why do hiring managers ghost me after promising they won’t?

A reader writes:

I’ve had a few terrific interviews that I thought went really well. The hiring manager and I have had great discussions, insightful questions were asked on both sides, and it seems like the role is a great fit for me and my experience.

Then, at the end of the interview, the hiring manager will say something like, “We’re still figuring things out internally, so I can’t give you an answer right away. Follow up in a week or two if you haven’t heard from me. I promise, no matter what we decide, we won’t ghost you.”

Then, sure enough, I’ll follow up in a week or two only to get no response. The job is inevitably reposted with the exact same description and criteria a day later. I understand deciding to go with someone else, even if that someone else has yet to be identified. I even understand providing no response to an applicant’s status request. People get busy, stuff happens. I don’t understand literally promising not to ghost someone after they undergo multiple interviews and then doing just that.

Are my expectations too high? Am I taking this too personally?

In a vacuum, no, your expectations aren’t too high and you’re not taking it too personally.

But in the world we live in, with the reality of how hiring works, you’re probably taking it too personally.

Ghosting is really, really, really common when you’re job-searching. It’s common even after you put in the time to interview, and it’s common even when your interviewers explicitly promise to get back to you either way. It makes no sense that it’s so common, but it is.

To be very clear about it: this is rude! When someone takes time off work, maybe buys a new suit or travels a long distance, and invests time and energy into preparing for an interview (sometimes multiple interviews), it’s indefensible not to get back to them with an answer. It’s particularly inexcusable considering that with electronic applicant tracking systems, it takes only seconds to let candidates know they’ve been rejected.

And the interviewers you mentioned — the ones who go out of their way to say they’ll get back to you either way and then don’t — are particularly bizarre. It’s obviously on their mind as a thing that should happen, and as a thing you might worry won’t happen, and then they still don’t bother to do it.

As for why … some people do genuinely think their company will close the loop with you and they don’t realize it’s not happening. But others know it’s up to them to do it and they just don’t prioritize it … and when they get busy with other things, they’re entirely too comfortable letting this task drop. And others haven’t thought about it too much and/or don’t care and (rudely) figure you should take silence as your answer.

But whatever the reason, this is very much a common feature of modern-day job searches. It’s so common for that for years it’s been one of the complaints I receive here most often.

As a job-seeker, the best thing you can do is to expect it will happen. Even when people vow to get back to you, assume they might not and let it be a pleasant surprise if they do. It’s ridiculous that you should need to approach it that way! But it’s the best thing for your mental health because otherwise you’ll be continually waiting on responses that don’t come and wondering if their silence is an answer at this point or whether you still might hear … it’s maddening. And one of the reasons it’s so frustrating (beyond the flagrant rudeness) is that it puts you in a spot where you have no control: you can’t make them be polite partners in the transaction you’re engaged in together, and you can’t make them give you an answer. So by just assuming ghosting will happen and proceeding accordingly (meaning continuing your search and not getting too attached to any one opportunity), you can take some control back for yourself.

{ 169 comments… read them below }

  1. louvella*

    As a hiring manager I’ve never ghosted someone after an interview but I have after a phone screen. Not an excuse, but it was because I was overwhelmed because I was doing two jobs since there was a vacancy on the team and because the hiring process was taking up so much of my time and it just slipped my mind. Plus obviously it’s an unpleasant task to reject someone, so it’s easy to put off another day and forget. I’m not saying that means it’s ok for hiring managers to ghost, and it’s happened to me plenty of times and it sucks! But I also wouldn’t take it personally.

    1. No Annual Contract*

      To me, phone screens are different. I try to set that expectation in advance that this is just an initial screen and that if we decide to interview, we will be in touch. The implication is, if we decide not to, you probably won’t hear from us. I also try to set a timeframe but can never promise that it will always be met. I am a strong believer in transparency during the hiring process but sometimes, life is unpredictable and there are things out of my control that throw timelines off. And I definitely notify all people who interview (either in person or virtually) but I simply don’t have the time to notify everyone I phone screen. I’m in HR and have been on the “other side” of hiring for years but it is still frustrating for me and hard not to take it personal even though I know it’s definitely not.

      1. Caroline*

        I used to do that too. I’d explain very clearly and unambiguously what the process would look like right at the beginning, and then try *very hard* to stick to it like glue. Sometimes that meant that with high volume roles, there would be no further contact post phone-screen, but it was clarified: if you don’t hear from us by X date, we will not be taking your application forward.

        If someone has been to a second-round or final interview, there is no excuse to make some comment within a few weeks, even if it’s ”the role is on hold. We will get back in touch if it re-opens”. Ghosting is awful.

    2. ferrina*

      I’ve ghosted someone when I was hiring manager :(

      To be fair, it wasn’t my fault. I went through initial interviews, then the position was frozen. My VP directly told me not to communicate anything to the candidates because “I’ll have an update for you soon”. Several months later, she told me to drop the subject (i.e., she reallocated the budget and the position was cancelled). We were still supposed to keep the position open on our website “in case we see someone we like”. But I was also told I wasn’t allowed to look at resumes. So….yeah.

      1. OP*

        Thanks for this insight. It makes me feel a little better that there is probably some unforeseen reason I didnt get a response. It’s hard when you like someone and have several interviews with them and then feel like they’re blowing you off.

        1. Jules*

          I had a great interview last January, really hit it off with the hiring manager and other interviewer. They told me that they had a lot going on in the company and I was the first one they’d talked to, but they would get back to me. Then…crickets. For weeks. I thought they’d ghosted me and hired someone else. Then out of the blue in March, I think, the hiring manager emailed me and apologized – some special projects had taken more time and energy than they’d anticipated and they were so sorry that I hadn’t heard from them but was I still interested and could I meet with the executive director? And now I’ve been in this position now for 9 months!

        2. Caroline*

          If you have left it a while, like, a couple of weeks, past when they told you to expect some sort of communication, asked them *once* if there’s any update and they have flatly ignored you, that is not you, it’s them, and it’s gross.

          It 10000% happens, because people are self-absorbed, busy, forgetful etc, but it is insulting and rude. Note the companies that do this and do not apply to work for them again. You may possibly be surprised one day in the future, when you run into them again, this time from a position of power. It’s only happened once or twice to me, but it feels very good when it does, especially if you are unfailingly charming and pleasant!

    3. Not teenage but still ninja turtle*

      Maybe it’s because I come from writing, but I assume every situation will be a NORMAN (“no response means no” in the novelist world). And that’s on both sides–as a candidate, I expect yes or nothing. When I was on hiring teams, the team’s consensus was “tell the yesses we’re moving them to the next level,” with nothing for the unsuccessful ones. If you set your expectations to “I will hear yes or nothing,” you’ll be right probably 99% of the time.

