They’re Just Not That Into You

It’s time to come clean and confess my sin.  I’m not proud of this man-crime, so go easy on me.


Sometime in early November, I found myself nuking up a monster bowl of buttered popcorn around 2:30 in the morning.  A dash of insomnia introduced a movie watching craving that I simply couldn’t turn down.  Finally, my popcorn was popped to perfection, my bottle of water was crisp and cold, and I was ready to enjoy (for the 5th time) “The Dark Knight”.  That was my plan, but something went terribly wrong.  Before I could understand why I selected it, I was staring at the opening credits of “He’s Just Not That Into You”.  There I sat, alone with my popcorn and water, watching 2009’s biggest chick flick film.  Forgive me men, for I have sinned.


Finally, the weight has been lifted and I can explain why I’m stoked to have stumbled on this epic chick flick.  Through my adventures in recruiting, HR, job searching, and blogging I’ve noticed, and wrote about similarities between dating and interviewing.  While the movie played out various dating scenarios in which the main characters tried to understand why their counterpart simply wasn’t interested in them, my HR noggin followed along making connections between the movie’s theme and how job seekers sometimes just don’t get the message.


Given my blog, my experiences, and my honest eyes, I’m fortunate to provide a great deal of job search advice.  Some of the most heart-wrenching questions I hear are, “Do you think they are interested in me?€ and “Do you think they will hire me?”  Well, I can€™t always be 100% sure, but just like in dating, you can pretty much tell when a match has been made and there are also clear-cut signs when something isn’t going to work out.  Here are some dead-on give-a-ways to look for:


How to know they’re just not that into you


1. You haven’t heard back – It’s been two weeks since your last communication (phone, e-mail, or interview).  Don’t freak out completely, but if a recruiter or manager is interested, they will keep you in the loop.  Send an e-mail to your contact, and let it go.  Move on, because they have.


2. It felt awkward – Leaving your phone screen or interview with a weird vibe may mean this job isn’t for you.  How many happy couples experience a weird vibe the first time they met?  Exactly.


3. Your resume isn’t making it through – Don’t apply 100 times. It’s annoying.  Apply once, wait two weeks, then send again.  No more after that.  You don’t want a restraining order do you?


4. You’ve received a rejection letter – Take your rejection letter, smile, and say “thank you”.  Move on and apply elsewhere.  Maybe you’ll make them jealous.


So, what now?


Do you really want to work for someone that clearly isn’t interested in you?  Of course you don’t. Move on and forget about them.  Intelligent job seekers date around and play the field.  Be smart, and never toss all of your eggs in one basket, or you€™re bound for heartbreak.


List out companies of interest and begin connecting and applying to them immediately.  Before you know it you just might find yourself ‘happily’ employed, so enjoy being single while it lasts.


Rich DeMatteo is a Philadelphia area HR/Staffing professional with experience in both agency and corporate recruiting.  Rich runs Corn On The Job, a job search, recruiting, and HR blog.  Connect with him through Twitter, Linkedin, Facebook, or subscribe to his blog .

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Jessica Miller-Merrell

Jessica Miller-Merrell (@jmillermerrell) is a workplace change agent, author and consultant focused on human resources and talent acquisition living in Austin, TX. Recognized by Forbes as a top 50 social media influencer and is a global speaker. She’s the founder of Workology, a workplace HR resource and host of the Workology Podcast.

Reader Interactions


  1. Lanie James says

    Excellent post! It’s hard for candidates to understand the signs. Are they not into me or just really busy. 🙂 I’ll be sure to pass this one along.

  2. Rich DeMatteo says

    Hi Lanie – thanks for the comment on this. And in fairness to job seekers, some recruiters/managers are just bad. Just flat out awful in communication. So maybe many times there aren’t any signs to pick up, simply because the recruiter is god awful in communication. Communication is so important for hiring, on both sides of the table.

    Glad you enjoyed!

    Rich DeMatteo

  3. Diane Prince Johnston says

    Great post, Rich, and interviewing IS a bit like dating only a little more imbalanced in this economy. Also, if you are not chosen right away, stay professional and please keep “anger phase” related to personal relationships because you never know. Even if a hiring manager is “just not that into you” after the first interview, seeing more candidates and even hiring the wrong one may put you back in the running. Chances are you will encounter this person again so keep bridges in tact while you are moving on and applying elsewhere because you never know when a door will reopen.



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