I was listening to a young woman on the radio being interviewed about her job search – and all the employers who never got back to her about a second interview or even bothered to let her know why she’s still waiting for a call that never comes.
She’s certainly not alone out there. After an interview, it’s only normal for a job seeker to want to know how they did. Or at least, if they’re still being considered for the job. But unfortunately, in far too many cases “normal” for the one interviewed doesn’t mean normal for the employer.
Why doesn’t anyone get back to me after my interview?
That’s such a great question. And it breaks my heart to hear the anguish behind it for so many people who are still waiting.
There are many reasons an employer doesn’t get back to you. Some possible answers, based on my own experience:
Reasons you don’t hear back if they are not interested:
- As unbelievable as this may sound to someone from the outside, they simply never established a formal policy or method for doing so.
- Even more bluntly, the hiring process is all about them, so they never even think about how it feels to the job seeker.
- Even though they do know someone should get back to you, things are so busy the good intent falls through the cracks. Sometimes until well after the new person has been hired.
- They do have a formal policy and it is NOT to get back to anyone until the job offer has been made and accepted. (Sometimes their HR / legal department requires this.)
Reasons you don’t hear back if they ARE interested:
- Same as in the other list, their HR &/or legal departments tell them not to contact anyone until they are ready to act.
- In general, the hiring process takes a long time. More than job seekers can imagine – or want to think about.
- They may be very interested in you, but haven’t finished the first round of interviews yet.
- Something came up that caused a delay in the entire hiring process – perhaps budget or organizational changes. But the job may still be something they intend to fill. (If so, it would be smart for them to tell you. Still, not always the case.)
- Someone critical to the process got sick or is on vacation or for whatever reason can’t schedule the next round of interviews for a few more weeks.
- They’re just not sure or haven’t found enough qualified candidates, and waiting to see who else comes along before continuing with the interviews. (They may even re-post the job.)
- There may be an offer in process or a strong interest in another candidate, BUT they may still come back to you. I’ve had that happen to me. And I turned out to be a great fit! 🙂
So what should you do while waiting?
There are more possibilities, of course. Hard to imagine every possible scenario. I just want you to know that when it comes to the interview, there is no standard way that employers handle this part of the process.
So, since you can’t control what an employer does or how long it takes them to get back to you – if they ever do – then it’s good for you to have a plan for handling the post-interview process. Some suggestions:
- First and foremost, remember to send that thank you note after the interview. It won’t guarantee you the job, but it can reinforce your name in their minds.
- Keep looking. No matter what. Even if you absolutely LOVE the job you just interviewed for and can’t see yourself in any other job now that you saw this one, KEEP LOOKING. I’ve known candidates to feel that way and still find a better job – one that wanted them without hesitation!
- Don’t bother them too often, but at least send a polite status inquiry after 2 weeks, if you haven’t heard from them. That gives them some respectful breathing room, but also is your way to get a feel for things by how they respond. (Again, they may not respond even if you are a viable candidate.)
- Do things to keep yourself sane. If you get caught up in the post interview blues, it can affect your other interviews & networking efforts. This article may help: How To Stay Sane (and Employable) While Looking for a Job
Hope the call comes soon … and that the job you’re waiting for has a happy ending. Good luck!