How *Not* to Get a Job

Not the actual job applicant

Not the actual job applicant

This email was sent to a list I’m on by a friend of mine. I found it humorous, and well, we’ve started  to turn to scraping interesting content off our friends, in the quest to feed to never ending hunger of this blog. It’s a hungry beast, and I want to keep updating on the regular as much as I can.

I’ve re-formatted it in a way that is reader friendly, so you can read down directly rather than having to scroll up the typical email chain. Here goes.

Initial Context (from my friend):

As we prepare for the summer internship season, I thought I’d pass along this classic that I received last year while recruiting for a summer intern.  I’ve deleted this guy’s email information to avoid a “Chung is King” incident for this kid, but here’s the back-drop:

•  This undergrad from Berkeley wanted an internship and alerted me he had another offer he was considering

•  The day before our interview, he called me and rescheduled for the following week

• Rather than waiting a week, I hired another candidate so I could end the process and because the Berkeley kid said he was available to work in the Fall

• The Berkeley kid was irate and ended up calling me on a Sunday when I was with me wife and yelled at me for screwing him over

•  I told him he might want to consider acting more professionally and ended the call.  This is where the email picks up.

The Email Chain (from friend to would-be applicant):


I apologize, but I’m going to have to cancel our interview on Tuesday.  I’ve decided to hire another candidate from the University of Washington.  I would have loved the chance to talk with you about this role, but ultimately I needed to get this process done.  Lets stay in touch though as I like you and your drive and there may be an opportunity in the Fall and beyond to
work together.

Good luck with the other role this summer.


The Response (from applicant to friend):


first off, if my tone of voice seemed a bit annoyed then I attribute it to the fact that I was in the library and ran outside to call you. I did not mean to come across as confrontational, if anything I think I sounded defeated on the phone, which is why I’m writing to you now.

Look, you chastised my about my lack of professionalism, but if anyone has been unprofessional in this process it’s been you. If you had concerns about the rescheduling of my interview then you should have communicated it to me, as I did with you. That’s what grown professionals do. I have been keeping the people who gave me an offer waiting for over a week because I wanted to hear back from you. I know that you are in a position of power right now, you’re “the boss” and I’m just a lowly undergrad applying for an internship, but some lowly undergrads grow up to be big bad bosses such as yourself one day.

Working in an industry where personal relationships and reputation is so important, I would think twice about going off on too many more power trips on people who, for the moment, are below you. I would think that at business school you would have learned about the importance of not burning bridges, but evidently thats not the case.

I didn’t burn a bridge in this situation my friend, you did. I wouldn’t want to work for a firm that rescinds potential job offers on a whim and leaves people hanging. You have the right to be tired of interviewing applicants, you have the right to not care about my finals schedule, you have the right to cancel commitments you make, heck, you even have the right to be a rude, condescending asshole. But treating people like shit is not good for business, XXXX. And please don’t go riding on your high horse about me making threats about becoming some bigshot and remembering you screwing me over. I’m not pretending to be the best thing to happen to finance since John Kravis. But what I am saying, XXXX, is that I’m very disappointed, upset, indignant, and quite frankly, a little hurt. Maybe this was for the best, for the both of us. I sincerely wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors.

May you make boatloads of cash and treat them however which way you want to, just because you can. Thank you for sparing me the pleasure of getting to know you in person.

I’ve said my peace.



  1. Okay, sorry to be commenting every other entry, but my mouth is hanging open right now. I continue to be surprised even though I saw this behavior all of the time with the kids I taught in the North Shore. It’s one thing for a high school kid to pull this kind of crap with their teacher….but wow.

  2. We love the comments. Keep it up. It gives me hope that someone’s out there reading this stuff. Don’t apologize; it’s way awesome.

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