In keeping with the Halloween season, let’s discuss the why’s behind so much ghosting, and a couple of tips to help you weather that storm. After all, when you know it is going to happen, and have some strategies to deal with it, you will be better able to move forward in your search. Some reasons include:
1) The bosses haven’t made a decision on next interviews, and the person you interviewed with thinks they are “too busy” to follow up until they have an answer for you.
2) They can’t make a decision – analysis paralysis, because they don’t want to hire the wrong person, and you will never hear back.
3) They have a fiscal year end coming up and won’t do anything until that is complete.
4) They decided not to make a decision until after a specific holiday, and won’t share that info with you.
5) The bosses have decided not to pay as much, and are about to re-advertise that job at a cheaper salary (quite common). Only on rare occasion then does my client get an email letting them know they are no longer in consideration.
6) If a retained search firm, the company they are representing may be hesitant to move forward for many reasons, the firm found someone else in their interviews they like even more to present to their client, OR the recruiter just tells everyone they are wonderful and will move to the next step. Regardless of reason, you don’t have control of this situation.
7) They have indeed ghosted you, and you may never know the reason.
I know that this is difficult, and there has been no common courtesy to let you know what is going on, but some companies continue to operate this way. I would follow up by phone with the express reason to ask if they got the thank you email, and if they need any additional information to make their decision. That is really all you can do.
You already know this is an unpleasant situation, and that it happens all too frequently. However, I want you to have a bit more peace with this situation. Allowing it to make you angry, frustrated, or anxious is not going to get you a job any faster, and can, in fact, derail your job search. So, here are two pieces of advice:
- When you interview ask permission to follow up. Let them know you want closure regardless of the outcome. Ask them for next steps and timeline, and then ask for permission to call them if you haven’t heard from them by that time. If they say yes, when they receive a message from you, it’s a bit more likely they may let you know the reason for the delay or the outcome.
- If you don’t hear back from them – LET IT GO!!! If they do ultimately call you and apologize for the delay, then so be it, but don’t obsess. When you don’t hear back within a few days of follow up, assume that you aren’t moving forward in that job, so you can go forward with your job search!
My last bit of advice: Even when you think you are perfect for the role (which 100 others think as well who applied), you continue to job search/apply until you sign on the dotted line of an employment contract with a company/organization, they sign on the dotted line, you have a start date, you have detail about onboarding, and you are in your first week of work at the new place. Never take the chance that the new employer changes their mind. To your job search success!