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People are 'ghosting' at work, and it's driving companies crazy

Oct 25, 2017
269
I had something like this happen back around september. I applied to an IT position at a local resort, interviewed a couple people and the GM of the hotel. They said they had a couple more interviews, but that the other people I interviewed with liked me well enough. Hell, I even said I would help them with finance stuff just to make myself look more flexible. The GM said "We have a couple of other interviews, but we will definitely let you know what is going on by Friday." I get home and not an hour and a half later I get this automated message from them saying "We are looking at other applicants, good luck in your future endeavors". It was the kind of message you get when you don't even make it beyond the first the application level, not big "in-person" interviews. I thought it might have been an accident as I was expecting an actual call from a human being simply due to the fact that I "made it through a few levels" as they told me. Well I made a few calls to the HR guy who was my point of contact never got back to me and I called a few times. Listen, I know I didn't get the job, but sending an automated message is just weak, I can handle them telling me I didn't get it.
 
Oct 28, 2017
2,156
Yup. That happened to me over the summer. Made me do a ton of pre-interview work (a fucking 12-hour project, no less), had me come in for two callback interviews with increasingly higher-ranked people, then told me "you're our top candidate, but we have one more interview to do, so we'll call you on Friday whether you got the job or not".

They didn't call me at all. I waited until 4PM, had a panic attack and e-mailed my primary point of contact and he responded within 45 seconds to tell me I didn't get the job. Didn't even have the courtesy to give me a "thank you for your time" phone call.

Assholes probably stole my pre-interview project, too.
I don’t really see how you were ghosted here. That amount of work for an interview is absurd though. And I’d personally prefer an email rejection over a phone rejection. I got a phone rejection only once and it felt terrible since before a phone call was always giving me good news.
 
Oct 27, 2017
2,491
A lot of companies advertise available jobs with no intention of ever hiring outside candidates, but do so because of labor laws and having to fill an interview quota of some sort. Many times they've already made up their mind. If they're really courteous they'll never call in anyone for an interview to waste their time if they already have a candidate in mind but that's not always the case, unfortunately.
 

PlanetSmasher

The Abominable Showman
Member
Oct 25, 2017
20,420
I don’t really see how you were ghosted here. That amount of work for an interview is absurd though. And I’d personally prefer an email rejection over a phone rejection. I got a phone rejection only once and it felt terrible since before a phone call was always giving me good news.
They told me, verbatim, that they would call me on Friday morning regardless of whether or not I got the job. They didn't.
 
Oct 30, 2017
192
Just had an interview candidate ghost on my company yesterday. Medium level engineer, seemed reasonable, just no showed and didn't return any phone calls.

Maybe I'm too old now, but I just don't get the rationale - if you don't want the job that's fine, but at least call day of and say "no thanks". Leaving people in the lurch burns bridges. And unlike text messages, companies keep files on candidates and will remember their previous actions.
 
Oct 28, 2017
2,156
They told me, verbatim, that they would call me on Friday morning regardless of whether or not I got the job. They didn't.
Stuff happens man. You ended up getting a response the same day. I don’t think you’re ever going to get what you want in a job if you expect perfectly-managed conmunjcation.
 

PlanetSmasher

The Abominable Showman
Member
Oct 25, 2017
20,420
Stuff happens man. You ended up getting a response the same day. I don’t think you’re ever going to get what you want in a job if you expect perfectly-managed conmunjcation.
We literally scheduled a phone call because the start date for the job was supposed to be the following Monday. It's a kind of different situation when they say "we will call you between 9 and 10AM to get everything finalized" and then they don't.
 
Oct 26, 2017
10,906
I don’t really see how you were ghosted here. That amount of work for an interview is absurd though. And I’d personally prefer an email rejection over a phone rejection. I got a phone rejection only once and it felt terrible since before a phone call was always giving me good news.
LOL. That happened to me as well. I was thinking to myself why can't you just send me an email instead of calling me.
 
