It's one thing when you don't receive a reply from an employer after sending your resume and cover letter, but things get more personal when you don't hear back after a job interview. Waiting for a response is stressful and it's easy to let your mind run wild when coming up with reasons the employer hasn't called. Was it your hair? Should you have answered a certain question differently? Put the kabosh on your what-if thought process; usually an employer hasn't called back due to one of these eight reasons.
1. You Didn't Follow Up
Don't expect an employer to make the first move after you've interviewed. Following up after a job interview isn't an optional gesture; it's mandatory if you want to stay in the running for the position. Initiating communication after your interview, even if it's just an email to say thank-you and you're enthusiastic about the opportunity, separates you from another candidate who wasn't thoughtful about her follow-up.
2. Your Contact Info Was Wrong or Lost
It's a cover letter must to include your contact information, even though you already put it on your resume. Prepare for the possibility that your papers might get separated so the hiring manager isn't left without a way to contact you. Also, be sure to triple check your email address and phone number that you provide — there are few things more careless than providing incorrect contact information.
3. They're Taking Their Time
If your position is a newly created role the employer may not be in a rush to fill it; they'll want to see a range of applicants before selecting one. Pay attention to the date the position was first listed — if you applied soon after it was posted, the employer may be holding out on making a decision until the job has been open for a certain amount of time.
4. They're on Vacation
It's a frustrating truth, but hiring is affected by seasonality. Hiring managers take vacations just like everyone else, and your interview may have occurred right before that someone in charge (or the person she answers to) put on her out of office reply. A delayed response could be due to a peak vacay time at the company, a likely reason during Summer or near the holidays.
5. Budget Hasn't Been Finalized
Departments' budgets dictate how much they can pay new hires and whether or not adding personnel is possible. Companies announce budget changes at different times and can depend on outside financing if it's a start-up, so you may not be receiving a call because the department is waiting on its final numbers.
6. There Aren't Enough Hours in the Day
Keep in mind that your employment isn't the only thing the hiring manager has on her plate, not to mention there are several people involved in hiring decisions. If it's a particularly busy time in the industry then hiring could be a lower priority than usual.
7. An Offer Has Already Been Extended …
… to someone else. If the position has already been offered to another candidate and is waiting for that person to accept the offer, they'll withhold from making contact with other applicants in the running. This process can take longer than you'd think — the preferred candidate could be on vacation or trying to negotiate salary. An employer won't let you know a position has been filled until it's been formalized.
8. The Position No Longer Exists
Shake-ups can occur that reorganize departments and eliminate the position you interviewed for. This kind of change can cause higher-ups to be distracted and they might not get around to announcing the news to candidates as soon as you'd hope.
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