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What to Do if You Never Heard Back after Interviewing

by THEA kelley | May 13, 2021

Have you had a good interview and then been ghosted? If you never heard back after the interview, it could mean any number of things:

  • The company is changing their mind about filling the position.
  • The interview process is being delayed for organizational reasons. For example, the hiring manager or recruiter may have left the company, or some key person is on vacation.
  • They’ve offered the job to someone else (maybe an internal candidate they had in mind all along) who hasn’t confirmed yet. There may be a lengthy negotiation process underway. Until the new person has confirmed, they won’t want to let go of their backup candidates.
  • The recruiter is simply overwhelmed and/or disorganized, and isn’t making a priority of notifying you as they should.

What should you do when you don’t hear back?

  • Keep following up. Send a brief email about once a week to the hiring manager, with a cc to the recruiter, “updating” them that you are still available and interested.
  • See if you can find something new (but short!) to add. For example:
    • “I enjoyed our discussion about automation trends in the industry, which inspired me to look into the new blah-blah technology. Here’s a link you may find interesting.” Or,
    • “I just enrolled to attend (industry event) next week. I’ll drop by your booth and say hello.” Or,
    • “I enjoyed our chat about (sports team). You must be jazzed about their win yesterday. Go (team)!”
    • If you can’t think of anything new to add, write the note anyway.
  • Don’t complain or blame with statements like “It has been a month since our interview and I have not heard back.” Instead, take a positive tone: “Thank you again for our interview on (date)…”
  • If you have an offer elsewhere , inform the “ghosting” company. They may be spurred into action.

If you’re being “ghosted” often:

  • Do a mock interview with a colleague or interview coach and get feedback. Do this soon rather than wasting months of time and good opportunities. Skillful interviewing is not as intuitive as you might think. Nobody has perfect interview skills, and chances are there’s something you could be doing better.

Above all, keep networking and searching.

If you never heard back after an interview, the best cure for the frustration is to keep prospecting! Make a list of target companies and seek conversations with people connected to them. It may not seem like the fastest way to get interviews and a job, but it is. Try it!

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