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How to Move Forward When Ghosted After a Job Interview

By now, most of us have heard the term ghosting, but usually this term applies to your personal life. Ghosting someone you went on one awkward date with or ghosting a friend you’ve recently been fighting with are all ways to halt communication.

Ghosting means completely ignoring contact with someone or even a group of people. It can be harsh, but it has become a norm in society. While it’s ordinary in your personal life to ghost someone or get ghosted, is it normal for your professional life?

We’ve all been there; you’ve had two or maybe even three interviews with a company and then never hear anything back. No email or phone call, no response to your follow up, nothing. I’ve been there for sure. There are more and more people applying for jobs every day, which makes it hard for employers to follow up with every single potential candidate.

Here are some ways to move forward if you think a company has ghosted you.

Decide how long to wait

Start by defining how long to wait before you’ve decided you have been ghosted. Maybe the employer didn’t respond to your follow up email, or they gave you a specific date to hear something, and that day has come and gone. Whichever it is, decide on a time frame to wait. The hiring process can take weeks and sometimes even months. It’s normal not to hear back right away.

Some people consider two to three days of not hearing back ghosting, while others wait a week or more to hear back. Give yourself a time frame to expect a response and then give yourself a time frame to move forward if you didn’t get a response.

Figure out if you want to send a follow-up email

If you decide to send a follow-up email letting them know to reach you with any questions and mention some key points of conversation from the interview. I always send a thank you email after the interview.

In this email, I mention some points from our conversation and let them know I’m available for a follow-up interview if needed. I consider it reasonable to not hear back after my thank you email, especially if the employer is still conducting interviews.

If you’ve sent a thank you email and waited a week, decide if you would like to send a follow-up email. In this follow up email, let the interviewer know you’re waiting to hear a response back and are still available for follow-up questions if needed.

Know the steps in the hiring process

When you go in for an interview, always ask what the next steps are. Does the employer normally do two to three interviews, or just one? Are there documents or samples of your work they would like to see? Are they devoting a week or more to the first round of interviews? Is there a date they’ll get back to you? These are all important things to know.

Sometimes we think we’ve been ghosted, but in reality, there are multiple steps to the interview process we aren’t aware of yet. Ask these questions beforehand to avoid future guessing.

Give yourself time to grieve and reflect

After your set time is up, give yourself some time to grieve the fact that you didn’t get the position.

Job-hunting is difficult, and it can be heartbreaking thinking you’re perfect for a position and then never hearing anything in return.

After you’ve been sad, reflect on your interview process.

  • Write out some positive things from the interview, look over the job description, and cross-reference it with your resume and your qualifications.
  • Review the company and see if it would have been a good fit for you personally. Write out some things you could have done differently.
  • Think back to the interview questions and review some different answers or practice these questions with a friend to work on different takes of the same question.

Don’t reach out after your designated time

Once your time allotted time is up, do not reach back out. I always suggest never calling or reaching out on different platforms. When the time you have given yourself is over, it is time to move on from this position. Most likely, you have not gotten that job, so focus your energy on moving on.

Start applying for other jobs

After you’ve done everything else, it is time to move on with your employment search. Lookup jobs in similar companies or similar roles. Don’t give up. I’m no expert, but I do know that finding a job is difficult right now. It’s important to keep going, even after you’ve been ghosted.

I’m guilty of waiting forever to hear back about a position. I’ve been heartbroken in the past about jobs I didn’t receive, but I do know times are tough, and everything happens for a reason.

If you’ve ever seen the movie, “He’s just not that into you,” then you know people can be desperate, and we don’t like to accept the truth. The truth is, if you get ghosted by a company, it is okay. There are other positions and employers out there.

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