Understanding Silence In the Interview Process: It's Not Always About YouOct 03, 2023
"In the absence of information, we jump to the worst conclusions."
~ Myra Kassim
Welcome to October and the beginning of the 4th Quarter. Please tell me I'm not the only one who thinks this year is flying by!
If you're actively looking for your next opportunity, how is your search coming along?
Based on my clients' activities and what I'm seeing and hearing in the market, companies are actively hiring at the mid- to senior-level - across all functional areas and most industries.
Keep your focus on your end-goal, continue leveraging and expanding your network so you can set up meaningful conversations and interviews for right-fit opportunities, and don't let your foot off the accelerator until after you've formally accepted a final written offer (after negotiations) and you've passed the background check.
This month's newsletter addresses a common frustration I hear about from job seekers: understanding the silence from hiring companies that often occurs throughout the interview process and what you can do so you don't get derailed by it.
Happy reading, and I hope you enjoy the article!
Understanding Silence In The Interview Process: It's Not Always About You
"Stay open minded. Things aren't always like they seem to be." ~ Anonymous
In the world of corporate job seeking, silence can be deafening.
After you've completed your interview, sent your thank you note, and eagerly checked your Inbox for feedback, the absence of communication can leave you wondering if something you said or did went terribly wrong.
You may find yourself over-analyzing every detail of your interview, convinced that the radio silence is a direct reflection of your performance.
But the truth is, those involved in the interview process have a host of responsibilities and priorities, and interviewing candidates is just one of them.
The Overthinking Game
This is a scenario that many job seekers are familiar with: days turn into weeks, and still, there's no word from the hiring team.
As time goes by, the silence becomes increasingly loud in your mind.
You may begin to replay the interview in your head, dissecting every word, gesture and response you provided.
Did you talk too much?
Did you ask the right questions?
Did they notice that one small mistake?
The Reality Behind The Silence
Here's a secret that may ease your anxiety: more often than not, the silence following an interview has little to do with you personally.
As you know all too well, hiring managers and others involved in the hiring process have demanding jobs that extend far beyond the hiring process. Between juggling multiple tasks and projects, meeting deadlines, attending meetings and addressing business needs, your interview is just one part of their overall workload.
In addition, in most corporate settings, hiring decisions involve several team members. The process usually requires consensus-building, multiple rounds of interviews and careful evaluation of each candidate. This all takes time.
Plus, in most cases, you're usually not the only candidate in the running for the position. The company usually conducts interviews with multiple individuals, and they want to ensure they've thoroughly evaluated all options before making a decision.
What Can You Do To (Better) Cope With This?
While the silence can be unnerving, it's important to not jump to conclusions (often easier said than done 😏) or let it affect your self-esteem. Instead, consider these steps:
Be Patient - Recognize that silence is part of the process. Give the hiring team the time they need to make their decision as to who moves on to the next step in the process or receives an offer.
Follow Up Politely - If a reasonable amount of time has passed (usually a week to 10 days, unless they've given you a specific timeframe to follow up), consider sending a polite and upbeat follow-up email reiterating your continued interest in the position. This demonstrates your professionalism and enthusiasm.
Continue Your Search - Don't put all your eggs in one basket. Continue applying a multi-pronged approach to your search: keep networking, speaking with executive recruiters, and proactively reaching out to companies on your target list, etc.
In reality, job search is a numbers game (even better when focused and strategic in nature). You'll increase your chances of securing solid offer(s) by diversifying your approach and focusing on productive (not busy) activities.
Self-Reflection For Improvement - Don't forget to do a debrief after each interview. Think about your performance, what you learned, and how you can improve for future interviews.
Remember the silence after an interview is not necessarily a reflection of your worth or capabilities. It's merely a part of the hiring process, where the interviewers have many responsibilities on their plates. By understanding this and taking a patient and proactive approach, you can navigate the post-interview waiting period with confidence and resilience.
In the end, whether you receive an offer or not, each interview is a valuable experience that brings you one step closer to your dream opportunity.
"If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change." ~ Wayne Dyer
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Friends, I hope you enjoyed this month's blog and received a lot of value out of it.
I'll be back next month with other valuable job search tips, strategies, mindset shifts and light bulb moments. 💡
Thank you for being part of my community! ❤
To your career success,
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