Updated: Sep 19, 2021
By Lynda Bassett
Tell me if this sounds familiar. You have an interview with a company, and it went well. They invite you back for a second or even third interview. You’ve done your research, you’ve told your STARS stories, you’ve written your thank you notes, and you’re feeling pretty good about the whole thing. You feel like you’ve made a real connection with the hiring manager and the rest of the team you’ve met. You can really imagine yourself working there.
You do a little follow-up email, and then a quick message on LinkedIn.
Silence. Dead silence.
Guess what? You’ve been “ghosted.”
What Is “Ghosting”?
Once an expression tossed around in dating circles, ghosting is when someone abruptly ends the relationship by cutting off all communication, without any explanation.
According to Forbes magazine, 76% of employers say that they have ghosted prospective job candidate. On the other side of the table, 28% of candidates have ghosted potential employers. What’s going on here? What can we do about it?
Whatever Happened To Professional Courtesy?
“It’s like humanity is going down the toilet,” says one job seeker. Another job seeker says, “we’ve lost our mutual respect.” Indeed, some professional courtesies, like a two-line email saying that you didn’t get the job, seem to have fallen by the wayside.
You’re Not Alone (Unfortunately)
So, what do you do? First of all, give yourself permission to be upset. Vent a little—to a trusted friend, to a fellow job seeker. (Just make sure you don’t take that venting online.) It’s normal to be upset, disappointed and frustrated. You’re not alone here.
Ghosting is unpleasant, but unfortunately, it’s not an unusual experience. That’s why it’s a good idea to have yourself a job seeker buddy group or a career advisor. It helps to talk about these things.
The Forbes article said ghosting could be because employers don’t want to risk having potential discriminatory practices, or maybe it’s just that HR doesn’t like uncomfortable conversations Either way, ghosting is real. And it’s not going away anytime soon.
The bottom line is this: keep your network going. Just because you have a few good interviews—and you feel like you’re close to getting an offer—doesn’t mean that you stop networking. Keep those contacts going, and nurture your network. And don’t forget that networking is a two-way street. Because you never know where that next interview is coming from.