Some from my own experience... some from others... rest be assured, the last one is the inspiration for this post.
10. Ding before interview - it's quite a bruise to the ego when a firm doesn't even want to interview you. On the bright side, you will be stressed for two less days in your life. Suggested solution: carry a chip on your shoulder, bash the firm, bash their prospective interviewees, employees, Gary Sheffield style.
9. Phone call ding - what is the most common ding method is also the most dreaded. The phone call starts innocently with a "hi, how are you doing?" Meanwhile, you are screaming inside. Wait, is this the partner calling? That's good news, right? HR person!? Not good. Just tell me the freaking answer! Don't tell me how great I was during the interview. Seriously, don't. Yes or no, that's all I need (want) to know. Suggested solution: "I'm doing well, do I have a/an second round interview/offer?"
8. Email ding - cold but direct. One firm apologized about the impersonal nature of an email ding and then dinged me. Thanks for the apology, very considerate. At least when you see the email pop up from the recruiter, you know what's up. Suggested solution: apologize for emailing to say thank you for the email ding. It's quite impersonal to thank someone in email.
7. Ding squared - a mis-communication means two different people pour salt in your wounds. Hopefully they are close enough; else you'll be in a confused state and wondering if the first one was real. (Don't worry, the second one is) Also, it's not like you can tell the second ding that you've already received your ding. You have to be gracious in (second) defeat. Suggested solution: there is none; they obviously need to get coordinated. Since you aren't hired, there's nothing you can do about it.
6. Ding after the fact - you wait and wait after your first interview... meanwhile, people are getting second rounds, second round dings, and offers. And you are still waiting, and waiting, until you finally get the #9 email ding (cus the interviewer already forgot about you, hence the HR person sending the email). Waiting for the inevitable is not cool. Suggested solution: when people are going to second rounds, call to ask if they missed your name for second rounds.
5. Ding during the interview - ever been promised 2 interviewers and after the first one, you are told that the interview is over, thanks for coming, and that you'll hear from us later this week? That's the ding during the interview... bless the poor soul who thinks he or she has blown away the first interviewer and is a lock for seconds. Suggested solution: face it, you've been defeated. Or play dumb and ask where the second interview is... just so you can taste defeat again. You have to wonder, however, what the answer could be?
4. Ding on the way to the airport - almost just as brutal as #5. Basically, a minute after your interview, they've decided you need 20 more minutes to digest how badly you did. Nothing you did gave them anything good to think about. Suggested solution: upgrade to business class... or take an extra excursion to explore the city. Save all receipts. ALL of them.
3. The silent ding - they never called back. Surely you are on the waitlist. Surely they are still considering. Surely you have a chance. Surely... they've forgotten about you. Suggested solution: give them the silent ding. Don't even tell them you are not considering them. Take THAT.
2. Ding without applying - you just got dinged by a firm that you aren't even interested in. So many whys... but none bigger than "why didn't I apply in the first place so I get a real ding?" Either that, or "maybe I accidentally applied after TNDC?" Completely inexplicable. Suggested solution: tell them you didn't apply, but you would like to apply now; send them your unedited non-targeted resume, just so they can repeat the process. Then place odds on which ding (#10 to #3) you will receive.
1. Ding before interview after ding after interview - in order to solve this complicated situation, start from the end: after an interview, you get dinged (ding after interview); after that ding, you get another ding. Only that this isn't the ding squared (#7). This ding is saying that your resume wasn't good enough for an interview (hence ding before interview). Should you be humored or should you be angry? I haven't quite figured this one out yet. Should you let the second dinger know that you've already interviewed? Should the second dinger be introduced to either your interviewer or the first dinger? Suggested solution: write a blog entry about the various dings.