This is a very common situation: you have done fairly well at an interview and are waiting to hear back. However, it’s been several days since you haven’t heard from that prospective employer and you’re getting worried about whether you actually got that job or were rejected.
There’re several questions that can crop up in your mind at such times. These include questions such as: did I do well at the interview? Did I fail to impress the interviewer? Was the interview just a sham to cover up something else? Are the interviewers biased against me for some reason? Was there anyone who came with higher qualifications and skills but took a low salary?
Stress and Anxiety After Interview
The flurry of questions that comes to our mind when we get no response after the interview is endless.
As a matter of fact, such questions without an answer and awaiting either a positive or negative response can be very stressful to most people.
Especially, if you’re jobless and running on the last few dollars in your bank account or have credit piling up without any pay in sight. Also, you can feel such stress when you’ve applied for that dream job with some top employer.
And above all, you would feel that anxiety or worry when you have lied about something on your Resume or at the interview because a background check would reveal the truth.
Understandably, these and many other questions and situations aren’t very comfortable. You would wish to get a response either way – negative or positive- from the prospective employer.
Therefore, the question arises: “What to do when you are not hearing back from interview?”
In my honest opinion, there’s not really much that you could do, except wait for a reasonable span of time. If you get no response within that time, consider that you were unsuccessful at the interview.
However, this is much easier said than done.
I will assure you that often we didn’t hear back after an interview for several reasons other than rejection or failure to impress an employer. I will explain the reasons why sometimes you might not hear back from an interview.
Reasons You Might Not Hear Back from an Interview
As I said, failure at the interview, meaning you haven’t got the job, is the most common reason why you might not hear back from an interview. However, there’re other reasons too. I will explain these briefly.
Employer Wants to Hire Later
The most common scenario why recruiters don’t call back after an interview is that they don’t wish to hire right now but are considering your application for the job at a later date.
Obviously, they wouldn’t be calling you or sending an email or letter when that occurs. This usually occurs when an employer is replacing an employee. Till the older employee leaves the company, they will not hire someone else.
The employee has to serve the notice period, which could range anything from a week to three months, depending on their contract. Till the older employee leaves and hands over charge, they will defer their hiring. This means you won’t hear back from an interview.
Change of Plans to Hire
Sometimes, an employer changes their plan to hire someone & that’s the reason why recruiters don’t call back after an interview. That could again occur due to various reasons. An employer has the right to cancel hiring at some posts.
This is a common scenario when an employer promotes someone from within the organization instead of hiring externally. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you have lost all chances to be hired.
If you did well at the interview, there’s every chance the employer would consider you for hiring at another position or another location.
If you have fudged your Resume and given some information that’s fake or distorted or even covered up some unpleasant facts such as period of employment or reasons for leaving, it’s most likely that an employee background screening test has exposed your lies.
In such cases, an employer will never call you. However, there’s also a chance that the external agency doing the employee background screening hasn’t found and verified all your details and hence, the employer prefers to wait for their report.
Since employment background tests are done by an external agency, there’s no saying when they would give the report stating that your Resume contains honest details.
Absence of a Senior
Yet another reason why you are not hearing back from an interview is the absence of a senior. Usually, this would be the person responsible for your hiring such as a senior Human Resources manager or an authorized signatory for appointment letters and contracts, or even your immediate senior.
Any organization worth its name will follow its internal procedures. Therefore, they will wait for the senior official to return before calling you or sending an email stating that you’ve got the job.
Obviously, the organization can’t ask you to report to some junior, and nor will they allow anyone else to sign your contract because it could be invalid under the company’s internal rules.
Hiring in Batches
Hiring in batches is common when you are applying for a job where several people are being hired. At such times, an employer waits for an entire lot of people to finish their interviews and be selected for the job, before they contact you.
That’s because they would like to ensure uniformity in their work. Calling all successful candidates at the same time, regardless of when they gave the interview, helps an employer to save a lot of effort and time.
Often, completing a whole lot of interviews and finalizing candidates for the job takes time. And in such cases, you don’t hear back from an interview as you would expect.
Lack of Training Resources
Regardless of your skills, experience, and education, every organization wants its fresh employees to undergo at least some training. This is necessary to help the new employee fit into the new work culture.
A company can therefore delay contacting you because they don’t have the necessary resources for your training. Such resources could be your immediate senior or someone that provides training for your expertise and skills.
The employer will wait for such training to be available before contacting you to join the job or serve a contract.
Maybe the employer has hired you for their future expansion projects. A lot of companies hire people much in advance for all their expansion. They invite applications and conduct interviews in advance to tap the best available talent.
They don’t hire immediately because the expansion has yet to commence. Usually, such employers wish to fine-tune their internal systems before welcoming new recruits to work.
It is worth remembering that sometimes, expansion plans can be delayed due to some inherent flaws. The employer, in such cases, wishes to iron out the glitches before taking you on board.
Mergers and Acquisitions
If the organization where you went for an interview is merging with some other company, you can expect delays in hearing back. This happens also when that company is being acquired by some other organization.
And when it acquires some other firm. These can occur anytime. In these cases, the employers will wait till all their internal processes are over.
This includes shuffling of staff within the two organizations. It doesn’t imply that you’ve lost the job you applied for. It only means you would have to wait a bit longer.