Oct 28, 2017
2,156
We literally scheduled a phone call because the start date for the job was supposed to be the following Monday. It's a kind of different situation when they say "we will call you between 9 and 10AM to get everything finalized" and then they don't.
“A recruiter told me that they would call me in the morning and let me know if I got the job or not and they didn’t.”

“Oh that sounds annoying. So you’re still not sure where you stand?”

“No, I know I didn’t get it. They immediately sent me a response later that same day after I notified them that I still haven’t gotten a response.”

“Oh......so what’s the problem?”

“They didn’t call me in the morning like they promised!”
 

PlanetSmasher

The Abominable Showman
Member
Oct 25, 2017
20,420
This person got their response the same day. Getting it hours later is not really anything worth complaining about. It simply isn’t an issue.
Read my follow-up response. The VP asked me in my previous conversation (a post-post-interview phone call where he told me I was the top candidate) if I was ready to start working the following Monday, and we scheduled a conference call for 9AM that Friday where they'd tell me either way whether or not I got the job, because the official start date for the position was said Monday. The paperwork needed to be signed that day.

The fact that I had to beg them for a response right before the close of business for a job I was supposed to start three days later is not a sign of competent leadership. I wasn't talking to recruiters, this was a scheduled meeting with executive leadership staff.
 
Oct 25, 2017
5,858
I had a phone interview a couple of months ago. After the interview the guy gave me a project. Told me to take a couple of days to finish it, and then email him back to set up a second interview. Finished the project 3 days later and emailed him and nothing. Followed up a week later to see if he missed it and still nothing. I don’t feel bad for companies at all.
 
Oct 25, 2017
684
Earth
you can't seriously be holding CORPORATIONS accountable PlanetSmasher they have PROFIT to be making

meanwhile I'm sure all our jobs are fine with us calling out sick except we dont call in and tell them, and instead wait for them to call US

I mean, they (eventually) got the info the same day right? All's well that ends well
 
Nov 6, 2017
2,036
Some people are insanely entitled - "if it's convenient for me, I don't care, screw everyone else".
It's just rude. I would consider it rude to ghost from both sides, but some companies have hundreds of applicants so it's understandable if they don't respond. In most cases it's stated or assumed that no response means they didn't get the job.

But applicants usually do not get hundreds of job offers. It takes only a sec to make a call, email or text that they decline the job offer. Ghosting is just rude, and extremely entitled.
 
Oct 28, 2017
2,156
Read my follow-up response. The VP asked me in my previous conversation (a post-post-interview phone call where he told me I was the top candidate) if I was ready to start working the following Monday, and we scheduled a conference call for 9AM that Friday where they'd tell me either way whether or not I got the job, because the official start date for the position was said Monday. The paperwork needed to be signed that day.

The fact that I had to beg them for a response right before the close of business for a job I was supposed to start three days later is not a sign of competent leadership. I wasn't talking to recruiters, this was a scheduled meeting with executive leadership staff.
Wait, first you said that they would call you to notify you, but now you’re saying that it was a scheduled conference call? Why wouldn’t you email them or call them when they never answered the conference call? That update doesn’t really mesh with you saying you were waiting until 4 pm before emailing them.
 
Oct 28, 2017
2,156
you can't seriously be holding CORPORATIONS accountable PlanetSmasher they have PROFIT to be making
What does complaining about a 6 hour delay do to hold corporations accountable? Honestly, the 12 hour project is the real bullshit that should be the focus of that interview process.
 

PlanetSmasher

The Abominable Showman
Member
Oct 25, 2017
20,420
Wait, first you said that they would call you to notify you, but now you’re saying that it was a scheduled conference call? Why wouldn’t you email them or call them when they never answered the conference call? That update doesn’t really mesh with you saying you were waiting until 4 pm before emailing them.
It was a scheduled call with the VP and the hiring manager who had literally both spent an entire previous conference call buttering me up that Wednesday and confirming I was ready to start work on Monday. We had already discussed compensation packages and everything, all that was left was formal paperwork. I didn't e-mail them immediately precisely because I wanted to be polite and not immediately assume wrongdoing on their part. Sometimes things come up, I get it. And as long as I got the paperwork in before close of business it didn't matter WHEN it was signed.

