Job Seeker

The Deadly Silence

There is nothing worse than being in the throes of interviewing and the eternity between updates and next steps. The silence between conversations and emails seem like forever, weeks, years. That’s exaggerating but you get the idea. What do you do when you feel like you should have heard back from an employer? Reach out to them! Don’t be scared, sometimes recruiters just get busy and can’t get to everyone every day. Now, there are good recruiters and there are shit recruiters. I can sometimes be a shit recruiter and I know it. Know the difference between the two! Good recruiters will make it a point to stay in touch with you and give you updates when they can. They also make the effort to email, call or text just to say no news is good news. That is what they should be doing, especially if they value you as a candidate. Honestly, the lack of updates often isn’t on the recruiters end, however it is still their job to manage the relationship and level of communication with their candidates. So many factors go into the interview process and getting things moving it’s just ridiculous.

Instances such as:

  • The manager hasn’t provided feedback yet, the other candidate they wanted to interview can’t come in until 2 weeks from now and they need to interview 2 people before making a decision.
  • You might have been the very first person interviewed but they still need to meet a few more before making a decision.
  • This person is on vacation
  • Budget shifted
  • An internal person is interested
  • The job description is being updated
  • That person is traveling
  • This stakeholder was just added to the interview team and we need to figure out how to get them involved.

There are so many things that can hold up the process so don’t get weary if you don’t hear an update right away. Feel free to call or email and just ask if there is anything you can offer in the meantime and let them know you’re still interested. A good recruiter will be happy to answer your questions and calm your fears. 

There are people in the hiring and interviewing process who have no business being there. I’ve had calls go really well for a position I’m interviewing for and “we will be in touch with next steps, I’d like for you to speak with Janet next!” And then nothing. No follow up, no response, no official decline. Just ghosted. It’s so unprofessional. While I have been a terrible recruiter sometimes, I always at the very least let you know where you stand once all decisions have been made. I will let you know as much information I have at my disposal. If provided, I’ll share the feedback. If it was a tough choice for them to make I’ll reach out to you in the future for other positions that might match what you’re looking for. I will always maintain a positive relationship.

If you’re not getting any updates or information from your original point of contact, don’t hesitate to reach out to someone else. This is also one reason it’s important to gather email addresses from people you interview with throughout the process. You should be sending your thank you notes out anyway so you should have some contact information. If you only have one person’s email, you can figure out the rest by copying the format, it’s usually something like firstname.lastname@company.com. Follow up and reiterate how interested and excited you are by the opportunity and that you look forward to hearing any updates. Being a recruiter, I’m not going to say to throw your point of contact under the bus, but if you casually mention you had reached out to your point of contact and haven’t heard back, it’s not the worst thing. What you should NOT do is start reaching out to everyone with the word “Executive” in their title demanding updates. You annoying little recent grad. Just don’t do that ever it’s so obnoxious.

If after your follow ups and check ins, you don’t hear back and it’s been a significant amount of time, just let it die. If the company doesn’t have enough respect for your time and your candidacy, chances are you won’t want to work there anyway. At the end of the day, you are the asset and they will need you at some point. Feel free to be spiteful and treat them the way they treated you if you randomly hear back from them one day. You are also likely the consumer of their product as well. When a company does not cater to or treat their candidates with respect, they risk losing them as a consumer.

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