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Career Advice

What To Do If A Company 'Ghosts' You After An Interview

Posted by Jill Cotton

Career Trends Expert

Last Updated 26 Oct 2022
|3 min read

You’ve just interviewed for your dream job and everything seemed to go well. The hiring manager promises to be in touch and you wait. And you wait. And then… nothing. 

Unfortunately, you are now one of the growing number of job seekers across the UK who has been ‘ghosted’ after an interview. And despite record numbers of job vacancies, ghosting appears to be on the rise. 

Is Ghosting Common After An Interview?

Looking at the reviews of hundreds of thousands of interviews, Glassdoor has found that more employees than ever are being ghosted after an interview:

  • Mentions of ‘ghosting’ in Glassdoor interview reviews have tripled since before the pandemic - up 208%.
  • Job seekers applying via recruiters report the most instances of being ghosted.

For job seekers, the not-knowing can be incredibly frustrating and it can shake your confidence as you move forward in your job search.

What Does Being ‘Ghosted’ After An Interview Mean?

The term ‘ghosting’, as it is used today, first appeared around 2014 and means to have all lines of communication cut off without explanation. While originally associated with the world of dating, ghosting is being used more and more by job applicants who fail to hear from a recruiter or hiring manager, despite participating in interviews and potentially even completing assigned tasks as part of the interview process.

Why Have I Been Ghosted?

There are often several reasons why a candidate is ghosted. And while the pandemic has made recruiting more challenging, there is no excuse for companies who deliver a poor candidate experience and it can negatively impact the company’s employer brand.

Common reasons for being ghosted after an interview include:

  • The position has changed or been removed altogether
  • The company has hired internally to fill the role
  • A large number of applications were received for the position
  • The hiring manager has taken leave or is no longer with the company
  • The hiring process is taking longer than usual - and the company could still be in touch.

Companies can change their mind about how and what they want for a role and while not keeping you informed can feel disrespectful, job seekers should remember that ghosting isn’t a reflection of their ability.

How Can I Prevent Being Ghosted?

Ghosting cuts all communication between the candidate and hiring manager so here are a few tips on how to avoid it:

Get the facts: Before the interview finishes, ask for details about the next steps of the hiring process and deadlines of when to expect an outcome so you know what to expect.

Follow up: A thank you goes a long way. On the same or next day of the interview send a note to each person you met with. Take the opportunity to reiterate why you think you would be a good fit for the role and your passion for the company.

A final attempt: If you don’t hear from the hiring manager by the agreed deadline and there’s been no response to your first thank you, follow up with one last email. If there’s still no response, assume there has been a hold on the hiring process or the role has been filled.

What Can I Do If I Have Been Ghosted?

Being ghosted by an interviewer is frustrating and it is easy to let the experience knock your confidence.

Keep professional: You may not have had a great experience but you won’t gain anything from bad-mouthing the company or hiring manager. Share your views on employee insights platforms such as Glassdoor, but keep to relevant points and offer constructive feedback as and when appropriate.

Mentally move on: You may never find out why an employer ghosted you but don’t let this hold you back from applying for the next job. Focus on what you want from your next career move and be ready to make this happen.

* The Glassdoor Economic Research team analysed mentions of the word ‘ghosting’ over 150,000 interview reviews by UK workers between January 1, 2019 and October 34, 2022.