  2. Hlao-roo*

    As a job-seeker, the best thing you can do is to expect it will happen. Even when people vow to get back to you, assume they might not and let it be a pleasant surprise if they do.

    This is the way I’ve approached all of my job searches. I’m not 100% successful at putting interviews out of my head and assuming I didn’t get the job, but one of the things I find helpful is when I talk about my job search with other people, I will say “I think the interview went well and they said they’d follow up in two weeks, if they follow up at all.” I find saying it out loud (both “they may never get back to me” and “I may not get this job”) helps me set my expectations and I’m much less disappointed when I never hear back from some companies.

    1. jane's nemesis*

      I also like this approach because it tells the people you’re talking with that they maybe shouldn’t bug you about whether or not you’ve heard anything. Nothing adds to my job search stress like my friends/family bugging me “didja hear anything yet?? why not?? will you??”

      1. Aggretsuko*

        Yeah, if there’s good news to tell, someone will tell you the good news! If there’s no news, then you don’t have to ask.

    2. Aggretsuko*

      I have the same rules about stage auditions. Assume you didn’t get it until told otherwise.

    3. Hi, I'm Troy McClure*

      I find it very, very useful to compare job searching to dating – you have to find the right fit, on both sides, and it’s not necessarily that anyone’s wrong. And if it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work. I keep that in mind throughout the process.

  3. I should really pick a name*

    I feel like if they explicitly said they wouldn’t ghost you and then did, that could be some useful info to put on Glass Door.

    1. Sometimes I wonder*

      I’m with you on that – add it to their Glass Door reviews. There is a section for interviews. It may be “normalized” but it’s still a minor red flag to me – a sign of generally bad communication and follow through at that company.

    2. Former Gremlin Herder*

      I see the temptation (and I’d want to!) but given what Alison points out about how normalized this, I think it might come off a bit out of touch and not necessarily helpful to other applicants. Most people know that this is the reality when job hunting, even if they don’t like it.

      1. Ann Nonymous*

        I think it’s absolutely helpful to candidates. And also good to know that you can’t take that company at its word. IF management reads the reviews, they might take steps to fix this, but if they don’t know about it, they can’t/won’t do anything differently.

      2. High Score!*

        Defs put it on Glassdoor. This behavior should be un-normalized. Call them out. If the majority of interviewees would call out this behavior on Glassdoor and other social media there’d be less of it and it wouldn’t be accepted.

      3. Emotional support capybara (he/him)*

        If the interviewer says in so many words “no matter what we decide, I promise we won’t ghost you” and then ghosts you, that doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence that they’ll deliver on anything else they promise. That’s absolutely something people should be aware of if they’re going to apply there.

      4. ferrina*

        I agree that it’s not really helpful for candidates (because it is so normal), but there is a chance that it may affect change.

        I’ve worked at a couple companies where HR directly monitors Glassdoor. If people are posting about being ghosted, HR would take steps to try to rectify that so they can boost their Glassdoor score (which makes it easier for them to recruit strong candidates).

      5. Lydia*

        Being normalized doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be called out. For something that is so easy to fix, it can be useful to get that sort of feedback in a public setting. “We’ve always done it that way” is not a good enough defense.

      6. hbc*

        In addition to what everyone else says, it’s just not that big a deal if a candidate posts out-of-touch stuff about a company. If someone whines that they were offered water from a cooler rather than sealed bottle, it helps me put in context whatever else they say about the company. And if the worst thing you can say about a company’s interview process is that they ghost you like 50-95% of other companies do, then that’s good info too.

      7. Caroline*

        I agree it should be noted in appropriate channels, such as Glassdoor, but in a neutral way. Obviously no one likes rejection, but total silence is just insulting, whatever the reason may be. I’d save it for companies where the interview was a second or final one, because really, that’s just incredibly thoughtless and shows the company in a negative way. Other candidates may be able to take comfort from that when it happens to them, and there is a small chance the company will be stung into improving their communication skills.

        But be very neutral and calm. Any hint of outrage or anger will make you, the wronged party, look ”unhinged”. Don’t give them the opportunity!

    3. LabTechNoMore*

      Ironically, the more they were to emphasize how they wouldn’t ghost me, the more I would expected it from them. Classic overcompensating behavior.

      I wish we didn’t have to tolerate such abhorrent behavior while job searching.

      1. Budgie Buddy*

        It’s like the more someone says they’re a good person, the less likely it is to be true. :P annoying but predictable in its own way

  4. Le sigh*

    Lol I wish I didn’t see this. I’m in Austin, we’re in the middle of an ice storm and I had to postpone two interviews yesterday due to not having power/internet. One of them isn’t rescheduled, but the one I really want is rescheduled for Friday afternoon. I still don’t have internet and the library is closed, I might have to make the interview through my phone on the Teams app. It’s my last interview, and with the hiring manager again. The first interview with her, I also had technical issues and couldn’t get my camera to work. I’m really hoping tomorrow goes smoothly. I’m so nervous they are just going to be like “this woman is a mess, let’s just give it to another candidate”.

    1. Grumpy Elder Millennial*

      Fingers crossed for you! I’ll be beseeching the technology deities on your behalf!

    2. RuledbyCats*

      I have my fingers crossed for you, Le sigh! And that a hiring manager will be sensible and realize that while an ice storm makes a mess of your tech capacity, *you* are not the mess in this scenario. If it helps any, years ago I was expecting to hear back from an interview and after several days (we were on the farm, it was a busy season so nobody was making calls) we discovered we had a dead phone line. I had to go to a neighbour to call back the hiring manager and apologize for the dead air. I apparently raised his eyebrows explaining that phones were out because the ground was so dry the mice could get down to the buried lines and chew away insulation for comfy nests…but I did get the job. And he had to call my neighbour back to offer it to me, because it took over a week to get the line fixed!

      We both laughed about it in the years I worked there; he said it was the weirdest story he’d ever heard and then when he’d known me for a while (and had some other farm stories told) he realized it fell into weird-but-true…which is probably how most people would describe both me and my life.

    3. Off Plumb*

      I’m also in Austin and also had to reschedule a second interview for a job I really want due to having no power. (In the meantime, the job I interviewed for that I don’t really want has asked for my references.) My power ended up coming back on 20 minutes before the originally-scheduled time. I wish you warmth and electricity and good luck in your interviews!

    4. Relentlessly Sagittarian*

      I’ve been a hiring manager and I try to give people grace for tech hiccups. Especially when there are weird weather things happening and such. Honestly, they happen! Just speak truth, confirm what to do if, for example, the call drops. Deep breaths!

      Good luck on your interview!

