Waiting to hear back from a hiring manager or recruiter after an interview can be quite stressful, especially if you’ve made it though the rounds and are waiting for a final decision.
Whether you’re working with a recruiter or directly with a hiring manager, these are a few possible reasons you haven’t heard back after your interview.
They’re still trying to solidify the details.
Sometimes the hiring manager or recruiter has to coordinate their efforts with multiple people before giving a final answer. When a lot of people are weighing in on the hiring process and making a decision, it can be hard to accomplish that in a timely manner. The more people involved in the decision-making process, the longer it will take. People are busy, their schedules are full, and they’re not always prompt on replying to the hiring manager.
While it would be nice to not have radio silence during the process, you’re not likely to get an email letting you know things are taking a bit more time than they had originally expected. If you were told you’d hear back from the hiring manager in two weeks and it’s been three, that doesn’t mean you aren’t the chosen candidate, it could just mean that a decision hasn’t been made yet.
Try to be patient and remember that a lack of answer doesn’t mean you didn’t get the job, and you’re still a candidate until you hear otherwise.
Plans have changed.
Sometimes plans change in the middle of the interview process, and the hiring manager doesn’t have control over that. The company could have to deal with unforeseeable changes like budget cuts or restructuring. This throws a monkey wrench into hiring plans, and companies don’t want to tell a candidate that there’s a lot of internal change happening as that’s proprietary information not shared with outsiders.
When this happens, it doesn’t mean you won’t be moving forward in the interview process, it just means it might be delayed. The hiring manager or recruiter might send you a message telling you that there’s a delay or they’re figuring out the next steps in the process, but that’s not always the case. Take this at face value – they’re not trying to lead you on, they just aren’t able to share any more information with you. The fact that they’ve send you a message is a good sign; it indicates that they’re sill interested in hiring you.
They’re really busy.
If it’s a busy time of year for hiring, the hiring manager or recruiter will have their hands full juggling interviews and offers for multiple positions. While they’d like to be able to be in more frequent communication with candidates, it’s just not possible. Just like everyone else, they have a lot to do every day and that means that sometimes emails can fall through the cracks.
If it’s been a while since you’ve heard from a hiring manager or recruiter, or if it’s been more than a week since they told you a decision would be made, you can reach out to them again. Send a brief email reminding them of three things – who you are, the position you’ve interviewed for, and asking them if they have an updated timeframe for decision making. If your email still goes unanswered, try giving them a call. Call twice to see if you can get them on the phone, but after that leave a voicemail.
You’ve been ghosted.
Unfortunately, ghosting happens in today’s workplace. It’s wrong and it’s disrespectful, but it happens. If you aren’t able to get in touch with the hiring manager or recruiter, and all of your emails and phone calls continue to go unanswered over a period of a few weeks, it’s a decent assumption that you’ve been ghosted. When this happens, don’t take it personally. Take a moment to review how the interviews went to identify areas that you can improve on in your next interview and then move on to the next opportunity.