Welcome Guest! To enable all features please Login or Register.

Notification

Icon
Error

HHS

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is the United States government's principal agency for protecting the health of all Americans and providing essential human services, especially for those who are least able to help themselves.

Source: www.hhs.gov/about/

Options
Go to last post Go to first unread
big mama  
#1 Posted : Sunday, December 25, 2011 4:38:18 PM(UTC)
big mama

Rank: Member

Groups: Registered
Joined: 12/8/2011(UTC)
Posts: 23

I had a formal face-to-face interview with a DHHS Agency in early December.  I initially applied for this job in September, had a prescreen 10-minute interview with one of the hiring officials who told me that he liked me and was going to refer me for a formal interview.  I was also told that, of all the potential candidates he prescreened, I was the only one he referred for a formal interview.  In the meantime, there were some issues with the way the Agency posted the position (it was posted for Merit-Based candidates only), so they had to re-post it to allow "All US Citizens" to apply.  But since I made the first register, I did not need to reapply.  Long story short.  My formal interview did not happen until early December, nearly three months after I was told that I was going to be referred.  
 
When the interview finally happened, I thought it went very well.  I was extremely happy with the answers that I gave, had great rapport with the 3 interviewers on the panel, and felt confident that I presented myself the best way that I could.  I wrote "thank-you" e-mails to each person on the panel.  The hiring manager even wrote me back and told me how he enjoyed meeting and speaking with me and said that he would get back to me with a decision before the end of the month.  Everything seemed like it was heading in a positive direction.  With the holidays nearing, I thought he was going to make a decision sooner rather than later, so I kept waiting and waiting for his "congratulatory" phone call and/or e-mail.  Instead, on Christmas Eve, an automated e-mail arrived in my mailbox, informing me that they had selected someone else.  The hiring manager never responded back to me directly about his final decision.  While I know that job rejections happen all of the time, especially in this job market, I am irate at not knowing why I was not selected.  They were filling two vacancies, so that means there were at least 2 people that they thought were better suited than me. 
 
I've been searching for a job promotion for 4 years now, and this was the most promising one of them all.  I know hiring managers do not have to give a good reason for not selecting a candidate, but I really want to know why.  Would it be appropriate and acceptable for me to e-mail the hiring manager and ask him why?  I was hoping I could approach it as a learning opportunity on how I improve myself, but don't want to do something that would jeopardize any future opportunities.

Does anyone have any thoughts about this?  Any advice would be greatly appreciated and welcomed.  Thank you in advance.
big mama2011-12-26 00:46:41
FedGuy4Life  
#2 Posted : Sunday, December 25, 2011 6:34:13 PM(UTC)
FedGuy4Life

Rank: Advisor

Groups: Registered
Joined: 2/16/2011(UTC)
Posts: 160

Unfortunately if they selected off the Status Certificate they can pick whoever they want. It wouldnt hurt to send an email with an attitude such as  "Any advice you could offer me to better my chances for next time, or anything you think I could improve on ect." wouldnt hurt. Although I know it stinks that you werent selected i'd just move onto the next job announcement and put it in the past (easier said than done I know.) FedGuy4Life2011-12-26 02:39:54
TheFrederalGovt  
#3 Posted : Sunday, December 25, 2011 9:30:05 PM(UTC)
TheFrederalGovt

Rank: Senior Member

Groups: Registered
Joined: 6/25/2009(UTC)
Posts: 1,197

I think when it comes to making a selection for a tram as a selecting official supervisors look for someone whose skillset and personality compliments the others on the team. Also if they had two vacancies out they could always chose from one list and not the other and special preference points apply to vacancies that.are open to all. If you don't mind me asking what gs level and with what opdiv was it for. I work at hhs in DC and might be able to provide insight
Fed1969  
#4 Posted : Sunday, December 25, 2011 10:32:08 PM(UTC)
Fed1969

Rank: Senior Member

Groups: Registered
Joined: 10/28/2010(UTC)
Posts: 3,333

Skills are important, but management also wants someone that will work well with other team members. Sometimes it is a real challenge for management to make a final selection among outstanding candidates. Sometimes the one who charms the selecting official the most gets the job.

