Not communicating why you didn’t show up to your job interview, or ghosting, is perfectly fine with me. You don’t owe that company an explanation for why you just weren’t interested, or something better showed up.
There are authors and career coaches out there who believe that, and I quote Karen Elizaga, “one must always treat the company in the same way he or she wishes to be treated.”
I understand that. We all understand that. But! There’s another side they’re missing, and that’s your side. The candidate. In some respects, Alison Green gets it.
It’s a hypocritical opinion for a business to dislike that you ghosted them. After all, what have they done for you, other than extending an interview?
Comparatively, what did that guy do for you other than extend a date, for $4 drinks, at a crappy bar you’ve been to, ten times this year?
I say it’s hypocritical, because businesses ghost candidates ALL THE TIME. And here’s how they do it.:
1: They never tell you your resume was rejected.
You don’t even know if they read it, received it, or just tossed it into the trash without reading it. They receive tons of resumes, and can’t respond to them all.
Strange, though, that if you’re now required (by most companies) to submit your resume onto a website, they can’t at least automate that response. I’d be fine with that. At least I’d know!
Women do this in dating, and I think it’s perfectly fine. They give a guy their real phone number, and she doesn’t respond to his messages. She doesn’t owe him an explanation, and he should just get the hint and move on to someone else.
Employers will do the same thing: they don’t respond, and they just move on to someone else! I’ve sent messages to employers who asked for my resume, and hardly ever did I hear a response back. The polite ones simply say, “They went with another candidate.”
2: They don’t let you know you didn’t get the job.
Even if you do show up for the interview, they likely aren’t going to call every person back and let them know they didn’t get the job.
In dating, most of us are polite enough to say something like, “It’s not going to work out.” If we don’t communicate, it’s a perfectly legit sign that we’re not interested. Women don’t owe an explanation…
..But that won’t stop career coaches from advising you that you can’t ghost on a job interview. Sorry, I don’t buy it, which leads me to…
3: They’re getting paid for the interview, and you’re not.
This one is really hypocritical. The people doing the interviewing are getting paid whether you show up or not.
Ask yourself: Would the guy you ghosted on a date be upset if he got laid anyway?
Answer: No! He’d feel that things worked out very well. He might even thank you for not showing up!
Yes, there are expenses to a business for setting aside an hour for a job interview. The costs to them are minimal, and factored into the budget. (I’ve been on the interviewing side a few times. It’s not that expensive.)
What it all means…
Most career advice is geared toward getting people to mold themselves to what serves the company. Yes, it’s a job, and if you want that job, you have to provide for them what they want.
But we’re talking about a job you don’t want, with a company you don’t want to work for. Most people, not just managers, will go right to the negative cliches and say you’ve made a bad decision.
Of course they want you to believe that. They want you to feel guilty. Ask yourself: do your friends make you feel guilty because something else came up and you couldn’t make it to a particular party?
No, they’re forgiving. Very forgiving. Which is a great sign that they care about you.
Most people doing the hiring have been conditioned to believe that a person who ghosts them on an interview, or the first day on the job, must automatically be unreliable, untrustworthy, and therefore not a good person. That they make bad choices.
Think of how you’ve felt from society’s pressure on your personal life? Where you made a choice you felt was the right choice for you, and people just shamed you for it. Like, sleeping with that guy, or wearing those clothes, or saying something to someone that hurt them.
That’s the angle here: they want you to feel guilty and be afraid of your potential future career.
What to do about it.
I’m here to tell you, there’s nothing to be afraid of. Most employer’s aren’t gossiping and sending each other secret messages that you’re not someone worth trusting. There are millions of businesses out there to choose to work for, or you can even start your own (which I encourage women to do).
I’m not here to tell you what to do. That’s your decision. You’re an adult, and you’re perfectly capable of deciding for yourself the best choice. If there’s anything I could tell you to do, that would be it. You know there are consequences and rewards for decisions; you’re not a child.