        1. feline outerwear catalog*

          if your laptop is charged you might be able to use your phone as a hotspot if you have a good data plan.

          Good luck!

  5. irene adler*

    I’ve heard more than my fair share of “I promise to get back to you” statements from recruiters.
    Have to hold my tongue else I blow the interview with, “Sure you will.”

    It sounds like a kindness, but it is the opposite. Just refrain from saying it.

    1. ThatGirl*

      I don’t know that I’ve ever had an interviewer explicitly say “I promise I’ll get back to you and not ghost you” but I usually hear “we’ll let you know either way!” and then nothing.

  6. FYI*

    It may be very, very, very common to ghost candidates, but it shouldn’t be. It is flat-out rude, especially because candidates often are in a vulnerable state (needing a job, hopeful, etc.). “We’re too busy to answer” is no excuse.

    I wish I knew what could be done to reverse this practice. There is no justification for it.

    1. Cut & Run*

      I agree. It was funny when there was an upheavel about it on the employer side when candidates would ghost the company hiring. They just completely forgot they did the same thing for years and years.

  7. The Original K.*

    Ha, this letter made me think of the guy I was seeing who just ghosted me after swearing he would never. He was all indignant about ghosting, too. “People should just be honest!”

    Anyway: employers be ghosting. It sucks, it’s rude, it’s a flaw on their part, not the seeker’s, but it happens constantly. You really do have to expect it and then be pleasantly surprised if it doesn’t happen.

  8. I don't know who I am*

    I expect anyone who says they explicitly won’t do something, to do exactly that thing, every single time. For someone who isn’t going to ghost you it won’t occur to them to say it because it’s just not something they do.

  9. Lex Talionis*

    Maybe not related to being ghosted but just in case, have you had a friend blind check your references? I know 2 people over the years who were quite shocked to hear what their references said about them.

    1. OP*

      This is a suggestion I had not considered before. I’ve had enough near misses that I’m starting to wonder about my references. I have no reason to doubt they’d give me a good reference, but this has happened enough that I’m starting to wonder. I never considered asking a friend to call them. That seems a little sneaky…but I guess you have to do what you have to do?

      1. JelloStapler*

        In higher education they are… but Higher Ed is also usually about 10-15 years behind anywhere else.

    2. Solitary Witch*

      Are references really still a thing? I’ve not been asked for any in at least the last 12 years. I’m in financial services.

      1. KayDeeAye*

        Alison believes they are (or can be) an important component in the effort to find someone who will do well in a position. I think they can be, too, but unfortunately my organization disagrees, so we don’t use them very often around here.

        1. RunShaker*

          I’m in financial services as well. My future boss asked 3 of my former collogues who already worked for his company about me.

        2. Lydia*

          One of my past employers asked for them but did not call them. There have been several times when calling references would have avoided a LOT of issues that came up later. It was just laziness on the part of the company.

      2. NeedRain47*

        Conversely, every job I apply to these days wants at least three references instead of just two.
        When I was on hiring committees in the past, we only called the references for the top couple candidates, and it was basically a final check for red flags before hiring.

      3. GreenShoes*

        In theory I’d use references if I was on the fence about a candidate, but if I’m in that position it’s more likely I’ll just move on due to my reservations.

        I’ve only been called as reference twice in 20 some years so yeah, they don’t seem to be a thing in my world either.

      4. Daisy-dog*

        I’ve been asked for references, but no one ever calls them.

        Once an employer asked for 5(!) in the application phase. And I just put in my own phone number for 2 because the system wouldn’t let me leave it blank, but I was able to add a comment that I would confirm the number when needed. I never heard from the employer at all.

      5. datamuse*

        They are in my field (academic libraries). We ask for three and I call all of them (though if someone provides more than three, I call the first three on the list).

        That said, in our process references are the last step before the offer, so if someone doesn’t make it that far then no, their references wouldn’t be contacted. I’ve never had a reference call move a candidate into the “do not consider further” pile, but if I have three or four possibilities it sometimes moves them up or down that list.

      6. Cut & Run*

        All of my financial services jobs called my references. It’s getting harder now, I’ve been in the workforce for quite some time and my references are starting to retire (or worse) and I’m losing contact with them. I’m having to secure younger ones.

      7. CatMintCat*

        If I apply for a job (never again) I am required to provide three references. I have no say in who the first reference is (my current Principal). When I was trying to get out of my last toxic job, it took years because she was white-anting me every time. Luckily, while I have to provide them, the interviewer isn’t obliged to contact them – and my current principal disliked her almost as much as I did, so he didn’t.

      8. Morgan Proctor*

        I’ve never actually been asked for references. I’ve come across some application processes that ask for them up front, but I’m with you on this one, it feels like they’re less and less relevant.

        1. RunShaker*

          thinking back when I was being laid off, large company with around 20,000 employees, HR person said they do not answer references and that our managers weren’t allowed either. All they would do was confirm dates of employment and salary. HR said no one calls references and that it was out dated practice. I did say that wasn’t case in my experience. I also pointed out confirming salary was an issue since women & POC are paid below market value & could take away negotiating power.

      9. ThatGirl*

        I had my references checked in 2017. At my next job, which I started in 2021, no request for references that I recall.

      10. Watry*

        When I got soon-to-be-ExJob, they called all 9 of my references (personal and professional mix) and asked those for others they could call. My position is considered to be related to public safety, though.

      11. Salsa Your Face*

        I just accepted a job offer after 7 interviews across two months, and this comment thread made me realize that they never asked for my references.

        1. Lydia*

          I would hope that after 7 interviews in two months, they would have a really good idea of who you are as an employee. I imagine if you were not someone who masks constantly and just your average run of the mill terrible person it would be difficult to mask it for that long.

      12. Environmental Compliance*

        I’ve always been asked for them, but I’ve only had them checked once (and it was required by the background check clearance). Every other position – not once had references contacted. But the system forces you to list 3-5, with emails, phones, *address* a few times.

    3. Jessica*

      When I’m hiring, I call references. I’ll usually call all the references the candidate provided, and may call some they didn’t explicitly offer. I try to have useful, substantive conversations with them; I’m sure I’m not the best at it, but I do put thought into the process and take it seriously. And I don’t regard it as just a last-minute check for red flags (though I guess it might be more that if I only had one good candidate), but as an important piece of the puzzle in making our choice among the top finalists. I have definitely had situations where the references tipped the balance.

  10. wondermint*

    At a previous job, our boss told us to ghost. The interviewer was a no? Just move on without saying anything. He didn’t want us spending time to write the email and figured ghosting was common enough to be excused.

    Guessing there are more people out there like my old boss. Weird thing is, he was one of the best bosses I’ve ever had. This was a rare thing we didn’t see eye-to-eye on.

