I recently had a phone interview, followed by an in-person interview and assessment with a small software development company (less than 20 people), the company itself is less than three years old. All of my interviews, according to my recruitment agent, went very well. The company's dev and work environments really drew me to them compared to my current position in a significantly larger company, a more friendly and flexible one. I had been contacted by my agent just a few days after, saying that the managing director would like to have a 'largely informal' chat with me. Upon asking if this was promising, the agent assured me that, according to the dev lead who interviewed me, this pretty much meant I would be guaranteed an offer. The agent backed this up by saying the previous two applicants had the same experience and were given offers in the past.

After hearing nothing for a week, I politely asked my agent if there were any updates. He stated that my application had been put on hold without offering a reason why. Given the small size and age of the company, I am inclined to interpret this (possibly) as a recruitment freeze due to financial reasons, thus it does not inspire confidence in the company's longevity. I of course asked about this during the interview process (what future projects are going on etc) and they answered confidently that they had many things 'in the pipeline', but nothing specific.

If a company unexpectedly goes silent or puts an application on hold in its final stages, should I interpret this as possible insecurities should an offer surface?


3 Answers 3


There can be many reasons for a company to put an application on hold and most of them are not a cause for concern, especially in smaller companies. I wouldn't worry too much about financial trouble, if the company had the budget to hire an additional employee it's unlikely that their finances suddenly turn so bleak that this is no longer viable. It's much more likely that someone fell ill or things simply got a lot busier than expected leaving no time to complete the interview process right now.

Having said that, if you're really concerned about their financials, many countries have a 'chamber of commerce' where all companies are registered and where, for a small fee, you can request their financial records. You could make such a request if the company you are interviewing with has been around for more than a single (financial) year to get an indication of their financial health.

  • Thanks Cronax. This is (potentially) my second job after uni so I was trading carefully, especially if the company's future was uncertain. You're right, it's equally likely that other factors were involved.
    – user34587
    Apr 29, 2015 at 6:54

This is a great example of why you should never put your job search on hold until you get a written offer. -- And not even then.

As a hiring manager, when I get a resume sent in response to a job posting, I don't turn off the job posting while I'm reviewing one person and deciding whether to interview them! If that one person doesn't work out, now I'm that much further behind.

Thus, while you have "turned off your job posting" while waiting to see if this one company has worked out, you have not interviewed at other companies, one of which might have been the one to offer you a job.

Folks often forget that interviews are two way streets. The company is interviewing you, so you need to interview the company:

Does this company respect your time? (no)

Are they communicative? (no)

Do they follow through? (no)

Do they act with honor and professionalism? (no)



Cons of applying in a startup! This happens mainly because of lack of funds. Joining a startup is always risky. Do a thorough study on how much and when the startup received funding. Make sure they have enough in hand to atleast pay your salary for an year.

You can view the funding details for the startup on crunchbase.com. Hopefully its there in the database.


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