11 Ridiculous Things You Tell Yourself When a Hiring Manager Stops Responding

If you were to stop me on the street and say, “Hey Kat, what are some things that really grind your gears?” a number of things would immediately come to mind.

People who use the express checkout line in the grocery store when they clearly have


more than 15 items in their carts. The feeling of my sock sliding down in my boot (I’m cringing just thinking about it). Or, drivers who seem to forget that blinkers do indeed come standard on every single car.

But, there’s one thing that irritates me even more than all of those things combined: People who engage in a friendly email exchange with me and then—poof!—vanish into thin air.

I understand it—these people are busy. They have far more important and time-pressing things to do than immediately respond to me.

But, when you’re eager to land a job and are desperate to hear


that makes you feel like you’re making at least a little bit of progress, this becomes all the more frustrating—and, it can often lead to me concocting numerous and oftentimes ridiculous theories in my head.

Want a peek inside my thought process (I mean, why wouldn’t you?) when I’m waiting on pins and needles for a response? Here are 11 things I’ve seriously—yes,


—told myself after getting ghosted by a hiring manager.

  1. Great, I must’ve said something wrong. Or—oh, please, no—maybe I spelled her name wrong somewhere. I need to dedicate this entire afternoon to reviewing all of our previous correspondence in painstaking detail.

  2. Is my inbox broken? I’ve refreshed it numerous times, and I’m not receiving anything. I mean, yeah, I got that promotional email from Chipotle like 10 minutes ago. But, I’m not receiving anything


    . I should call my IT guy—um, my brother.

  3. You know what? I bet she’s on a two-week vacation and forgot to set her out of office message. I’ve done that before. Good to know that hiring managers make mistakes too!

  4. Now that I’m thinking about it, I bet

    my references

    screwed this up for me. That’s it—I’m never talking to my old boss again. I just


    this is his brutal payback for our constant thermostat wars in the office. He can consider himself officially exiled from my life.

  5. They say a watched pot never boils. I bet if I go do something else for a little bit, I’ll come back and there will be an email here waiting for me.

  6. Are you serious?! I was gone for an entire

    five minutes

    and there’s still nothing!

  7. Yep, my email’s definitely broken. I should check it on my phone. And my laptop. And my husband’s computer.

  8. I’ve heard horror stories about people’s messages going to the spam folder. I bet that’s what’s happening. That poor hiring manager—she’s probably been waiting for my response and just sitting there wondering why I’m leaving her in a lurch.

  9. Well, I just did a test with 25 of my nearest and dearest friends, and my emails definitely aren’t going to spam. It must be a tech issue on her end.

  10. Oh my gosh—what if she died tragically? I’m sure nobody would think to tell me. I should check the recent obituaries.

  11. A quick glance at her LinkedIn activity confirms that she is indeed alive. Alright, so she hasn’t died. But, if I need to wait any longer for a response, I just might.

Can you relate? Have you ever told yourself totally ridiculous things when you were waiting on a response from a hiring manager? Let me know

on Twitter


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About Richard Moy

Richard Moy
Richard Moy is a Content Marketing Writer at Stack Overflow. He has spent the majority of his career in talent management, including a stint as a full-cycle recruiter and hiring manager. In addition to the career advice he contributes to The Muse, he also writes test prep and higher education marketing content for The Economist. Say hi on Twitter @rich_moy.

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