Why Haven’t I Heard Back About My Job Interview?

January 2, 2020


Your job interview went better than you could have imagined. You walked away excited about the prospect of working for the person (or people) you interviewed with and for their organization. You’re confident you did everything right. You:

  • Explained how much you can bring to the job in terms of skills and prior accomplishments.
  • Asked perceptive questions about the job, the department and the organization.
  • Learned the interviewer’s hiring deadline so you’d know their timeframe for making a decision.
  • Emailed a sincere thank you note a day or two later.
  • Dropped the manager a short, positive email two or three days after the projected hiring deadline, expressing your enthusiasm for the job and asking if the deadline had changed.

And yet, you’ve received no response. What gives? 

Unfortunately, many employers ghost interviewees—even management-level candidates. Employers may say they’re too busy to reply to every candidate. It’s disrespectful, but there’s nothing to be done. 

There are, however, several reasonable explanations why you’ve not heard anything right away. For instance: 

  • Numerous employers don’t contact candidates until an offer has been made and accepted—by someone else.
  • In most cases, hiring can take a month or longer depending on how many people are seen, how fast the organization needs to fill the job, internal back-and-forth (they may be considering an in-house candidate), callbacks, and so on.
  • The interviewer is dealing with a massive work issue, a family emergency, or is away on company business and is unable to respond.
  • An employee left the company and the job responsibilities are being revaluated.
  • Multiple managers need to sign off on the hire. 

They may still get back to you—just a lot later than you expected. 

If weeks have gone by since your last contact with the company (after the hiring deadline has passed) with no response, it’s time to pursue other job opportunities. Hopefully, you were already doing that, because no hiring decision is a done deal until it happens. 

Besides, do you really want to work with a person or organization that isn’t courteous enough to contact you with their decision? Pick yourself up and get back out there!

Five of the Worst Job Interview Mistakes

Congratulations—you nailed your last few job interviews! So why have they merely yielded polite turndowns? Perhaps you’ve unintentionally made one or more of the five major interview mistakes below. 

  1. You were extremely late. Being more than 10 or 15 minutes late, with no adequate explanation, can get you thrown out of the running.
  2. You were unkempt. Your clothes are wrinkled or inappropriate. (Yes, some people show up in shorts.) Being overdressed is always safer than being overly casual.
  3. You did no research. You didn’t read up on the organization online, learn its mission and develop talking points showing how you can help it fulfill that mission.
  4. You asked inappropriate questions. You asked about raises, promotions, health care, and so forth, at an initial interview. This shows you’re not interested in solving the organization’s problems, just your own.
  5. You checked (or answered!) your phone. Always turn off your phone and put it in a pocket or bag before an interview.

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