It’s true that many staffing departments are so inundated with applicants that they no longer respond to everyone. Once an interview has been requested, however, failing to follow through is extremely rude.

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By Marie G. McIntyre / McClatchy-Tribune News Service

Q: I do not understand how recruiters can be so thoughtless. After a networking contact gave my résumé to a recruiter for a large local company, I received an email expressing interest in my background and suggesting possible times for a phone interview.

I responded immediately and accepted one of the appointment times. Having received no reply by the following day, I left a voice mail repeating this information. Four days later, my interview has still not been confirmed. So what should I do now?

A: You have unfortunately encountered a recruiter who is either inept, overwhelmed or inconsiderate. It’s true that many staffing departments are so inundated with applicants that they no longer respond to everyone. Once an interview has been requested, however, failing to follow through is extremely rude.

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Before you abandon hope, remember that time passes much more slowly for applicants than for those doing the hiring. While you are checking your inbox on an hourly basis, this recruiter may be distracted by a multitude of management requests or an unexpected change in plans. So a reply could still be forthcoming.

Having left one follow-up voice mail, you must now wait for a while. After a week, if you have still heard nothing, send a polite email inquiring about the status of your interview. But if that also produces no response, you can probably assume that this particular opportunity is no longer available.

Submit questions to Marie G. McIntyre at yourofficecoach.com.