A job interview.
Unsplash | Tim Gouw

Instagram Post Sparks Debate On Job Interview Etiquette: 'No Is A Complete Sentence'

There's no universal etiquette for job interviews, but there are certain things that are understood as welcome or acceptable (like a thank you note after an interview) and others that are less acceptable (like calling to ask if you got the job yourself). A recent post on Instagram has sparked a debate on what proper etiquette is after you've already heard you didn't get the job.

A screenshot of an Instagram post was shared to the r/antiwork subreddit.

Two men shaking hands at a job interview.
Unsplash | Sebastian Herrmann

In the screenshot, an email was shown reading "Thank you for getting back to me! Just for professional growth, can I ask why I was unqualified for an internship at [redacted]? I understand that I'm pretty young, so I'd love to learn from this experience!"

"Dear young professionals: don't be this person," the post read in response to the email.

A gif of a man in a suit and tie saying "Thanks for coming in, but no thanks."
Giphy | Workaholics

"In all likelihood, you don't actually want to hear why you're not a good fit for the opportunity. 'No' is a complete sentence. Feel that sting of rejection, choose to see it as re-direction, & please for everyone's sake just move on with your life!" the poster wrote.

On Reddit, people quickly began to debate whether it was rude to ask why they didn't receive the position or not.

"People tend to get this defensive about giving feedback when they know their reasons for the rejection are discrimination. Otherwise they would simply ghost or give some vague platitude," one user suggested.

A screenshot of the post as described.
reddit | @DantesInfernape

"I once had someone I decided not to hire call back and ask why and I was honest and gave some gentle constructive criticism she took it really well, worked on the issues and reapplied in about 6 months. She told me what she had done to grow and how she was ready. I agreed and now she is in my old position as I left that job about a year later. Professional growth is good and someone who wants feedback and can use it without getting defensive is golden," one commenter wrote.

"This is just a power trip," read one comment.

People at a job interivew.
Unsplash | Christina @ wocintechchat.com

"This was a super professional way of asking for feedback and this is a gross overreaction and weirdly defensive response. I’m going to guess that this person was not ‘unqualified’ but the hiring manager just didn’t like her. And it’s obviously confronting to be asked to essentially admit that you didn’t hire someone not because they couldn’t do the job, but because you just passed a snap judgement," one commenter wrote.

What do you think? Was the email a bad idea, or do you think the reaction was over the top? Let us know in the comments!