Then it was lunch time, and then it was the evening and I had a complete panic attack and e-mailed the VP with a quick note and he responded within seconds to tell me I didn't get the job.
 
May 17, 2018
1,454
After so many HR jerks bragging about not reading cover letters, or just glancing at resumes for five seconds I am happy this is happening, those people suck at their jobs.

Once, a company made me take days off three times to interview me. They canceled every single time the same morning, and it never happened. Not only did I not get a job, I lost a lot of money in the process.
 
Oct 28, 2017
2,156
It was a scheduled call with the VP and the hiring manager who had literally both spent an entire previous conference call buttering me up that Wednesday and confirming I was ready to start work on Monday. We had already discussed compensation packages and everything, all that was left was formal paperwork. I didn't e-mail them immediately precisely because I wanted to be polite and not immediately assume wrongdoing on their part. Sometimes things come up, I get it. And as long as I got the paperwork in before close of business it didn't matter WHEN it was signed.

Then it was lunch time, and then it was the evening and I had a complete panic attack and e-mailed the VP with a quick note and he responded within seconds to tell me I didn't get the job.
You keep changing details, man. Now you’re talking like you had the job entirely but just didn’t have the offer letter yet. Up until that post you’ve been saying they would be notifying you if you got the job or not. And if it was a scheduled conference call, then I don’t understand why you wouldn’t call or email to confirm that the conference call was still happening or not. Like, you not sending any notification about them not calling/joining actually makes it look like you flaked on it too.
 
Oct 27, 2017
3,136
It's hard for me to feel sympathy when so many companies think it's cool to leave people waiting on an answer that isn't coming.
Yup. I applied for a job and went through the first round of interviews only to not here from them for 2 months until after numerous emails on my behalf, they finally said we aren’t interested. So I have no sympathy
 
Oct 28, 2017
2,156
I guess I got lucky with my recruiter at my upcoming job. Even after I got my offer, he asked me if I am still doing other interviews. When I said yes I have others scheduled, he told me to send him an email basically saying “These other interviews are going to take a while, but if you sweeten the deal I will sign right now”. It ended up getting me a pretty decent increase in compensation. It was a good idea since I already knew that the other companies I wasn’t interviewing with would offer less, so I wouldn’t be able to negotiate a higher salary with them once I had actual numbers..
 

PlanetSmasher

The Abominable Showman
Member
Oct 25, 2017
20,420
You keep changing details, man. Now you’re talking like you had the job entirely but just didn’t have the offer letter yet. Up until that post you’ve been saying they would be notifying you if you got the job or not. And if it was a scheduled conference call, then I don’t understand why you wouldn’t call or email to confirm that the conference call was still happening or not. Like, you not sending any notification about them not calling/joining actually makes it look like you flaked on it too.
It's a complicated, stupid scenario, that's why. They told me outright I was the top candidate, I had been in for two follow-up interviews, we discussed salary package and everything. A day after the third interview, they called me again to ask if I could start Monday, reiterated the salary package they offered me, then went "we just have one more person to interview tomorrow, so we'll talk at 9AM Friday no matter what happens to hash things out".

Again, it was terribly, terribly managed and they went out of their way to make me feel like I had the job only to pull the rug out from under me at the very last second. If you want to throw it back in my face for not haranguing them all day, that's fine, but realize that a large part of the blame falls on them for repeatedly and continuously treating me like I had the job and throwing hope at me like birdseed.
 
