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Why Employers Don’t Always Respond After Job Interviews

Are you waiting to hear from an employer after an important job interview?

Playing the waiting game can be hard. Even if you thought the interview went well, waiting to be contacted makes most people anxious. In some cases, you may not even be contacted at all. After a few days or even a week has gone by, you may finally realize that you didn’t get the job.

So, let’s take an in-depth look at exactly why employers don’t always respond after job interviews.

why employers dont always respond after job interview

Reasons Why You Haven’t Heard Anything

There are several reasons you may not have received a response from the interviewer. Of course, only the interviewer will know the exact reason. Depending on the situation, you may need to be patient, proactive, or simply accept defeat.

They are Still Interviewing Candidates

If the job is particularly attractive, hundreds of people may have applied for it. The interviewer may have a shortlist of more than a dozen candidates to talk to. Of course, this process can take a lot of time.

At the end of the interview, it is important to ask about the next steps. Try to get the interviewer to commit to a day and even time when they will contact you. This will help save you from hovering nervously around the phone or constantly checking your emails.

An Important Decision Maker is Unavailable

The hiring manager may be waiting for the CEO to help select the new candidate. The CEO may be sick or away from the office for a personal reason. Unfortunately, the hiring decision can’t be made until the CEO is available.

The Position Has Been Put on Hold

There may be an issue within the company that has affected the position. The company may be experiencing budget issues or being forced to rethink the company structure. In this case, a hiring decision is likely to be delayed.

The hiring manager may be reluctant to contact candidates until the new situation becomes clear. However, simply sitting beside the phone will waste your time and prevent you from finding a new opportunity. It is a good idea to politely reach out to the hiring manager to ask them to clarify the situation.

why employers dont always respond after job interviews

The Interview Went Badly

It is important to take the time to review the interview experience as soon as possible. On looking back, you may discover that the interview didn’t go as well as you thought. Perhaps the interviewer was bored by a long story you thought was impressing them.

Recognizing your failure can help set you on the road to success. Think about how you would do things differently if you were able to redo the interview. While it may be too late this time around, you can apply the lessons you learn to your next interview.

They Are Afraid of Potential Legal Issues

Anti-discrimination laws prevent employers from hiring employees based on race, age, gender, disability, or sexual orientation. However, the employer may still have a clear image of the type of person they want to employ. The anti-discrimination laws prevent them from advertising for this type of person and being honest about it.

If a hiring decision was made based on this discrimination, you are unlikely to receive an honest answer. The employer may be afraid of contacting you at all. If this is the case, take comfort in the fact that nobody wants to work for a bigot, and it’s their loss.

They are Afraid of Confrontation

Some people hate delivering bad news because they are afraid of confrontation. If you didn’t get the job, the employer might be worried about upsetting you or making you angry. While this approach is rude and inconsiderate, it is actually quite common among employers. In this case, you probably dodged a bullet because this type of employer can be horrible to work for.

You Didn’t Show Enough Interest in the Job

Employers look for people who are enthusiastic about the job and working for their company. You may have failed to show your enthusiasm in the interview due to nerves or fear of seeming insincere. Unfortunately, this may come across as a lack of interest in the job or unprofessionalism.

During any interview, make it clear to the interviewer that you are genuinely interested in the job. Highlight a few things you know about the company and why you want to work there. Outline some aspects you will bring to the job that will benefit the company.

They Lost Your Details

It might not all be doom and gloom. In the best-case scenario, the interview went well, and the interviewer thinks you could be right for the job. Unfortunately, they misplaced your resume and are unable to contact you.

Taking a proactive approach can easily resolve this issue. The interviewer is likely to be grateful that you reached out and saved them from embarrassment. Even if you don’t get the job, they are sure to remember your drive and initiative. They may even offer you an alternative position based on your actions.

What You Can Do?

There is nothing worse than passively waiting by the phone or constantly checking your email. Not only is this a waste of time and energy, but it will also cause you to feel demotivated. Fortunately, there are some proactive measures you can take to help resolve the situation.

How long should you wait?

Before you dive right in, make sure a reasonable amount of time has passed. Otherwise, the employer is likely to feel like they are being badgered. This is likely to give them a negative impression of you and could cost you to lose the job.

It is best to wait at least a week before reaching out to the employer. Bear in mind that they are probably busy, and their time is valuable. If possible, contact the HR department first and seek their advice on when and how to follow up.

why employer dont always respond after job interview

Email the interviewer

Sending an email is much less intrusive than calling the employer. The employer will have the chance to wait until they are free and focused on reading your email. If they can control when they reply, you are more likely to receive a positive response.

Keep your email brief, professional, and to the point. Try to stick to just one or two paragraphs and choose a heading that announces your intention. Try to refer to a positive interaction from the interview to stir the employer’s memory.

