What Does It Mean When Recruiters Go Silent?


what does it mean when recruiters go silent

The job search process can be difficult and frustrating.

You spend hours looking for jobs that fit what your criteria. When you find one, you thoughtfully submit an application, customize your resume, and submit a cover letter. If you’re lucky, then you may get invited to interview and then get your references checked.

And, after all that, you may run into a situation when recruiters go silent on you. But what does it mean if that happens? And how common is it for recruiters to go silent.

To help answer those questions, we sourced responses from a variety of different career experts to provide their perspective on why recruiters go silent and what to do if it happens to you. 

Let’s dive in.

Why Do Recruiters Go Silent After an Interview?

thinking person

Recruiters occasionally going silent after an interview can be a frustrating experience for job seekers. However, there are several reasons why this may happen.

Firstly, recruiters often deal with a high volume of applicants and interviews, leading to delays in their response. The sheer number of applications they receive requires time to review and assess each candidate thoroughly.

Additionally, recruiters have internal processes and priorities that they need to manage. They may be coordinating with hiring managers, conducting further assessments, or aligning with the company’s overall recruitment strategy. These internal responsibilities can cause communication delays.

Moreover, in a competitive job market, recruiters may be handling multiple positions simultaneously. They might be awaiting additional interviews or feedback from team members involved in the hiring process before providing updates.

Furthermore, decision-making in hiring often involves various stakeholders and can take longer than expected. Recruiters may need to consult with hiring managers, senior executives, or other team members before progressing to the next steps.

Lastly, some recruiters follow a policy of providing updates and feedback only to shortlisted candidates, respecting the candidate experience by avoiding false hope or unnecessary disappointment.

While it may be disheartening not to receive immediate communication, candidates can politely inquire about the status of their application or interview. Patience, proactive communication, and maintaining professionalism during any follow-up can help navigate this situation effectively.

The above content was provided by Matthew Warzel, CPRW, President, MJW Careers.

How Do You Know if a Recruiter is Ghosting You?


If a week has gone by after an interview and you haven’t heard from a recruiter, they may be ghosting you. This often happens if a company has gone with a different candidate and it is relatively common. Given how many applicants a recruiter typically interviews, they may not have the bandwidth to respond to every single one that ultimately doesn’t land a position.

To keep yourself in the loop, follow up 3-4 days after a good interview to get a sense of where you stand.

The above content was provided by Andy Kalmon, CEO, Benny.

How Long is Too Long to Hear Back From a Recruiter?


In general, most of our career experts said that about one – two weeks is the typical turnaround time that you should expect to hear back from a recruiter. If you have not heard back beyond that period, then you’re safe to professionally follow up and check in.

However, Rosie Yeung, CHRL, CPQC, President and Founder, Changing Lenses offered a unique perspective about how you should be setting your expectations for a recruiter and hiring company’s responsiveness:

“How long is too long for you to respond to a work friend’s lunch invite?

Think about it – the interview process is your only chance to decide if you like these people enough to spend most of your waking hours with them. So how do you like how they’re treating you?

That being said – give them a reasonable time to get through their emails. One to two business days is pretty standard, barring unforeseen emergencies. Everyone deserves the benefit of the doubt; but after a while, neglect becomes disrespect.

I always tell my clients, the interview and onboarding stages are the honeymoon stages. This is when you should love the job the most, before you’ve met the people you won’t like, and before you find out what really goes on.

So if there’s anything that makes you even slightly unhappy during the honeymoon, imagine what the marriage will feel like!

If you want to know what the company’s “culture” is, how they treat you during the interview is a much better indicator than their list of values. The jobs (and bosses) I’ve liked the best were the ones with the best interview experiences. They contacted me within one or two days of our interviews to tell me I was moving forward. I met multiple people across the organization. They kept me informed about the process and what I should expect next.

In other words – they communicated with basic human dignity and courtesy. Almost…as if they cared!

You deserve dignity and respect. In reality, we can’t always get that in our jobs. You may not be able to choose your employer; nor should you be convinced that ghosting is acceptable.

People are capable of communicating, if they care enough. I hope you find ones that do.”

What To Do When A Recruiter Stops Communicating?

how did the interview go

Sometimes there is simply nothing you can do beyond reaching out to them and asking for an update.

It’s frustrating and a poor reflection on the organization (and do you really want to work there based on this experience?). A company *should*
have the mindset that the candidate could be a *potential customer.*

The above content was provided by Lora B. Poepping, President, Plum Coaching & Consulting.

What Should I Do When A Recruiter Goes Silent After A Great Interview?


If a recruiter goes silent after a great interview, it can be frustrating and confusing. In this case, it’s best to send a follow-up email expressing your appreciation for the opportunity to interview and reiterating your interest in the position. Politely inquire about the next steps and the expected timeline for a decision. If you don’t receive a response within a reasonable timeframe, it may be appropriate to reach out again or consider other opportunities.

However, it’s essential to maintain a professional and respectful approach throughout the process, as unexpected circumstances or delays can occur that are beyond the recruiter’s control.

The above content was provided by Percy Grunwald, Co-Founder, Compare Banks.


If a recruiter goes silent on you, it is worth reaching out politely and professionally to check in on the status of the job. 

It could be that they are simply finishing up interviewing other candidates or still finalizing their job offer decision internally. 

However, it could also be that you won’t receive an offer. And, if that’s the case, it can be deflating. However, keep your chin up, keep your standards high, and keep searching for the position that is the right fit for you.

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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