Nov 13, 2017
3,581
A lot of companies advertise available jobs with no intention of ever hiring outside candidates, but do so because of labor laws and having to fill an interview quota of some sort. Many times they've already made up their mind. If they're really courteous they'll never call in anyone for an interview to waste their time if they already have a candidate in mind but that's not always the case, unfortunately.
Usually the labor laws require that they do charade interviews though.

About the project part: I highly doubt reputable companies are stealing projects. Usually these projects are ways to test your coding or thinking process, and it's sometimes tough to come up with something that you can't just easily look up on the internet. But if you're good enough to code something that is better than whatever the current engineers can come up with, I don't see why they'd ghost you.
 
Oct 28, 2017
2,156
It's a complicated, stupid scenario, that's why. They told me outright I was the top candidate, I had been in for two follow-up interviews, we discussed salary package and everything. A day after the third interview, they called me again to ask if I could start Monday, reiterated the salary package they offered me, then went "we just have one more person to interview tomorrow, so we'll talk at 9AM Friday no matter what happens to hash things out".

Again, it was terribly, terribly managed and they went out of their way to make me feel like I had the job only to pull the rug out from under me at the very last second. If you want to throw it back in my face for not haranguing them all day, that's fine, but realize that a large part of the blame falls on them for repeatedly and continuously treating me like I had the job and throwing hope at me like birdseed.
I’m not saying you should be blowing up their email, but if you had a scheduled conference call that they no-showed on you should definitely follow-up on it.

It sucks that they gave you false hope. Maybe the last candidate really blew them away and caused them to have to quickly pivot. It could be why they missed the morning call. And it really sucks that you had to do a 12 hour project for the interview. The only thing I’ve been harping you about this whole time though is having so much issue with their delayed response that was still within the same day.
 
Oct 28, 2017
1,422
United States
I (sort of) "ghosted" a company once. I was interviewing with two companies. Company A made me an offer first, but it was not an enjoyable job. During the first 2 weeks I got the job offer from Company B, which is my dream job. Nearly my entire team (including my boss) at Company A was traveling, so at the end of the week I sent my boss an email thanking them for the opportunity, then went to HR and turned in my letter of resignation. Felt good to leave!
 
Oct 28, 2017
2,156
Usually the labor laws require that they do charade interviews though.

About the project part: I highly doubt reputable companies are stealing projects. Usually these projects are ways to test your coding or thinking process, and it's sometimes tough to come up with something that you can't just easily look up on the internet. But if you're good enough to code something that is better than whatever the current engineers can come up with, I don't see why they'd ghost you.
Yeah I never got this theory that companies do interviews just to get free labor from people. The interviewers have to be paid for that time and many interviewees have their flight and hotel paid for by the company. There’s also plenty of HR staff being paid to handle the interview process through the company.
 

PlanetSmasher

The Abominable Showman
Member
Oct 25, 2017
20,420
I’m not saying you should be blowing up their email, but if you had a scheduled conference call that they no-showed on you should definitely follow-up on it.

It sucks that they gave you false hope. Maybe the last candidate really blew them away and caused them to have to quickly pivot. It could be why they missed the morning call. And it really sucks that you had to do a 12 hour project for the interview. The only thing I’ve been harping you about this whole time though is having so much issue with their delayed response that was still within the same day.
To be clear, the only reason I had that issue with the delayed response is because it was a Friday and the start date was the following Monday. I wouldn't have cared at all if it was Thursday and they made me wait until Friday morning or anything - I get it. I've worked in HR, I know stuff gets slowed down sometimes.

But when you're telling someone they're going to start on Monday and you can't even be in touch with them to make sure everything is in order on the last business day of the week, it's a sign you don't have your shit together.
 
Oct 25, 2017
4,075
I've applied for probably a couple hundred jobs in the past 25 years and I have literally never once had an employer let me know that I didn't get the job without me having to bug them.
 
