What's your favorite, a phone call rejection or a rejection in the mail?

FTPiper's picture
Rank: Baboon | 156

I have received over 100+ rejections in my career.
I feel like both of them are terrible, but I actually prefer a rejection in the mail.

Sometimes by phone, you feel like you had a great chance of getting an offer so your hope gets up when a number from NYC calls you, while with a letter in the mail, you know it's a rejection.

What are your guys' thoughts?

Comments (36)

Nov 24, 2009

I prefer to get rejected via a phone call, that way I find out sooner than if I have to wait around for a letter in the mail.

Also, I hate when they wait a long time to tell you that you've been rejected.

Nov 25, 2009

easier to get feedback

Nov 25, 2009

Let it go to voice-mail, if they ask you to call them back it means you have an offer.

Jan 31, 2014
Advisory88:

Let it go to voice-mail, if they ask you to call them back it means you have an offer.

This isn't always true, and letting those potentially important calls go to voicemail is a lame move.

Mail/Email is always better. In my experience it is usually customary to call with an offer, and mail a rejection. So getting a call can be a tease which is just cruel and unusual

Nov 25, 2009

The best is being completely ignored. I fucking hate HR sometimes.

Nov 25, 2009
Yacht_man:

The best is being completely ignored. I fucking hate HR sometimes.

Hate that crap, is it so hard to write an email that says "NOT"?

Nov 25, 2009

Best is an e-mail. Worst would be getting a call, since in my experience it's more likely for a call to be an acceptance, so seeing an unrecognized number would seriously get my hopes up making rejection worse.

Letter is somewhere in between.

Nov 25, 2009

I just think getting rejected via standard mail is really inefficient.

Personally, I prefer getting rejected by email, and getting offered positions by phone. In my personal experience, when a company calls you, either

1) They want to offer you a job

or

2) They will reject you, but felt that you were REALLY GREAT.

Nov 25, 2009

I've gotten a voicemail from HR telling me to call them back .... only to get rejected.

Nov 25, 2009
rrrrr01:

I've gotten a voicemail from HR telling me to call them back .... only to get rejected.

That really sucks. I'd hate to experience that.

Nov 25, 2009
rrrrr01:

I've gotten a voicemail from HR telling me to call them back .... only to get rejected.

Same for me, I was so pissed...it was BB for summer MBA internship...it was like "call me back I have some news for you", and then"bye bye"...

Dec 1, 2016

LOL That is funny, but sad.

Nov 25, 2009

Having been rejected over 100x, where are you now in ur career? I admire your persistency and passion for your career. I've had my share of rejections, and believe me they are no fun, but I too prefer knowing sooner rather than later whether it be via phone or email or letter. The sooner I find out the quicker I can move on. Life is short.

It would suck tho to get a voicemail and call back to get rejected.

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Nov 25, 2009

I realize that after getting so many rejections, something is wrong with you, either your resume or your interviews, so you have to fix that.

I have been left voicemails atleast 5 times where I call them back and to get rejected. It was not a great feeling...

To always have hope is the key to get through these rejections.

Nov 25, 2009

To me a phone rejection is better because it means you were geniunely considered for the position and the person took the time to look up your contact information. When I think of an e-mail rejection I think "send to all" and " Dear %name. Although impressed with your qualifactions......". Which takes no special effort whatsoever

Nov 25, 2009

At least with the phone call you have a chance to ask what you can do better. Hopefully, get some feedback. A letter is a impersonal way of saying "You suck, also, I will say that as ambiguously as possible and no I don't believe I have the time to tell you in person(as personal as the phone can get). "

PE is the new black.

Nov 25, 2009

The worst is when you interview for a specific group with only one spot available and you log on to WSO the next day only to find out that it has been given to someone else.

Other than that miserable experience I'd say the ignoring or delayed notification is worse. I've gotten rejection calls but they seemed as if they were genuinely impressed and more often than not seemed open to continuing contact in the future.

Nov 25, 2009

I know exactly what you're talking about ... it's especially painful when you thought you rocked the superday and then can tell which joe schmoe got the job over you from the post. Immediatley you wonder to yourself why they decided to bring on two people instead of one and wait by your phone patiently for your salvation. Two weeks pass and you slowly realize that you didnt want to work for that firm anyway (people were lame, terrible exit ops, etc...) until at last you get your heart broken by the "we were impressed" phone call (if you were so impressed why didnt you make an offer). Its not like i'm bitter or anything ...

Oct 20, 2010
rrrrr01:

...until at last you get your heart broken by the "we were impressed" phone call (if you were so impressed why didnt you make an offer). Its not like i'm bitter or anything ...

That pretty much sums up why I subscribe to the "I'd rather be the worst guy you've ever hired than the best guy you never hired" mantra.

In all seriousness, I think HR's are getting as unprofessional as imaginable these days - considering we're living in an age where many HR's do not even have the decency nor EQ (well, something they champion so vehemently in potential candidates) to send out rejection notices (by phone, email, snail mail, whatever), is it any wonder why so many candidates with multiple offers find it perfectly reasonable to reject an offer simply by not turning up?

What goes around comes around...

