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I had a phone interview scheduled, but the interviewer didn't end up calling me, even after 30 minutes.

What should I do afterwards?

  • 2
    I think there is a difference in an interviewer not calling at all vs calling at a completely wrong time. The other question refers to a different situation, although similar. – enderland Feb 22 '14 at 17:02
30

I had a similar situation recently and I sent this back via email after about 30 minutes of waiting for a phone call:

It looks like this time did not end up working. Is there another time which would work this week?

You don't want to be accusational. You have no idea why the interviewer didn't call. Maybe something urgent came up at work (you aren't an urgent priority generally). Maybe they had a family emergency. Maybe they were sick. Lots of possibilities. Maybe they just forgot to add it to their calendar. Maybe their phone was dead.

Anyways, whatever you do, don't assume ill intent.

What do you do afterwards? Is an email-reminder a good way? Or just move on?

I definitely wouldn't just act as if nothing happened. Keep in mind while the interview for you is a big deal, for the interviewer it's just 30 min in a day of other far more pressing priorities.

Sending a simple followup email without making accusations is absolutely acceptable. Be careful though - a "reminder" isn't what you necessarily are going for.


Just a note, this is a great time to make sure you determine an alternate or backup plan when having a phone interview prior to not connecting.

  • 5
    This is spot on. It happens more than you think unfortunately. You're waiting by the phone and they're stuck in a meeting or talking to someone else. Chances are they'll just reschedule for the next day, don't dwell on it otherwise. – Miro Feb 21 '14 at 20:15
  • If you're not talking to the person who was supposed to call you (which is not uncommon), "it looks like this time did not end up working" might sound like you were the one who was not available at that time. I would suggest adding "for you" to the end, but I can't tell if that would make it sound a bit too accusatory. – Dukeling Nov 24 '17 at 11:43
9

Wait an hour or two and, if you haven't heard anything from them, give them a call yourself and ask what's up. Mistakes happen. People lose track of time, something comes up, meetings go long, or maybe their calendar borked and they forgot about you. Definitely don't assume that just because you didn't get the phone call you were expecting that you should just move on.

If you can't get a hold of the specific person who was supposed to call you, try to get a hold of someone that can investigate for you or verify information. Not everyone has a receptionist that keeps track of all their appointments, or a person they can just tell "hey, cancel all my appointments for me." Maybe they had to go pick up their kid from school because they were sick and just completely spaced off the phone interview they were supposed to conduct. There's so many possibilities.

  • If you have a job while you are looking, this can be a real problem. Especially given that the time in the example was probably over lunch, there may not be that much time to just wait around. – Bill Leeper Feb 21 '14 at 22:37
  • I once was waiting for a call which never came so I called. The recruiter told me that I was the one in need for the job so he was expecting ME to give the call. It felt so strange.. – Rolexel Nov 23 '17 at 13:35
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    @AlexandreAudin That is miscommunication - if you arrange a call you include who rings? – Mark Nov 23 '17 at 19:16
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    Well, I never had the case before. It has always been "Let's have a phone interview xxx day at xxx time." and then the recruiter called. Anyway, it's definitly miscommunication and that's the point I wanted to bring : Who has to make the call isn't always clearly told – Rolexel Nov 24 '17 at 8:47
  • An hour or two seems way too long, they might have cleared their schedule, and just forgotten. I'd call after 10 min. About who should call, if they ask the question "What's the best number to reach you?" then it is implied that they will call. So far as a candidate, the only time I initiated the call is when the person wrote "call me at your earliest convenience." Usually if a time is set in advance, the interview calls the interviewee. – tiktak Apr 10 '18 at 0:38

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