My recommendation, keep applying for jobs.  Many people I know had many turn downs before being selected.
big mama  
#5 Posted : Wednesday, January 04, 2012 3:03:57 AM(UTC)
big mama

Rank: Member

Groups: Registered
Joined: 12/8/2011(UTC)
Posts: 23

Thanks everyone for the suggestions and insight.  It is one thing to know, and another thing to accept.  But everything happens for a reason, and maybe this was not my time.  I just need to move forward now. 
 
To TheFrederalGovt:  The DHHS agency that I applied to was with the Secretary's Office of Intergovernmental and External Affairs.  Do you know if this Agency is allowed any special hiring privileges since the Regional Director is a politicial appointee?  I appreciate any information you can offer.  Thanks in advance.
big mama2012-01-20 02:51:14
HoosierIUSB  
#6 Posted : Wednesday, January 04, 2012 5:36:50 AM(UTC)
HoosierIUSB

Rank: Groupie

Groups: Registered
Joined: 8/5/2008(UTC)
Posts: 50

Regarding how to approach a hiring official about the reason you were not hired, I wouldn't email - it's too impersonal and can be discarded easily.  Here is a link with some solid advice:
 
 
 
Hoosier
big mama  
#7 Posted : Wednesday, January 04, 2012 6:31:28 AM(UTC)
big mama

Rank: Member

Groups: Registered
Joined: 12/8/2011(UTC)
Posts: 23

Thanks for the link, HoosierlUSB.  But are you recommending not to e-mail the hiring manager?  I read the link that you sent, and it suggests to e-mail the hiring manager, not the HR representative.

 
big mama2012-01-04 14:36:50
HoosierIUSB  
#8 Posted : Wednesday, January 04, 2012 6:37:22 AM(UTC)
HoosierIUSB

Rank: Groupie

Groups: Registered
Joined: 8/5/2008(UTC)
Posts: 50

O.K. - the advice on the link is as follows:
 
Now, to answer the question you asked: (1) Don't e-mail; (2) don't contact the head of HR at all. This is because:
 
  • E-mail is easy to ignore, and is impersonal besides.
  • The head of HR doesn't know why you weren't chosen, and almost certainly doesn't care, unless you were applying for a job in HR.
From your interviews, you certainly met the hiring manager. That's who you call. On the telephone. To make an appointment.

So far as how to not sound hostile, that's also easy: Don't sound hostile. "I appreciate the time you took with me during the interviewing process. I understand another candidate beat me out for the position. I wonder if you could give me another half hour of your time, to help me learn how to do a better job in my next interview."

If this sounds simple, it's because there's nothing complicated about it. Always remember -- you're applying with an organization, but you're interviewing and getting hired (or not) by people. Treat the people as human beings, not as roles and titles, and everything falls into place.

Now, Big Mama - where does it say to email the hiring manager?  I don't see anything remotely resembling this statement.
big mama  
#9 Posted : Wednesday, January 04, 2012 2:54:11 PM(UTC)
big mama

Rank: Member

Groups: Registered
Joined: 12/8/2011(UTC)
Posts: 23

Oh, I get it now.  Thanks for the tip, HoosierIUSB.  I really appreciate it.
Fed1969  
#10 Posted : Friday, January 06, 2012 9:30:24 PM(UTC)
Fed1969

Rank: Senior Member

Groups: Registered
Joined: 10/28/2010(UTC)
Posts: 3,333

big mama,

Wish you the best.
countrychick  
#11 Posted : Sunday, January 08, 2012 11:38:31 PM(UTC)
countrychick

Rank: Advisor

Groups: Registered
Joined: 11/17/2011(UTC)
Posts: 133

I think it is perfectly fair to ask the hiring official if they have any suggestions on how to improve your future chances of being hired.  I did this when I was notified about a job I did not get and the person was very professional and gave me some helpful advice. 
 
