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Why Do Some Candidates Choose To Ghost An Interview?

Why Do Some Candidates Choose To Ghost An Interview?

Diving into the perplexing world of interview ghosting, we explore why candidates disappear, the impact on employers, and strategies to reduce its occurrence. Share your experiences and insights to tackle this modern recruitment challenge together.

James Mason profile image
by James Mason

Ever been left waiting in an interview room staring at the clock, waiting for reception to call you to meet and greet the new interview candidate, only to find they haven't turned up?

Well, you've encountered a puzzling trend that's been shaking the foundations of the recruitment world: Interview ghosting. This act, where candidates disappear without a trace, skipping scheduled interviews without notice, is leaving employers and HR professionals scratching their heads.

Why would someone go through the application process, only to vanish at a crucial moment?

The Phenomenon of Ghosting

Ghosting interviews is becoming increasingly common in our digitally-driven world. With the ease of applying to multiple jobs with just a few clicks, some candidates treat interviews as mere options rather than concrete commitments.

This shift in attitude has significant consequences for both parties involved, causing frustration and uncertainty.

Why Candidates Ghost

  1. Overwhelmed with Options: The job market can sometimes resemble a kid in a candy store scenario for candidates. With multiple interviews lined up, they may opt for what they perceive as the best opportunity, leaving others hanging without a second thought.
  2. Fear of Confrontation: Let's face it, turning down an offer or admitting you've changed your mind can be awkward. For some, it's easier to simply disappear than face a potentially uncomfortable conversation.
  3. A Better Offer Came Up: In a fast-moving job market, candidates often juggle multiple offers. If a better one comes through, they might ghost lesser opportunities without looking back.
  4. Personal Reasons: Life's unpredictable. Sometimes, personal issues arise that take precedence, leading candidates to neglect professional courtesies like informing employers of their change in plans.
  5. Ghosting Begets Ghosting: In a twist of irony, some candidates ghost as a form of payback for being ghosted by companies in the past. It's a vicious cycle where nobody wins.

The Impact on Employers

Ghosting isn't just a minor inconvenience; it's a disruptor. It leads to wasted time, and resources, and, often, a return to square one in the recruitment process. Moreover, it can dampen the morale of teams who are looking forward to welcoming a new member.

Indeed reveals job ghosting is rife: 86% of jobseekers no-show for interviews

Indeed reveals job ghosting is rife: 86% of jobseekers no-show for interviews | FE News
| Indeed reveals job ghosting is rife: 86% of jobseekers no-show for interviews

How Can Employers Minimize Ghosting?

  1. Create Open Communication: Encourage candidates to be honest about their intentions and concerns. A culture of open dialogue can prevent misunderstandings and reduce the likelihood of ghosting.
  2. Streamline the Hiring Process: A lengthy or complicated hiring process can deter candidates. Keeping things efficient and respectful of candidates' time may encourage more respectful behaviour in return.
  3. Provide a Positive Candidate Experience: Even if someone decides not to proceed with your offer, a positive experience can encourage them to communicate openly instead of ghosting. You'd be surprised how many recruiters don't even offer a drink to a candidate out of goodwill.
  4. Follow Up Regularly: Regular communication keeps the opportunity top of mind for candidates and gives them more chances to voice any second thoughts.

Conclusion: A Call for Professional Courtesy

The new trend of ghosting is a complex one, rooted in both the modern job market's dynamics and individual decision-making processes. While it may not be possible to eliminate ghosting, understanding its causes can help employers mitigate its frequency and impact.

Ultimately, adopting a hiring culture based on respect and transparency can encourage candidates to reciprocate, making the hiring process smoother and more productive for everyone involved.

In a world where time is precious, and opportunities are plentiful, let's not forget the value of professional courtesy. Whether you're an employer or a candidate, clear communication can go a long way in maintaining the integrity of the recruitment process. So, the next time you find yourself contemplating ghosting, remember the individuals on the other side of the door, waiting.


Q: How common is interview ghosting?
A: It's become increasingly common, particularly in competitive job markets where candidates have multiple options.

Q: What should I do if I'm tempted to ghost an interview?
A: Consider reaching out to the employer with a polite message explaining your decision. It's a small act of professionalism that goes a long way.

Q: Can ghosting negatively affect my professional reputation?
A: Yes, the world is smaller than you think, especially within industries. Ghosting can come back to haunt you in unexpected ways.

By understanding and addressing the root causes of interview ghosting, both candidates and employers can work towards a more respectful and efficient hiring process. After all, in the professional world, how we handle our decisions—be they to proceed or to bow out—says a lot about us. Let's aim for a future where ghosting is the exception, not the norm, one professional courtesy at a time.

This exploration into the world of interview ghosting sheds light on an issue that's become all too common. By understanding the reasons behind it and adopting strategies to reduce its occurrence, we can create a more respectful and efficient hiring landscape.

We'd Love to Hear From You

Have you been ghosted by a candidate, or have you ever found yourself ghosting an interview? What do you think drives this behaviour, and how has it affected you or your organization? More importantly, have you found effective strategies to reduce ghosting or mitigate its impacts?

Share your stories, tips, and questions in the comments below. Your input not only enriches the dialogue but also helps others navigate this tricky aspect of the modern job market. Let's learn from each other and build a more respectful and transparent recruitment process together.

Your experiences and insights are invaluable. Let's tackle the ghosting phenomenon together, one story at a time.

James Mason profile image
by James Mason

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