After some meticulous work, you finally landed that job interview you’ve long desired and you think you nailed it.
Maybe you could have done better, and you begin to ask yourself retroactively, “what did I do wrong?”
Regardless of what you tell yourself, you’re still waiting for a phone call, email or maybe even an eagle with a note in its beak – you’ll take anything at this point. You wait and wait and wait and yet there isn’t a response.
Here come the questions again…
Did I highlight my weaknesses?
Should I not have said how much I previously earned??
Did they hire someone else and couldn’t have the decency to tell me???
Maybe I got the job! Did they try to call and I missed it somehow????
Not hearing back after a job interview is much worse than getting a call saying that you didn’t get the job. There is so much anxiety, confusion and the what-ifs to plague your mind with filth. Your impatience begins to grow into a steady anger.
Why won’t they just call you? Apparently, this happens a lot. According to a 2013 study by CareerBuilder, 60% of potential employees who got an interview have experienced this, and this was a study involved 3,991 applicants. That’s more than half of those people just sitting around waiting for a response – a result – from their job interview. How aggravating!
So, why in the world is this notion so common and why should we have to deal with it? “Sadly, many times it is simple rudeness that is present when a candidate never gets a response after a job interview,” says HR expert Steve Kane.
Every employer should follow up with an interviewee after a job interview. It’s simply rude and unprofessional to not have the common courtesy. When you go through the effort for your interview, you deserve a response. If you show up wearing flip flops and snapping gum, well, that’s a different story. The interviewer should let you know why you’re not going to get the job right then and there, but we live in reality so lets get back to the topic at hand.
There could be a number of reasons why you’re not getting a response, even if it is unjustified:
- The interviewer is too busy, and your potential employment may not be the highest priority of their responsibility (you will often find this in smaller companies and large conglomerates!)
- They are not interested in hiring you and didn’t think twice to let you know.
- The interviewer doesn’t want to call you to have an uncomfortable talk about why the company isn’t going to hire you. Sometimes, its just a sensitive subject and interviewers just don’t have the heart to break yours.
So, they remain quiet instead of getting into an uncomfortable conversation they are clearly trying to avoid. If they want to hire you they will come after you. However, being comfortable isn’t always possible.
Their comfort is at your expense of what-ifs and whys and it’s not fair. But, when is life fair?
You should get a follow up, even if it’s negative. It’s better to know. When the people in the CareerBuilder study were asked about the process, 42% said they would not apply for a position with a company if they were not satisfied with the way their application process was handled. So, the company essentially loses you forever when not following up.
That company would even lose business and other potential employees, because 22% would tell others not to apply there and 9% would recommend not buying their products or services. It’s in the company’s interest to follow up!
12 Proactive Things to do if You Don’t Hear Back from Your Interview
- Make the First Move: Follow up yourself. Don’t be a pain in the butt or be rude about it. Just send a simple and professional reminder after about three days. Don’t wait too long, or you could come across as uninterested.
- Show Initiative: Offer some interesting, industry-related news in your follow up. This could be any kind of event such as a seminar, Twitter chat, a cool blog, or a discussion on LinkedIn.
- Have a Plan: Use a planned approach to your follow up. Keep it professional. You don’t want to annoy the interviewer or seem lazy about it. Find the medium ground. Follow up the first time after about three days. It’s time to give up and move on if you’ve followed up three different times and gotten no response.
- Be a Pro: Always be polite in your email and phone conversations no matter what the news is. They’ll remember you.
- Connect: Check out your LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter for friends who work or have worked at the company you were interviewed at. Ask your friend if they would endorse you by sending a message to your interviewer. This connection could help you get the job.
- Listen: You have had feedback during your interview. Was is warm and inviting or cold and off-putting? This feedback can help you determine whether you should follow up or just let it go. Don’t waste your time with someone who was cold, especially if they are the same way with your initial follow-up. Just move on at that point, and remember number four.
- Go up: If you feel you had a good interview and are the best person for the job go above the interviewer’s head. Get in touch with the person that would be your employer and explain your situation. Be polite and professional. Most will respect you for following up this way, and you’ll often get a yes or no response right away.
- Don’t Get Annoying: We don’t mean to be a pest, but it happens. Rejection is hard to take. Suddenly you’ll realize you’re sending your 16th follow up email. Uh-oh. Know when to let it go. Maintaining your professional reputation is far more important.
- Don’t Take it Personal: Many times, a no, or a lack of response is due to downsizing, a reduced salary, a shorter timeframe, or something else. Maybe the position was even eliminated. It happens, and it’s not personal at all.
- Deadlines: If you are moving or relocating, possibly receiving a promotion at your current job, or something similar you may impose a deadline to your interviewer. For example, “I must hear back from you by x date because I have to turn in my decision on a promotion”. However, do not impose a deadline if you don’t have a good reason.
- Send a Thank You: Everyone still loves receiving something in the mail, especially thank you notes. It’s good etiquette to send a thank you card to your interviewer the day after. Have a bunch of them ready in your home office so you can send one out right away.
- Keep Them Updated: If you have gotten a job offer from another company or your availability changes then let them know.
Not hearing back after an interview can be extremely frustrating, and trust me, you’re not alone.
It’s CRITICAL to keep calm during this time to maintain your good reputation and poise in your industry. Don’t lose sight and let one bad interview ruin that. Stay positive, polite and professional. Do what you can, as outlined above, and you’ll carve out your place and thrive.