We all know what ghosting is when it comes to dating—men and women have long pulled a disappearing act—but did you know that you can get ghosted during a job search too?
“Ghosting is the absolute worst for job candidates,” says millennial career expert Jill Jacinto. “The not knowing is frustrating: similar to dating, you’re left asking yourself, are they into you?”
“I have spoken to numerous people who said they would much rather get told the job was filled then wait eternally for an answer,” Jacinto says. ”Employers are often overwhelmed with job applicants and many time do not have the resources to reply to everyone that applied,” Jacinto says. “Other times they might want to wait and see if their top choice accept. They also might want to make sure that they have you in the background of their pick was less than stellar.”
Glassdoor: What does ghosting look like to a job candidate?
Jill Jacinto: Ghosting in the job search process would mean that the hiring manager has not gotten in touch after a job interview.
Glassdoor: Why might an employer ghost a job candidate?
Jill Jacinto: They may be overwhelmed looking for a popular job posting and can’t get back with everyone or they may feel that the job candidate just isn’t the right fit for the position.
Glassdoor: If a candidate has been ghosted after an interview, what are three things he/she can do to still try to get the job?
1. Send a thank you card. You should send a handwritten thank you card after an interview. This opens the door to further communication with the hiring manager.
2. Take the initiative and follow up. If the company seems to have vanished into thin air, don’t give up quite yet. Get in contact with them. If they don’t email you back don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and call them directly. The manager may just be so busy they haven’t had time to respond to an email but would be willing to speak with you on the phone.
Glassdoor: What are three ways a job candidate might prevent being ghosted?
1. Ask this question: Do you have any hesitations about moving me to the next level of the interview process that I can address? Maybe a story wasn’t clear, they don’t think you qualify in a certain aspect, or they don’t think you have the necessary experience. This will give you the opportunity to clear up any doubts and prevent them from ghosting you.
2. Find out what the next steps are and who you should follow up with. This will ensure you know their process and what to expect. This will also allow you to have the name and the number of the person you should talk to after the interview.
3. Set boundaries and get clear information on when decisions are set to be made and the position filled. This will help you manage your own timeline if you never end up hearing back.
In the end, “be persistent without being a pest,” says Jacinto. “Check in with your interview coordinator once a week and check offering new information the hiring manager might want to learn about you. For example, samples of a portfolio, updated writing samples, designs etc. Try to keep up the flow of conversation.”