You have been on several job interviews and all seems to have gone well. They flew you out to the company HQ and warmly welcomed you for the final interview. You met with key decision-makers and you left the final interview with strong beliefs that you will be hired.
But then something strange happens and you did not see it coming. The company goes silent. Before you let your imagination run wild as to all the possible things you could have done wrong, or start panicking, leading you to take actions that will hurt your chances, remember this simple fact:
You just don’t know until you know.
Think of it as Schrodinger’s Job Interview: You do not know if the job is alive or dead. There are many reasons why a company will go silent after a job interview. Until you know if your chances are alive or dead, assume they went silent for one of these reasons below.
Reasons for the silent treatment after a final job interview
1. They still have other candidates to interview
If you were the only candidate, you would have had the job already. Remember there are others to be interviewed as well. Patience is required.
2. They have an internal emergency to deal with delaying decision-making
All businesses big and small know that things always seem to take longer than initially planned. You can set deadlines until the end of time, but something always comes up that delays a decision whether it be a natural disaster, sickness, weather emergency, company problems, or internal debates.
3. They want to find out what other employees think of the candidates
Internally, this is a great way to make sure you build a strong team: Get feedback from all team members on the job candidates they had met. (a good reason why you should treat all people you meet with equal respect on your job interviews, from receptionist to CEO)
And now the possible bad news
4. They were scared off during the salary negotiation
Essentially, this means you just wanted too much money. Instead of getting into a debate over salary, they would rather go silent and save time because they already made up their minds.
5. They are making an offer to someone else
The silence here happens for a few reasons:
- In today’s connected world, it is possible for two job candidates in the same industry to know each other and communicate on LinkedIn. Therefore, it is best to keep quiet until the offer is made to the candidate they wish to hire.
- They simply feel no obligation to let the person know the job went to someone else.
Whatever the reason may be, the best advice during a job search is to make sure the job search does not end until that day you accept a job offer. Even then, it is a good idea to keep looking long enough to see whether or not you like the job.
Unfortunately, in today’s job market people change jobs so quickly that they endlessly need to keep networking. Ideally, people would love to have one job for a long time that they can stay loyal to and some manage to do this. But times and work methods change so quickly, it is a safer play to stay educated, active, and motivated about always growing your career.
Whatever you do, do not panic and do something that makes your fear a self-fulfilling prophecy. For example, constantly writing the company on a daily basis to ask for status updates.