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Understanding and Coping with Ghosting After an Interview

Updated: Apr 24



a person holding a pen and looking at a resume at a job interview

Understanding and Coping with Ghosting After an Interview


The job search process can be a rollercoaster of emotions. You tirelessly tailor resumes, research companies, and prepare for interviews, hoping to land your dream role. But what happens when you invest time and energy into an interview, only to be met with radio silence afterward? This frustrating phenomenon, known as "ghosting after an interview," has become increasingly prevalent in the hiring world. A 2023 Indeed survey revealed a staggering 77% increase in employers ghosting candidates compared to 2022 [1]. This lack of communication leaves job seekers confused, frustrated, and unsure of their candidacy's status.


Signs You've Been Ghosted by a Prospective Employer:

  • No response to follow-up emails or calls: After a reasonable amount of time (usually 1-2 weeks) following your interview, if you haven't received any feedback or updates despite follow-up attempts, it's a strong indicator of ghosting.

  • Radio silence on social media: If the company's social media channels, previously buzzing about job openings, have gone quiet, it could suggest a hiring freeze or a decision to move forward with a different candidate.

  • The job posting disappears: If the job opening you interviewed for mysteriously disappears from the company's website, it's a sign that they've filled the position internally or opted to go in a different direction.


Why Companies Ghost: 


It’s possible that the company ghosted you because they were disorganized, simply forgot to respond, or the person who interviewed you had an emergency. It’s possible they hired someone and didn’t tell you because they didn’t know how to communicate this reality.  Unfortunately, it’s impossible to know exactly why a company ghosted you because they did not provide an explanation. With this said, please be mindful of the story you’re telling yourself, and remember: being ghosted isn’t personal. Don’t assume that you did or said something wrong during the interview process. Since the company didn’t respond to you after the interview, you don’t truly know what happened or why they disappeared. Know that you deserve to work for a company that respectfully communicates with people. Ghosting a candidate is unprofessional, and you want to work in a job position that treats you well.


The Emotional Toll:


Being ghosted by a potential employer can be a disheartening experience. You might feel undervalued, and confused, and question your qualifications. It's important to acknowledge these emotions and allow yourself to process them in a healthy way.  Feeling anxious, angry, or sad about being ghosted after a job interview is perfectly normal. It’s not fair that they ghosted you: you didn’t deserve this, and it’s not your fault. Talk about what you’re experiencing with a friend, trusted family member, therapist, or coach. Take a day for self-care, and honor your feelings. There is a company out there that will be very excited to have you join them in the future!


Job Seekers: Coping with Ghosting:


While ghosting can be disheartening, here are some tips to navigate the situation:

  • Manage your expectations: Don't assume an interview automatically leads to an offer. Manage your expectations and have a system to track multiple applications.

  • Follow up, but don't be pushy: A polite follow-up email after a week or so is appropriate. However, avoid coming across as overly aggressive or demanding.

  • Bounce back and stay motivated: Don't let one instance of ghosting derail your job search. Refocus your energy on sending strong applications and preparing for upcoming interviews. You’ve got this!

Preventing Ghosting:


 While ghosting is never 100% preventable, there are some ways to communicate during the interview that could potentially reduce your chances of getting ghosted.


  • Express genuine interest: Communicate your enthusiasm for the position and company throughout the interview process. You can do this by asking insightful questions that demonstrate your research and genuine interest in the role and company culture [2].

  • Ask insightful questions: Don't just ask questions that can be easily answered by reading the job description or company website. Craft questions that demonstrate your understanding of the role and your desire to learn more about the team and company culture [2].

  • Express your timeline: Be upfront about your overall job search timeline, especially if you have other interviews lined up. This can help employers manage their expectations and potentially expedite the decision-making process.

  • Send a thank-you email: A timely thank-you email reiterates your interest and provides an opportunity to clarify any points discussed during the interview. This email can also showcase your communication skills and leave a positive lasting impression [2].


Conclusion


Ghosting after an interview is an unfortunate reality in today's job market. However, by understanding the reasons behind it and implementing strategies to prevent and cope with it, both employers and job seekers can create a more positive and professional interview experience. Here's a quick recap:


  • Ghosting is a common issue, but understanding the motivations behind it can help you navigate it effectively.

  • Manage your expectations and practice clear communication to minimize the impact of ghosting.

  • Employers should prioritize candidate experience and maintain professionalism throughout the hiring process. If you were ghosted, it’s a clear sign that this company has issues with communication and it’s not a good match for you. 

  • Job seekers should be proactive in their job search and remain optimistic in the face of silence.


Remember, ghosting doesn't define your worth as a professional. Keep searching, keep learning, and prioritize building genuine connections with potential employers. The right job opportunity awaits someone with your talents and perseverance.


Final Thoughts


The job search can be a challenging journey, but it doesn't have to be demoralizing. By understanding and adopting strategies to deal with ghosting, you can navigate this obstacle with resilience and professionalism. Remember, open communication and mutual respect are key to fostering a positive interview experience for everyone involved. Stay motivated, keep your head held high, and good luck on your job search!


For more ways to cope with ghosting in the business world, check out these episode of the Coping With Ghosting Podcast: 

and


Interested in going to therapy? Visit https://betterhelp.com/copingwithghosting for 10% off your first month of therapy with BetterHelp and get matched with a therapist who will listen and help.


Here at Coping with Ghosting, we understand the complexities of navigating modern relationships. We offer a supportive community, resources, and tools to help you heal from emotional hurt and build strong, trusting connections. Visit copingwithghosting.com today to explore our blog posts, podcasts, and workshops designed to empower you to navigate the intricacies of relationships with confidence and clarity.


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