Why Didn’t I Hear Back After My Interview?


InterviewDear J.T. & Dale: Earlier this year, I landed an interview for a great full-time position on the team I interned with while in graduate school. I was told I’d definitely be hearing back, although it might take a couple of months. I followed up immediately with thank you notes, and with an e-mail about a month after that. Fast-forward five months, and still no response. The fact that this was a team of people who know my work really stung. Is there anything I can do to prevent a situation like this in the future? - Emily

J.T.: It’s really true that when you’re in a job search, you are a salesperson. All responsibility to close the deal rests on you. Which means you have to find a way that you can know what’s going on and get a clear “yes” or “no.”

DALE: You can start by not giving up on this group of colleagues. The job simply may never have been filled. Even if it was, that person might not work out, or they may add another new position.

J.T.: Yes, it won’t hurt to ask. More importantly, make a regular effort to touch base with each of these colleagues and show them how professional you are by sending them articles that they would find of interest. We call that “curating content,” and it’s one of the best networking techniques we can use today.

DALE: Further, after interviews, the way to follow up without seeming to be pushy is to ask for permission. “Would it be OK if I called you in a couple of weeks to see how things are coming along?” With every contact, offer to take the initiative for the next contact, always trying to keep some control over the flow of information.

Feel free to send questions to J.T. and Dale via e-mail at or write to them in care of King Features Syndicate, 300 W. 57th Street, 15th Floor, New York, NY 10019.

© 2012 by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

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J.T. & Dale

“JT & Dale Talk Jobs” is the largest nationally syndicated career advice column in the country. J.T. O’Donnell and Dale Dauten are both professional development experts.


  1. Great advice! Whether your interview is in person or through online video, it’s important to put the foundations in place to follow up. Ask when it would be appropriate for you to call and check in. If you haven’t heard back for some time you might want to send an email or make a brief phone call checking in on the position and restating your interest. If it’s gone to someone else, keep those contacts fresh by checking in with them occasionally and sending interesting articles. This way they’ll remember you when the next position opens up.

  2. Here is a follow-up question. If a thank-you note should give thanks, what should it say? How long should it be? Just insert something like “I though you might enjoy reading this article I found online. It talks about…” Why do many experts then suggest to reemphasize my skills, abilities etc in a thank you note? Is there something wrong with reminding the interviewer how valuable I might be? Is a thank you note not just an open ended communication that makes another case for me as a potential employee? So, why not try to sell myself one more time if I am hired because of it? Please respond.

  3. Hi Yuriy,

    Yes, sending articles does work. I can’t tell you how much of a good impression it makes. Even if they don’t read it, the difference is you tried to add value. Most thank you notes are done wrong. People try to sell themselves when they already had their shot. A thank you note should be just that: give thanks! And what better way then to try to return the favor with some information that might be useful. As they say, “It’s the thought that counts.”


  4. The suggestion about sending articles is a good one. However, I wonder if the recipients will even read them. Do they WANT to receive furhter communication from you especiallys some attachment or link? I sent my thank you notes by e-mail and I do not even know if the interviewer read it because no one got back to me. Maybe it ended up in their spam box. My answer to the person asking the question is to move on already. If this company had you before and it wil not recognize your past and potential value, move on.

    The shortfall with this J.T. and Dale’s advice is that anyone could give the same advice. Has sending articles worked in the past? Do companies really read them? Do they want them? I wrote thank you notes but never had it made a difference. Maybe it does not need to. However, what is the point of writing one if it is sent to a cyberspace? How do I know if was read? If the person asking the question sends an article to all people who interviewed her and never hear back, what then?

    I am just speaking my mind here…And could J.T. and Dale respond to my comments please? I write them but what is the point if they are being reviewed by Careerealism but then are simply posted. I want to hear the “experts’ respond to my comments. Unless they are too busy?

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