Why You Should Never Ghost On A Job Interview

With a strong job market, candidates have more options than they have in years. But these options are resulting in candidates taking a few missteps.

According to a recent report by USA Today, many candidates “ghost” their first interview, or don’t show up for it. That means no call, no show. USA Today also reports that “while no one formally tracks such antics, many businesses report that 20 to 50 percent of job applicants and workers are pulling no-shows in some form, forcing many firms to modify their hiring practices.”

Many candidates think this is something they can get away with, but little do candidates know, it can come back to haunt them in the long run. Our Consultant Advisors share their advice as to why you should never ghost an interview.

A Total Communication Fail

We understand — things happen. If you know you can’t make an interview, you at least need to communicate this with your recruiter.

"If you really can’t make it to an interview, call or email your recruiter to inform them so they can reschedule the interview with the client. You should give as much notice as possible, preferably 24 hours,” says Dimple Kochikar, Consultant Advisor at Healthcare IT Leaders.

Consultant Advisor, Andy Bryant, has seen a fair share of ghosting during his 20 years in the staffing industry. He urges candidates to “be responsible and professional enough to at least say you can’t make the interview.”

It may seem easier to avoid that awkward phone call with your recruiter explaining you can’t make the interview, but in the long run, it will maintain your professionalism with your recruiter and the client and will remind you to take ownership in your responsibility to show up to commitments.

The Scary Second Thoughts

“Sometimes a candidate doesn’t have an interest in the role in the first play, but they try to appease their recruiter and agree to take an interview. So instead of saying no in the first place, candidates will decide to ghost an interview instead of explaining why they don’t want the job,” says Andy Bryant.

So if you’re no longer interested in a position or believe you don’t have the experience, tell the employer rather than stringing them along. When it comes to business, be direct, honest, and to the point.

If you are having doubts about your skill set, then have an honest conversation with your recruiter. After all, they are there to support and guide you through the hiring process.

“Whenever a candidate tells me she or he is having second thoughts, I remind them why they were qualified in the first place and why they are the right person for the job. Talking things out can help with overcoming those pre-interview jitters,” says Dimple Kochikar.

You’re in the market for a job – stand tall, dive in head first with clear communication, and be sure to let your best character shine through.

Apply to our open HIT roles >>> 

Don’t Let A Bad Interview Experience Haunt Your Career 

When you ghost on an interview, always keep in mind that your name is on the line.

“This industry is built on relationships, you need to maintain these and avoid burning any bridges,” says Andy Bryant.

Dimple Kochikar adds: “You never know when you will interact with someone again. Remember the 6 degrees of separation. Maintaining your reputation is crucial to landing another job in the future.”

Recruiters and employers are well-known in their fields – which means you never know who knows who when interviewing for a position. Keep your name clean and professional by communicating clearly and giving an honest reason if you can’t show up to an interview. You don’t want to risk not landing another job in the future because of that one time you didn’t show up for an interview.

What Ghosting Looks Like

The most common form of ghosting happens during the interview process. Candidates don’t show up to the interview and don’t communicate that they can’t make it. But ghosting also happens after the interview process.

“I had a candidate that got a job after several rounds of interviews, then they didn’t show up for work on their start day,” says Andy Bryant.

In addition to not showing up on the first day, consultants can also ghost a project by quitting without notice. Both scenarios can cause major disruption to a project in process and affect multiple stakeholders and departments in an organization.

But this trend isn’t exclusive to millennials as it’s commonly believed. Candidates of all ages are ghosting interviews and failing to communicate properly with their recruiters or future employees. If situations are in your control, it’s crucial to be honest and communicate with your recruiter and future employer to avoid any issues.

So the next time you can’t make an interview, don’t be a no-call or no-show. Instead, communicate early on with your recruiter that the time and date doesn’t work for you, or that you’re having second thoughts about the position.

Always keep in mind that you don't have to accept a job. Showing up for an interview may even just be a great chance to connect with employers, and gain insight on the type of position you really want. This could be a great chance to network, meet new people, and open the door for future opportunities.

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