Why your follow-up call (or email) is not getting any response
(1) Human resources policy – Some companies have human resource policies that, for legal reasons, don’t allow company employees to respond to any inquiries from interview candidates. So it’s not just you being ignored. And odds are, the contact is noted. They just can’t respond.
(2) Lack of consideration – There are some companies that are aware people are waiting and still don’t notify anyone except the people they are most interested in. And even they don’t hear anything until the company is ready. Maybe not official policy, but accepted practice.
(3) Stalling for time – Sometimes you still aren’t sure which way you want to go, so you don’t respond to anyone – until you are sure. Or you’re waiting to see if some new resumes come in to strengthen the candidate pool (sometimes even for demographic reasons). And this can happen even if they already have a candidate they really like.
(4) No one authorized to respond officially – Some places aren’t set up for interviews, so they’re just not sure what to do when people call or contact them. So they simply wait until they have their next steps set up, which can take a while.
(5) Not sure what to say – Sometimes you get calls from people, but you’re just not sure what to tell them yet … or you don’t want to get into a conversation with them that could be awkward until next steps are clear.
(6) Still interviewing people – Interviews can continue beyond the week when you were interviewed, either for scheduling reasons or because new resumes are still coming in. Again, doesn’t mean you aren’t a top candidate. They may just be looking for that often elusive “perfect” fit.
(7) Waiting for key players to be available – In order to set up the next round of interviews, everyone in the hiring process needs to be consulted, and next interview slots scheduled. This can be tricky if more than one person is involved.
(8) You’ve written too often – Maybe you heard back once and got a polite reply. And then you took it as an open door to keep bugging them. It gets on their nerves. Unless you’ve asked if you may check in again, say in another week or two, don’t keep writing or calling. (See articles below for what you can do instead.)
(9) You’re sitting in spam – Since they don’t know who you are or have you in their email address book, your email can get sent to spam. Make sure to put something in the subject line to identify the position you’re writing about. “Hi” is a terrible subject line for this purpose!
(10) Lack of awareness – They may be perfectly nice people who just are oblivious to the process. Hard to believe? I was like that early in my career. This can especially be the case in smaller companies or companies with no formal human resource processes and / or little hiring experience.
(11) What you said or wrote bugged them – They may have seen your email or heard your voice mail, and found your tone or whatever you said annoying. Make sure you don’t sound like you’re telling them they should have gotten back to you sooner.
Just keep it polite and short. Say you’re checking in, letting them know you’re still very interested and asking if there’s anything else you could provide them to help with their decision.
(12) They’re just plain swamped! – Some people have inboxes with hundreds of messages, old and new. And in the middle of a job search, this can go up by another 50 or 100 because of internal emails from the hiring team and human resources, as well as every other job seeker who thinks she or he deserves a personal answers to all their questions.