  11. lost academic*

    As a hiring manager, I don’t get to make the call either way. It’s for HR/recruitment to handle because they’re trained in what to do and say and what NOT to do or say. My companies haven’t wanted hiring managers to accidentally say the wrong thing during a rejection or an offer and on that point I agree. But it could be that while the company promises follow up, maybe they mean “HR will ultimately post the final conclusion on the tracking system” or some such. And as we’ve discussed before, rejections aren’t necessarily final until the offer’s gone out to the candidate/been accepted/the candidate actually starts/completes a probationary period/whatever. None of that is helpful of course, but it’s useful in addition to the reality that sometimes people just forget or don’t have the time or bandwidth to follow up. It all points to Alison’s advice – assume you’ll get ghosted, move on. It’s something entirely outside of your control.

    1. GreenShoes*

      This is what I was thinking too. I just assume my internal recruiter is doing it. She has mentioned things like “let him know that we’re going in a different direction” and vague things like that.

      But yeah, the only candidates that I reject personally are internal ones. It’s expected that we as hiring managers do that ourselves, actually that’s one of the vague things our recruiter says that leads me to believe that they are doing it externally.

      Me: I’ve decided to go with an offer to External Emma
      InternalRecruiter(IR) : Ok, if they don’t accept is there anyone you have as a second choice.
      Me: No, we’ll have to open it back up again
      IR: Gotcha, I’ll let External Ernie know, but we expect you to talk to Internal Ian.

    2. ferrina*

      This. In most of the places I’ve worked, HR is the one who is supposed to directly communicate with candidates (for exactly the reason lost academic describes). Once I tell HR that I wouldn’t be continuing with Person, it’s lost to me. HR may tell them right away or wait until (I pick a candidate/candidate starts/etc.)….I don’t know.

      That can get problematic if we hit a delay in hiring or don’t find any candidates we like and want to leave it open longer.

      My most hated scenario is when my boss isn’t sure what they are looking for, so they don’t want me to give any candidate any update, just in case they suddenly decide they want to hire that candidate. This is usually accompanied by six different stakeholders describing the job in six different ways.

    3. Snow Globe*

      When I was a newish manager I made the mistake of assuming that our HR recruiter was circling back and sending out the rejection letters. When I eventually made a comment to that effect, they told me they only do that if the hiring manager specifically asks them to. So I unintentionally ghosted quite a few people before I figured out what to do.

      1. Emily*

        I had the opposite- I feel VERY strongly about personal notes to anyone I spoke to and didn’t know that apparently our recruiter implemented an auto rejection if you didn’t update their adp record for two weeks. Which in my case covered a vacation! I’d explicitly told candidates I’d be away and they wouldn’t hear from me until two weeks and then discovered she sent a rejection without talking to me. I was (am?) livid

    4. TiredHiringManager*

      Same here. HR handles all the calls aside from doing the actual interview, and I really have no way to know what they actually do with rejections. I suspect some of those messages never go out or are hugely delayed.

      1. Manic Pixie HR Girl*

        Yup, they often are delayed. HR typically doesn’t want to send out non-selects until the candidate of choice actually STARTS (because anything can happen until then!), and then after it tends to be less of a priority to do recruitment close-outs than, say, posting for needed roles, qualifying candidates, other priority projects that take precedent … etc.

        It’s not great – in some ways, as HR, I would almost prefer share template language and have hiring managers handle (as they’ll have a better handle on who might be a strong #2 candidate vs. a definitely not we’d rather repost candidate), and can issue these communications more timely.

    5. cmcinnyc*

      My company does the same. We had a referral that I knew wasn’t getting the job, and I reached out privately to the colleague who made the referral to pass on that info. I’m not going to burn my network if HR gets behind and doesn’t bother letting people know. From what I hear, it’s very spotty and entirely dependent on which staff member is assigned and their current workload.

    6. Sparkles McFadden*

      Yup. HR would handle all of the rejections so they could handle it in a consistent way.

  12. Allison*

    I work in talent acquisition as a sourcer, and I’ve been ghosted more times than I can count, and I’ve always hated it, so on the employer’s side I try to be better and close the loop even if it’s hard or uncomfortable. I don’t say that to sound smug, I just want people to understand that what I’m about to say next is in no way a defense or justification of ghosting, just an explanation of why it sometimes happens:

    1) In my experience, a lot of recruiters pride themselves on being soooooo busy, and not having time for menial, seemingly low priority tasks. Their job is to get candidates to the offer stage and close the deal, and to many of them, any task that doesn’t accomplish this goal is low priority, they only have to do it if they have time, and they never have time. At least, that’s what they tell themselves to feel important. A good recruiter prioritizes candidate experience ahead of their ego, and carves out time in their schedule to properly disposition candidates that either they or the hiring manager have passed on.

    2) The other reason some people may avoid closing the loop is because giving bad news is scary and intimidating, they feel like it has to be done just right or the candidate will get angry and argue with you, and they just don’t know how to break the news. What they often don’t realize is that in a way, saying nothing is worse. Letting people wait and wait for a response, and have to conclude on their own that it’s not gonna happen, is worse than getting an honest but diplomatic rejection email – honest in that you’re letting them know you’re not moving forward, you don’t necessarily have to explain why, although it’s good to give a reason if you can.

    And the other thing is, if someone does get rude or pushy, you don’t have to continue to engage! You closed the loop, you did your job, you don’t owe them a conversation, especially if they’re being unprofessional. I think reminding myself that often gives me the courage to send that rejection even when I know it’s gonna hurt.

    But, at the end of the day, as much as I know how sucky it is to have to chase people down for bad news, sometimes people do get lost in the shuffle when you’re genuinely busy, so sometimes people do follow up and I’m glad for the nudge to give them an update. No one is perfect. But if someone keeps ignoring your follow-ups, they see you and they know you want an answer, they just suck, and you probably dodged a bullet. You don’t want to work with someone who avoids tough conversations.

    1. NeedRain47*

      To avoid engaging, send a letter or postcard. Large university sent (or maybe still does) sends extremely generic form postcards like “Dear (name), (job) has been filled, thank you for your interest, Love, University” This is enough closure for most people.

      1. Globe Turner*

        Lol I’d find it hilariously antiquated to get a rejection POSTCARD! I’d be posting that everywhere online for the entertainment value.

      2. amoeba*

        I’d say, apart from the obviously antiquated aspect, a postcard would be an absolute nightmare in terms of confidentiality? I don’t really want my mail carrier know where I have been applying/been rejected…

        Generic forms (via email!) are fine in my world, don’t think I’ve ever gotten a personalised rejection (OK, maybe once). I assume the system sends them out automatically most of the time. Sometimes in a timely manner, which is fine, sometimes after months and months, I assume when they’ve filled the position/the candidate has started. (Takes much longer here because of 3 month notice periods…) These suck, as first you’re basically ghosted and then you receive a random rejection months after you’d forgotten about that job.

