What to Do When You Have Been Ghosted After a Job Interview

Don't let your imagination run wild. There are many reasons you might not have heard anything and there's action you can take to figure things out.

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Ghosting is not a tinder-specific phenomenon, it (unfortunately) also happens in the job hunt. For the lucky few out there who don’t yet know what “ghosting” means, it’s the practice of suddenly ending a relationship and withdrawing all communication without explanation. 

It’s not unusual to apply for jobs, only to never hear back from the hiring manager, and not even receive a rejection email. This is just leads you to wonder: Did somebody actually look at my CV or is it hidden between one of the hundreds of applications?

Truth be told, at the bigger companies, more often than not your CV might get overlooked.

If that’s not why you don’t hear back from recruiters, some companies are also dealing with more applications than they can cope with, making it infeasible for them to reply to every applicant. They might send out a generic reply – never specific to your application, at least in the initial stages. If it’s any consolation at all, know that recruiters who post on job boards are (believe it or not) also frustrated by the hiring process. Especially when they receive hostile emails from job seekers unhappy about receiving a standard automated response. So a little empathy and understanding goes a long way.

In this is recruiting climate, it’s hard not to feel hopeless and helpless. At the very least, you can ensure that you aren’t doing anything to undermine your chances. Here are a few things you can do while waiting to hear back.

Ask about the hiring process

As the interview itself is coming to a close, make a note of asking the recruiter about the company’s hiring process. Write about your experience, but put it in the context of the potential employer and how your skills are relevant to the job. Some questions you can ask to show your enthusiasm are:

  • Will there be another round of interview, if so, with who?
  • Do you intend to announce your decision anytime soon?
  • When is a good time to reach out to you again?
  • What is the best way to reach you?

Don’t follow up just for the sake of it

It’s okay to send in one follow up email one day after your interview thanking them for their time and reiterate how enthusiastic you’re at the prospect of working for them. Thereafter, send them an email just once a week to avoid coming off as desperate and flooding their mailbox. What you say in these follow up emails is just as important. Choose your words carefully and don’t email them without a clear purpose.

Give them some breathing space

We understand your frustration, but put yourself in the recruiters’ shoes and you’d know why the process isn’t moving as quickly as you’d like. Following up incessantly might actually reduce your chances. Until the hiring process is completely taken over by bots, we’ll have to give recruiters some wiggle room.

Look for other channels of communication

Try looking them up on LinkedIn and sending a polite message. You can ask them the same questions about the hiring process without sounding too accusatory. Do not pounce on them from the get go and say that you have been waiting to hear from them. What you could do to increase your chances of hearing from them is to build a strong case and champion your cause further by studying their profile and mentioning similar interests and expertise as opening remarks.

Marco Eylert
Co-Founder | TalentSpace

Marco's a co-founder at TalentSpace, and he previously worked at McKinsey & Company, Roland Berger and Credit Suisse. He graduated from Bocconi University and Johns Hopkins SAIS, where he was a scholar of the Haniel Foundation and the Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes.

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