Ghosted After an Interview? Here’s What to Do
Why don’t companies respond after an interview and what can you do about it?
Stop us if you’ve heard this one before: You just nailed your job interview, and the hiring manager promises to get back to you soon. But then two weeks go by, you haven’t heard anything, and the hiring manager is not returning your calls or emails.
Have you been ghosted after an interview? What’s your next step? Consult a psychic? Pull out the Ouija board? Let’s look at the phenomenon of candidate ghosting, why it happens, and how to respond.
Ghosting Is Not Just for Dating
If you’ve been left holding the (empty trick-or-treat) bag after an interview, you’re not alone. Companies frequently leave job seekers in the dark. More than 75% of all job candidates have been ghosted after an interview by at least one company during their job search. That’s slightly better than the stats about being ghosted after a Tinder date.
When Should an Employer Get Back to You After an Interview?
How long should you expect to wait until you know whether you’ve gotten a second interview, a job offer, or a rejection? At what point do you start looking for signs you’ve been ghosted after an interview?
Most non-apparition employers follow up with phone interview candidates anywhere from three to 10 business days. After interviewing in person, a response can take as long as two weeks, especially if you’re likely to receive an offer. At this point, the hiring manager needs time to talk with HR and other team members, get budget approval, and a host of other details.
If they don’t 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 that have nothing to do with you:
- 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, ill, or (oh no!) left the company.
- The company has an unexpected urgent matter that has pushed hiring to the bottom of the to-do list.
- A significant change at the company put hiring on hold. This can be a sudden budget cut, business downturn, or a merger with another company.
- They are waiting to hear from another candidate they offered the job to.
- Your info got lost.
- They don’t have a procedure in place to send rejection emails.
Can You Prevent Being Ghosted After an Interview?
Ultimately, the company is in control when it comes to deciding whether to contact job candidates. But there are some steps you can take to encourage them to respond to you, and for you to know when to give up the ghost.
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 don’t 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 on this position?
- 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 work?
How to Prevent Being Ghosted: After the Interview
You can’t conjure up an employer’s call after your interview, but there are some things you can do to increase the chances they’ll remember you.
Send a Thank You Note
You know you should always send a thank you after an interview. (Seriously, you do know, don’t you?) 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’re 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, 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’s getting close or the deadline has passed, you can send another email. Say you were expecting to hear from them by now and are anticipating a response. Ask if they need any additional information from you to make their decision. You can mention that you’d 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 to their silence while you wonder why do companies ghost you after an interview.
Here is a sample follow-up email when you think you might have been ghosted after an interview:
Dear Mr. Jones,
I want to thank you once again for taking time to meet with me on (date.) I enjoyed our conversation and could see myself in the (title) position. I had expected to hear from you by now, so I’m reaching out to see if there has been a change in your hiring plans or you need additional information from me. I would appreciate a response so I know whether to pursue other opportunities.
Have You Been Ghosted? Here’s What to Do
When it’s been several weeks and you’ve gotten no response to your emails, you’ve probably been ghosted after your interview. Don’t let it affect your ego. In this case, it’s not you, it’s them. Do you want to work for a company that leaves people hanging or isn’t organized enough to follow up with candidates? Move on and continue your job search until you find a company that’s a better fit.
And while you’re 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.
Keep Up a Spirited Job Search With Monster
Don’t let being ghosted after an interview stop your search. To improve your chances of a recruiter or hiring manager finding you for the perfect job, be sure to fill out a Monster profile. Monster won’t ghost you! We’ll continue to send you relevant job postings and career advice until you find your fit.