Oct 28, 2017
2,156
To be clear, the only reason I had that issue with the delayed response is because it was a Friday and the start date was the following Monday. I wouldn't have cared at all if it was Thursday and they made me wait until Friday morning or anything - I get it. I've worked in HR, I know stuff gets slowed down sometimes.

But when you're telling someone they're going to start on Monday and you can't even be in touch with them to make sure everything is in order on the last business day of the week, it's a sign you don't have your shit together.
But they did have their shit together. It was just with another candidate, unfortunately. If you got the offer, you would have started Monday. I think the biggest learning lesson is that you don’t have the job offer until you’re given the official offer letter. And it really does suck to be prematurely pumped up Iike you’ve secured the offer.

But I still don’t understand why you wouldn’t follow up with them immediately if they missed a scheduled conference call. If the call was scheduled at 10 AM, I would have sent an email by 10:30 am to ask if the call was being delayed or if something has caused a change in scheduling.

They obviously were making some last-minute decisions, but that seems very different from the ghosting that this thread is about.
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,704
I've interviewed with quite a few companies who ghosted me. Works both ways.

Companies have all the power and then complain when employees exert the tiny bit of control they have.
 
Last edited:
Nov 6, 2017
2,036
I've applied for probably a couple hundred jobs in the past 25 years and I have literally never once had an employer let me know that I didn't get the job without me having to bug them.
That's the way it's always worked. Employers can get hundreds of applicants so to expect a response is unreasonable. It's always been assumed that no reply in a reasonable amount of time means you didn't get the job. This is normal procedure and always been the accepted protocol. They have to process hundreds of applications.

It's a totally different circumstance when the applicant ghosts a job offer. The applicant does not get hundreds of job offers. A company goes through an extensive selection process and chose a guy, and he doesn't even have the time to take 2 seconds to turn down the offer? That's just rude, dude. It is not the same at all.
 
Oct 25, 2017
4,075
That's the way it's always worked. Employers can get hundreds of applicants so to expect a response is unreasonable. It's always been assumed that no reply in a reasonable amount of time means you didn't get the job. This is normal procedure and always been the accepted protocol. They have to process hundreds of applications.

It's a totally different circumstance when the applicant ghosts a job offer. The applicant does not get hundreds of job offers. A company goes through an extensive selection process and chose a guy, and he doesn't even have the time to take 2 seconds to turn down the offer? That's just rude, dude. It is not the same at all.
It's not my fault if their hiring process is inefficient.
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,704
That's the way it's always worked. Employers can get hundreds of applicants so to expect a response is unreasonable. It's always been assumed that no reply in a reasonable amount of time means you didn't get the job. This is normal procedure and always been the accepted protocol. They have to process hundreds of applications.
I don't have a problem with companies choosing to not respond to every applicant. However, once you get to the interview stage, a company should definitely tell you if you got the job or not, and if they ghost you, that is extremely unprofessional. I interviewed for a certain tech giant in Cupertino who missed one interview (the second phone interview), didn't have the proper equipment when I showed up for my in-person interview, and never contacted me to tell me they went with someone else.

If they are that unprofessional in the interviewing stage, I imagine I dodged a bullet because it would be maddening to work with such people.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,017
Good old schadenfreude I'm feeling right now. How many employers or recruiters have ghosted on people after giving them hope? And then they complain about others doing the same to them. LMAO

Keep on ghosting those companies people.
 
Oct 5, 2018
853
I ghosted McDonald's when I was a teen. In the Philippines workers have this thing called a "certification" which is basically a requirement to get any job. (one of many) And when you are hired the company takes it. So if you ghost they just won't give it back and then you basically can't get a new job. Well, that's my understanding of how my Filipino friends describe it anyway. Correct me if I'm wrong.
 
Oct 25, 2017
685
It is interesting to see the tables turned. Going to interviews and hearing nothing back from the company is the default behavior in corporate America in my experience, so part of me is strangely satisfied that they are now getting a taste of their own medicine.

I wouldn't do it myself because the world is smaller than most people think.