Urban Dictionary defines being ghosted as “To be ignored, or not having anyone respond to your opinion and disregarding your remark, leaving you feeling insignificant.”
After weeks of searching for the perfect summer internship, I thought I had finally found THE ONE. The internship embodied everything I could ever want. I applied and got through to the interview stage. The interview was fantastic. I couldn’t have imagined it going any better. Like all interviews, I sent a follow-up email thanking my interviewer for their time and expressing my excitement for the position. However, my email never received a response.
No big deal, right? Things happen, people get busy, I get it. However, the timeline that I was given came and went, with no responses. By this time, I was a little worried, so I sent another follow-up email. Still, no response. By this point I realized I most likely didn’t get the position.
This way of rejection is one of the most difficult for the job/internship seeker. Not only does it leave them wondering what happened, it also prevents them from learning from their mistakes. Below I’ve compiled some ways to avoid getting ghosted.
Send a thank you email.
A thank you email after an interview can make you stand out from the rest of the crowd by showing that you are communicative and respectful. This also creates an open line of communication for your interviewer. A good practice in your email is to ask a question. This elicits a response from your interviewer which furthers the communication. Remember to send a thank you email no longer than 24 hours after your interview. Sometimes I will push that to the next day, just to remind my interviewer that I’m still interested.
Follow up after time has passed.
Don’t be afraid to send a second follow-up email if the timeframe has passed. This will show the employer that you are still interested in the position and aware of how timely responses are. It also allows you to open the line of communication again. However, it’s important not to over do it. If you’ve already sent a follow up email, wait a while before sending another.
Remember, interviewers are human too.
Things may have happened with the company, or in the interviewer’s personal life that has prohibited him/her to respond to your emails. I once heard a story that an interviewer’s father had surgery complications and was out for weeks. He finally got back to the interviewee, explained the situation, and scheduled an in-person interview. Stay respectful and remember that they are human too.
Don’t get discouraged.
Even if your interview went amazing and you sent the follow-up emails, you still may not get a response. However, don’t get discouraged. Things can happen with an employer, but don’t give up. If it’s been a while since you’ve last heard anything, let the opportunity go, and keep applying to positions and to find one that will fit.
Good luck in your internship searches, and remember to never give up.