Wondering if you got the job? Decode What the HR Person is really Saying


The recruitment and selection process is one of the most unnatural human exchanges, so it’s no surprise that candidates often leave an interview or hang up from a phone screen with no clue where they stand.  I have interviewed amazing candidates who came across very strong and later told me they felt that was the worst interview of their life, and vice versa.  So here are a few key phrases you may hear from the recruiter and what they actually mean.

1. “We’re just at the beginning of the process”

You’re the first person we’ve interviewed and we have no idea yet if there is someone better out there

2. “We would like to move your application to the next step in the process, which is confirming your references”

If your references check out we’ll be offering you the job. (Trust me, no recruiter is spending time verifying references for someone they are not interested in)

3. “You’ll hear from us either way”

If we’re interested you will hear from us very soon.  If not, you will receive a template decline e-mail in a few weeks after our top candidate has officially signed the offer.

4. “I’ll keep you in mind for future opportunities”

Your resume will sit in our database until you apply for something else or contact me to jog my memory in a few months.

5. “The competition is still in progress”

We’re totally stalling for one of a hundred different reasons that I can’t disclose to you. At this point it’s really 50/50.

6. “We’ve decided to go in another direction”

I don’t want to get myself in trouble and give you a true reason that can legally come back and bite me in the butt or burn any bridges. You may see this posting up again in 2 weeks and you will know that unfortunately we just didn’t like you.

Are there other phrases a recruiter told you that you would like decoded? Tweet to us @DreamBigCareers and we’ll let you know what the recruiter is really saying!