It probably all comes down to how professional the hiring official chooses to be about the people not getting the position.  Sometimes they just don't want to have to face the music, especially if they had a chance to get to know you and knew you were dissappointed. 
 
Like the others say though, gotta keep your chin up and keep throwing those applications out there hoping the right one will come back at ya!! 
Fed1969  
#12 Posted : Thursday, January 12, 2012 8:50:10 PM(UTC)
Fed1969

Rank: Senior Member

Groups: Registered
Joined: 10/28/2010(UTC)
Posts: 3,333

My observation, is hiring official will have some generic answer such as the selectee had better experience or more education.
gbreddiesel  
#13 Posted : Friday, February 03, 2012 3:28:09 PM(UTC)
gbreddiesel

Rank: Newbie

Groups: Registered
Joined: 1/27/2012(UTC)
Posts: 6

I also want to add that keep trying & learn from your weak points & improve them for next time & have confidence. You will definitely be selected for the right job.
<a href="http://www.gbreddiesel.co.uk" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Birmingham Red Diesel</a> <a href="http://www.gbreddiesel.co.uk" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Red Diesel Supplier</a>
qunbee1  
#14 Posted : Thursday, May 17, 2012 1:31:46 AM(UTC)
qunbee1

Rank: Newbie

Groups: Registered
Joined: 7/1/2009(UTC)
Posts: 4

Generally, you can get information from your HR. They should be able to give you a break down on how your scored to be selected.  Those numbers can let you know your areas of weakness, if any. 
big mama  
#15 Posted : Wednesday, January 15, 2014 3:17:01 PM(UTC)
big mama

Rank: Member

Groups: Registered
Joined: 12/8/2011(UTC)
Posts: 23


Hey everyone! It was more than two years ago since I posted this topic and I wanted to give you an update as to what has transpired since that posting. First off, I want to thank you for all of your comments/suggestions/advice. I took them all to heart and ended up writing to the hiring manager.

This is what I wrote:
Dear [hiring manager],
I had an interview with you on [insert date] for the XXX position. My understanding is that another candidate was selected, and while I am of course disappointed with the outcome, I greatly appreciate the time you took with me during the interview process. If you have the time and are willing, I would be interested in hearing any advice or suggestions on how I might improve my chances for another opportunity in the future, including additional skills I should develop and strengthen to make me a stronger candidate. Would you be willing to meet with me for half an hour sometime soon?


This was his response:
Hi [insert name],
I am really relieved in a way to hear from you. We were given strict instructions not to contact you directly concerning the outcome of the interviews and told that only HR was permitted to do so. It’s an awkward requirement, needless to say. I would be happy to discuss the interview and our thoughts about you, the other candidates, and advice going forward. I could meet next Wednesday afternoon or we could grab lunch on Monday. Would either work for you?


Needless to say, the hiring manager and I had an extremely good talk and he provided me with a lot of very helpful tips for my future job search. He even shared that the person they selected over me had a PhD, whereas I only have a Bachelors degree, and it was this edge that eventually had them select the other candidate. Ironically, this hiring manager ended up collaborating with me on some projects over the next few months, and he has since become a good friend of mine and one of my biggest professional proponents. Also, I have since been promoted to an even higher level position, so it was a godsend that I did not get that job offer. While I realize that my situation is a little unique, I would like to say to those who might be harping on why they did not get that "ideal" job (like I was doing) that "everything happens for a reason." If you do not get that "perfect" job tomorrow, then maybe it is a blessing in disguise and something better is in the works for you down the road?! In the meantime, keep your chin up and take advantage of all of your oppportunities.

