NEW YORK (October 16, 2023) — TopInterview, a top-rated interview coaching service designed to help job seekers land more job offers, today announced its latest survey results, revealing the biggest fears that job candidates may face after an interview. Being “ghosted” — a commonly used term when a recruiter or hiring manager who previously expressed interest suddenly ceases communication — was their number-one concern and more than half of job seekers (57%) stated they were inexplicably left in the dark after meeting with a potential employer.
With Halloween on the horizon, TopInterview asked U.S. career-driven professionals whether they have ever been ghosted during their job hunt, as well as what other aspects they find most intimidating. When asked, “What do you think is the scariest part of the job search?” they shared the following responses:
Rejection: Receiving no response; not being selected for a job I want (30%)
Interviewing: Making a bad impression or having to respond to difficult questions (26%)
Competition: Having to stand out from others who may be more qualified (19%)
Negotiating: Having to disclose my salary requirements and/or negotiate my compensation package (9%)
Networking: Dreading having to network; feeling stressed or intimidated by it at times (9%)
Age Discrimination: Being deemed 'overqualified' or a poor culture fit due to my age (7%)
“Our recent Halloween survey reveals the proliferation of 'ghosting' during the job search, which can frustratingly happen at any stage of the interview process,” said Amanda Augustine, career expert for TopInterview and a certified professional career coach (CPCC). “However, through preparation — basically 'doing your homework' on a potential employer in advance — job seekers can learn what job candidates, as well as current and former employees, are anonymously saying about the company and its interview practices to see if there's a documented history of ignoring applicants.”
While there's no foolproof method to entirely prevent being ghosted, Amanda recommends these five tips for minimizing the risk:
Do Your Research: Use company review sites like Glassdoor and leverage your professional network to learn more about the company and its hiring process.
Ask the Hard Questions: During the interview, ask the hiring manager or recruiter if there's any reason they would be reluctant to hire you.
Get Expectations Set: Toward the end of the interview, ask your interviewer about the expected timeline for making a hiring decision, and whether you can follow-up with them via email or phone.
Follow Up Promptly: Send a thank-you email within 24 hours of the interview.
Connect on LinkedIn: If you haven't connected with the interviewers on LinkedIn yet, do so after the interview as part of your follow-up process.
Additionally, the consequences of ghosting affect both job seekers and employers alike, since bad behavior can also be bad for business. In fact, when asked, “Has being 'ghosted' by that employer negatively impacted your opinion of that company?" nearly three-fourths (69%) said it had.
“Undeniably, there are ramifications for employers who behave badly, and ignoring rejected applicants in your vetting process can give good companies a bad reputation,” said Augustine. “Even a simple 'thanks, but no thanks' response can go a long way in forging goodwill, especially as you never know where that candidate will ultimately land in their career.”
In addition to being ghosted, the type of interview can also fill job candidates with fear, perhaps fueled by post-pandemic workplaces, many of which are permanently remote. When asked, “What interview format do you find most frightening?” job seekers stated that in-person interviews (57%) were by far the scariest, followed by video interviews (29%), and finally phone interviews (14%).