Brian Reynolds's picture

Two points to consider. First, the nature of the candidate's question appears to indicate that he didn't have clarity for what your process is. Not the logistics, of course, which you were explicit in mentioning you made clear, but the part of the decision making process he was is, what it means to you and the firm and where he stands relative to the pool of candidates.

That's easily corrected and after two other interviews it's a reasonable thing to want clarity on. Consider circling back to your communication and reviewing what you gave him to be sure that you have a step for setting expectations. If you don't, build one into your system.

The other point however (and this is where *I* would read too much into it) is that this came in as an email. It's perfectly fine to work out the logistics via email but if the role is going to be one where this candidate will need to ask pointed questions of people you're discovering now that he prefers to do so without using the phone. That would be my bigger concern. The fact that a question about when an offer would be made was done via email and that the email wasn't couched in the frame of "Please set my expectations..." or "Is it safe for me to assume that..." or "Is this what you do with your top candidate or am I still in a pack..." is the bigger issue.

donm's picture
Training Badge

He has invested at least two days in the previous interviews, and is being asked for at least another day. All of this without pay or any promise. I would start to wonder myself at this point how long the process is going to take. If this is for a senior-level (VP or C-Level), then I can see this process playing out. If you're looking for a group lead, then the candidate is already heavily invested for the position. If he is presently employed, it is likely he is using vacation time for these interviews.

Tell him the process and when you expect to make a decision relative to the process. Completely ignore his comment about being the top candidate. It is not a question or request for information, so no response is required.

NLewis's picture

The purpose of an interview is to find reasons not to hire people.  If nothing else you've uncovered factors which make you nervous and likely cost the candidate the assumed lead position.  Personally I'd still interview them but if I was serious about hiring them I'd be direct about my hesitation.   You may get some good interview questions to probe with - "What lead you to believe..?"  "Do you always use e-mail when asking such serious..?" 

That being said I concur with Brian and donm about taking a look at your hiring processes to see if there's any way for the candidates to be a bit less in the dark about their standings.

Good luck!

delete_account_per_reacher_145083_dtiller's picture
Training Badge

Good day,

I have to disagree with the previous comments.  You already have enough information to rule out the candidate.  You have already described the candidate as "arrogant" and I agree.  Can you imagine how they may be as an employee.  As a candidate they should be on higher professional behaviour. 

Cancel, save the money for candidates you want to meet and hire and don't waste the candidate's or your time.


Kean's picture
Training Badge

Arrogant and presumptuous are personal interpretations. Be careful about losing a good candidate because of a single email message. Myself, I would follow up as NLewis suggested. 

Of course, this assumes you have no other strong candidates in your pool.

sd's picture

While I agree that a call might have been better, I just can't see using this one email as a reason to cancel. I think we all know that it is easy to interpret email messages differently than what the sender intended. It happens all the time, because of the lack of non-verbal cues, etc. If you had previously observed arrogance in the interviews it is one thing, but if this is the first hint of it, I'd assume that you are reading something into the email that might not be accurate.