Getting ghosted after a job interview is a tough thing to handle. It leaves you wondering what you did wrong and not even knowing if it was you or someone else better-equipped to win the job.
We asked our global membership of career coaches and interview coaches:
What advice would you give to a job seeker who has been ghosted after their job interview?
They provided us with the following great tips:
“You should follow up every job interview by sending a sincere thank you note to the interviewer. If, after 7 business days you feel ghosted, follow up with an email or phone call. There are many different reasons why employers ghost candidates, and it’s often due to internal miscommunications, so always give them one last chance. If you still get radio silence, cut your losses and focus on your next great opportunity.”
– Marie Lane, AspirationsResume.com
“It’s understandably frustrating to be ghosted post-interview. However, remember, it’s more reflective of the company’s communication than your abilities. While it’s crucial to follow up professionally, also consider broadening your search. Focus on companies that value open communication and respect candidates’ time. Continue improving your skills and building your network – you’ll find the right opportunity soon.”
– Scott Gardner, CPRW, Vitae Express
“Follow up with an email, LinkedIn in-mail or voice message as appropriate, and politely seek guidance from the hiring manager regarding what attributes the other candidates offer that the hiring team believes you lack. The same approach applies if you don’t get an interview for a position that you really wanted. You’ll be surprised how often this works.”
– Doug Morrison, Career Power Resume
“I recommend following up. First by phone, leaving a voicemail or by email if a phone number isn’t available. Always with a positive follow-up message such as, ‘This is Debbie following up on our interview from June 15th for the Data Analyst position. I’m still interested in the role, but if you’ve selected another candidate, please keep me in mind for other similar positions. I’d like to keep in touch and will connect with you again in a month or so. Thank you again for your time.’ ”
– Debbie Marshall, Thrive Consulting
- Don’t panic. Take a deep breath. It’s essential to remember that being ghosted after an interview doesn’t define your worth or capabilities. Sometimes, interviewers are just caught up in their busy schedules, and the hiring process takes longer than expected.
- Reach back to the interviewer. Drop a friendly email, expressing your enthusiasm and politely asking for an update on the status of your application. They might just appreciate your initiative and respond positively. I was hired by a company because I took that approach.
- Be patient. Waiting is the hardest part, I know. Companies have different timelines for their hiring processes. Some move quickly, while others take their sweet time. Give it a little longer before jumping to conclusions. Remember, the saying, ‘good things come to those who wait’ (and persist)!
- Keep preparing for the future. Don’t put your job search on hold just because you’re waiting for a response. Life is full of opportunities, so keep enhancing your skills, updating your resume, and practicing your interview techniques. Do so and you’ll be ready to seize any opportunity that arises.
- Stay positive and resilient. It’s important to keep a positive mindset and not let setbacks bring you down. Surround yourself with supportive individuals who can uplift your spirits. Remember, your dream job is out there, and you’re one step closer to finding it.
Keep pushing forward, believe in yourself, and remain open to new possibilities. You got this job seeker!”
– Jeannine Bennett, Vision to Purpose
“If you’ve asked when you’ll be responded to and haven’t heard back, then I would send an email or make a call (depending on which you have) and I would ask where they are at in the process and if there is anything further they need from you to help them make a decision.
If you actually get someone on the phone make this an opportunity to sell yourself or your personality and it can sometimes help. If you have forgotten to ask what is next in the process, I would leave it for a week at most and then be in contact with them to see where they are in the process.”
– Athena Ali, The Get Noticed Coach
“The best advice after any interview is to follow up with a hand-written thank you note. You would send it to the company address on their website to the attention of the name of the person who interviewed you.
The next best thing is to send a thank you email, but that might get lost in the interviewer’s inbox. Remember, you have to take ownership of the job seeking process.
Sending a thank you note will help you stand out from the rest of the applicants. This personal touch may not only help keep you front of mind when the interviewer and/or hiring manager make their decision but might also keep you front of mind for other opportunities that come along later.”
– Troy Heiner, TFH Transformations LLC
“While ghosting stinks, it’s unfortunately common. Don’t stop your job search. Keep applying and keep networking. You won’t be able to prevent ghosting 100%, but establishing positive relationships and rapport with people at your target companies is critical to getting referrals for new opportunities.”
