How to avoid being ghosted after a job interview

By Robert Half on 15 February 2019

So you met the hiring manager two weeks ago and thought the conversation went well, yet there’s still been no response after the interview.

While ghosting may be common amongst candidates, it can unfortunately happen from the hiring side.

Jobseekers across Australia are experiencing an increase in career-related ghosting — the act of the company vanishing, going dark or pulling away at some point in the hiring process without explanation. The term arose in the dating world, but perfectly applies to a phenomenon jobseekers are encountering.

From an employer's perspective, informing people that they didn’t get the job is not particularly fun or easy. Instead of breaking the disappointing news of an official rejection, some employers may avoid the situation altogether or provide no response after the interview to keep you as a back-up option should their top choice fall through.

How can you prevent being ghosted after the interview?

From the start, ask for an outline of the hiring process or, more specifically, a tentative time frame as to when you can expect to hear from the hiring manager and how they like to communicate.

Keep yourself fresh in the mind of a potential employer by following up regularly and continuing to express interest in the role. This can be done with a short phone call or brief email, as you remind the manager of your qualifications.

If you still get no response after the interview, keep in mind that it’s probably not personal. Most likely, the employer became consumed in other tasks or is focused on hiring another person.

Ask for constructive feedback to help keep the conversation flowing. That way, if you don’t get the job, you may learn more about why.

Most importantly, remember to be proactive — never reactive — and always respectful. It’s easy to grow frustrated when you receive no response after the interview, but keep your emotions in check. Avoid sending an angry email or leaving an outraged review on the company’s social media page. Instead, use this as a learning experience as you move forward in your job search.

Being ghosted goes in both directions

It's not just employers who are doing the ghosting today. With the employment rate low, there is strong demand for skilled workers. Candidates are increasingly providing no response after the interview, in some cases because they have multiple job offers.

And just as ghosting can affect a company’s reputation, it can also impact a candidate’s career path. As the expression goes, “Your reputation doesn’t follow you where you go; it gets there before you do.” This also applies to your professional reputation — where professional courtesy is king.

If you offer no response after the interview, keep in mind that your actions can have long-term consequences. Your decision could come around to bite you if the hiring manager you ghosted is the face of the company for the next job where you apply.

Simply saying, “Thank you, but I’ve decided to pursue another opportunity,” can ensure you don’t burn a bridge, but leave it open to potentially cross in the future.

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