  13. Keeley Jones, The Independent Woman*

    With HRIS systems, a lot jobs do get back to you”eventually with an automated response you didn’t get the job, but that’s usually several weeks/months later. The last two places I worked at wouldn’t remove the job posting until the person they hired actually started, so it could be several months before you get the rejection I can see employers think that’s “getting back to you either way” and hiring managers many no realize those rejection emailed don’t go out very timely.

  14. Finding a way out*

    One of the best pieces of advice I have ever gotten about job searching is after an interview takes place to completely forget about it and move on. That way, if I hear from them, its a happy surprise (even if the news isnt what I want to hear).

    It has really helped me not to get too overly invested into any one job, and to always keep my options open.

    Side note: I once had an employer get back to me 2 years later and let me know I didnt get the job, LOL.

    1. Skippy*

      Those are always hilarious. It’s been six months since you said you would call, buddy: I think I figured out by now that it was a no.

    2. Peanut Hamper*

      This is really good advice. Do not get too emotionally caught up in the idea that this job is THE job. Move on with your life.

  15. Narvo Flieboppen*

    I did have one place that I thought ghosted me after the initial interview. But, I was wrong, they did get back to me! 10 months after the first interview, they wanted me to come in for a second interview. No, not a typo, 10 full months between first & second round interviews.

    The HR rep seemed surprised that in the intervening 10 months I had taken another job and was no longer available. She even said she was disappointed that I did not let them know so they could take me out of consideration for the position. I may have seen my prefrontal cortex from rolling my eyes too hard at that point during the conversation.

    On the bright side, I know of one place where I will never, ever apply to again.

    1. ecnaseener*

      As redonkulously long a delay as that is, I do wonder if any of LW’s interviewers are just being super slow and not ghosting. Reposting the job ad might just mean they want a larger candidate pool which still includes LW.

      1. Narvo Flieboppen*

        Good point. It would still be polite to let the OP know about the delay; as we know from this thread, a lot of employers are not good on following up.

        1. Michelle Smith*

          Exactly. I can even share a story about how that was handled with me. I was a strong candidate for a particular position and the interviewers told me they wanted to bring me in for an interview, even though the hiring process would be slow. In the interview, they informed me that HR required a certain number of qualified applicants be considered for each position. They liked me a lot, but they wouldn’t be able to move forward with me until they’d done another round of initial interviews, because they didn’t receive enough qualified applicants during the initial application period. (Think – position where a law degree is absolutely required, but half the applicants didn’t have one and had advanced degrees in social work or nursing instead.) They told me their timeline was delayed, explained why, gave an understandable reason that I would see the job posting relisted, and kept in contact after the interview to let me know I was still in the running. IMO THAT’S how you make for a good candidate experience even when things happen that are outside of your control as the hiring manager.

          I ended up withdrawing from that process because I got an offer sooner for a different position at the same place on a different team, but if those first interviewers had treated me poorly I might have gone to a different organization altogether.

    2. ferrina*

      Wow. Yeah, I assume that after 2-3 months, the candidate is off the market. I’ll still try to reach out to someone I liked (you never know, they may be unhappy at their new place), but I certainly wouldn’t be surprised.

    3. GreenShoes*

      My husband got called back for a second interview about 2 1/2 years after his first for one job.

      Granted it’s an industry that has a notoriously long and difficult hiring process but this was out of the norm even for that industry.

      1. Pool Noodle Barnacle Pen0s*

        I just got an email notification that an application I submitted 6 years (!) ago had just been viewed. I got a real kick out of that.

      2. Environmental Compliance*

        I got a phone call once at what would have been 6AM their time for a position that I had applied to 2 years prior. The person calling me was really annoyed with me that I had no idea who they were (they didn’t introduce themselves or what company when they called!). All she said was “I’m calling in regards to your application, we want you to be here for an interview Wednesday at 2pm”. Um, what???

        This was for an entry-level lab position. Clearly no checking on LinkedIn occurred before calling. I had moved 6 hours away from that location at that point.

    4. datamuse*

      Wow. I mean, I’ve called our second and third choices when the first choice didn’t work out (like, they’d actually started and were with us for a few months and it just wasn’t working for them–sucks but it happens) but I fully expected that they’d found other opportunities in the meantime–I was just calling them on the off chance that they hadn’t because it would’ve saved us having to relist the position.

      (Of course they’d found other jobs; if they were finalists for us they would be elsewhere, too!)

  16. STEM girl*

    Does anyone have advice for what to do if it’s an internal interview? Right after the first interview around Thanksgiving, I was told the second round is planned for early January … as far as I can tell (from talking to others and snooping on calendars!) they haven’t actually done any yet.

    1. Sunny days are better*

      Internal can be complicated depending on the company. I’ve seen people want to transfer out of my team and we had to meet certain criteria within the team in order to let that person go.

      I’ve also seen teams where they had to get final budget approval or whatnot in order to be allowed to take on a new member.

    2. NeedRain47*

      if you know they haven’t done any, you can be sure it’s not that they’re avoiding you! I would simply ask the contact person/interviewer/etc. if they have a timeline for the second interviews in mind. Don’t push, just ask.

  17. Sitting Pretty*

    As a person who occasionally chairs staff hiring committees at a large state university, this is one of the things I hate the most. Our hands are tied by HR procedures regarding communicating with applicants and candidates.

    There is this little dance of trying to be both explicit and nuanced when letting folks know next steps. Something like, “We will be reaching out to the candidates selected for the next round by x date.” But that’s about all we’re allowed to say.

    If for some reason the search fails and we have to start over and if it’s the same position posting, we’re not allowed to alert any of the previous applicants that they were rejected until the whole search is over. Which can mean months of silence after an interview. Procedures. Bureaucracy. “That’s just how it has to be done.” Grrrr….

    It would be awful for me to promise not to ghost because I know we’re going to ghost. I guess I’m wondering how others who run searches at other places with similarly constricting HR protocols handle it?

    1. Mimmy*

      Ahh I wonder if this might explain the ghosting I described in my post below. This was a mid-sized private university, but I’m thinking this is a common procedure with larger employers.

    2. Michelle Smith*

      On the candidate end, I can tell you I have received rejections a year or more later from my date of application. It’s frustrating and insulting and sours the company image in my eyes. It would be nice if they’d allow you at least say that you don’t have an update you can share. It’s better to get some response, even a non-answer, than nothing at all. But I know it’s not up to you.

