This article was updated on September 28, 2021.
You may have heard of the term “ghosting” regarding dating, but it also applies to a lack of communication after an interview. The classic phrase “ghosting” refers to a sudden lack of communication. No emails, no calls, nothing.
You sent in your cover letter and resume and were immediately called for an interview. You wore professional clothing and prepared for the interview ahead of time. In fact, you may have felt the interview went rather well. The interview ended with the hiring manager telling you they will be in touch.
One week goes by, then two, then three. Nothing. No emails, no phone calls, no communication. Unfortunately, you may have been ghosted.
But why does this happen?
There are many different reasons you may have been ghosted that don’t have anything to do with you or your qualifications.
Why you may have been ghosted
Being ghosted can be a punch to the gut, but the lack of communication is often due to a change of company direction. Here are some of the more common reasons why you may have been ghosted.
1. The company no longer needs to fill the position
At times, an organization’s initial direction may be to fill a particular position, but during the process, either they can no longer afford to fill the opening, or they realize it’s not necessary to fill at this time.
While it would be nice to be notified of the change in direction, it is not always the case.
2. The hiring manager is no longer with the company
If the lead recruiter suddenly departs from the company, becomes sick, or is on vacation for an extended period, this is also a reason you may have been ghosted.
People in charge of recruitment do not always have a succession plan if something happens to them.
3. You bombed the interview
Sometimes an interview you feel you aced is not assessed the same by the assessor.
Some of the interviews I aced left me with a bad feeling. Likewise, some of the interviews I felt I did well in resulted in me not obtaining the position.
What to do if you have been ghosted after an interview
There are several ways you can properly navigate a sudden drop off in communication. Use these techniques to give yourself the best opportunity to establish contact and get the job.
1. Show initiative and follow up
Because you don’t know the reasoning for the lack of communication, it’s best to reach out a few times to show you’re thankful for their time and looking forward to hearing from them. This strategy’s balance shows the hiring manager you’re still interested in the position without being overbearing.
Usually, one email a week for the first three weeks is an excellent way to show you’re optimistic and energetic about the possibility of working for the company.
2. Use different mediums to connect
If you sent an email one week, you could call the office or reach out through social media like LinkedIn the second week.
Using different mediums to connect to the hiring manager is a great way to show you’re serious.
3. Reach out to someone else you know in the organization
If you have any other contacts within the organization, reach out to them to see if they have heard anything.
Leverage your internal connections to get information or have them reach out to the hiring manager on your behalf.
Stay positive and keep moving forward
You may never find out why an employer suddenly ghosted you. However, if you don’t hear anything after a few weeks, it’s time to move on and focus on your next move.
Stay focused on your career goals and be ready for the next career opportunity that comes your way.