Job seekers are complaining about getting 'ghosted' by potential employers. Here's what to do if you don't hear back after an interview.
- Job seekers are complaining about getting "ghosted" during the application process.
- Mentions of "ghosting" after job interviews have tripled since before the pandemic, according to a Glassdoor analysis.
Job seekers are complaining about getting "ghosted" by potential employers.
On Glassdoor, mentions of ghosting after interviews have tripled since before the pandemic, according to a company analysis of more than 150,000 reviews by UK workers.
Ghosting refers to employers dropping out of contact with candidates at some point during the application process — and the number of job seekers complaining about this was up 208% since 2019, per the research.
What's even more frustrating for potential employees is that candidates who had been recruited for roles reported the most instances of being ghosted, according to the data.
Jill Cotton, a career trends expert at Glassdoor, said being ignored by hiring managers after an interview can be hard on applicants.
"A small part of you already sees yourself in that role, otherwise why would you apply," she said. "I think that mentally it's hard if you've given up your time and the other party hasn't responded in a similar way."
If job seekers do find themselves ghosted after an interview, there are still a few things they can try before giving up on a role.
Set a timeline
Asking a company for a clear timeline for the application process can feel intimidating during the first meeting, but it might save candidates a lot of trouble down the line.
Cotton recommended trying to pin down a timeline during the first interview.
"Go in prepped when you have that first interview," she said. "At the end of the interview, the hiring manager will normally ask if you've got any questions. That's a good time to ask about the next steps."
She said candidates should not only ask when they'll hear back but how the company will get back to them.
"If you do reach the agreed deadline and you haven't heard from the hiring manager, that gives you both the opportunity to follow up," she said.
If candidates don't hear back when they were scheduled to, it's always worth following up.
"As a job candidate, I always really recommend following up after an interview, whether or not it's a role that you feel is right for you," Cotton said.
It's worth getting back to a hiring manager, even if it's just to let them know the role isn't a right fit, she added.
If candidates do feel the role is right for them, a follow-up is a chance to reconfirm a passion for the role or tell a business why they are a good fit.
Cotton recommended being as helpful as possible in a follow-up email. For example, asking the company if they need more information.
Don't badmouth the company
If there is still no response, it's also important for job seekers to know when to move on.
"If you don't hear anything more, although it can be difficult, I would mentally move on and look for other job opportunities," Cotton said.
However, applicants shouldn't resort to badmouthing the company if they are ghosted.
"It won't necessarily help you," she said. "And it's important to keep professional."
"If you do want to share your opinion anonymously on platforms like Glassdoor, it's important to keep the feedback constructive," she said. "Keeping constructive means that other people can learn."
Being ghosted shouldn't hold candidates back. Although it can be disappointing, Cotton said, it's probably a signal that the company probably wasn't the right fit anyway.
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