    3. NeedRain47*

      How about just tell them how it works? Does it need to be a secret that if you are rejected you will not hear ’til the entire search is over? I had such an interview last week, and it was made clear that people advancing to second interviews would hear by this week. They made it clear that if not, it would be a while, which I understand b/c I’m aware of how the process works, but not everyone is.

      1. Aggretsuko*

        I can pretty much deduce for myself that if I didn’t get the second interview, it’s over.

        That said, I guess theoretically if one of the top two candidates bailed out, they MIGHT stoop to call me back, which is why they don’t tell you until they’ve absolutely decided.

        That said, I did appreciate the job that told me outright I wasn’t going to the second round since I wasn’t good enough for them, rather than to let it linger.

  18. Mimmy*

    I agree that it’s best to expect to be ghosted after an interview (I’m starting to accept it) but I really wish this wasn’t normalized. I always ask about next steps in the process at the end of interviews, and I’d say just about everyone said I’d hear one way or another. In most cases, it’s crickets from there, even after following up to get the status. With applicant tracking systems being so common, why can’t there be a simple checkbox to mark candidates as “moving forward” or “not moving forward”, thus generating an automatic rejection email? I have a hunch that, in many cases, it’s HR who drops the ball, not the Hiring Manager.

    Another thing I find is that employers don’t update interviewed candidates on changes to the job. I had a first-round Zoom interview at mid-sized private university last summer that I thought went reasonably well. After not hearing anything for a few weeks, I emailed the Hiring Manager for a status update. Nothing. I saw the posting relisted a couple more times. After a few months, I went into my applicant profile and saw that the job was canceled. It was eventually re-evaluated and relisted under a new requisition number, but I was irked enough to not want to reapply. I’m sure this is very common in higher education; doesn’t make it less annoying though.

    1. Michelle Smith*

      There is a way in the ATS to quickly send out those automated rejections, according to hiring managers I’ve seen talk about it. So no excuse for this behavior.

      1. Skippy*

        I think that if they’re going to force you to apply through their terribly designed ATS platforms, the very least they could do is send you the form letter the system can generate to reject you. Isn’t tracking applicants the whole point?

    2. Aggretsuko*

      Yeah, my office has gotten job listings canceled on them and reopened, I’ve lost track of how many times.

  19. I Work for Cats*

    I think it’s a power trip thing on the part of these interviewers.

    I was once part of an interviewing committee and when I asked when we were going to inform the folks we did not choose that we were passing on them, my manager told me we did not do that. Thought it was amusing that I should even think it was the appropriate thing to do. “Begone, peasants!”

  20. EngGirl*

    Hiring manager here! I always give my potential hires a rough timeline on when they can expect to hear back. I also talk to my HR department and let them know what my decisions are and ask them to contact potential hires to either remove them from the process or give them reasonable status updates.

    You cannot imagine how often I find out that HR did not follow up with a candidate. At least at my job they seem to not understand the feeling of urgency because anyone should consider themselves “lucky” to work for my company. That’s all well and good but we just lost that superstar candidate because we made them feel like they weren’t wanted. Or we kept that candidate we didn’t want on a string for waaaaaaay too long. When you’re job hunting a week can feel like a year and not everyone gets that.

  21. Allison*

    OH, I almost forgot to talk about something I call “grey ghosting.” Grey ghosting is where they say, somewhere in their call with you, that they’re not sure if something. They’re not sure they can afford you, they’re not sure they can hire someone without X experience, they’re not sure they can even fill this role, it either hasn’t been posted yet or may be put on hold. Then they say they’ll check in with so-and-so and get back to you either way. Thing is, when they do check in with that person and confirm what they feared, that it is in fact a no, they figure they’ve already given you a soft rejection on the call, they don’t need to take the time to type up an email confirming it to you, they figure that when you don’t hear from them you can fill in the blanks. It’s still ghosting and it still sucks, but it often feels justified on the employer’s side because, in their minds, they already kinda told you it probably wasn’t gonna happen.

  22. Spearmint*

    Ugh, this happened to me recently. I did an initial screening interview and then was asked to do an 8 hour take home assessment project (unpaid of course) in just one week. A week after turning it in I followed-up to confirm the hiring manager had received it, and they replied that they had and that the process would be quick. Then radio silence for two weeks, I follow-up again and hear nothing back. Then just other day I saw the job ad posted once again.

    I feel it’s especially rude to ghost after having you do extensive work as part of the interview process. Of course, I know there’s nothing I can do except leave a Glassdoor review and move on, but it’s still very frustrating.

    1. KayDeeAye*

      There is, IMO, no excuse for an 8-hour take-home project! One hour, maybe even two hours, OK. But if they want a full day’s work out of you, they really need to re-evaluate what they’re asking for. Or they should pay you.

  23. yllis*

    Employer when ghosting: We need to ghost because policy, too busy, so many applicants and if we did for one we would have to for others, it’s standard when looking for a job and they should expect it

    Employer when getting ghosted: How DARE they?! No one wants to work any more!!

  24. NeedRain47*

    I wonder if employers are getting more pushback about this recently. At a recent interview they were super careful to tell me that they would definitely let me know one way or another, and I know they have not been on top of this in the past. It kind of doesn’t matter b/c based on the timeline they gave, if don’t hear from them this week I can safely assume I’m out of contention, but I’m curious if/when they will truly close the loop.

  25. Dona Florinda*

    My previous boss always made a point in interviews about “getting back to you either way”. The thing is, once she decided which candidates would me moving forward (and which ones were not), HR was responsible for letting them know and I’m not sure if they knew they were supposed to contact everyone.

    If that’s the case, a Glassdoor review could nudge the company about their miscommunication.

  26. RunShaker*

    I guess the tables are turning back to employer ghosting. For a time, employers (not all industries) were complaining about candidates ghosting them. I guess no lesson was learned for many which is infuriating for both sides.

  27. Michelle Smith*

    Here’s an additional perspective that helped me: I value honesty and integrity. I can’t work for a boss I don’t respect and can’t trust that they will stick to their word to the best of their ability. I will never be able to trust that a person like that has my back.

    Do you want to work for a hiring manager who promises to get back to you and then fails, even when you follow up politely? I don’t. Keep going and try not to get too cynical (was easier said than done for me). Those are not the people you wanted to work for anyway. Even if it wasn’t malicious or purposely neglectful, they don’t follow through on their word and/or are too busy and overwhelmed to follow through on something they said they’d prioritize. Red flag either way.

    1. Skippy*

      Absolutely. I’ve always found that companies always reveal quite a bit about how they work(or don’t work) during their hiring process.

