Recruitment advice, job seeker support and company news

How To Deal With Interview Ghosting

29th October 2020

What do online dating and job interviews have in common?


What Does Ghosting Mean?

If you haven't been an active job seeker in a few years or never used a dating app then you might not know what we mean. The New York Times described it perfectly as the ultimate silent treatment, and your nods of acknowledgement might be in time to the music if you watch the video parody by Hannah VanderPoel and Michael Schwartz on youtube: Ghoster's Paradise.

The word quickly slipped from the world of bad dates to bad interview experiences because there are so many parallels.

  • The endorphin rush because you've made it through the application process to interview stage.
  • It feels like you're beginning to build a great rapport.
  • There's a promise made to "be in touch soon".
  • As the days go by you start to feel deflated and really disappointed. There's a good chance your phone / email message checking borders on compulsive behaviour.
  • You start to question, "Is it me? Did I say something wrong?"
  • The rejection hurts.

Social media is awash with anecdotes from disappointed job seekers who are feeling the pain of ghosting – of never receiving feedback after an interview. Exacerbated by the highly stressful conditions it hurts all the more because securing a new job means so much right now.

How To Deal With Interview Ghosting

Image by Alexas_Fotos from Pixabay

To play devil's advocate and not "freak out" the employers who are reading this post it's important to acknowledge that ghosting is not an exclusive activity - job seekers can ghost employers too.

While we can all agree that ghosting is not professional, or acceptable, anyone who wants to avoid a potentially difficult conversation can ghost (yes, ghost is indeed a noun and a verb these days) by not responding to emails, messages or phone calls.

How To Handle Interview Ghosting

Here's a few suggestions how to deal with interview ghosting.

  • At the end of the interview make a point of asking when a decision will be taken and when you should expect to hear from the interviewer – this is a clear flag that you are expecting feedback whether you secure the role or not.
  • We always recommend following up after the interview, but it's even more important to do this now. It is a simple courtesy and may go a long way in ensuring you receive a personal response.
  • Feedback may come from an automated system and these types of emails can go straight into your Junk mail. Check this folder and add the person you expect to hear from to your Safe Sender list.
  • Don't be afraid to follow up. If you haven't heard within the prescribed time, call the employer and ask for feedback.
  • No matter how good you feel the interview went, it is important to accept that competition is massive right now and the odds are you may have to go through several interview processes before securing a job offer. If you haven't heard within the prescribed time and if your request for feedback goes ignored, it is time to move on.
  • It's a bitter pill to swallow, feeling that the employer couldn't be bothered to contact you when you've invested so much time and effort. Although it is easier said than done, it's important to understand that interview ghosting isn't personal, but it is bad practice and does reflect a poor process.

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