What to Do When You're Ghosted By a Company or Recruiter
Your interview went great! The hiring manager really seemed to like you and said they thought you would be a good fit. They told you that you would hear back within a few days, but fast forward a week and... crickets.
So what happened?
I often get asked when is the right time to follow up when you don't hear back about a job and honestly, it depends. You want to do it soon enough that you don't get forgotten but not so soon that you're seen as a pest. Here is when and how to follow up:
First, if you didn't write a thank you note after your interview, send one out immediately. A good thank you note can make you stand out, is the perfect way to follow up, and forgetting one can result in a missed opportunity. A good thank you note should be prompt, include information that you learned from the interview, and express your interest in moving forward to the next step.
Want a gold star? Include something unique that will add value for them, like an initiative that you think could work for them or a relevant article.
Already sent a thank you?
Often, an interviewer will have every intention of getting right back to you, regardless of whether you get the job or not, and then work gets in the way. If you have already sent out a thank you email and the date they said they would get back to you has passed, follow up with them 2 - 5 days after that day has passed. If a company did not indicate when they would get back to you, follow up within 2 weeks.
Reach out to them the same way that they originally reached out to you, so if they are a recruiter who sent you a message over LinkedIn, try them that way. You want to get people where you know they are the most active to increase the chance that they will follow up.
Don't overthink the follow-up message. You are just indicating that you are still interested. If you have had other job offers you were considering, let them know that you received an offer but would like to see if you were still in the running since you are still very interested in working for them. Transparency is always best and letting them know that you have other rods in the fire will hopefully get them to move forward more swiftly.
Do not send out a second follow up notice after your initial one goes unresponsive. They may be busy, but so are you and you shouldn't have to keep pushing on anyone who makes you feel like you need them way more than they need you.
Analyze What May Have Happened.
If you have followed up and have still not heard back, it's likely that you won't be hearing from them about the position. I know it's less than professional and it's not very fair of them, but there is a lesson in every rejection.
Is the job posting still up? If not, it's likely that they have already found a new hire or have enough qualified candidates to choose from. Seeing this may help you get a little more clarity as to what happened with that role.
When you reflect back on your interview objectively, were there any areas that you think you struggled with? How would you handle that differently next time?
What did you like the most about this opportunity? The least? Figuring that out may help you in your search for another role that is more aligned with what you need in this stage in your career.
Maybe they hired someone else, or maybe they are no longer hiring for that position, but regardless, they have moved on, so it's time for you to too. You've done everything you could do. A friend once told me that sometimes disappointment can lead to an appointment with something better. So remember that this opportunity may have been nice, but it was certainly not the last. You have plenty to offer and can take your incredible skills elsewhere to a more responsive organization.
Quick note: The company might get back to you weeks, or even months later. This, my friend, may be a red flag. They could have hired someone that didn't work out or have been so overwhelmed and disorganized that they have forgotten to touch back until now. Disorganization and a quick turnover may mean that this role is problematic. Move forward with them if you're still interested in the opportunity but be sure to ask questions and to feel confident that this is a job that you still want. It could also work in your favor to negotiate for a higher salary, especially after living in limbo for so long.
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If you are a New York based tech professional and you'd like to attend this event, please email your name and LinkedIn URL to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Whether you are a software engineer, fitness enthusiast or both, you won't want to miss PowerToFly's evening of product demos and networking with the women tech leaders and allies at Peloton.
Founded in 2012, Peloton brought top talent together in its Silicon Alley headquarters to create a new concept in fitness. In their words, "We loved cycling but had a hard time finding a workout that consistently fit our schedules, and our at-home workouts never felt quite up to par. So, we set out to create a world-class indoor cycling studio experience on your time, and in the comfort of your own home."
This event is your chance to hear directly from the women tech leaders and allies who make their revolutionary products like the Peloton Bike, Peloton Tread and Peloton App possible. We'll be devoting a large portion of the event to taking your questions and I know the Peloton team wants to hear from you!
The unique evening will take place on Wednesday, February 12th from 6pm to 8:30pm at 125 W 25th Street.