Hi Everyone! Those of you who have gone on interviews, myself included, it's common to ask ourselves...
Why haven't I heard back?
What's holding up the decision?
Did I say something that's causing them to rethink my fit for the job?
Was someone else hired and they haven't told me?
Will the company follow up with me at all, or have I been ghosted?
Just know that you are not alone. Many people have faced a long and mysterious wait after an interview and it's the most frustrating situation in the job searching process. Makes you want to pull hairs and scream. I know!!
So I'm here to tell you that when you are facing the long silence after an interview, it's not ALWAYS ABOUT YOU. Hiring managers should keep you posted on delays but they don't always follow through. Here are some reasons why you may not be hearing back:
The budget has changed For every position, a company has a set budget. So when this changes maybe because the company didn't meet their sales target. Or when another department has a more critical need and it's the job vacancy you applied for ends up being put on
Decision makers are out of pocket This is when more than one hiring managers are responsible to vote and select a candidate they all feel is right for the job. So when one person is out - sick or on vacation - it can freeze the hiring process and drag it out. So it's either the interview or a potential job offer that's on hold until the crisis is resolved.
Something--or--someone--was left out of the loop This means that all decision makers need to come together to agree on the job description, commit to a hiring timeline and set the salary range. When this doesn't happen, surprises can pop up and stall that process.
They're having a hard time making a decision Some companies get nervous before making a final decision as they don't want to make a costly hiring mistake. So when they struggle to make a decision sometimes in the late in the game, they may decision to open the search to consider more people.
WHAT TO DO WHILE YOU WAIT
This is exactly where I'm at now. I recently applied to a company that I know where I can excel and it has a great family oriented culture and they are really customer focused and care not only about their staff but their clients as well. I received an email after I followed up to let them know I had applied and wanted to check if they received my resume. I heard back from the hiring manager, was told that they did have my materials and that the management team were getting together to figure out training and start dates and that I would hear back from them soon. The email ended with
I look forward to meeting with you in person. It's been over a week.
So here's what I've been doing since. I have not thought that the silence meant no to my candidacy. It doesn't mean I should also stand still. I can only focus on what I can control to keep my momentum and spirits high while I wait. Here are some of my ideas:
Check in with the hiring manager I followed up once but the ball's in their court to contact me to interview as they know I am interested. However, after an interview, I recommend reaching out by email within one or two weeks after an interview. And if you've received other offers, let the hiring manager know.
Continue with your job search Even if you're close to the finish line with an opportunity don't let it hold you back from other roles. Continue talking with your network, or apply to other positions. Never know, you may find a company that's a better fit.
Talk to your mentor and referral source If you're feeling anxious, talk with your mentor to get an objective view on your situation. My mentor is my mom, she has HR experience and even though I hire and recruit and train, my experience in HR is limited. I don't handle that end in my field, I interview and choose who I'd want to work with, HR handles the rest. During this very frustrating time, please don't vent your frustration in writing or email or on any social media. They will find it. And it will back to haunt you.
Step away and recharge Spending your free time job hunting is exhausting, emotionally draining. Make sure you spend time with people you love and doing things you enjoy doing.
So believe in your talents, and don't let the long waiting game chip away at your confidence. In this market jobs are competitive and talented people such as yourself are in the driver's seat.
IMO, companies that give prospective candidates the silent treatment send a message about their corporate culture and ability to make decisions. If this is how they communicate with prospective hires, what will it be like to on the job? It's something to think about.