent on the business to communicate with the applicant until there is closure in the process. It is the height of rudeness for the company to signal its decision not to hire you by simply cutting off all contact.
That said, it is certainly appropriate for you to contact the company to find out if your contact has been on vacation or ill—circumstances that could explain why you haven’t heard from him. I would not contact the company with the express intent of pointing out the lack of etiquette, however. It simply isn’t worth burning a potentially important bridge to make a point. Instead, focus on seeking closure to the process.
This article originally appeared on December 12, 2004, in Peter Post's "Etiquette at Work" column in the Boston Globe.