Student and Graduate Publishing

What to Do When You Don’t Hear Back

Thursday, 20 July 2017 09:35

You breezed the telephone interview. You arrived for the second interview 10 minutes early, looking sharp in your business smarts. You researched the company, prepared your questions and nodded politely while they droned on about annual turnover. They told you they’d be in touch shortly. So, you sent a thank you email and waited. And waited. And waited.

Okay, so maybe you didn’t get the job, but you’re entitled to some feedback. It’s perfectly acceptable to give a company a chase if you don’t hear anything back after an interview. You won’t be the only candidate, so you need to give them some time to review, but generally you should have heard back after a week from the interview.

This was the situation I recently found myself in. A few days after an interview, I politely emailed the recruiter, and asked when I could expect to hear back. Friday, I was told. Of course, Friday came and went with no response. I tried again on the Monday, and was told to call the recruiter after lunch to discuss. That I was expected to call them, and not the other way around, wasn’t a great sign. But I swallowed my pride and gave them a call. 

“Unfortunately, there was a lot of competition for the role, and we’ve decided to go with someone else” I was told. I thanked them for considering me anyway, and asked if it was due to anything I did in my interview, or if it came down to experience.
“The team thought you interviewed well, and it’s not a matter of experience; as we mentioned we provide full training on the job. It’s just that the successful candidate had been working in a similar role for a few years.”
"So, it was a matter of experience then?"
“...Yes”.

Not the most enlightening phone call. It’s easy to get disheartened when this happens. You need to learn to deal with rejection when looking for work. I like to think of interviews like Tinder dates. There’s a good chance it’ll be uncomfortable and you’ll never hear from them again. But at least with Tinder you get dinner. 

Like dating, finding a job is a numbers game. You gotta keep playing the field until you find the right match. You weren’t even that into that job anyway. The commute was awkward, the pay was low and the manager had a really annoying laugh. You were too good for them babe, they didn’t deserve you. 

If you want to take a day to sit in the dark eating ice cream and listening to your Elliott Smith playlist, that’s okay. But ultimately, all you can do is get back out there and keep sending off applications. It’s a bad idea to pin all your hopes on one job, so you should still be applying for jobs even after an interview that you felt went really well. It makes rejection a lot more palatable if you’ve already got something else lined up. 

So, keep your chin up, your perfect job is out there somewhere. 

- By Ed Irwin