Ghost Interviewing and How it Can Hurt You

Ghost Interviewing and How it Can Hurt You

Ghost Interviewing and How it Can Hurt You

Have you ever heard of Ghost Interviewing or Ghost Interviewers? Well, if you’ve been out interviewing at any time within the last year and skipped out (no-show) on an interview, then you are known as a Ghost Interviewer. Employers have a real name for folks who just don’t show up for interviews and who mysteriously disappear before an interview.

Let me try to explain to you a little phenomenon hitting the HR industry and business sector so rapidly that it will make your head spin. The economy is great….like really good! The economy exploding is great for businesses, employers and employees. It’s a win-win all the way around, BUT employees must realize that if they take a job with a company and then realize its not the best fit for them, then they need to make sure they have not burned bridges leading up to the last job. Yep. You guessed it. Don’t burn bridges along the interview trail.

We have personally experienced “Ghost Interviewers” since 2003, but we’ve seen it happening more than ever and leaving the employees scratching their heads of what happened. I know that you might not care (this shows your character) about an employers (business) money or time when you just don’t show up (Ghost them), but it does hurt the businesses bottom line which in return has a domino effect on everything. Yes..everything!  Also, there are times when you may need to interview with the employer or business again, but you’ve burned the bridge in the past, so now when you need them you won’t have the chance to show them how great you would be for their company or home.

How do we prevent this madness and stay professional? First of all, give the business (employer) a quick call and let them know your heart and where you stand. Be honest! Yes, it may be awkward, but put on your big boy or girl pants and get it done. You are an adult and sometimes we may have to live through awkward moments. It’s okay. Stay professional and don’t delay or avoid it.

Let’s say that you got a job offer the day of your interview (yes, this can happen) and you don’t want to waste the employers time by interviewing for a job that you no longer want, so how do you break the news to let them down without burning a bridge? Easy. Call them and tell them the TRUTH. What if you just don’t have time to call or the business is always busy or hard to reach? Answer – Send a professional email or text declining the job interview and explain your reasoning behind your sudden decision. What if you don’t have a good reason behind your decision, but maybe its just a “gut-feeling” or uneasiness and you don’t really want to express that out loud. I would recommend writing down what you want to say and then make a call, text or email right away and let them know that you are no longer interested and you do not want to waste their time with an interview. Let them know that you value their time and that is why you wanted to let them know now rather than wasting their time. Will they be upset by the last minute cancelations? Sure. BUT it’s better to make contact with the business or employer than to “GHOST” them out of an interview.

How often should I cancel an interview? Maybe once in your lifetime of interviewing records. Why so little? Well, you need to figure out in advance what you want from a job and as much detail as possible before you setup an interview and commit to using someone else time.

Sample email and or text:


Hello Susan,

First of all, thank you for considering me for the job position and taking  time today to meet with me; However, I have decided to move in a different direction with work. I appreciate your time and investment in me, but I would like to cancel the interview.  I will keep you posted if something changes in the future. Thank you for understanding and once again I am so sorry for the late notice, but I wanted to be truthful with you in regards to where I stand at this time with employment.

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