Feeling “Ghosted” After an Interview?

As a Career Coach, I hear this complaint a lot: “I have been job hunting and am extremely frustrated by recruiters who just don’t get back to me. Even after I interview and follow up, I’m ‘ghosted.’ Am I doing something wrong? What can I do to get a response – any response?”

It’s hard not to take ghosting personally, especially after an interview. Yet it is very likely it has nothing to do with you and everything to do with organizational factors. It may be the company’s policy not to notify applicants about their status until the position has been filled. That way, if their top candidate declines an offer, they haven’t burned bridges with other possible candidates. There may be other circumstances that interrupt recruitment or the hiring process such as a change in the hiring manager, company reorganization, unanticipated budget challenges, or a hiring freeze. Unfortunately, it may be standard operating procedure for an employer to let silence speak for itself.

You may never know the reason, but you shouldn’t assume it is a swipe at your qualifications. Sadly, there is only so much you can do.

During an interview, it is entirely appropriate to inquire about the employer’s timeline for making a decision. This shows your interest and initiative. When you send your thank-you note, which should be done promptly (thank you notes via email are perfectly acceptable these days), mention that you look forward to hearing from them. If for some reason you did not get a time frame or the interviewer could not offer one, then it is reasonable to follow up about a week or so after the interview. Similarly, if the time frame has passed with no word, you can follow up to politely ask for an update. Beyond that, your best strategy is to move on even though you may not have the closure you had hoped for. If an employer wants to continue your candidacy, you will hear from them – maybe sooner, maybe later.

No news might be bad news, or it might simply be … no news. Either way, take the lack of response as a sign to keep on searching.

Whether you are new to the job market or a seasoned professional, the Ignite Career Center, a program of Jewish Community Services, can help you go farther and get there faster.  Our highly experienced Career Coaches provide individuals of all backgrounds and abilities with the customized services and tools they need to stand out from the competition.  For information, call 410-466-9200 or contact us through our website

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