One of the issues job seekers agonise over the most is feeling ghosted after a job interview. In a previous blog post, we addressed the potential reasons why interviewers might delay post-interview contact. As it’s such a hot topic, this article delves a little deeper into what you can do about it.
Wait, What Does ‘Being Ghosted’ Mean?
The term ‘ghosted’ is a slang term which is more commonplace in the context of dating. To demonstrate how one might use the term, let’s picture an unfortunately common scenario:
Two people meet, there is definite chemistry there. However, after dating for a while, one suddenly stops all contact. For the one who is left behind, it’s almost as if the other had never existed. The heart-wrenching feeling of emptiness the jilted party suffers with is what’s known as ‘being ghosted’.
Why Recruitment is Like Dating
Strangely, there are many comparisons between job-hunting and dating. It’s obvious if we consider the steps that candidates and potential employers take to get through the hiring process.
A company post an advert a job on a job board similar to an ad on a dating site. After coming across the advert during a job search, the candidate checks out their profile or company website. They feel an attraction and send their CV. The recruiter or hiring manager’s interest is piqued and a telephone interview takes place – first date.
It goes well; the candidate gets butterflies and eagerly awaits further contact. The phone rings, their heart skips a beat; the number looks familiar. Oh, the excitement! It’s the company calling again to arrange a face to face interview – second date.
The candidate carefully picks out their best outfit and makes every effort to make a good impression. They think it went well, but then a few days go by, and the candidate hears nothing.
OK, so comparing the two like that might sound a bit creepy, but you get the idea: While the emotions involved may be different, they can be just as intense. Job hunting can be equally as frustrating and upsetting. If after the application process, if a long time has gone by, and you haven’t heard anything.
What to do if You’ve Been Ghosted After a Job Interview?
Feedback is valuable information. Even if the answer is no, you need to understand where you might have gone wrong throughout the interview process.
But it can be challenging to know when you should call your interviewer for feedback – Should you even call them? Should you wait for them to call you? What’s the etiquette? Will chasing them for feedback make them think you’re a nuisance and reduce your chances of a job offer? Is it a test? Are they waiting for you to call? All these questions can be the source of much anxiety.
While there are no hard and fast rules in chasing for feedback, there is a fine line between seeming keen and being a pest.
Be Proactive and Have a System
To avoid getting yourself into an emotional state, have a system in place beforehand.
Firstly, we always advise candidates to have questions prepared to ask in a face to face interview. The last one should always be, “When can I expect to hear from you?” Thus avoiding any ambiguity, while managing your expectations.
If their response tells you that interviews are likely to continue for a week, it will stop you tying yourself in knots with anxiety if you haven’t heard anything by then.
Secondly, send a thank you note to the interviewers once you get home. It doesn’t have to be anything too formal, just a quick message on LinkedIn thanking them for their time. This small gesture serves as a reminder that you are keen on the role and would like a response.
If you haven’t heard within the deadline they give you, don’t hesitate to call the company.
If they say they’ll get back to you, but they don’t, hold them to their word – keep trying. However easy it may be to jump to the conclusion that the company are fobbing you off, that might not be the case.
Look through LinkedIn to see if you know anyone at the company who might be willing to pass on internal referrals to back up your application. A friendly nudge from a trustworthy employee could help tip the balance in your favour if they are undecided.
Of course, it’s easier said than done, but it’s crucial, to stay positive. Getting angry, sulking or displaying a bad attitude will not increase your chances of getting the job. Moreover, it may impair your performance in any other interviews you have in the pipeline.
Conversely, having a positive attitude and self-belief will prove highly effective. Chiefly, this will help you appear calm and collective once you get the opportunity to speak to the company in question. Furthermore, it will put you in a good mental state for other interviews.
So, What Next?
When it comes to chasing feedback, it helps to have a recruiter on your side. Recruitment consultants are highly skilled in having awkward conversations and can often glean information from their clients that would be inaccessible to direct applicants.
Recruitment consultants can also assist you with a mock interview before the real deal.
Of course, recruiters are only in a position to help if they have been involved in the process right from the start. For this reason, it’s worth considering whether to apply directly or via a recruitment consultant before you start looking through job postings.
If you’ve tried everything and you’re still left feeling like you’ve been ghosted after a job interview, you know what? The company concerned may not be the best employers, after all.
It’s worth reiterating at this point: If you haven’t read the article mentioned in the first paragraph, it might be worth doing so. It explains that there are many genuine reasons why companies delay in contacting candidates after an interview, even if they seemed genuinely keen.
If you know anyone who might find this article useful, please share it with them on social media. They will be sure to thank you for it!