6 Things to Do When You Get the Silent Treatment After an Interview

You had the interview and now you are sitting frustrated waiting for an answer. What should you do in the mean time? Should you email follow-up or call?

I guess everything is relative really…somethings are bad like escargot and other things are also bad like Rocky Mountain Oysters, but when you compare the two you realize that cooked snails are infinitely better than deep fried bull gonads. Similarly, although interviews are bad, they are not as bad as waiting after the interview. This can be excruciating! Interviews are like ripping off a band-aid, sure you might lose arm-hair and skin, but it’s over in an instant, waiting after the interview for a response is like losing a finger…but cutting off that finger one paper-cut at a time.

1. Follow-Up


If a reasonable amount of time has transpired between the interview and now (whenever now is, like I said everything is relative) then a follow-up is a must. So there are two schools of thought regarding follow-ups, some say the “reasonable amount of time” is around two weeks and some experts including David Parnell who is a communication coach, legal consultant, and author says that if the interviewer doesn’t offer it forth-right you should set up a future time and date for the follow up at the end of the interview. That way it gives you a definitive date and removes all the ambiguity and stress of trying to figure out when it will be best time to contact your interviewer/potential employer. If you intent to do multiple follow-ups at the same organization make sure that you don’t pester them or become annoying.

2. Read Between The Lines


When developing a post interview strategy, make sure that your overall tone is in accordance with the corresponance tone that you are receiving. If the response seems positive and warm then it might be worth contacting the company again. If it seems like a canned response, i.e. something they send everyone:

Dear SoandSo,

We are currently reviewing all applicants credentials, qualifications and experiences. If by May 23 you are not contacted then you have not been shortlisted. Thank you for your interesting in working at Company X.

Then you might not want to bother pestering the hiring manager with multiple emails.

3. Move Up

OK this is a slightly desperate measure if there is complete lack of communication and can be an extremely risky move, due to its potential to offend the hiring manager, so err on the side of cautious when implementing this. Try to discern the person directly above the person or people that interviewed you and contact them. Respectfully explain the situation, avoid mentioning the lack of communication in fear that you will expose your interviewer and try to be as neutral as possible. Best case scenario the higher-up will look at your resume and interview notes potentially becoming interested or they will contact your interviewer asking them to follow up with you. Worst case scenario they contact your interviewer, your interviewer gets peeved that you went over their head and reject you out-right. Like I said in the introduction, this is an extremely risky strategy.

4. Keep Looking

As the saying goes “it ain’t over until the big and beautiful lady sings” (well the non-fat-shaming saying). Investing all of your energy (and hope) in one position is probably the worst thing you can do for morale if you are potentially rejected. Instead of just waiting for a response be proactive and continue looking, searching and interviewing for jobs. The job you interviewed for may never get back to you at all, but if you keep your job search inertia, any rejection or non-communication won’t cost you as much motivationally speaking. It’s also infinitely beneficial to any job seeker to keep as many options as possible open. No matter how much you want the job, there might always be a better one out there.

5. Stay Off Social Media

off social media

Well, stay away from expressing your disdain about them not communicating with you on social media. This is especially true if you have common contacts with any of the people working at the company that interviewed you. Unfortunately that’s not the only way the company can see you bad mouthing them on social media. Often companies will actively follow and watch their candidate’s social media feeds, not with the explicit reason to catch them taking smack about them, but to gauge the candidate’s attitudes and lifestyles. Although this sounds sketchy, it’s completely legal, even though it’s definitely morally grey.

6. Creepy Ex

Another thing to avoid doing while waiting. Hopefully you have pretty good social skills so think objectively what would be appropriate in any other social circumstance. Contacting the hiring manager anyway other than through the official channels that they initially contacted you is a big faux pas, trying to contact them via their personal email is bad, at home via phone call or personal visit is practically criminal…do not call them more than twice if you haven’t gotten a response. Do not send them a gift as a follow up and avoid showing up at the office or location of the interview and scream out in a rage “You’ve been seeing other people behind my back!!!” This isn’t a Mexican soap opera after-all it’s an interview, that will hopefully be a job offer, if you play your cards right.

See Also: Mistakes You Should Avoid in Interviews

What do you think you should do when waiting for a response from an interviewer? Let us know in the comment section below.