– Kate Williamson, Scientech Resumes LLC
“Follow up once or twice by phone and/or email, then let it go. Any company or recruiter that doesn’t have the courtesy to follow up with you in a timely manner is waving a red flag, and you should heed it.”
– Carol Adams, Ideal Resumes LLC
“This is not a reflection on your value or your worth, it can be that the recruiter has a longer than usual timeframe on this recruitment process or that they are just sloppy in their follow-up with interviewees which happens. If they are a professional operator they should be getting back to you reasonably soon after an interview. Stay positive and proactive, and continue to look for other opportunities.
You could follow up in a professional and brief email to enquire about the status of your application. Overall, use this as a learning opportunity, think about ways you could improve your interview performance, think about your ideal next role and continue to search for it, and seek professional help with both identifying that role and fine tuning your approach to interviews. Persistence, resilience and a positive mindset are important at times like this.”
– Miriam O’Connor, Successful Resumes NZ
“If you’ve been in touch with one person and haven’t received updates, consider reaching out to different individuals within the company. HR representatives or those involved in hiring might provide insights or guide you to the right person for information.
While you patiently wait, it’s important to keep your job search open and diverse. Don’t focus solely on one opportunity. Keep applying, attending interviews, and networking to increase your chances of finding other promising options. Have confidence in your abilities and the value you offer. The right opportunity will come at the perfect time.”
– Karine Touloumjian, Distinct Resume
“Ghosting can be a demoralizing experience for job seekers who’ve invested a lot of time and energy into the application and interview process. However, when dealing with this situation, consider the following tips that may help:
- Embrace the Ghosting: Rather than viewing ghosting as an entirely negative experience, consider it a sign that the company might not have been a good fit for you. Organizations that value their employees would also respect prospective employees by providing closure.
- Don’t Over-Follow-Up: While it’s common advice to follow up diligently after an interview if you’ve been ghosted, it may be better to limit your follow-up to two attempts. Continuing to reach out after being ignored can be draining and may not yield the result you’re hoping for.
- Keep Your Expectations in Check: A common piece of advice is to stay positive throughout the job search, but it’s also important to keep realistic expectations. Understand that not all interviews will result in offers or even a response, and that’s okay. This realism can help lessen the emotional toll of the job hunt.
- Turn the Tables: Instead of waiting anxiously for a reply, use the time to continue your job search and possibly find better opportunities. This shift in mindset from waiting to taking action can be empowering and productive.
- Seek Feedback Elsewhere: If the company isn’t responding, turn to your network or career coach for feedback. Practice your interview with them and get their perspective. This way, you still gain some valuable insights to improve for the next opportunity.
Remember, job hunting is a process with many potential outcomes. The goal is not just to find a job, but to find a job where you will be valued and can contribute meaningfully. Ghosting, although disheartening, can be a signal to redirect your energy toward better opportunities.”
– Yuvika Iyer, Careerlinko
“Unfortunately, this seems to be happening more often these days and I have worked with clients who have suddenly been contacted about a follow up interview or even a job offer several months after hearing nothing! I would always advise that they follow up with their contact at the company or the recruiter first via email and then try calling. If no response, then try contacting the hiring manager. The best way to help circumvent being ghosted is to get clear guidance on the recruitment process at the end of the interview. Ask when you should hear back and what the next steps in the process are, for example.”
– Anne Galloway, Power-to-Change – your path to career success
What this means to you if you get ghosted after a job interview:
You put a lot of time, energy, and hope into your job search. Being ghosted after an interview is hard not to take personally and if it’s a job you really want, you may feel like putting your search on hold until you hear back. Don’t!
Instead, don’t let it discourage you as the reasons why could be myriad. Take action to follow up, polish your interview skills, keep networking, and carry on.
Other opportunities will emerge if you keep on keeping on
Need help taking this important step?
CDI is a global professional association of the industry’s top resume writers, career coaches and other career professionals. Our robust directory will let you search for the perfect practitioner to make your successful transition. Each of the participating professionals featured in this post can be reached via their links or by searching the directory.
Special thanks to Special thanks to Ari Shaffer, MSE of Ari Shaffer Coaching & Consulting for curating these tips.