5 things to remember while you’re anxiously waiting to hear back about a job

Ever feel like you’ve been “ghosted” by a hiring manager? You’re not alone.

5 things to remember while you’re anxiously waiting to hear back about a job

You made it past the phone screen with a recruiter. You aced your day-long interview with seemingly everyone on the staff. You crushed your session with the hiring manager. There’s nothing left to do but sit back and wait for your new boss’s offer.

Then weeks go by and you don’t hear a thing. So what’s going on?

Seeing what the typical recruiter is up against each day, can help you understand why it’s taking hiring managers longer than ever to get back to perfectly good applicants.

They’re gun-shy from the recession

Like depression-era grandparents who still re-use tin foil, some companies are living like it’s still 2008. “They’re used to doing more with less, so even though budgets have been reinstated, companies are still in cost-savings mode,” says Alexandra Levit, career coach and author of Blind Spots: 10 Business Myths You Can’t Afford To Believe. “Also, increased regulations make it more difficult to fire people, so companies are more cautious.” So even if you get through the door and nail the interview, sometimes, it’s not you. It’s them.

They’re inundated with applications

The number of job seekers hasn’t necessarily risen, but it’s easier than ever for people to spam companies with applications and resumes. “HR folks have application materials coming from several places: applicant tracking systems, job boards, internal referrals. That results in a lot of noise,” Levit says. In fact, the average recruiter speaks with 13,000 people per year, and greater than 50% aren’t qualified, data shows.

So, if you haven’t heard back, take heart. The recruiter or hiring manager might just be downing in a sea of paperwork.

The job was put on hold

Now for some, this one can sound like the old “maybe he got hit by a bus” excuse when a new prospect doesn’t call.

But sometimes, even though a company posted a job description and went through the trouble of meeting with candidates, things happen. Budgets get frozen. They may have hired someone temporarily and decided to stick with that person for longer. It doesn’t mean you blew it—they just might have pushed the pause button.

They have unrealistic expectations

Ever read a job description that seems like they’re looking for a cross between Bill Gates, Mother Theresa and Beyonce? “Hiring managers have unrealistic expectations by thinking people can check every box,” Levit says. “They’re hiring humans, not robots.”

She says this disconnect between what they want and what they’re getting sometimes causes a lag.  “Ninety-three percent of hiring managers don’t feel that their candidates have the right skills or qualifications, so they either don’t hire anyone, or go with someone who poses less of a risk, maybe an internal hire.”

They’re busy doing their jobs

No matter how badly they need to fill a job, hiring managers sometimes just have to get their work done—so they can’t find time to make that important group hiring decision. “People can get so busy and it might have nothing to do with the candidate,” Levit says.

So what do you do if you’ve sent out dozens of applications and resumes and you still haven’t heard anything? “Stay motivated,” she adds. “Keep yourself as distracted as possible. Improve your marketability, focus on your current job. Try not to obsess over it. And remember: Everything tends to happen as it’s supposed to, so have faith that the right job will call you back. It just might not be today.”