Nov 25, 2009

ive gotten the voice mail to call back and been rejected a bunch of times too. i personally think theres no added value to being rejected over the phone...you can't ask what you could do better bc generally the HR person has no idea. its just an awkward and depressing few minutes

Jan 31, 2014

I hate having to summon up a gracious, thoughtful response while being rejected, but I always appreciate it when a company is willing to take the extra time out of their day to personally call me instead of sending out a generic letter. I usually walk away with a more favorable view of the company.

Nov 25, 2009

The morning after flying back from a final round in London, got a call at 5:30 in the morning to tell me I didn't get it. But I suppose I'd rather that than not hearing anything.

Nov 25, 2009

Yeah, I would prefer getting rejected over the phone. It would at least seem like more thought went into than sending me a boiler plate " you are rejected" letter.

SP

Nov 26, 2009

I think some firms have policies about not giving news by voicemail. They always say call back - i've called back and been rejected and called back and been accepted.

The best sign you're accepted is the speed with which they get back to you. The faster the better.

The best rejection I've got is when someone responded to a thank you for the interview letter with a "good luck in the rest of your job search" before i'd officially been rejected. Ouch.

Nov 26, 2009

My confession is that i got rejected from piper jaffrays, lol.

Nov 27, 2009

I hate it when HR

1.) says that they'll TRY to get back to you at the end of the day
2.) says that at the LATEST you'll hear something by the beginning of next week
3.) kindly tells you to contact them if they can be of any assistance
4.) AND on top of all those never lets you know of the results. They don't answer their phones and don't reply to voicemails/e-mails. You can assume a rejection, but at least they can make it official, especially after telling you that they would.

It's also funny how you can tell from an e-mail subject line whether you moved on or got rejected. And after you open one, even in a three paragraph e-mail it only takes one second to spot the one line that says it all, without even skimming. It just jumps out at you.

"Congratulations..."
"We regret..."
"...pursue other..."
"...future endeavors."

Hmm I see. Damn it. Delete.

Nov 29, 2009

"We all really liked you but someone else edged you out slightly on fit" I've definitely had my fair share off calls with vague feedback. Some are even like "I honestly have no idea why you didn't get an offer. I wish I could give you better feedback."

Never contacting a candidate is BS. One NYC bank has been stringing me along forever, but I got a "your still in the process email recently." I'm about to go ahead and send in an offer and end this rat race (plus I really like it anyways).

Regardless, my only advice is to be a big time class act when they call and reject you. Don't bitch, complain, wine, or do anything that makes you look like a tool. Just tell them you felt that you had great chemistry and would have really liked an opportunity at that firm. Its honestly a guilt trip without letting them know you did it. That keeps you on their radar if you act like a class act if you really want to be there one day.

Jan 31, 2014

Have to disagree slightly on this one. I think it's important to remain calm and gracious, but it's okay to press for a little feedback and disagree with their decision (as long as it's phrased very tactfully). I got called with a rejection from a top consultancy and told them I was a little confused as to why they were rejecting me. When they told me they couldn't go into details, I explained I felt I had had great chemistry with one of my interviewers (was 98% sure I passed that one) but the other one seemed to be having a bit of a busy day and didn't seem that interested in doing an interview (phrased in a way that didn't throw him under the bus). HR told me they would get back to me: two hours later they called back to say they were just kidding about the rejection and had scheduled me for another interview the next week. I'm sure this isn't a common outcome but it can happen every once in while, so it's worth a shot as long as it's done in a way that doesn't burn bridges. What have you got to lose?

Oct 20, 2010

Opening this up again for WSOers' views...

Got an email from HR saying they want to contact me to give an update on the process (after final rounds). Is this an impending ding?

In the past I generally get the call directly on any rejections, or if in email form it's just an email that gets to the point...

Oct 20, 2010

I got rejected via letter only once,

Internship, it came on the nicest paper I have ever seen, engraved logo and everything

I felt like a kid on x-mas day, unwrapping the letter only to find out its not what I wanted

Oct 20, 2010

Sparta - I was about to post the same exact thing.

I got rejected from a non-bank, but the letter was top of the line. Really nice paper, real signature, stamped logo, etc. It was very impressive. I didn't even feel bad and still hold the firm in high regard.

Interesting HR/PR relations actually...

Jan 31, 2014

I prefer the call, but acknowledge it can be difficult. Basically, the candidate has to summon up some degree of graciousness and thank the person for their time even as they're being overwhelmed by disappointment (especially if they made it to later-stage interviews). With that said though, when I receive a phone rejection, I feel someone cared enough about my application to keep me in the loop, even if they know an email would be easier to send out. I'm much more likely to maintain a favorable view of a company if they call.

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Jan 31, 2014

The refusal to acknowledge you after you've taken two days off to interview at their office is cold. I had that happen to me recently. Thought I crushed the final interview, must have ate my sushi wrong at lunch or something. Never heard from them again.

My favorite is the immediate rejection email. I applied for an internship online once, and within 5 minutes I got a rejection email. They must have been reviewing resumes quickly that morning. Oddly enough I got an internship there through a contact anyways.

Jun 3, 2015

The best is when you did great 3 round and 24hours after the last round they call you to tell that you were great and you have great skills ....

Or the best one was with Credit Suisse. During the last round with the last line manager who told me that he did not understand the process because the role was already filled. He finish with "sorry for the awkward moment, have a nice day" and the HR called me 2 days after to confirm me the rejection.

Jun 3, 2015
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