Job hunting can be a challenging and sometimes disheartening experience. You spend hours crafting the perfect resume, tailoring cover letters, and preparing meticulously for interviews, only to be met with silence from the potential employer after what seemed like a promising interview. This frustrating phenomenon is known as “ghosting,” and it’s not unusual in today’s job market.
While this can be a letdown, don’t let it hinder you from moving forward and looking for new opportunities. Let us walk you through what you can do and how to handle these situations.
What Does It Mean to Be Ghosted After an Interview?
Being “ghosted” by a hiring manager refers to a situation where candidates unexpectedly receive no further communication from the employer after applying and going through the interview process.
This lack of communication can occur at various stages of the hiring process and often leaves the candidate uncertain, affecting current and future applications.
7 Strong Signs a Hiring Manager Has Ghosted You
It’s difficult to know whether you’ve been ghosted or the employer needs more time to review other applications. The time allotted while waiting can affect morale and leave candidates hanging on the chance that they might get a callback.
However, once the employer decides they no longer want to proceed with your application, you have to move on. Here are some signs that can help you gauge whether to wait for a response or move on to the next application:
1. No Communication After the Interview
Expect to hear from your recruiter or the organization in a few days or within a week. If there’s still no feedback, updates, or responses within a reasonable time, there’s a high chance they will no longer reach you for the following process.
2. Missed Follow-Up Deadlines
If the employer gave you a specific time frame for follow-up or mentioned when they would decide, but they didn’t commit, there’s a chance they won’t send another email.
3. Unanswered Emails or Calls
Following up on emails or phone calls is natural. However, if you don’t receive a response or an acknowledgment, it’s time to move forward to the next career opportunity.
4. Listing Removal
Suppose the position you applied for is suddenly removed from the organization’s website or job board. This can be a sign that they have either filled the position or decided to close the hiring process without notifying you.
5. No Feedback Request
The employer did not ask for additional information, references, or clarification on your qualifications, which can be a sign that they are not actively considering you for the role.
6. Stalled Interview Process
If your interview process seems to be progressing smoothly, with multiple rounds and discussions about the next steps, but suddenly everything comes to a halt, it could be a sign of ghosting.
7. Lack of Clarity
If you have been in contact with the employer, but they lack clarity in their responses, are evasive, or keep pushing back the timeline without providing a specific reason, it may signal a lack of genuine interest.
It’s important to remember that while these signs may suggest ghosting, there can be various reasons behind an employer’s lack of communication. They may be facing internal challenges, a change in hiring plans, or they might simply have a slow recruitment process. In any case, it’s a good practice to remain patient and professional in your follow-ups while actively continuing your career hunt.
What Do You Do in These Situations?
Your response to being ghosted reflects your professionalism and can leave a lasting impression on hiring managers and your professional network. Remain proactive, professional, and resilient in these trying times. After all, your character speaks for itself, and how you respond to these situations will define your career trajectory.
Here are a few steps you can take to navigate uncertainty and increase your chances of securing the next great opportunity:
1. Give It Some Time
After the interview, it’s natural to want immediate feedback or a response from the employer. However, it’s essential to give them some time before following up. Companies often have multiple candidates to evaluate, and decision-making processes can take longer than expected.
Wait at least a week before sending a follow-up email, and remember to find the balance between professionalism and asking for an update on your application.
2. Send a Follow-Up Email
If you haven’t received any communication from the employer within a reasonable timeframe, it’s time to send a polite follow-up email. Express your continued interest in the position and inquire about the status of your application.
- Keep the email concise.
- Avoid rushing your recruiter.
- Keep your enthusiasm and eagerness for the position.
- Appreciate their time and consider the process of hiring can be time-consuming.
- Thank them for their time and end the email in a friendly tone.
3. Brush Up Your LinkedIn and Other Professional Networks
While waiting for a response from the prospective employer, consider connecting with the interviewers or other employees from the organization on LinkedIn. This can help keep you on their radar and show your continued interest in the organization.
4. Continue Your Career Hunt
The interview might have appeared promising, but don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Apply to other positions and attend interviews with different companies. This increases your chances of landing a role and helps you maintain a positive mindset during the waiting period.
Related article: How to Make the Most of Your Time Between Jobs
5. Spend Some Time Reflecting on Your Interview Performance
Identify areas where you excelled and areas that may need improvement. Consider seeking feedback from trusted friends, mentors, or career advisors. Use this self-assessment to enhance your interview skills for future opportunities.
6. Follow Up Again, If Necessary
You can send a second follow-up email if you still haven’t received a response after your initial follow-up email. Reiterate your interest and politely inquire about the status of your application.
7. Expand Your Network
According to Zippia, 85% of positions are filled through networking, but 49% don’t take advantage of the opportunity because they don’t have the time to network.¹
Networking is a valuable tool in your career search. Attend industry events, join professional organizations, and join networking groups to expand your network. You never know when a connection might lead to an opportunity or a referral.
8. Consider Seeking Feedback
If you have a direct contact at the organization, consider asking for feedback on your interview performance. Constructive feedback is valuable for future interviews, helping you identify areas for improvement.
9. Stay Positive and Resilient
Searching for employment can be emotionally taxing, especially when dealing with rejection or silence from employers. Maintaining a positive attitude and staying resilient throughout the process is crucial. Surround yourself with a support system of friends, family, or mentors who can offer encouragement and advice.
10. Evaluate Your Options
If you eventually receive a response from the organization, carefully evaluate the offer and its culture. Make sure it aligns with your career goals and values. Don’t be afraid to negotiate the terms of your employment, such as pay, benefits, or work arrangements.
Prioritize Growth and Personal Development
Every application experience provides an opportunity for growth and learning. Use each experience, whether successful or not, to refine your approach and become a stronger candidate in the future.
Career searching is a journey, and setbacks are a part of it. Stay focused on your goals, continue to improve your skills, and keep networking. Your dedication and perseverance will eventually lead you to the role that’s the right fit for you.
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Explore our current career openings to learn about what we offer. Say goodbye to the uncertainty of career searching and hello to a smoother, more rewarding career journey.
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1. Flynn, Jack. “25+ Important Networking Statistics : The Power of Connections In The Workplace” Zippia, 23 Feb. 2023, www.zippia.com/networking-statistics.