job search

Why the recruiter does not call me back?

recruiter does not call me back

You’ve just been interviewed and you feel like everything went well. A few days or even a few weeks later, you still have no news.

Why haven’t you been called back?



A question of internal politics

It is good practice to follow up with a candidate whether or not they are successful. On the other hand, many recruiters do not do it, because it is against the internal policy of their company. And if you have the misfortune to ask for a follow-up, they will tell you that they have no right to give you the reason for the denial.

I understand that it is sometimes difficult for the recruiter to be a diplomat in this kind of situation, but I believe that everyone deserves an explanation that will allow them to improve for the next interview.

In these moments, it is better not to insist, then to continue your research.



Technological problems

Maybe someone wrote you an email saying your application was not successful, but this message got lost in “the Internet”. It could also be that your email has accidentally slipped into the spam emails of your recruiter.

When we migrated our corporate emails from Gmail to Outlook for example, some emails we sent were never received and for a full week, I couldn’t receive a CV (moment of panic).

But that you may not know, so if in doubt, contact the recruiter again.



Because we have already answered you

Sometimes you are given the answer, but you are not ready to hear it.

I have already met a candidate who sent me their application in several different ways: in person, by email, by phone, by coming to our events and even by fax! From the first approach, I gave it negative feedback.

It’s perfect to try yourself a second time. On the other hand, if the answer is no the third time, by the fifth time, I think the message is pretty clear.



Lack of time

You don’t know the recruiter’s schedule. Maybe his recruiting team has lost a member or two. The deadline he wanted to give you, he can no longer meet it now.

Lately, I have had busy weeks with career days to find our future interns. This implies that several days a week, I was not at the office.

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It also implies that I did not have time to contact all the candidates I wanted within the expected time (in this case, these are people who were not interviewed, but still).

Sometimes it’s out of our control and we are as disappointed as you are when we hear that a competitor has been faster than us and you have found a job elsewhere.

As with the issue of technological problems, I suggest that you contact the person who interviewed you to ask for a follow-up.



By forgetting

Sometimes a recruiter meets dozens or even 30 candidates per week! It could be that your name got lost in the mist and your CV “fell into a crack”.

I recontact all my candidates on the Friday following the interview. On the other hand, I have already forgotten a candidate for Friday, because I gave them an answer a week later.

It’s unfortunate, but know that it’s not because we don’t love you, it’s simply an oversight… and yes, it feels bad when we realize that we have forgotten you!


In short, multiple reasons may have led to a lack of response from the recruiter. Don’t take it personal, you are perfect the way you are and never question it.

Instead, ask those around you for advice, or read the Recruiter’s Eye articles to find out how to behave in an interview if you have just experienced several negative feedbacks.

If you didn’t get the job you wanted, there’s a better place ahead, a place that looks more like you and where you will have a lot of fun working. Do not abandon!






I would add that it also happens that the recruitment for the post is “put on ice” for different reasons (examples: the manager is in the juice on other higher priority files and has changed his mind on relevance of recruiting for the moment; or the position was finally filled internally; etc.).
Although I also make a point of following up on shortlisted candidates, we cannot always send an answer to all applicants.
But what is certain, as Marianne mentions, you should never stop looking for a job.




1. Real Experiences From Real People When They Did’t Get Call Back From Employers…


“I attended an interview and I received a confirmation email to tell me that I was accepted and that I would receive a call for the training date. Since then nothing! And I call the recruiter back, he tells me that it must have been a mistake! While I stopped looking for jobs altogether and had to decline offers. What to do ?”


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Our Suggestion:

Unfortunately, this kind of scenario happens more often than you might think. Everyone makes mistakes, even recruiters!

As you have not signed a contract, nothing binds you to this employer.

The best thing to do is to quickly call back other companies that have made offers to you in order to explain the situation to them. Maybe one of the positions is still available?

Otherwise, you will have to continue your job search. The fact that you had several offers at the same time is promising, you should find a new job quickly!


2. Interesting Experience – Small slice of personal life that may be good to know for some recruiters:


An employer had made a telephone interview with me of more than 30 minutes, had me provide writing samples (press releases and articles), had interviewed me for almost 2 hours, had contacted ALL my references, and had finally asked for a writing exercise to decide between another candidate and myself (in short, read: it had been quite a process!). Then nothing. I send an email to get news, nothing. I phone a few days later, no answer. I never could hear from him that I didn’t have the job.

Then here’s the comic ending … A few months later, I get an email at my new job. A sponsorship request from… that’s it. Unfortunately, he never had the opportunity to hear from me that it was refused.
Disrespecting a candidate during the interview process says a lot about yourself and your organizational culture. When we have asked someone to invest their time, themselves and their resources, we owe them at least a generic email sent by their assistant. You never know what position this person will occupy in 6 months …
(Note that it happened to me in the past to have to work with employers who had not granted me a position. And that’s correct, there is no discomfort, on the contrary, there is has a pre-established positive contact. But in this specific case, let’s say that it extinguishes the desire to collaborate with the said organization, given our history …)



3. One more Experience Of Job Seeker.


I was given a pre-interview, I was made to go for an interview…. What I expect from the recruiter is the minimum to send an email to write that I am chosen or not. I have already turned down a higher paying job because a recruiter did not meet the deadlines (especially for HR who is used to managing deadlines by a collective agreement). At some point he’ll have to be honest in an interview to say the real deadlines and not pretend it’s going to be a quick process.



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