Most candidates apply for a job with the best of intentions. They plan to participate in the hiring process should they be chosen to move forward, usually in hopes of landing the position.

However, it isn’t uncommon for them to change mind about an opportunity along the way. Maybe they learned something about the company or role that makes it clear the job isn’t a great fit. Perhaps they are more interested in another position elsewhere, causing them to shift their focus.

While there is nothing wrong with changing your mind, how you handle the situation after making that decision matters. Ghosting an interview instead of formally expressing your intention to remove yourself from contention can have consequences, including some that you may not expect.

If you are wondering why it’s never a good idea to no-show on a hiring manager during the recruitment process, here are three scary consequences of ghosting an interview.

Three Repercussions of Not Showing Up to an Interview

  1. Missing Out on That Opportunity

While you might not want that job today, there is a chance you’ll feel differently tomorrow. Maybe the other role you had your eye on didn’t pan out, or you find out that the piece of information you saw that turned you off on the job wasn’t accurate.

Regardless of the reason, if you ghost on an interview, there’s typically no going back. A hiring manager isn’t likely to give you a second chance after you no-show, particularly if a significant time passes before you reach out. Additionally, the odds are high that they’ll remember your name if you try to reapply, and the chances are good that they’ll bypass you that time entirely.

  1. Burning Bridges at That Company

When you ghost on an interview, you aren’t just missing out on one opportunity. Usually, you’re effectively removing yourself from contention for any job at that company.

Most organizations use an applicant tracking system (ATS) to monitor applications and track candidates. As a result, there’s a good chance your file will have a note mentioning the no-show on an interview appointment. If that’s in place, other hiring managers will see that you skipped out on a meeting with a hiring manager, and they’ll probably be far less likely to invite you in for an interview because of it.

  1. Harming Your Broader Professional Reputation

Many candidates aren’t fully aware of how large a hiring manager’s network can be or how willing they are to share information with other managers. If you ghost a hiring manager, there is a decent chance other hiring managers in the area will learn about your no-show.

This is especially true if you work in a particular niche or have a specialized skillset. Often, those communities are fairly small. By skipping out on one interview, you may be hurting your chances across an entire city or industry, damaging your professional reputation in a way that can haunt you for years to come.

Since the consequences of ghosting an interview can be severe, it’s always best to use another approach. While letting a hiring manager know you’re no longer interested is daunting, the uncomfortable conversation needs to occur.

Worst case, simply let the hiring manager know that your career is taking you in a different direction at the moment, so you want to remove yourself from contention at this time. That way, you don’t burn any bridges as you exit that hiring process.

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