So the best has happened and you’ve landed a job interview with the company of your absolute dreams. You prepare heavily by researching the company, practising interview questions, and incessantly babbling on to your friends and family about how amazing the opportunity is and how excited you are about it.
Then the interview day hits, and despite all your nerves, you think you’ve hit it out of the park: good rapport with the interviewer, solid and quick answers to all the questions – you’ve seemingly got it all.
But then the days turn into weeks, and you realize that you won’t be hearing back from this job interview, leaving you in a bad position and not sure what to do next. Well, here are some things you can do if that happens to you.
Take the First Leap
Don’t just sit there and wait for the world to fall into your lap. It pays off to be proactive here and to try a few things before throwing in the towel. So, as soon as the hear-back deadline passes, get to work right away on reaching out and digging up an answer for yourself – even if you don’t like what you find.
Ideally, you should wait a few days past the deadline, prepping what you want to do, then write a check-in email to your prospective employer. Don’t be pushy – just show your continued interest in the job and try to use the waiting time to find value to offer to the employer, whether that’s a blog post or an upcoming industry event.
Unfortunately, waiting without reaching out to your potential employer could be perceived as disinterest, so it’s definitely a good call to send a quick email. It’s important to remember to send a thank-you note after the interview to demonstrate and emphasize your interest.
If responses don’t come back quickly enough for your liking, feel free to politely and persistently keep reaching out. However, don’t spam your contact with emails. Instead, send a message every couple of days.
Do this for at least three weeks after your interview response deadline, keeping track of industry news, and explain and emphasize your interest. Sure, it may be extra work, but it’ll be hard for the recruiter to ignore you, and you’re likely to get a response. Even if it’s a no, your interest may result in you being put on a list for future hiring opportunities.
Remember not to go overboard. Don’t call, don’t text, don’t show up in person and don’t use passive-aggressive or aggressive language in your emails. You don’t want to put them off.
Try All the Channels
The next step is to reach out to them through different channels. You can do this if you’re not getting a reply through conventional methods. Try reaching first on Linkedin, following all the steps for polite persistence detailed above. Make sure you only reach out through one of these alternate channels at a time to avoid inundating your contact with messages that need a response.
Don’t feel that you have to focus on just the one person who interviewed you: you can even try contacting the rest of the hiring manager team. If you do it right, you just might get a response, or even better, an insight into the hiring process and where things went wrong.
Making a Plan
The next stage is to consider making an overarching plan before you start any of the more elaborate reaching out processes. You want to set yourself a formula for how many messages you can send in any given span of time. It makes sense to be formulaic, predictable, and follow a routine. Don’t let your anxiety or base instincts drive you in a different direction.
Remember, you want to strike the perfect balance between being just persistent enough to be noticed (without being overbearing) and just engaged enough not to seem disinterested. Plan accordingly.
Follow Your Instincts
The final suggestion is to trust your gut. Rejection can be traumatic and painful, especially when you’re losing a job you love. It can be easy to slip into rationalizations like “maybe they didn’t get my messages,” or “they probably left the country this month.” While it can be comfortable to stay inside this happy fantasy, be sure that you’re able to face the facts and give up when appropriate.
Why were you rejected?
All of the suggestions so far sidestep the question of exactly why you’ve been rejected. We’ve left this till last because there are so many potential causes it can be hard to nail down specifics.
But here are some reasons you might not get hired:
- One is the ongoing pandemic. With unemployment figures at record highs, the job pool is more soaked than ever with high-level candidates, possibly pushing you out of the running.
- Another reason is that they could simply be busy. Perhaps they’re trying to fill multiple positions at once, and there’s just too much to manage across varying candidates and roles.
- Lastly, you should remember that things could change. Openings can close, and funding that was initially earmarked for you can be diverted to other causes. Any of these changes could delay hearing back so don’t beat yourself up too much.
There’s a lot to consider when it comes to dealing with the issue of employers ghosting you. There’s also a lot you can do, from reaching out through various channels to being persistent, making a plan, and taking a realistic overview of yourself and the situation. Most of all, don’t take rejection to heart because there’s a likelihood that it might not be related to you at all, and it’s no use blaming yourself for things that weren’t your fault. On to the next one!