Why you don’t get a reply or feedback after a job interview ?

Don't we always wonder - Why there is no feedback after a job interview ? 


Don’t we always wonder – Why there is no feedback after a job interview ? After writing – Why you don’t hear from the HR or the consultant after a job interview !! , I kept on thinking about the reasons why “you” may not hear from the HR or the hiring team of the company where  you appeared for a job interview.

I could identify some of these reasons, and these reasons include the factors that have some thing to do with you – the job applicant, as well as the employer or recruiter.

Case 1: You were not up to the mark, vis-a-vis positions expectations.

Normally, it’s difficult for people to share negative news. Stock replies or no reply comes easier for them. I am also  not sure if the recruiters / HR are well trained or experienced to do this – either they love to sit back or they are not equipped to give feedback or they don’t want to own up a statement. You never know when some one needs to reverse a decision and call you back.

Case 2: You were good, but others were better. 

Probably they decided in favour of some other candidate, but don’t want to say no to you – just in case the other candidate ditches at the last moment, and they have to get back to you. Once again, it’s difficult for people to share negative news. We find it difficult to say “No”. Secondly, in a scenario when your profile has almost made it, saying no is more difficult. The practice is gradually changing via rejection emails, or polite phone calls specifying the case.

Case 3: You were good, but probably not a fit for the “vacant” job. 

At times the recruiters, hiring managers and the recruitment consultants miss out on understanding the position and expectations in terms of the candidate that needs to be evaluated against the position. This may be because of their poor understanding, this may be because of a desperation to get some interviews conducted, or this may be because of the – misunderstood – words in your resume or may be because your resume has not been drafted well and who ever reviewed the same thought it can fit into a vacant position. For example: If you have a position of Head – Marcom & Branding for a company, may be the hiring managers are looking for a Marcom , Branding and some amount of general marketing experience. There is a possibility that the recruiters profile a Products person, just because he is also exposed to branding and marketing communication.

Now, if for some reason, your profile had been shortlisted, and you got interviewed for a position that is not aligned to your experience, it can clearly reflect on the capability of the person who shortlisted your profile in the first place. How many hiring managers / recruiters or consultants will accept a possible error from their end and say – “we made a mistake” by wrongly calling you for an interview. They prefer to stay silent.

Case 4: Unrealistic expectations of some employers.

Normally, companies and hiring managers keep on looking for custom made “candidates”, and don’t want to get lost with the – “may be” or “could be”. And well the decision of “custom made” is based on their own judgement and understanding. Since it’s difficult to find the perfect fit, the almost perfect ones are placed on wait – and well no confirmations on selection or rejection. At times the search keeps on going on and on … till the hiring managers are forced to hire some one good or bad, relevant or irrelevant.

Case 5: State of indecision of the hiring managers and the HR.

The “non-availability” of feedback can at times be attributed to the lack of confidence of the management, hiring managers in their own process and their ability to understand and assess a candidate for a given position. They are never sure of what is right or what is appropriate for the position. The HR also may not be said to be at fault in such cases, since they get to hear – ‘the candidate was good”, but lets meet some more people, and well the story keeps lingering.

Case 6: Employer not sure of their hiring plans, needs or priorities.

There are some companies which love to interview people, keep interviewing till the time they have exhausted every possible candidate in the market, pissed off all the executive search firms and are still not able to find the right candidate. In such scenarios you wont get a feedback after a job interview.

Case 7: The Learning Organisation – Learning from the candidates.

There are some companies which love to interview people, keep interviewing lots and lots of candidates – the focus here may not be on hiring but on generating market intelligence or learning of processes, and practices, from various companies – competition etc. Normally, this can be seen with a company planning to start in a new market, etc. At times this approach is also used by some functional manager/heads to get a perspective of the market. What can be a better way than to learn from others in the market ?

Case 8: External Bench Builder

At times, employers want to create an external bench of possible candidates from the market, so as they can hire one when there is some urgency or need. So they keep on interviewing but never hire. And since they don’t have a negative or a positive reply for you – you never get a reply or a feedback after a job interview.

The above reasons are not justifying the conduct of either the employers or the consultants, but they seemed to explain some of the cases very well.

Related – Why you don’t hear from the HR or the consultant after a job interview !!

Praveen Mishra

Praveen is the Founder and Principal Consultant at Khedge Business Consulting Pvt Ltd. He works with organisations in areas of business strategy and human-resource management. Over the last 15 years he has helped various organisations with their HR processes, structure, alignment and effectiveness; and talent strategy and processes. You can connect with him at praveen@khedge.com. 


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