Job Advice

Ghosting Your Interview or Job is Never OK – Here’s What to Do Instead

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Ghosting a job
Mary Springer headshot
Mary Springer
February 23, 2023

You’ve heard about ghosting in romantic relationships, but did you know it happens in work settings as well? While most candidates and employers maintain a professional relationship throughout the interview and hiring process, some candidates and employees may opt to disappear, skipping out on interviews or no longer coming to work.

A 2021 study by Indeed indicated that 28% of job seekers had ghosted an employer either during the hiring process or once they were on the job. What may seem like a casual decision can have catastrophic consequences. One solitary instance of ghosting can haunt you indefinitely. Local employers are often connected through networking and professional relationships. Word gets around, and you don’t want to be the candidate who didn’t show up for an interview or simply quit coming to work one day.

Have you ever found yourself in a work situation where you don’t want to move forward? Read on for alternatives to ghosting and learn how you can communicate your concerns maturely and professionally.

During the interview process

When you answer a job listing advertisement, you’re moving forward with limited information. A short job description can sound promising, but once you talk to a recruiter you realize that you’re not necessarily a good fit for the role. It may be tempting to block the interviewer’s number and move on, but that can backfire.

Communicate your concerns. Transparency is an asset in the HR world. Even if the recruiter agrees that you’re not the right person for this position, you are keeping doors open. You simply don’t know if you’re going to run into this recruiter again, so don’t jeopardize a future connection with an amateur action.

Ask about flexibility. Does the salary seem too low for the position? Were you hoping for a hybrid schedule? It’s OK to convey your concerns early in the interview. If there’s flexibility within the company, you can start a conversation. If those salary numbers and job description are set in stone, you’re not wasting each other’s time, but you’re also ending the conversation on a high note.

Handle emergencies responsibly. Recruiters understand that unexpected things can happen. If something comes up that precludes a scheduled interview, let the recruiter know right away. However, let’s be frank. Not everything is an emergency. Having an attack of appendicitis and winding up at the hospital is an emergency. Getting an invitation to go out with friends at the same time you scheduled an interview is not. If you do encounter an emergency, send a quick note to the recruiter that reiterates your interest, explains the problem, and lists options for rescheduling.

Once you’re on the job

You’ve accepted the offer and started the new role. A couple weeks in, though, you realize it’s not what you were hoping for. You’re experiencing problems at home and feeling overwhelmed by life. It can be tempting to just quit showing up while you regroup and get your head together, but that is not only detrimental to your future, it is also disrupting the employer as well.

Share concerns with your immediate supervisor. Nobody wants to be known as a whiner at work. However, companies need to recognize what is and isn’t working for their employees. If your new job is asking for too many overtime shifts, find out if that’s a temporary issue during a busy time or if that’s how the work schedule is always going to go. Don’t make rash decisions blindly.

Leave graciously. If you’re unhappy with a job and don’t see anything changing, learn how to walk away without damaging your professional future. Offer a two-week notice and reinforce the message that you appreciate the time the employer has invested in you. Remember, the supervisor you’re thinking of ghosting today may wind up moving to a different company next month. Reputations matter.

Working with That’s Good HR

One of the benefits of working with a staffing agency like That’s Good HR is that you have a middleman, so to speak, who can advocate for you or help you with the difficult scenarios. Our temp-to-hire model allows parties to test the waters of a new job to ensure that it’s a good fit on both sides. Temporary positions have a specific start and end date, but they offer a valuable opportunity to become acquainted with a potential employer and make new professional connections. These short-term wins can lead to long-term employment.

Ghosting is never an effective professional solution. Learn how to keep your options open while you navigate challenging situations. At That’s Good HR, we’re committed to helping you find a job that meets your qualifications and needs. Let’s work together.