We may have researched the company we wanted thoroughly, dressed in our snazziest interview outfit, showed up at the employer’s office promptly and answered all questions briefly. There could be absolutely no doubt in our mind that we have nailed the job interview. But, why haven’t we heard anything back? There are multiple reasons employers don’t call back after an interview:
1- They no longer need us: Let’s discuss the most obvious reason. Although we may have rocked the job interview, there could be others who have won their heart. Instead of informing us with an “I’m sorry, it’s not you” email, the company simply opts to just not tell us anything at all. If the company has chosen others for the position, there’s probably little else we can do. We could probably still follow up the situation with an email to show our continued interests in the company. The hiring manager could be impressed with our enthusiasm for working with the company. This also shows that we could lose graciously and there’s a possibility that the company will contact us for future job openings.
2- There is a legal concern: All we want is a definite closure, especially if we haven’t heard anything at all for weeks. We may want a real answer desperately as to why the company seems to be very quiet. Unfortunately, we don’t always get this. However, some companies have concern of possible lawsuits if they disclose the reason job candidates are selected for specific positions. Once we are certain that we are no longer eligible for a position, we should also send an email to ask why the company chooses not to hire us. It is a good idea to spend some time crafting a polite message with confident tone. This lets the company know that we desire specific information only to become more qualified, stronger job speaker in the future. We could also state explicitly that our intention is for informational purposes only and we won’t take any kind of legal issues. Obviously, this approach won’t always work and we could be prepared with the possibility that the company will be entirely silent.
3- The interview process is not yet completed: We could be the first few people that are interviewed by the company and there are dozens more candidates. The company could just be dealing with yet another candidate and we probably need to be patient. However, it is acceptable to follow up by sending an email, a couple weeks after our interview sessions. This would let us know about whether we are still being considered by the hiring department. In this case, email is still the best form of communication and we could re-send another email, if we still don’t get reply in a couple of weeks. We probably need to re-send up to three times and end the whole things with a phone call directly to the hiring department before accepting that the company may no longer be interested. In this case, we should immediately move on and look for other opportunities.
4- The position is put on hold or eliminated: For some reasons, the project that requires our involvement has been postponed or the company experiences sweeping budget cuts – unbeknownst to us. This situation could freeze the hiring process as the company is still reconfiguring its goals and business operations. This is probably just a “wait and see” game and we could need to ride out the whole thing to see whether the company will reopen the position. Regardless, we shouldn’t spend too much energy and time wracking our brain about things that may cause the total silence. We shouldn’t drive ourselves crazy over those “what ifs” and it’s better to give ourselves a pep talk and move on.
5- They are simply being rude: It is a common occurrence that job seekers are in surplus and the actual job positions are precious commodity. The company may habitually ignore people who don’t meet its requirement and the hiring staff doesn’t even a slight inclination respond back to each interviewee individually. There’s no way we can teach employers good manners and if they don’t contact us, this could indicate poor company culture.
6- Someone important to the hiring process is missing: In most companies, the hiring process involves a team and there is a possibility that someone is missing from the team. The person could be in a business travel or dealing with an illness. In this case, we need to wait until the person is available or until the company finds a replacement.
7- The next phase is about to begin: After the company has completed all rounds of interviews, there will be more meetings and discussions to choose the right individuals. It can be very complicated to figure out people who should be invited back. They need to run background checks one more time and confirms everything before making the final decision.
During an actual interview session, we could ask the hiring manager when they will make a decision. Even if they can’t promise to contact us at specific date, we could still know whether we will be informed within a week or a month. Follow-ups from the company could tell us a lot. Conscientious employers will always contact us whenever decisions have been mode. They will thanks us politely for our time and let us know that other candidates have been selected for immediate employment. Some companies also turn us down directly, but still kindly, while informing us that they still keep us under consideration for possible future employment. Whatever happens, we should learn how to develop a thick skin and by trying not to take the whole process personally, we will save our sanity. We could always look for different opportunities that align with our career goals. In some cases, we are able to make a “connection” with some of the hiring staff and we could stay in touch with them on LinkedIn to find out about future updates. This way, we can send them thanks notes or similar messages, about the opportunity to learn about their organization. This could impress them and it can work more than a few times!