Getting Ghosted After a Job Interview

Getting Ghosted After a Job Interview

When people think of getting ghosted, they usually imagine the dating scene. You have what seems like a nice first or the second date, go home, and then never hear from the other person again. But ghosting doesn't only happen in social situations; it's also common in the job search. Employers sometimes ghost their job applicants, and it's not a pleasant experience. It could leave you feeling inadequate or undesirable. If you find yourself a victim of ghosting, there are a few things you should know.

How Long Should You Wait for a Response?

Before you worry about being ghosted, you should probably learn more about the typical response time for a job offer or denial. After all, you don't want to send an angry email to an employer hours before they're about to offer you a job. How long should you actually wait before getting frustrated or losing hope?

On average, hiring managers reach out to candidates within three and ten business days of having a phone interview. Meanwhile, in-person interviews sometimes take up to 14 days for a response if you're the candidate who receives a job offer. The wait happens for a few reasons, including getting budgeting approval, speaking with the rest of HR, and other details. If a response takes longer than two weeks, you can safely assume that the hiring manager is ghosting you.

Why Would an Employer Ghost You?

Although a company might have the best of intentions, they could still ghost you. Here are some of the common reasons employers ghost candidates after job interviews.

  • They have other interviews to do before they make a decision
  • The company promoted someone from within the organization
  • There's no one to approve you for the position (as a result of vacation or sickness)
  • A more urgent issue came up and takes precedence, which makes the job vacancy less pressing
  • There's a budget cut or merger that caused the company to go into a hiring freeze
  • Another candidate was offered the position and the employer is waiting for a response
  • There's no rejection process or someone doesn't follow the process

How Can You Avoid Being Ghosted?

The company is the one who ghosts you, so ultimately, it's up to them if you get ghosted. However, there are a few things you can do to minimize the chance of getting ghosted.

What to Do During An Interview

At the end of most interviews, the hiring manager asks the prospect if they have any questions. When this time comes, you can ask a question that could give you insight into the hiring process. One of the best questions to ask is about the hiring timeline. If you don't hear from the company within the timeline, you can either follow up or assume you're not hired.

If you're not sure how to ask about the timeline tactfully, here are a few ways you can do that:

When do you plan to make a decision?

What's the expected start date?

When should I expect to hear from you?

What's the next step in the process?

What to do After the Interview

Unfortunately, there's no magic spell you can do to make a hiring manager call you back after an interview. There are, however, a few actions you can take to improve your chances of a callback.

For one, you can send a thank you note. Sending a thank you note looks professional and also reminds the employer that you exist and are waiting for a response. When a company has too many job applicants, they sometimes forget to respond to prospects. Your thank you note could remind them. As a general rule, you should send a thank you note within 24 hours of your interview.

Another option is the follow-up email. Assuming you asked about the hiring timeline and you're past the date, you can send another email to the employer. You can mention that you're eagerly awaiting a response and look forward to hearing from them. Additionally, you may want to ask the hiring manager if they need any other information to help them with the decision. If the company did forget about you, the email will be a great reminder.

No matter how long you wait to respond, don't be obnoxious or send multiple emails. Doing so comes across as desperate and could burn bridges. Before you send any emails, give yourself time to calm down.

What to Do After Being Ghosted

If multiple weeks have gone by and you haven't heard a thing, you can be sure that the company has ghosted you. But don't let the situation prevent you from applying for other jobs. There could be a million different reasons the hiring manager went with another candidate. And do you really want to work for a company that doesn't have the decency to email or calls you back?

Typically, companies that ghost candidates aren't organized. If you were to work for them, you would probably experience issues as a result of the disorganization. There's a better company out there for you, and they'll treat you the way you deserve to be treated.

No matter how well an interview goes, you should still send out job applications. Don't stop applying until you accept a job offer. Before that, nothing is a guarantee. There's nothing worse than starting out from square one because you prematurely anticipated a job offer. Continue to look for jobs and send out applications until you accept a position.

Be Confident in Yourself

Whether you think you've been ghosted or you're certain of it, you need to hold your head up high. No one in the world has gotten every job they've applied for. At some point, everyone has been denied a job opportunity. If you remind yourself of this, you can keep your confidence level high.

Remind yourself of how much you have to offer. Then, you can continue with your job search with a renewed sense of worth.

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