Why Aren’t You Hearing Back From A Job Interview?

job interview
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Even when you do everything right in your job interview, things can go wrong when it comes to hearing back from the employer in a timely manner. Many job candidates today find themselves either ghosted – where an employer simply doesn’t communicate after a job application has been submitted or an interview has been completed, or “breadcrumbed” – which results in intermittent updates from the employer without any real timeline being set or action being taken on the hire.

How can you know you’re being “ghosted” by an employer? Well, it is a lot like being led on. Some signs of breadcrumbing can be quite subtle, such as following up periodically via phone or email to let you know that while you are still being considered there are internal discussions pending, or that company approvals are still needed in order for a decision to be made. Basically, anything that extends and lengthens the interview process without giving candidates any concrete information about their chances of getting the job or when they will hear anything concrete is a sign you’re not actually being considered.

On the other hand, you could also just not hear back at all. If an estimated timeline for a decision is provided and after follow-up, you still haven’t heard anything from the hiring manager, it’s likely that the employer has moved on.

So, how long should you wait before following up on an interview? The best way to know how long the decision-making process for a position is projected to take is to ask the employer directly – while you have their ear at the end of your interview. It’s quite reasonable to ask HR how long it may take to anticipate a decision. It is okay if you didn’t think to do this during your interview, you could ask in the thank-you note that you send afterwards. 

Once you have an established timeline, it’s best to wait until that time to follow up unless something has changed with your status or decision. Finally, after following up once with no response, it’s OK to contact HR one more time – but then consider letting it go. You may express your interest in the position again and let them know that you’d like to move on with your search if they’ve made a decision that hasn’t been communicated yet. However, if you don’t hear back after this communication, unfortunately, it may just not be meant to be.


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