Why You Were Ghosted After The Job Interview

Sean Ahern
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We’ve all experienced being “ghosted” after an interview. If you’ve recently applied for a job and haven’t heard back in over a month, you’re likely being ghosted right now. However, put down the giant tub of ice cream and try to remember that “it’s just business.” Let’s look at why an applicant would be ghosted, what to do afterwards, and how to prevent being ghosted in the future.

Nine times out of ten, an employer will neglect to contact you after an interview either because you yourself haven’t followed up, or the employer is too busy/hiring for multiple positions that need to be filled quickly.

If the employer is struggling to fill a variety of positions with little time to spare, they will most likely have dozens of interviews for several positions and will not be able to respond to applicants who didn’t make the cut for the sake of time. While there is an option of using an automated system or mail-merge to quickly inform all of the non-chosen applicants, most employers or hiring managers do not implement such a system and would have to write each email individually, or at least copy and paste the same message for each applicant, but even doing this could take up a significant amount of time.

Choosing to not follow up after an interview can also be detrimental. While it seems like more of a supplementary step, following up will at least most likely warrant a response even if you didn’t get the job. After all, most candidates want to know if they didn’t get hired so that they can focus their efforts on other jobs, especially if they’re handling multiple opportunities and need to know which to still consider as options before accepting another position. 

In order to prevent being ghosted, it’s wise to follow up a couple weeks after the interview. This will remind the employer about your interview, and also send a signal indicating that you need to know whether or not you were hired in order to accept or reject a different job offer. Another option, of course, is to nail the interview and get hired, since your odds of being ghosted are pretty slim if you’re the chosen candidate. You may also want to consider that they are still interviewing, as some companies conduct interviews for several months.

Your last option would be to find a connection of LinkedIn who works for the employer you’re hiring for. You can ask this person for insider information as to whether or not interviews are still being conducted. You may even ask them to put in a good word for you if you know them well enough.

You’re more likely to be ghosted than to receive a follow up informing you that you didn’t get the job, so be prepared. If you do have another job offer waiting, try to get a response back as to what’s going on in the hiring process so that you don’t turn down a different job for no reason. The best advice is to simply nail every interview, roll with the punches, and not get discouraged if you don’t hear back. It’s not you, it’s them.


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  • Alba M.
    Alba M.

    Thank you, you are right.

  • Nancy Anderson
    Nancy Anderson

    @Rich M thanks for your great comment. Sadly, most hiring managers do not follow up with a sorry but we hired another candidate. I agree that it was a good practice to have - even if you just received a form letter. Today, they just don't seem to do that. Question for you - did you send a thank you letter after your interview? Did you follow up by reaching out to the interviewer or just wait to hear? Hiring managers want to know that you really want the job. As for the companies that request you choose a date/time or a screening call - well, it's possible that your resume didn't make it through the ATS. In which case it was either put into a resume bank or discarded. If it had made it through, it's also possible that this is a company that does mass assessments a few times a year and they are waiting to have the numbers they need to schedule the assessments. This is where they bring a whole ton of possible candidates into a room and have them sit down at a computer and do an online assessment. Rude interviewing practices? Maybe. But would it be better to receive a form letter that says thanks but no thanks? As for the job alerts - check your account and make sure that you have viewed your alerts and that they are all what you asked for. Check the other email options as that could be what it causing you to receive unwanted job notices. Sometimes, when we are job searching, we see a position - maybe not in our area but we are curious so we open it. What that does and alert the system that you might be interested in it and it goes to your Smart Match Alert - a system that learns from your behavior - based upon what you search for. You can always turn that to the OFF position. Hope these answers helped. All the best.

  • Rich M.
    Rich M.

    I have been in that position(Being Ghosted). You do the application, possibly get an interview and then you hear nothing after that. Some of the places where I did get the interview, did let me know later that I didn't get the job, but by the same token, they did say they would keep on file if something else came up. The other thing that is out there is, phone screens. At the end of application(on another website), there is a place to to list 2 or 3 times or days for them to phone screen you. I'v done a bunch of those and yet to hear from them. If they're not going to call you, why bother to set aside those times or days for the screening? To me, that's just rude interview practice. Also along with that, is the practice of job notices that aren't in the same state you're in. I got one today for a position in Florida that would last a month, but I live in New York State and I'm not going to work for a month in another state. So I guess I'm asking, is there a way these online agencies know what state you live in before they do that?

  • Nancy Anderson
    Nancy Anderson

    Anuradha P. thanks for your comment. Sadly this would be very hard to prove. However, if you truly think that you have a case, it might be worth seeing a lawyer who specializes in equal opportunity employment (EEO) to check into it.

  • Anuradha P.
    Anuradha P.

    What do you do if you are actively being Blacklisted ?

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