Employer is Relocating
Sometimes, the employer might have to relocate their offices to another place, either in the same city or elsewhere. This could also happen suddenly if there was some disaster such as a building collapse or fire on their premises or nearby, which affects their operations.
And at times, the employer might have leased the offices and might not wish to renew it, which means they would leave the place and go somewhere else. When an employer is relocating for any reason, you do not hear back from an interview.
The national or global economic downturn causes delays in your hearing back after an interview. This was very common during the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic.
The lockdowns and self-quarantines forced several companies across the world to cancel or delay their hiring, despite finalizing the persons they were to hire.
Usually, any economic downturn has a negative effect on business. An employer might wish to ride through the downturn before hiring again. This isn’t common but it does occur in various situations such as stock market crashes and political uncertainty, wars, and other scenarios.
Now that you’re aware of 10 different scenarios that might be the case when you don’t hear back from an interview, it becomes easier to know the steps that you can take.
What To Do If you Get No Response After Interview?
Now, I will discuss briefly, a few steps that you could take when you get no response after an interview. You can choose any of these, depending on the job that you’re applying for and your personal interest in the new job and employer.
1. Do Nothing
Yes, that’s exactly what I mean. Just do nothing. Remember, the lack of action is also a form of action. I say this because many times, employers have a clause that doesn’t allow candidates to follow up on their applications and interviews.
If that’s the case, simply do nothing. Usually, such employers will clearly state in their job post that candidates that call would be disqualified.
That’s normal because no organization wants countless calls or emails or letters from candidates and wastes time responding to such inquiries. In such cases, don’t take any action or you could be disqualified for the job.
2. Write an Email
If there’s no restriction on following up on your application and interview, the second-best thing to do is email the person who invited you for the interview. In such cases, cite details such as the date and time of the interview and the names of the interviewers.
It is important to note down the name and designation of the single interviewer or those in an interview panel, for such follow-ups. That’s because you have to name these officials in your email.
Simply mention that you haven’t heard from them and if they require any more details from your work, experience, skills, and education, for the final assessment.
3. Call the Employer
A direct call to the employer is the best thing to do when you get no response after an interview. This can be pretty scary for a lot of people. But trust me, nobody will rebuke you or say anything negative when you call.
As a matter of fact, you can call up the person that sent the invitation to the interview or, the interviewer, if you know their name and contact details.
Never call a third party because that is in poor taste and can lead to you being disqualified. If you’re unable to contact the right person on phone, the next best thing is to email them, as I mentioned earlier.
4. Write a Letter
This is of course a bit old-fashioned because we live in an era of emails and smartphones. However, writing a decent and neat formal letter does create an impact on the person that sees it.
They will either respond through a phone call or email you or even write a letter stating you’re selected for the job or rejected. Never send a letter by courier or express mail.
Instead, simply send it through the United States Postal Service. State in the letter, the purpose and just three to four sentences asking the status of your interview and results.
5. Use LinkedIn
If they accept your networking invitation, send them an internal message, reminding them of the interview and enquiring about your application and interview status.
Beware: never use social media platforms such as Facebook to contact the interviewer or employer. Nobody will answer such questions over social media. In fact, it could prove offensive and the person might feel offended.
6. Check Job Ads
Surely, you would know where the employer had placed the job post. Therefore, you can check that job board or LinkedIn and see if there’s a similar job post again. If you find one, it could mean that an employer is continuing to hire and might wait before contacting you.
However, in most cases, a similar job advert would mean that you haven’t been selected. Send a thank you letter to the employer. That’s because they deserve some gratitude for interviewing you. This is a matter of common courtesy and business etiquette.
7. More Steps if You Don’t Hear Back from Interview
There are some more steps that you could take. However, I wouldn’t recommend you to take them immediately, Instead, wait for the right time.
One of the things you could do is ask someone to enquire with the company whether they need anyone with your experience and education. Or, the caller can simply say they saw the job post and ask if that vacancy exists.
You could also drop by the offices casually and meet the interviewer. However, do so only after taking a prior appointment. Sometimes, an interviewer or an official at the company may not wish to see you.
In these cases, never insist or force yourself. And above all, don’t barge into their offices uninvited. This would be the last step to take. However, never take this step unless you’re serious about the job and can’t wait for the anxiety to pass.
Reasons for the Interview
While you can take any of these six steps or even eight steps when you don’t hear from an interview, here’s something more that you should know. And that’s about why you were called for the interview.
Any employer will call you for an interview only when there’s something of interest on your Resume. An interview call is a clear indicator that an employer has been through your Resume and wants to engage more.
In fact, an employer needs you as much as you need them. Therefore, an interview is only to determine whether you actually qualify for the job and to find your overall interest in that organization.
In my opinion, there’s not much that can be done when you don’t hear back from an interview. Every employer has a right to reject your application for the job or delay your work contract, depending on the situation.
While I can easily understand the stress and anxiety that every candidate feels when they don’t hear back from an interview, sometimes, taking an action can prove counterproductive and cause you to be disqualified for the job.
Therefore, the best thing to do would be to inform the interviewer that you would be following up on the interview. If they agree, you can email the employer or call them to find out where your application stands.