Many times I've applied, went to interviews and then never heard from the companies again. I'm assuming they found someone else but it would be very beneficial to me to be contacted if I wasn't selected. Even though they often say that "they will be in touch"

Is there a common reason?

  • related, possible dupe: workplace.stackexchange.com/questions/3598/…
    – Herb
    Mar 11, 2017 at 2:23
  • @HerbWolfe That one is a specific example. I want more of a general answer
    – Ruslan
    Mar 11, 2017 at 4:12
  • 3
    just another way it's like dating
    – user42272
    Mar 11, 2017 at 4:57
  • This seems to be a significant reduction in courtesy. The last time I got a job by filing applications rather than networking was in 1970. Back then, every application got a letter back from the possible employer. Often it was a simple one-size-fits-all rejection formula, but it was a response. Mar 11, 2017 at 12:48
  • 1
    @PatriciaShanahan And now you likely don't need to send a letter. Is it too much to send a templated e-mail response? This aspect probably depends on region, though.
    – Brandin
    Mar 12, 2017 at 11:59

3 Answers 3


Yes, because while it's beneficial to you, in most cases it is of no benefit at all to the company. It takes time and resources for no return.

  • 2
    As one of the (apparent) few who does take the effort of responding, the effort in communicating to unsuccessful applicants is suprisingly minimal - especially when using a recruiting website like Seek.
    – HorusKol
    Mar 11, 2017 at 3:21
  • 3
    @HorusKol what is minimal? 5 minutes to compose and type a personalised contact listing why they were turned down? 10 unsuccessful applicants = nearly an hour, plus you have now given them a contact and opened up a dialogue for them to reply with why you're totally wrong and should have given them the %$$@# job and you're just a ^%$%# little $#%$ who can't see quality when it's right in front of his/her %^$$^%@ nose. Joking, but it has that potential.
    – Kilisi
    Mar 11, 2017 at 5:59
  • 1
    It's more that they THINK it's of no benefit to them; in reality it's actually very good for their own PR to do this as it makes people think better of their company.
    – Erik
    Mar 11, 2017 at 6:00
  • 4
    @Kilisi - who said anything about personalised? A one size fits all answer through an anonymising online recruiting tool means you can send hundreds of "yeah, but no" emails at the click of a button (oh, okay - with 30 seconds to write "Dear [firstname], Sorry but you have not been selected to interview for this position. Thanks for applying, and good luck")
    – HorusKol
    Mar 11, 2017 at 6:06
  • 1
    If someone could make it frictionless - Say an automated email - Both parties might be satisfied. However, that requires the company to purchase software that can send said automated email ;)
    – schizoid04
    Mar 11, 2017 at 17:48

Applying for a job is easy. Click the button, maybe a few more clicks to upload the resume, done. It's not unusual to get hundreds of applications for every position. If it takes only one minute to reply to each of them saying "actually our position for senior software developer requires someone who has already been employed as a software developer at least once" then that could be hours of work. Plus, about 90% of those resumes are so far off the job description that it's easy to think "these applicants didn't put any thought into spamming me with their resumes, I'm just deleting them."

Once you've had an interview, that's a different story. I'm committed to replying to everyone who interviews. But don't assume that reply will come within days of the interview. I am not really deciding yes/no on you at the interview. I am putting you in a ranked list, or no. When I'm done (which might be weeks) I will make an offer to #1. Only after #1 accepts will I send out "no thanks" to the rest. #1 might say "no thanks" so I will offer to #2 and only after #2 accepts can I send out the letters, and so on. Depending on how long you've been waiting for an answer, it could still be on its way.

Generally, the person trying to hire another team member is overworked and stressed. Some of them may get lazy and not bother replying to unsuccessful candidates. That is a flaw in them, not you. There is really no such thing as an interview so badly blown that you don't even get a rejection email. The only conclusions available to you when you haven't heard are

  • "I might still be in the running" and
  • "It's been so long I guess I didn't get it, and they aren't a very nicely behaved group of people."
  • 2
    "Applying for a job is easy. Click the button, maybe a few more clicks to upload the resume, done" - wow I wish I worked in your world. Company research, resume customization to pass Ats filters and show all the spec points, probably a custom cover letter why I am the ideal applicant. Plus more if you are having to talk with a recruiter and they ask for specific tweaks. Never had click/upload/done since I was a junior developer. Mar 11, 2017 at 15:52
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    Sure, doing a good job of applying is hard. If you think every application I received has gone through that process, you haven't been in my world. Your hardworking application is in a sea of "this looks like it pays and is in my geography" quick-clickers. Mar 11, 2017 at 15:56

The real decision to accept another candidate comes really late. It is not when it has been decided, not when the candidate has been employed - it is when that candidate have passed the probation period that may be a month or even more. Only then they are really done with your application.

Ok maybe they should tell earlier and post another job announcement, but this costs money and the same good candidates may not apply this time.

Late responses are the good sign, they mean that you have been considered very seriously.

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