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Calling Out an HR Lie

Calling Out an HR Lie

Alison Green | Ask A Manager

June 16, 2010

A reader writes:

I recently applied for a city government communications position for which I was perfectly qualified. They asked me last minute to fly out for a four-person panel interview and even went as far as rearranging the panel date so that I could make it, even after I suggested an initial Skype interview at their original time to ensure neither of us wasted time if I was not a proper fit. All in all, I spent hundreds of dollars out of pocket to fly there last minute, rearranged my professional schedule, took a vacation day and completed an at-home lengthy written exam, in addition to a 45-minute writing sample on-site before the grueling interview process (in which one of the consultant from another city who was helping guide them on hiring this new position kept yawning, looking away and even left the room in the middle of the interview for several minutes).

When all was said and done, I had to follow up multiple times over the span of weeks (they kept saying the decision was being delayed) before finally being told “we decided to go with someone who is already in a similar city government position.” That is fine and I gracefully understood that… at least until I found out who they hired. They hired someone who I use to work with at a previous company and even helped train for the position they currently hold. Since I previously worked in that role, I know for a fact it is not a city government role and that I definitely have more qualified experience, having currently worked with over 30 different city government communities simultaneously. So not only did the company I interview with lie to me as to why I was rejected, they hired someone who in my opinion (from personally knowing the person they hired) is not qualified for the position at all.

Should I say something to the HR person who lied to me? I want to maintain a professional attitude and take rejection with poise but really feel unethical about not calling them out on a lie.

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