Does this sound familiar….

You got set up with “the one”
You two have so much in common – what you do, where you want to go, what you like doing, it sounds like a perfect match.
You dress to the nines to make the best impression when meeting them.
When you see them, there is an immediate connection.
As your time together progresses you start to get butterflies inside, this just seems so perfect.
They are interested in you, listen to what you have to say, are impressed with your background and even laugh at your little jokes.
You ask the perfect questions and the conversation is effortless.
At the end you know, just know, you have definitely made a connection. This is it, no more going out or talking to anyone else, this is it!
You wait anxiously for the call. That call. Wait…and wait…and wait some more.

What, what happened? It was perfect –why didn’t they call???

Sound like the perfect first date, maybe, how about the perfect first interview?

It is the same excitement, wondering, rejection with the exact same question: “Why didn’t they call, I thought it went perfectly?”

Let me say the same thing any of your friends would say –it is not you, it is them.

Although, we all know this doesn’t help in any situation; yet it really could have nothing to do with you.

  • They could have had an internal candidate already picked for the role and did cursory interviews to appease HR.
  • They could have tried to hire before they got budget approval.
  • They realized that you were over talented and would leave them in a heartbeat if a better offer came around.
  • They could want to hire you but that thing called work is getting in their way; inundated with other responsibilities hiring now becomes the last thing on their list.
  • They could realize they do not know what they need for the position and need to re-strategize the role in the best interest of the department.
    They got hit by a bus.

All of these things have nothing to do with you. What seems to be a major frustration for job seekers is the overwhelming lack of communication from prospective employers.

Throughout the entire process there was exceptional communication until the decision-making then – dead air.


No, the world has not turned into a cold-dead-hearted place, it could be a matter of time and fear.

It is a buyers’ market therefore HR professionals are getting buried with potential candidates. They have to scan through 300 resumes to find the one.

As hard as it may be, take a look at it from their perspective. They spend a lot of time reviewing, narrowing the field and qualifying. It is a huge investment of time, energy and ultimately money. When they narrow it down, the desired candidate declines at the last minute.

The “why didn’t they call/accept” shoe is on the other foot now.

They get gun-shy, perhaps they delay the process to make sure the potential candidate is truly vested in accepting the position.

They get snookered. They find the ideal candidate and right after they start, it is discovered that there is some little skeleton in the closet that disqualifies them for the position. This can happen to anyone – remember the very public, very large organization that found out one of their leaders had completely falsified their resume – after they were hired and working the role?

Beyond fears of rejection, there are fears of accusations. If they take a candidate too far down the road and do not hire them, are they going to sue them for age or sex discrimination? Companies do not want to get sued and there are quite a few individuals who look for an opportunity to do so. Remember the very large, very public chain of fast food restaurants who got sued because someone burned themselves on a cup of coffee, which was labeled as very hot?

There is no one size fits all answer for why they did not call. Sometimes it is reasons beyond your control and sometimes it is reasons beyond their control. Sometimes, you were just not a good fit.

Just because you have a lovely conversation with someone and they laugh at your jokes does not mean you are a shoe-in for the job. It was a good conversation and they are polite.

There are three things you should do during the dead air time:

1. Stop dwelling on why they didn’t call.

2. Remain upbeat and positive, while sporadically checking in.

There is a fine line between follow up and stalking.

Immediately after the interview, send the thank you note.

A week later (if there was no agreed upon follow up time) send a short message. Something as simple as, “Thank you again for your time last week. I am still very interested in the position and if there is anything you need from me in consideration as a candidate, please let me know. I look forward to speaking with you soon about the next steps.”

Send an article or link to something relevant about their industry or interests a week or so later.

Follow up should have a reason, other than it is driving you crazy not to hear from them.

3. Keep active and pursuing other opportunities.

You may never know why you did not get the call but that does not lesson your value. Do not take it personally, there are plenty of other fish in the sea and the right one will call you back.


As the Founder and Principle of Career Polish, Inc., a national career coaching and practice firm, I am a Brand Strategist, Professional Resume Writer and Career Coach. I work with individual clients, sales teams, leadership and companies to identify, strengthen and effectively communicate their brand, engagement, commitment and most importantly – their value – by learning and leveraging LinkedIn, networking, communication, relationship management, presence and influence.

I help people get from where they are in their jobs to where they want to be in their careers.

Click here – – to find out more about Career Polish and what we can do to help you.

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