Being Ghosted During the Job Search Process? When Should You Follow-Up? What Should You Say?
Updated: Oct 15
Written by the Job Transitions team
Have you ever been ghosted, where a potential employer simply doesn't communicate after an interview or even if they do, no real timeframe for the next step is established? A new survey from Robert Half found that one-third of senior managers that were surveyed indicated their company is currently taking more time to hire than in the past, hoping to find better candidates. When should you follow-up? What should you say?
The strategy we usually suggest is to use the “Reasonable but Aggressive” approach. During the course of an interview, you should express sincere interest in the position and ask when the next step in the process will take place? You should always send a thank you note once the interview has been completed. That is a given. Once the thank you note has been sent and assuming the potential employer answered that question, you are done with that company until that timeframe expires. Move on. Once it expires, you should contact the potential employer (now you have been reasonable – you gave the potential employer a chance to contact you under the timeframe THEY established) but they didn’t do it. Now it’s time to be aggressive and follow-up. If the potential employer did not sufficiently answer the timeframe question, four to five days would be reasonable.
What Should You Say?
Calling the potential employer is always best, but you can use email if needed. Either way, the message is the same even if you have to leave it on a voice mail system. Regardless of actually speaking to the person, leaving a voice mail, or sending an email, your communication should simply be the following:
“Hello, my name is John Smith. I’m following-up on our interview for the marketing position which took place on October 13th. I am still very interested in the position and wanted to reach out to see if I'm still under consideration. I can be reached at (222) 123-6789. Thank you.”
That’s it! You do not need to market yourself on this message. You already did that in the initial interview.
At this point, there are only three things the potential employer can say when responding to your message:
1) No, you’re not under consideration. At least you know and there is no false hope.
2) We don't know yet as we’re still evaluating the candidates, or something to that effect. If that is the response, try to get another timeframe. "When do you think you will making that decision?" If they respond with a new timeline, go back to the “Reasonable but Aggressive" approach.
3) However, the follow-up contact is important because the third possible response is when the potential employer indicates that you are a very good candidate for the position and might even schedule the next interview during that call or responding to your email message. They might even indicate they are already developing an offer letter or something to that effect. That happens more than you might think. Remember, staffing that open position might not be the potential employer's most important priority at that specific period of time, or they might have been delayed on responding to candidates due to unforeseen situations.
Click on the following link to read an excellent article on the subject of ghosting:
If you are thinking about entering the job market and need additional assistance, please contact Job Transitions for a free resume review and initial consultation. www.jobtransitions.net/contact.
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