Being ghosted sucks. There’s no way around it. Yes, it hurts like hell being ghosted after a job interview.
Job rejections can—and often do—feel like personal rejections, especially because you put in so much time and effort preparing materials and interviewing. Being ghosted after a long hiring process like that hurts, but the truth is that although we may want closure, we may never get it.
Let me be clear, when I use the term ghosting, I’m not referring to not hearing back from the company in question after you go through the application process; that is, unfortunately, a new standard practice none of us needed. What is even more painful is the kind of ghosting I’m referring to—the experience you go through when you feel like the interview process went well and expected to get a phone call from your prospective employer with a job offer, and instead…crickets.
As painful as it is, getting ghosted after an interview happens in the job-hunting process. Learning how to deal with ghosting in the job hunt is essential.
7 Do’s And Don’ts If You’ve Been Ghosted After An Interview
If you’ve ever been in the pool of job candidates who did a phone interview, then an in-person interview, and then possibly rounds of interviews with the good feeling and expectation of being a company’s next new hire, only to be ghosted after an interview, I hate to tell you this: but you are not alone. That’s why I’ve complied these do’s and dont’s to help you find the best way to move forward and really land the best job for you.
Do: Accept the Company’s Decision with Grace
The company’s choices are not within your control. I’m not saying that every company that ghosts you is a bad company. However, you will learn a lot about a company based on how they treat and interact with you.
Having said that, it is important to accept the company’s decision with grace, regardless of how you were treated, and move forward. There may have been other factors beyond your control that went into the decision-making process.
The best thing you can do for yourself is to move forward to the next job you want to apply for and concentrate on that rather than ruminating on what you could have done.
This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t mourn; you should definitely prioritize self-care during this time. But it does mean that moving on will take you one step closer to the job that you are supposed to have.
Don’t: Follow Up with an Employer Multiple Times
Following up with an interviewer is important because it reiterates your interest in the position and shows the interviewer that you recognize the time they took to speak with you. It also leaves them with a positive impression of you.
However, persistent follow-up with a potential employer will not stand you in good stead. Following up once or twice is fine; anything more than that is overkill.
Do: Send an Email to the Company Thanking them For Their Time
Even if you don’t hear back from them, responding to all written correspondence from the company in a professional manner. You will come across as a professional individual, and in the job hunt, it is critical to maintain strong positive connections, even if things don’t turn out the way you originally envisioned.
A short message is all you need, but if you haven’t heard back from them in a while when you send it be careful not to have any accusatory language or ultimatums like “I’d love to hear from you by the end of the week.” Definitely don’t mention that you’ve been ghosted after an interview you’ve had with them!
You never know who or what a connection may know and how that may benefit you down the line. There may be a future open position that you find on your job search and because you’ve kept a positive point of contact, the hiring team will remember you. A positive impression is one of the best ways to stand apart from the other job applicants.
Don’t: Blast the Company on Social Media
I don’t think I need to go into the reasons why this is a big no-no. I don’t think you need me to write out a paragraph of the negative effects of posting negatively about an employer, whether it’s potential, past, or present. However, in case you did want specifics, here are a few of them.
Just remember, there will be new positions to apply for, and how you present yourself on social media can impact you…you don’t want the first time you have initial contact with a future employer to paint you in a bad light, even if one company did a disappearing act and made you feel poorly.
Do: Vent If it Makes You Feel Better
While I would discourage venting online about an employer, this doesn’t mean that venting won’t help your stress levels. Whether you choose to let off steam through journaling, kickboxing, or a classic venting session with your best friend, venting away from the Internet helps your stress levels during an already very stressful time.
Do: Ask for Feedback
You have nothing to lose by asking for feedback. You will undoubtedly come away from the interview with an idea of what did and didn’t go well, but it never hurts to ask for feedback.
If you are lucky enough to get feedback, it will help you determine the sorts of skills the organization prioritized in the search and serve as an impetus for
While you have nothing to lose by asking, whether or not the hiring manager will take the time to give you feedback is not within your control. In my experience, hiring managers will not give you feedback. However, that has just been my experience and it shouldn’t represent the experience of every job seeker.
And remember, they won’t tell you the real reason they didn’t hire you, because often times it’s more about the team feeling like they found the right fit for their department as a whole, and even if you have years of experience that make you seem perfect, you don’t know what the other potential candidates had to offer.
Don’t: Keep Pushing for More Feedback
An ongoing job hunt is undoubtedly frustrating. It can be tempting to want to push the hiring manager to try to get your questions answered in-depth or get more feedback, but I would refrain from doing so.
While that’s not exactly the same thing as asking why you weren’t hired, it creates awkwardness between the two of you and opens the door for a conversation that the hiring manager certainly won’t be willing to have and therefore strains your existing relationship with the company.
Accept the feedback you do get with grace bearing in mind that you are lucky to get any feedback at all. Utilize what you can of that feedback and keep that in mind for your next interview. The next steps to then help you find your new job is to reflect on their feedback, and then polish your cover letter skills and maybe do a mock interview or two.
In the digital age, remember to use your personal relationships to network and take note of relevant industry news that will really wow the hiring manager and help you have great interviews—it’s a different way to job hunt and there are many ways to take you from the qualified candidates pile into the right candidate section!
Being ghosted after an interview is an emotional experience, especially during a long job hunt. However, there are things you can do to change that, especially if you are consistently being ghosted by companies. It can be difficult and de-motivating to push through the job hunt after being ghosted, but the only way to guarantee that you won’t find a job is if you stop looking for one.