Job Search Conundrum: Why Isn’t the Employer Calling?

This is a longer post, because I get this question a lot and I totally understand. It’s one of those all consuming queries that can haunt you after a successful interview. In fact, most job seekers start worrying as soon as they hit the “send” button on their application and unfortunately, this concern can play havoc with our success. How? Whenever there’s an unknown there can be room self-doubt or frustration and that can stall an effective job search. The lack of knowing may lead us to jump to all kinds of conclusions about our selves and potential employers. So pump the breaks on negative self talk on the job search conundrum: why isn’t the employer calling? You’re a great candidate!

Still, if you can’t stop thinking about this common job search conundrum, the answer (and challenge) lies in understanding the employer’s mindset, and that’s almost impossible unless you garner a conversation. Sure, it would be nice to receive a letter or call but unfortunately that’s not the way it always works (sigh). I polled a few of my human resources colleagues and here are few reasons why.

Legalities. Let’s face it, we’re living in a society that’s loose with a lawsuit and if something is misconstrued or incorrect the employer could be liable so instead of getting a response back you get silence. The employer may also have in mind an internal candidate but for legal reasons HR might request them to interview all qualified applicants. But you can always call and request feedback while reinforcing your interest. And before you say: “that won’t work”, did you try it?

Connections. There are a lot of applicants who apply for positions they are not qualified for. There are also a lot of candidates who apply for positions they are qualified for but don’t connect how they are in their career marketing materials. Also, there are a lot of candidates who don’t make a connection in an interview. We may feel we put our best foot forward all the way around, but the connection may still be missing. Don’t let that be you.

Timing. Timing is everything when it comes both to applying and hearing back from an employer. You might have been the first candidate that was interviewed and they have a long line to get through. Or perhaps you’re applying for higher education or government organization, which typically take longer in the search process. It could also happen that during the hiring process budget cuts occurred or the employer simply doesn’t have the time to call back all applicants. It’s hard to gauge the timing on the employer’s clock.

I know, I know, it’s unfair not to get called. Perhaps you feel that the employer shouldn’t have wasted your time with an interview; but if they just gave the position to the person who had the prettiest resume that wouldn’t be right. Still, Is it rude? Is it the end of the world? Perhaps some days it feels like it. We all have our stories of how we’ve been burned in the process, but if you need closure, please pick up the phone. Whatever you decide, please avoid burning bridges or slowing your job search. My point is, that you can worry all day long and get angry over what you don’t know, but that’s exactly it—you don’t know. As frustrating as it is, focus on what you can control. Now, get up, get out there and get past this all-consuming job search conundrum as to why isn’t the employer calling? You’re a great candidate!

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