Rejection/Feedback: A play in three acts

Act 1

Dear XXXX,

Thank you for coming in to interview with the team last week. Everyone enjoyed speaking with you, but unfortunately it was decided that your background and experience is not an ideal fit for the position. Please be assured that this decision was arrived at after careful and thorough deliberation.

Again, we appreciate your time, and wish you the best of success in your job search.


Bea Pearson-Handler
Recruiting (FourSquare for your Dog!)

Act 2

Hi Bea,

Thank you for the e-mail. I enjoyed meeting with everyone and I’m very sorry to hear the news.

If it would be at all possible, it would be very helpful to me if you could provide me with any feedback regarding my interview or the hiring decision. Really, anything at all would be helpful and I would very much appreciate it.

Thanks to you and everyone on the team for your time.


Act 3

Dear XXXX,

I’ve included below some notes from the interviewers. Hopefully these will be helpful to you. Again, best of luck in your job search.

Bea Pearson-Handler
Recruiting (FourSquare for your Dog!)

9:30-10:30AM “Big Picture” Interview:

  • Candidate arrived 15 minutes late; claimed he was stuck behind “an Asian driver” on his way to the office.

  • Questionable personal hygiene.

  • When asked why he wanted to work at FourPaws, candidate referred to his “20—actually I guess it’s 30—grand” gambling debt, and his bookie, “Jimmy Two-Thumbs.”

  • When asked where he saw himself in five years, candidate replied “Working at Google.”

10-45AM-12:00PM Case Study Interview:

  • Candidate was asked how he might improve engagement of female users with certain features of the site. His answer began with “Chicks, am I right?”

  • When asked why manhole covers were round, candidate replied “Because round is the shape of the Platonic ideal of a hole,” then hedged with “Or, so that fat Con Ed guys can get through them.”

  • Candidate was asked to estimate the number of piano tuners in Chicago. Candidate responded, “Well, you drop one piano tuner from the middle floor of the building. Then you take the second one and light him on fire at both ends. Wait, what was the question?”

12:00PM - 1:00PM “Casual” Lunch Interview:

  • Candidate served himself one pork sausage, then generous servings of everything at the Vegan table.

  • Chewed with mouth open.

  • When asked what he does in his spare time, candidate said that he was a prolific author of “HGTV slash fiction, especially the Property Brothers

  • Asked if soda was free at the firm. When told yes, asked if we had RC Cola. When told no, asked if we would special order it if he were hired. Seemed strangely adamant on this point; mentioned he would “bring it up in negotiations.”

1:00-2:00PM Technical Interview:

  • Candidate was given the option to use whiteboard or paper to sketch out code. Candidate said he preferred paper; removed quill pen and inkwell from his shoulder bag.

  • Candidate was asked to code FizzBuzz. Candidate replied that it was a trick question, since “3 and 5 are prime, so nothing is divisible by them except one.”

  • Candidate used Bubble Sort to sort an array. When asked if there was a more efficient algorithm, he said yes, but claimed he didn’t want to use it, “because [his] religion forbids it.”

2:00-2:15 HR Wrapup:

  • Candidate asked if he could be reimbursed for travel expenses, since he drives a 1984 Buick Skylark, “for irony.”
  • Candidate asked if signing bonuses were typically offered, since he had “a good feeling about the Broncos this year.”
  • Candidate asked if “that girl at reception, you know, with the shirt,” was single.