Thanks again, everyone, and good luck!





big mama2014-01-16 08:42:54
Foxtrot Mike  
#16 Posted : Wednesday, January 15, 2014 11:35:09 PM(UTC)
Foxtrot Mike

Rank: Senior Member

Groups: Registered
Joined: 6/14/2012(UTC)
Posts: 446

big mama - Good job! I know your original post was a couple years ago but you demonstrated the perfrect example of how to approach that situation. Rather than file a silly FOIA request to "force" a hiring official to reply (a negative proposition) you enganed in a professional way and found results. I have found networking to also be the game changer more often than not. I see people on this forum say "you were not selected, move on" all the time...but some folks need to step back and think for a minute. What if they hire more people? What if this organization posts more announcements in the next few months? Etc.. Anyway, rant over, great job and good luck!!
randomfed  
#17 Posted : Wednesday, January 15, 2014 11:47:31 PM(UTC)
randomfed

Rank: Groupie

Groups: Registered
Joined: 10/15/2012(UTC)
Posts: 72

And if the lucky candidate had a PhD, it's really hard to argue against that unless another candidate's professional experience clearly surpassed that. Good for you!
Pat in SD  
#18 Posted : Thursday, January 16, 2014 2:19:25 AM(UTC)
Pat in SD

Rank: Senior Member

Groups: Registered
Joined: 8/8/2013(UTC)
Posts: 629

Thanks: 29 times
Was thanked: 9 time(s) in 9 post(s)
big mama wrote:

Hey everyone! It was more than two years ago since I posted this topic and I wanted to give you an update as to what has transpired since that posting. First off, I want to thank you for all of your comments/suggestions/advice. I took them all to heart and ended up writing to the hiring manager.

This is what I wrote:
Dear [hiring manager],
I had an interview with you on [insert date] for the XXX position. My understanding is that another candidate was selected, and while I am of course disappointed with the outcome, I greatly appreciate the time you took with me during the interview process. If you have the time and are willing, I would be interested in hearing any advice or suggestions on how I might improve my chances for another opportunity in the future, including additional skills I should develop and strengthen to make me a stronger candidate. Would you be willing to meet with me for half an hour sometime soon?


This was his response:
Hi [insert name],
I am really relieved in a way to hear from you. We were given strict instructions not to contact you directly concerning the outcome of the interviews and told that only HR was permitted to do so. It’s an awkward requirement, needless to say. I would be happy to discuss the interview and our thoughts about you, the other candidates, and advice going forward. I could meet next Wednesday afternoon or we could grab lunch on Monday. Would either work for you?


Needless to say, the hiring manager and I had an extremely good talk and he provided me with a lot of very helpful tips for my future job search. He even shared that the person they selected over me had a PhD, whereas I only have a Bachelors degree, and it was this edge that eventually had them select the other candidate. Ironically, this hiring manager ended up collaborating with me on some projects over the next few months, and he has since become a good friend of mine and one of my biggest professional proponents. Also, I have since been promoted to an even higher level position, so it was a godsend that I did not get that job offer. While I realize that my situation is a little unique, I would like to say to those who might be harping on why they did not get that "ideal" job (like I was doing) that "everything happens for a reason." If you do not get that "perfect" job tomorrow, then maybe it is a blessing in disguise and something better is in the works for you down the road?! In the meantime, keep your chin up and take advantage of all of your oppportunities.

Thanks again, everyone, and good luck!

Good to know what happened, thank you. It sounds like a more positive way to find out exactly why someone else got the job. Hard to argue with the selectee having a Ph.D. vs. having a Bachelor's Degree. Perhaps getting a Master's would help you in the future. At any rate, glad you are in a job you like, and good luck.
Rss Feed  Atom Feed
Users browsing this topic
Guest
Forum Jump  
You cannot post new topics in this forum.
You cannot reply to topics in this forum.
You cannot delete your posts in this forum.
You cannot edit your posts in this forum.
You cannot create polls in this forum.
You cannot vote in polls in this forum.


This page was generated in 1.243 seconds.