You nailed your job interview and the hiring manager promises to get back to you. Then two weeks go by and you haven’t heard anything. The hiring manager is not returning your calls or emails. Have you been ghosted? What is your next step? Let’s look at the situation of candidate ghosting, why it happens and how to respond.
Ghosting Is Not Just for Dating
If you have been left holding the bag after an interview, you are not alone. Companies frequently leave job seekers in the dark.
What is the timeframe for a recruiter to get back to you after an interview?
How long should you expect to wait until you know whether you have gotten a second interview, a job offer or a rejection? When should you start looking for signs that you have been ghosted after an interview?
Most employers follow up with phone interview candidates anywhere from three to ten business days. After interviewing in person, a response can take as long as two weeks especially if you are likely to receive an offer. At this point, the hiring manager needs time to talk with HR and other team members, get budget approval in addition to a host of other details.
If they do not get back to you within that time frame, you might have been ghosted.
Why do employers ghost after an interview?
Even companies with good intentions can have many reasons for not contacting you in a timely manner after an interview. Here are the most common reasons why you were ghosted after an interview:
- The company is still interviewing other candidates.
- They promoted someone already at the company into the job.
- The person who interviewed you or a key decision-maker who has to approve the hire is out of office, busy, sick or ended up leaving the company.
- The company has an urgent matter that has pushed hiring to the bottom of the to-do list.
- They are waiting to hear back from another candidate they offered the job to.
- Your information has gotten lost.
- They do not have a procedure in place to send rejection emails.
How can you as a candidate prevent being ghosted after an interview?
Ultimately, the company is in control when it comes to deciding whether to contact job candidates. There are some steps you can take to encourage them to respond and for you to know when to give up.
How to Prevent Being Ghosted: During the Interview
Most interviews end with the hiring manager asking if you have any questions. If they do, this is the perfect opportunity to ask about the hiring timeline. If they do not invite an inquiry, take the initiative and ask for their intentions in one of these polite but direct ways:
- When do you expect to make a decision?
- When should I expect to hear back from you?
- What is the next step in your interview process?
- When are you looking for the person in this position to start?
How To Prevent Being Ghosted: After the Interview
You cannot conjure up an employer’s call after your interview, but there are some things you can do to increase the chances that they will remember you.
Send A Thank You Note
You should always send a thank you note after an interview. This is to thank the person or people for taking the time to interview you. It also makes you look professional.
Another great reason to send a thank you note is to remind the company that you exist and are waiting to hear from them. This is especially important if they are interviewing a long list of candidates. If you were the first one in the door, you might be the last one they remember. Be prompt with your thank you by sending it within 24 hours of your interview.
Send A Follow-Up Email
If you asked about their hiring timeline in your interview and it is getting close or the deadline has passed, you can send another email. Ask if they need any additional information from you to make their decision. You can also mention that you would like to know if you should pursue other job opportunities. This shows enthusiasm and initiative and will jog their memory if your info has slipped through the cracks.
Whatever you do, resist the urge to haunt them with repeated correspondence or an angry response.
Have You Been Ghosted? Here’s What to Do.
When it has been several weeks and you have gotten no response to your emails, you have probably been ghosted after your interview. Do not let it affect your ego. Do you want to work for a company that leaves people hanging or is not organized enough to follow up? Move on and continue your job search until you find a company that is a better fit. While you are waiting for a response, you should always continue to send resumes and accept interview invitations. You never know when a better opportunity will present itself.