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What to Do When You’re Ghosted After a Job Interview

Most people know how bad it feels to be ghosted by another person. When it happens after a job

interview, it can be even more frustrating and confusing. It usually leaves a candidate wondering what to do. Should you keep trying to follow up or is it better to just wait until (or unless) you hear something. Following are some reasons were ghosted after an interview and what to do about it.

They have a lot on their plate.

A potential employer can be busy just like everyone else. It’s possible they are too bogged down with sifting through resumes and screening candidates to get back with you yet. In this case, it’s good idea to not give them something else to deal with by continuing to email them. Make sure you allow enough time to be able to get back with you.

Something is different.

We’re in a post-pandemic world, which means things can still change rapidly. Companies continue to deal with major changes and it’s a possibility they are just no longer hiring for your position either due to budget cuts or a reduction in staff. They may even have decided to hire from within and promote someone to the position you interviewed for. It’s also possible they have delayed

hiring someone because they found they didn’t need the role filled immediately. Bottom line, something could have changed about the hiring process to affect when they notify you about the position.

Less is more.

In a litigious world, some companies will not let you know you weren’t hired. Since just

about anything can be used as a reason for a lawsuit, perhaps the company just won’t volunteer who

wasn’t hired and why. They may not want to reveal it was due to not having a certain skill set or that you didn’t have a good reference. So, some employers might just keep these decisions to themselves and leave you left assume that no news is not good news.

They haven’t decided yet.

You may not have heard about the decision from an interview yet simply because the company is still interviewing candidates. This goes back to being busy—the employer may not have had time to interview everyone they wanted to yet. It takes an employer a significant amount of time to weed through all the applications and talk to everyone who’s interesting to them. Therefore, some patience may be in order because they may not be done with the interviewing process.

If you’re frustrated from this kind of experience, here are some things you can try.

Send an email to your interviewer. Start out by sending an email to the person you met on the day of

your interview (or to each person if there was more than one). Simply thank them for their time and

reiterate your excitement about the position. Leave your contact info at the bottom and tell them you’re looking forward to hearing about their decision. An email is less intrusive than a phone call, so it’s a good place to start.

Find the head of the department. If you’re having a hard time getting a response from your interviewer, try bumping up one level and send an email to the head of the department that houses the position you want. Since this person has a vested interest in who’s hired for the position, there’s a chance they might respond to you. Keep this email short and sweet. If you haven’t met this person, the email should be a little more formal and straightforward.

Do you know anyone else at the company? Think through your contacts, does anyone you know work for the company? If so, check to see if they know anything about the status of the position. At the very least, they may be able to find out if the position was filled, if there has been a hiring freeze, or if the person you interviewed with has been out of the office. This insider track may be able to tell you a lot.

Make peace with the fact you’re not the right candidate and keep looking. The ultimate bad news is that if you continue to not hear any feedback, you’re likely not getting hired. If you do your due diligence of emailing key people and asking questions in a polite way, you’ve done all you can do, and it may be time to accept this isn’t the job for you. The best thing you can do with your time going forward is to keep looking for the position that is right for you.

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