Invited to Interview But Never Heard Back


invited to interview but never heard back

Getting an email that you’ve been invited to a job interview is extremely exciting. It means the start of an interview process for a new position or, if you’re already in the midst of an interview process, that you made it to the next round. 

However, in some cases, you’ll receive that invitation, respond to the email, but never hear back.

This article is going to review why you may get invited to interview but never hear back and what to do if you’re in that situation.

Reasons Why You May Have Been Invited to Interview But Never Heard Back

The Recruiter or Hiring Manager Got Busy

It’s entirely possible that you haven’t heard back yet because your point of contact at the company got busy. Maybe the recruiter has a heavy workload and is having a hard time keeping up. Or maybe someone in the hiring process went out on vacation. Whatever the case may be, it’s entirely possible that lack of bandwidth may be the reason for delays in reply.

To the point around recruiter workload, the below clip from a video from Renae the Career Coach discusses how much a recruiter may have going on at one time. A recruiter will typically have 15 – 25 requisitions, but in some extreme cases, may have over 60 at once. It could certainly be the case that you’re just dealing with an overworked recruiter, that is having a difficult time communicating with all of their candidates. 

The Position Was Filled

You may not hear back because the position to which you applied was filled shortly after receiving the email from your point of contact. The company could have had an offer out at the time that you emailed that they were unsure was going to be accepted. Or maybe the filled the role with an internal candidate. Or, it could be that they already knew who they were going to be hiring, and are just completing the required process.

The Position Was Cancelled or Frozen

When a company is behind on its revenue or profitability plan, it’s not uncommon for management to put on a hiring freeze. That means that all new hiring is temporarily frozen until the company gets to where it needs to be financially. That has happened at companies that I have worked for multiple times over the years and could be the case in your situation.

Alternatively, the position could have been cancelled entirely. Most commonly, that will happen if the hiring manager for the position leaves the company in the midst of the hiring process.

The Company Decided to Move Forward With Other Candidates

It could be that after inviting you to the interview, the company decided to move forward with alternative candidates. In some cases, rather than notify you of the decision, the company may just stop communicating instead.

Other Reasons

The previous items are just some of the common reasons that I’ve run into throughout my career about why why you may have been invited to interview but never heard back. However, there are a variety of possible reasons that may be the case beyond what is listed above that could ultimately be the root cause. The point is, you don’t know until you hear back from the company itself. And delayed communication from the company doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re out of the running.

What To Do If You Were Invited to Interview But Never Heard Back

Check the Job Listing on The Company Website

The first thing to do if you were invited to interview but never heard back is to check the job listing on the company site. If the listing has been removed, that’s a good sign that the position has been either filled, cancelled, or frozen.

Check the Job Status in the Application System

Larger companies will sometimes have HR systems where applicants can see the status of a position that they applied for. If that applies to you, I would recommend checking the status of your application. If you see a status like requisition closed, or something else to indicate that that you didn’t get the job, that may be a sign for you to continue your search and move on from the position.

Follow Up With Your Point of Contact

If your point of contact missed a date by which they committed to getting back to you, you’re safe to follow up with them at that point. If you haven’t heard back, but it’s still within the window of their committed timeframe, wait until that date has passed and then follow up.

Finally, if the company never committed to a date by which the interview would be set up, I would say wait at least five business days, and then you would be safe to follow up. That’s consistent with the recommended timeline for following up after an interview itself.


It can be frustrating and confusing to be invited to an interview but never hear back. However, there may be a legitimate reason for that and it doesn’t necessarily mean that you didn’t get the job. First, do some investigating on the company site to see if the job may have been closed out. If not, a follow up with your point of contact would be the next step.

About the author

Dan Slocum

Dan is the founder of Best Fit Work and is a business professional with over 10 years of experience. He has been a hiring and people manager on multiple occasions, and has also gone through the hiring process himself at a variety of different companies. Dan writes to share content, tools, and resources to help people discover and thrive in their own best fit work.

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