Email the head of the department

If you don’t get a response from the interviewer, it’s time to consider another approach. When you visited the company, you may have been introduced to the head of the department. It may be a good idea to reach out to them and explain that you are waiting to be contacted.

The head of the department may have more time to get back to you. They are likely to be aware of the situation and can clarify things for you. You may even find they have another position on their team that they can recommend you for.

Work your company connections

If you have a friend or family member who works at the company, they may be able to give you insight. They may know whether a hiring decision has been made and the status of your application. This information can help you determine the steps you need to take to resolve the situation.

Review your interview technique

It’s time to review what happened in the interview. It could be the case that it didn’t go as well as you thought. If possible, role-play the interview with a friend as accurately as you can. You may be able to identify things that you did wrong that you missed at the time.

Review your resume

Take another look at your resume and be brutally honest with yourself. Does your resume reflect your skills in the best way, or is there room for improvement? It is a good idea to ask a friend or family member to have a look at your resume and give you feedback. Re-editing your resume could increase your chances of getting hired the next time you apply for a job.

Accept the situation

It is important not to put too much emphasis on your failures. Even if you tried your best, there might be other candidates that are more qualified for the job. Sometimes, your success or failure is simply out of your hands.

Instead of focusing on failure, redirect your energy to help you succeed. Try to identify areas that you can improve on and spend time working on them. It can take time to land the right job, and it is essential to remain motivated.

Continue your job hunt

If you didn’t get the job, it is important not to get discouraged. An even better job could be just around the corner. Direct your energy to find a new vacancy and make sure your application is as strong as possible.

Reasons You Didn’t Get the Job

Contacting the hiring manager directly will force them to tell you whether you got the job. If you were unsuccessful, you might be given a very vague reason. Here are some reasons you didn’t get the job that you may want to consider.

You arrived late

It is essential to arrive at least fifteen minutes before the interview is scheduled to begin. Arriving late will make you look unprofessional and could cost you the job before you’ve even met the interviewer. It is a good idea to review and time your route to the interview location ahead of time to avoid this issue.

You were unprepared

You may have been asked to bring certain documents to the interview that you forgot. Perhaps you were asked questions that you failed to answer properly. Make sure you do your homework before the interview and check what you need to take with you.

You were unprofessional

Your interview outfit and posture can tell the interviewer a lot about you. It is important to take the time to choose a professional interview outfit and work on your body language. Pay close attention to the language you use when speaking with the interviewer and avoid using slang.

why employer dont always respond after job interviews

You were shy

Some people find it very difficult to assert themselves. Unfortunately, interviewers can read shyness as a lack of interest in the job. They may also find it difficult to work out if you have the necessary skills and experience. Practicing your interview technique can help you avoid this issue in the future.

You failed to impress the interviewer

Creating a strong first impression can be difficult. Even if you did nothing wrong, you might have failed to stand out from the crowd. Think about three things that make you an impressive employee and highlight them in your next interview.

Looking For More Interview Advice?

No problem, let’s begin with guides on how to answer How Would You Describe Yourself, What Are You Most Proud Of, Why Do You Want To Work Here, or perhaps you get asked What Are Your Career Goals, How Do You Handle Conflict, or What Makes You Unique, and of course the Best Questions To Ask In An Interview to leave a lasting impression.

Why not do some online reading with the Hiring Squirrels: 12 Essential Interview Questions, Get That Job!: The Quick and Complete Guide to a Winning Interview, or even the INTERVIEW with DESIRE and GET HIRED!: How to Ace the Interview to help you better prepare.

We also found How to Answer Interview Questions: 101 Tough Interview Questions, or The STAR Interview: How to Tell a Great Story and Nail the Interview, and lastly, the Amazing Interview Answers: 44 Tough Job Interview Questions with 88 Winning Answers, all available online in 2022.

Final Thoughts

Not getting a response after a job interview isn’t necessarily bad news. There are several reasons why the interview process could be taking longer than expected. In some cases, you may just need to be patient a little bit longer.

Reaching out to the hiring manager could help to speed up the process and show them you’re interested. However, it is important to be polite and professional at all times. If you don’t get the job, there is a good chance that an even better opportunity is just around the corner.

Hope you get great feedback on your next Interview!

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About Carmen Smith

Carmen grew up in San Diago but now lives in Boston. She loves traveling, experiencing other cultures, and basically exploring the world, be country at a time.

Her other passion is helping people find the perfect career. We spend 33% of our working lives at work, so it's ridiculous that many people do jobs that they do not enjoy. Carmen wants to change this and thinks that anyone who isn't happy in their employment should keep looking until they find something that they really enjoy. 

She firmly believes that "Everyone's perfect job is out there; it's just a case of continually looking until you find it."

Carmen lives with her husband Johnny, a keen birder who also loves to travel. He finds birds while Carmen makes plans for where they will be eating next...

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