I “bot”​ you won’t get the job!


This is a real story that I recently experienced as part of my job search. Before going ahead, be aware that this might feel scary. If you don’t want to know how dark the future of job search looks like if we accept certain practices, you’d rather stop reading here.

I applied online for a role in a company whose products are well-known, and which is owned by another even bigger and more famous company with yearly revenue of over 5 billion GBP.

I immediately received an email from them. The subject said: “We’ve received your application”. It was 9:51 am.

So far so good. Nothing surprising, still appreciated. I thought that I should open the email, but before being able to do it, something happened!

I “bot”​ you won’t get the job! 1

A second email from them landed my inbox. The subject was: “Confidential — Your application with <company_name>”. It was 9:52 am.

Another one? That’s weird! — I thought. I opened it with curiosity. To my surprise, this is what I found:

“We’ve reviewed your details against the requirements of the role of Agile Coach in London and unfortunately, on this occasion, we’ve decided not to move forward with your application.”

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What? I could not believe my eyes! So nice and polite! — I thought.

I continued reading:

“We’d love for you to apply to <company_name> again in the future and recommend you keep up to date with our latest vacancies. You can set up job alerts here or follow us on LinkedIn here.

We hope you’ll still consider <company_name> in the future and look forward to hearing from you again soon.”

That’s interesting! They processed my application, decided about it and sent a very impersonal “polite” email to notify me about their decision. They did all that in less than a minute from the moment I applied, and for some reason they expect me to apply again to work with them in the future. Why would I ever do that?

Before moving forward, let me clarify something. Certain job applications ask some relevant questions that are used to filter. That makes sense, but there were no questions of that type in the application form.

Even if the application form had included questions of that nature, and it didn’t, it would have still left me with a terrible experience.

With this in mind, I can see two options:

– The stars aligned, allowing their “Senior Talent Attraction Manager” to be there at that exact moment, with no other thing to do and no other application for any other role pending review before mine.

– A bot decided about my application.

I “bot”​ you won’t get the job! 2
Computer says no! Originally from Little Britain

So, what’s the difference between a company that cares and a company that pretends to care?

A company that cares would not even consider having a bot dealing with their applications. Filters? Fair enough! But never a bot.

A company that pretends to care, tweaks the bot after reading this post to delay the response so their doubtful practices don’t become obvious.

I don’t know what you think, but after this experience, the future of job search looks scary and dull to me! I just hope that this approach does not become a standard.

The good news? Not every company is so <insert_adjective_here>, and it feels like maybe I dodged a bullet. Indeed, I am happy to say that at the time of writing this, I am also involved in exciting selection processes with some nice companies that seem to genuinely care about people.

Don’t forget to give us your 👏 !

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I “bot”​ you won’t get the job! was originally published in Chatbots Life on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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