  28. Daisy-dog*

    I had this happen. I had a long interview for a position that was going to be newly created – there wasn’t even a job description yet. The manager made it sound like a sure thing – and I honestly think he believe it. But then nothing happened. I did get a response when I reached out to follow-up, but the response did not give me any hope. (It was a non-profit, so I bet the change was not approved.)

    So it could be that the manager doesn’t really get to decide that much. There are too many things happening and other people making decisions and even the best of intentions. Hopefully if this “labor shortage” continues, then businesses will realize they need to prioritize streamlining recruiting.

  29. MishenNikara*

    No joke at this point if I hear “We will back to you in a couple of days” even if they state a reason why. I automatically assume I didn’t get the job and they won’t be bothered to remember to even send me an automated rejection email. It’s that stupidly common in retail at this point

  30. aarti*

    I got completely ghosted after a second interview with the Red Cross, to a job I was eminently suited for. I don’t mind (too much) that you went with another candidate that was presumably better, you could have just dropped me a quick line. Even when I emailed them they never responded.

    1. Some Stuff*

      Got ghosted in response to an email I sent with the times I was available for the second interview, and when I responded a few weeks later to literally say “I understand if you hired someone else but I just wanted to follow up in case” still no response! All you have say is “yep, that’s what happened”. So frustrating.

  31. A Pound of Obscure*

    Back in the early ’90s, when everything was still done through the mail, I remember applying with several companies, including a nationwide specialty company (food related) that happened to be headquartered in my small hometown. I didn’t get an interview and quickly forgot about it. Six months later (!) an envelope arrived in the mail from that company. It was a letter saying they were sorry but I was no longer being considered for this position — as though I were still sitting by the phone, waiting for an interview six months later. I’d been in another job for quite a while by then! My point is employers have always been terrible at this stuff. Some don’t follow up at all; others do but in strange ways, like this company did.

    1. GreenShoes*

      Oh I miss those days of rejection by mail … nothing says fun like getting a pile of rejection letters and bills in one go!

      Not to mention the age old dilemma of what shade of cardstock (ivory, cream, off white so many bland choices!) do I use for my one page resume with dubiously relevant experience listed out pathetically.

  32. Samwise*

    Sometimes the person you *think* should be getting back to you is not the person charged with getting back to you, and in fact is not allowed to contact you. And there’s nothing that person can do to get the responsible party to follow up.

    It’s stupid and frustrating, speaking as the person who really wants to get in touch with you but is not allowed to. Especially because we want you to have a good impression of us so that you’ll apply again and so that you’ll refer friends and colleagues.

    1. anonacademic*

      Yes! This is my experience. I ran a search committee and when I asked HR if I should be contacting rejected candidates after someone was hired, they told me no, absolutely not, that’s what we do. Well, guess what? They never did. Surprise! /s

      1. Samwise*

        “Status is posted in the online system. Candidates can go online to see if they are moving forward or not.”

        Not even an automated email. It kills me, because we are so understaffed (even more than before the pandemic), we are bleeding experienced employees, and we are getting fewer applications overall and a smaller percentage of qualified applications.

        Fortunately I have been allowed to respond to candidates who let us know they are withdrawing — a warm response, wishing them well, asking them to keep us in mind if they should be looking in the future, and to refer others to us.

    1. Forkeater*

      Well yes. I’ve found if they’re interested you’ll hear back sooner rather than later. If they’re not you won’t.

  33. Tiger Snake*

    There’s two parts to the ‘why’ I know about, but for ‘what can I do to prevent it’; its really one of those “give me the grace to accept those things I cannot change” instances.

    1. Sometimes you haven’t been ghosted, its that the process is taking longer than you expect it to. We all joke about goverment taking months, but other businesses can be slow too.

    2. The hiring manager/interviewer is usually a different businses line to the people that are doing the technical arrangements of the hiring.
    The hiring manager is telling their company who they want to employ, but its someone else who is responsible to arranging that and reaching out to those who were rejected… or not reaching out, as the case may be.

  34. Former Retail Lifer*

    This also frequently happens to me. No advice, just letting the OP know they’re not alone here.

  35. Skippy*

    In my most recent job search the hiring managers who were the most adamant that I would hear back from them “either way” were always the ones who disappeared into the ether, never to be heard from again. As a result I never believe them when they tell me I’ll hear back from them.

    The best piece of advice I ever received, back when I was just starting my career, is to assume that after an interview ends you will never see or hear from these people ever again.

  36. Forkeater*

    Last summer I had a series of interviews with one of our vendors. I was eminently qualified, and have never gotten such positive feedback during an interview process and during the interviews (five separate ones) themselves. It was absurd how gushing they were about my candidacy. And then nothing. Not even a form email. And they’re a vendor and I still have to interact with some of these folks! Really soured my opinion of the company.

  37. FWIW*

    I was recently involved in hiring a new employee. We told everyone we’d get back to them by X date. Unfortunately the way things are set up here, it’s on HR to send acceptance/rejection emails, so I have no idea if rejection emails were sent or not. I’m also not important enough to be told whether they were sent or not.

    Not trying to excuse the ghosting, just trying to give perspective.

  38. PhilG*

    Had a request for a follow up interview about 8 months after my initial interview. This was in the middle of COVID, and the hiring manager explained that, right after the first interview admin. Froze all positions and processes. As it happens I had taken a position just up the coast. I thanked him for getting back to me and, if necessary I would apply there again. Other places went radio silent after the first interview, even with a follow up note. I won’t bother with them again.

  39. Some Stuff*

    I am at the tail end of a job hunt (have an offer in hand and waiting on a potential second offer) and can now say based on my detailed tracking that I have been ghosted by 33% of all companies that offered me an interview. I’m including companies that reached out about doing an interview but then never actually scheduled one (which, wild in and of itself). Basically I’m trying to capture all the places where I got past the initial screening.

    This is a separate dataset from the 62% of places who simply never responded to my application (except automatic emails that just confirm the system received your upload).

    Sharing all of this just to make fellow job hunters feel better about the ghosting! No idea what is wrong with the people who ghost after they’ve met you in person, that seems totally unacceptable. And I share Alison’s frustration with about the many, many places where they literally have to CLICK A BUTTON to let you know you didn’t make it to the next round and still don’t both. I’ve manually entered my contact information into too many systems that are apparently unaware of what they could do with that information.

  40. Rob P*

    I regret to admit that I’ve done this after years of being frustrated by it as a candidate. I wasn’t the hiring manager, but I was the junior member of the hiring committee communicating with the candidates. The hiring ended up taking longer than anticipated due to the grinding pace of bureaucracy and different key figures being out of the office, so I sent an initial update to all of the shortlisted candidates a couple of weeks in saying it was taking longer than expected, but we’d get back to them. When the hiring was actually completed, everything had become incredibly hectic as the workload built up over said back-to-back vacations caught up with us. By the time I realized I hadn’t gotten back to the candidates, it had been long enough that I felt reaching out would be weirder than not, so I let it go despite feeling bad about it. I still feel I was wrong in not responding, but having now experienced the process from the other side of the table I have a little more understanding of where it comes from.

