H habanero management social
0203 816 0873
Oct 02

Category: Interview tips

Ghosting — when someone ends a relationship by suddenly and without explanation cutting off communications— isn’t usually something you’d expect to read about on a careers-focused blog.

Unfortunately, this less-than-polite way of breaking up with a date is now spreading through the world of work, too.

If you’ve ever been for a job interview, prepped perfectly in advance, had positive conversations with your future colleagues, demonstrated excellent knowledge of the company, and asked all the right questions and then never heard a peep back you’ll know just what we’re talking about.

According to a survey by CareerBuilder, a massive 75 percent of people have, at one time or another, been for a job interview and then never heard anything back.

Why is this so common and what can you do when you don’t hear back?

Why some employers leave interview candidates hanging

Not hearing back from an employer after applying (usually because of the sheer volume received) is now the norm, but not hearing back after an interview? That can just feel plain rude. So, in today’s social media-saturated world (Glassdoor interview reviews, anyone?) why do employers do it?

Usually, the hiring manager will claim it is because they’re too busy. They’ve given the job to someone else, and they’ve immediately moved on to on-boarding their new employee and other tasks.

Other times, it’s out of a desire to avoid any awkwardness. Most people, given half a chance, will try to avoid confrontation or difficult conversations. The thought of writing a message, or worse, making a phone call, to someone to tell them they’re not hired makes some managers so nervous they end up permanently putting the task off.

Occasionally, firms avoid anything but the most cursory of follow-up communication with unsuccessful candidates because of perceived legal risk. One wrong word, they assume, and they could find themselves open to liability because of inappropriate feedback.

What you can do to help ensure you get a response

If you’ve been for an interview, the bottom line is you deserve an answer. There are, however, a few things that you can do during and after your interview that will boost your chances of hearing back.

  • At the end of the interview ask for a timeline going forward — There’s nothing wrong with asking, at the end of your interview, when you might expect to hear back about the job. Doing so sets a clear expectation in the hiring manager’s mind as well as showing that you’re serious about the job.
  • Send follow-up thank you notes immediately after the interview — According to a recent survey, 22% of hiring managers say they are less likely to hire a candidate doesn’t send a thank you note and 56% said the lack of a note made them question how serious the candidate was about the position. Signal you’re serious and stay top of mind by sending thank yous to everyone you interviewed with.
  • Still nothing after a week? Email HR — If a week or more after your interview, it’s still radio silence then you should feel comfortably proactively reaching out. Start by contacting HR noting that you’re excited about the role and keen to learn if/when a decision will be made.
  • Give up (and try not to take it personally) — Much as it’s rude, sometimes you just won’t hear back. If this happens to you, try not to let it get you down. There are many reasons for not hearing back, all the way from the budget for the post being removed through the hiring manager’s own social anxieties. Don’t take it personally and move on to the next job interview.

Better still, work with a recruitment consultancy

One of the most common reasons hiring managers fail to get in contact with unsuccessful candidates is the sheer volume of people they must see in order to find the best candidate. After three or four inappropriate candidates, those awkward conversations letting the interviewee down can get really difficult.

One of the best ways to ease this process and make life better for hiring managers and candidates alike is to use a specialised recruitment agency. Sector specialists, like 3Search, will pre-screen candidates carefully and only put forward those most qualified and appropriate for the role.

The best recruiters carefully manage the entire process, acting as the main communicator between company and candidate and ensuring that both are kept constantly updated. So, whichever side of the table you’re on, it pays to work with a recruitment specialist.


3Search is an award-winning UK recruitment consultancy, specialising in sales, marketing, and tech positions. Whether you’re seeking new talent or looking for your next career move, we can help. Learn more at 3Search.co.uk