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A Full Heart, An Empty Inbox: How to Handle No Response Post Interview

Instead of wasting energy worrying if you’ll ever hear back, improve your chances with these tips

A Full Heart, An Empty Inbox: How to Handle No Response Post Interview

All you have to do is Google “No response after interview” and you’ll get about seven million hits of articles and top 10 lists explaining, reasoning and ranting about not receiving a response after submitting job applications and having interviews. Some take the side of busy HR departments, some sympathize with hungry candidates. There is so much written on this topic that you could probably find an article that attributes the lack of response to hiring managers’ cats keeping them up at night. Or whatever. You get it.

I present to you opinion number seven million and one because the Internet is clearly lacking in the opinion department.  

As I see it, there are two situations: not receiving a response after sending in a resume and/or application and not receiving a response after interviewing.

From a candidate’s perspective, both are annoying. As much as you dream about throwing a stone at the hiring manager’s bedroom window at 2 a.m. and throwing up your hands and saying, “Well?” You’re just not going to do that. It would more likely land you jail time than a job. Really, don’t try it. 

Like many, I’ve experienced both non-response situations and know that the non-response after an interview can feel personal, but in reality it isn’t. I once had two phone interviews, as well as a multi-hour in-person interview with an entire team, only to never hear back, after following up by email and phone in the few weeks post-interview. Was I that forgettable?

It was as if I didn’t exist — had never interviewed and shook hands with real people. I know the pain firsthand, but this experience in particular taught me a valuable lesson: the energy you spend wondering and worrying if you’ll ever hear back is energy wasted.

With that said, you should always allow yourself five minutes of contained ranting to a friend. Call her and say, “Isn’t it crazy that they never got back to me? What has this world come to? I should have gotten that job!” She’ll tell you, “Jon, I’m in the middle of dinner.” Apologize. Then, click end on the call and move on.

Spend your energy on these instead, which will give you far more mileage.

Review your resume and cover letters

Get fresh eyes looking at them and from professionals whose opinions you can trust. Your college’s career services department probably will do it for free, as many do. Give them a call!

Practice interviewing

You can do better than in front of a mirror. Again, many universities will offer their alumni practice interviews at no charge. Or ask a friend to help (not the one you called in the middle of dinner — she’s still bitter and would certainly not hypothetically hire you).

Talk to friends and classmates about how they found success landing a job

No need to be embarrassed at approaching people who have recently been hired. People love talking about themselves (ahem, see my above anecdote), so here’s your chance to let them do that and get a few pointers while you’re at it.

No matter which of the seven million and one opinions you agree with and which actions you take, always keep this simple question in mind: Will this help me get a job?

Calling your friend in the middle of dinner? No.

Taking concrete steps and not putting your job search on hold? I think: yes.

See what entry-level jobs or internships are available in your area! 

Monster Wants to Know: What steps have you taken after not receiving a response post-interview? Share with us in the comment section.


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