  41. Anne Wentworth*

    The interviewer said it because they were already planning to ghost the candidate. And that’s why that odd statement came out of their mouth, specifically mentioning ghosting instead of just saying they would follow up with the candidate. Alison’s take is a very charitable one but strikes me as unlikely.

    She’s right that the best thing is just to understand that it’ll happen and go in expecting it. That’s the only way to stay sane while job hunting.

    1. Anne Wentworth*

      I may have done too many interviews and heard to many interview horror stories. I automatically assume the worst when there’s any ambiguity, because that’s how employers consistently treat candidates.

  42. Qwerty*

    I’d take it at face value that they intended to follow up with you but humans aren’t always great at follow through. Humans are often overly optimistic about what we’re going to do. Think about how many times you see people write a to-do list with 15 things on it when they really only get a couple items crossed off.

    Maybe they think the recruiter will handle it. Maybe it fell through the cracks. Maybe they just aren’t good at this whole interviewing/hiring thing. It sucks! For your own sanity, try not to read into it. They probably saw your follow up, thought “oops, I never sent that email”, got distracted while figuring out phrasing and never made it back around.

    This is why I am very grateful to have internal recruiters when I was hiring so they could ensure a good candidate experience. I feel like half their job was bugging interviewers to submit their feedback form.

  43. Beebs*

    I am fastidious about following up with finalists (usually about 3 per position) within the timeframe I give them. And yet–in December I mistyped an email address and it didn’t bounce back . . . a month later the very annoyed candidate reached out to find out why they hadn’t heard from me. I felt awful. If they hadn’t reached out I would never have known I inadvertently ghosted them.

    PSA: If you get an email about something important that was clearly meant for someone else, do the sender a kindness and let them know they made a mistake.

  44. Jane*

    Being ghosted = dodged a bullet, as far as I’m concerned. That’s not a company I would want to work for.

    1. UpstateDownstate*

      Agreed! It took me a while to see it that way but now I almost want to thank them for it. Imagine actually working there and finding out that way? Nope!

  45. Fikly*

    Because they can, and they haven’t yet faced consequences for doing so that have made them change their actions.

    Really, it’s the answer for why people do anything.

  46. Jedi Sentinel Bird*

    When I was doing a whole bunch of job searching I basically put the mindset out there that I’m probably not going to get a ton of responses and probably a fair amount of ghosting. And if somebody said that they were going to get in contact with me, I would give them reasonable timeline to get back with me. I’d maybe reach out to them once or twice and then just leave it alone. And I created a spreadsheet of all the different companies job position stuff that I applied for and kept track of that. So I would
    say keep moving forward and doing the best you can.

  47. Violaceum*

    I know someone that completely freaks out over this every time they have interviewed somewhere and it’s been slightly longer than the promised response from the hiring entity. They blame bad management/ghosting and they are clearly far too invested in it emotionally, even when they have admitted that there were core requirements for the position that they may not have. I feel like volunteering anything logical about the hiring process is going to get a heavily emotional response so I just don’t engage. Too much of their self-identity is invested in a positive outcome and I have to preserve my own mental health.

  48. Ruthie*

    I don’t agree with this, but it’s our office policy that HR communicates with candidates that we do not select. Unfortunately they are very unreliable and I discovered were frequently dropping the ball despite what I had communicated with candidates and my expectations. I hate that they made me a liar and left people hanging, but it was out of my control.

  49. Llama Wrangler*

    What OP wrote about what the interviewer said reminded me of when someone says, “I’ll call you,” at the end of a date.

    “I’ll call you,” means, “I’m not interested in you but I don’t want to say that to your face so I’m just going to say this to let you down easy. But, no, I’m not actually going to call you.”

  50. Nightengale*

    Yup I had an interview in May 2014. I was finishing a medical fellowship and interviews involved flying in (although I took a long distance train) and a whole day of meeting people, tours, etc. I think they contacted references. The department head said he would call me by a specific day in June to “let you know either way if we are offering a second interview so you won’t be left hanging.”

    Reader, I am still hanging.

  51. Wendy Darling*

    10 months ago I had an interview with a company where a friend works. The hiring manager assured me they would absolutely get back to me one way or the other the following week.

    Obviously I never heard from him again. I got an automated rejection letter this week.

    I found another job that I like a lot so I’m not super mad, but it did damage my view of the company. I was super gung ho about working for them before, but not so much now.

    1. UpstateDownstate*

      I had a similar experience as well, except they never even sent me a rejection email lol.

      1. Wendy Darling*

        I had actually forgotten all about it until I got the rejection email! It was so late they probably would have been better served by not sending it to be honest!

  52. UpstateDownstate*

    It’s incredibly frustrating that ‘ghosting’ happens and that it’s considered normal. It shouldn’t be, but it is. I once underwent several long interviews, three virtual and one in person, with a team and even met with their VP, only to never hear from them again. I sent them all ‘thank you’ emails and they had my contact info but still…nothing. It was disappointing but I chose to see it as a dodged bullet in a way. Knowing that they thought this type of behavior was fine showed me they were not the right group of people to work with.

  53. marvin*

    Part of what’s annoying about this is the overlap between industries where ghosting is common and industries that sometimes just take forever to get their act together. I’ve had multiple experiences where I assumed I had been ghosted and then heard back from them 6 to 8 months later to continue the hiring process.

  54. Berto*

    The job search process is a joke. You either send hundreds of resumes or sort of luck into something. This is entire “labor shortage” is a mirage. Companies are so dysfunctional they can’t even hire employees. Don’t take it personally.

    1. Wendy Darling*

      It’s not so much a “labor shortage” as a shortage of employers that are willing to pay people enough for the work they want done. I guarantee if a lot of these places either increased wages or made the working conditions less godawful the labor shortage would magically evaporate.

      1. Berto*

        I mean if they aren’t able to review and reject a resume, they aren’t capable of hiring anyone in the first place. Companies should be forced to disclose their rejection reasons for diversity purposes.

  55. Jenga*

    My best guess…they interviewed a round of people. Nobody really impressed them, so they reposted hoping for new applicants that are a better fit. They’re waiting for the position to be filled before telling all the other interviewees.

    1. Jenga*

      And they may not be ready to totally rule you out yet. Maybe they don’t get more applicants with the right experience. Maybe they offer it to someone else who turns it down. You might still be their Plan B, or C or D…

Comments are closed.