In a strong labor market with unemployment below 4 percent in the summer of 2018, more and more employers are finding themselves shorthanded and struggling to hire top talent. Many candidates are skipping out on job interviews and not even bothering to call and cancel the interview ahead of time. Discover why ghosting an interview is a problem and why you shouldn't do it as a job seeker.
Some employers report as many as half of job candidates for a particular position blow off job interviews, do not show up and do not even call to cancel. Although no one keeps formal statistics on this practice, various informal reports put ghosting interviews at about 20 to 50 percent, while typical numbers may be closer to 10 percent in any given month. Some candidates go so far as to accept an offer and then fail to show up on the first day of work. These tactics could have consequences in your professional career.
No industry is immune from this practice. A carport company in California had nearly half of its 65 candidates bail on interviews. A call center in Atlanta saw similar levels from its 10 monthly hires in 2018. White-collar workers in trucking, manufacturing and construction fail to show up at their job interviews at a 20 percent clip, so it's not just blue-collar type jobs that are seeing truancy problems.
Why People Ghost Job Interviews
The red-hot labor market may be to blame. While the May 2018 unemployment rate sits at 3.8 percent, a full 2.4 percent of all workers quit a job to find another one. The figure for people quitting jobs is an all-time high, and it's because companies have a lot of open positions. For the first time in history, there are more job openings than candidates to fill them. This means there are plenty of options for candidates looking to get ahead in their careers and increase their salaries.
Another reason workers don't bother to call and cancel job interviews may stem from a feeling of comeuppance or turnabout is fair play. During the height of the Great Recession in 2007 and 2009, there were reports of companies ghosting candidates and never following up after interviews. Employers may still ghost you in a tight labor market because they have time constraints, a broken recruiting system or perhaps the employer felt you were not the right choice for the job. Just because a company didn't contact you doesn't mean you should return the favor.
Why You Shouldn't Skip Out
Candidates who miss out on interviews have wasted opportunities to network for future positions. Blowing off an interview limits your possibilities and may hinder your career because you may not get another chance like that again. If you at least sit through an interview and then politely decline an offer, you leave the door open for an employer to call you at a future date to see if you're interested in another position.
Job interviews are still precious commodities for job seekers looking to improve their careers. Even if you don't stay at the job very long, make the best out of a situation and at least increase your networking potential by doing the right thing and showing up for interviews.
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