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Suffering from No-shows?
Suffering from No-shows?

Why candidates “ghost” you during the interview process

Jazmyne Behnke avatar
Written by Jazmyne Behnke
Updated over a week ago

As a company that has helped thousands of agents with their recruiting needs, our client's biggest complaint is when a candidate does not show up for a face-to-face interview. How does that happen? The candidate seemed interested. They went through the interview process then...poof! They don’t show up to your scheduled face-to-face interview and you don’t hear another word from them. It’s frustrating. You took time out of your day, maybe traveled to another location, only to realize you had been stood up and the candidate has ghosted you. No warning, no explanation…..nothing. Why does this happen?

In today’s job market, candidates are being very choosy when making a move to a new position. It is a job-seekers market, unlike five years ago when candidates were fighting over positions. Now, the candidates have the “power.” More and more employers are having to “romance” the candidates in order to get top talent. Due to so many employers duking it out over top talent, the candidates have more choices. And because they have more choices, they may list the job options in order of importance, meaning some jobs will be put at the bottom of the pile. If your job is at the bottom of a candidate’s pile, they are much more likely to no-show an interview.   

So how do you, as an employer, get yourself to the top of the candidate’s list? The answer is simple: treat the candidates like your very best customers and avoid the following pitfalls.     


Candidates want to be with a company that respects them, their skills, experience, and talents. Many times candidates feel disrespected by a company during the interview process and will choose not to move any further. They may feel the company is not cognizant of their time by making them come back 3 or 4 times for interviews before making a decision. This may cause candidates to lose interest in the position and move on.

To prevent this from happening, you may want to re-evaluate your hiring process to ensure it benefits everyone involved.

Lack of Communication

Companies expect candidates to communicate with them, however, it doesn’t always work the other way around. Many candidates are left wondering what happened with their application. They would rather receive a rejection email than have the company go radio-silent on them. The candidate wants to feel important enough for some form of communication. They want to know you are sincerely interested in them and care about them as a person. 


Interviewing for a new job can be stressful and nerve-wracking. It can make even the best candidates apprehensive. Due to this anxiety, many candidates will back out of an interview because they fear the unknown. They don’t know if they will be interviewing with just 1 person for 30 minutes or 12 people for over half the day. Will they be required to work on a team to assess their skills?  

The best way to relieve some of the anxiety is through communication. An email confirmation of the interview including the address of the interview location, date and time, an explanation of how long they will be in your office, and who will be interviewing them is a fantastic tool. Make sure the candidate understands how “no-showing” an interview will impact any future applications.

Online Reviews and Presence

Many candidates are turning to the internet to see what your online presence is and if any former or current employees have expressed an opinion about the office. They are looking to see how the staff is treated, if there is room for growth and advancement, what the inside of the office looks like, etc. Glassdoor, Indeed, Social Media accounts, Google, and Yelp are all places the candidate will look. If they don’t find enough favorable information, they will look for an open position elsewhere. 

Be active on social media and let candidates get a glimpse of what it is like to work for you. Keep track of any reviews that may be left by previous and current employees. Answer them professionally as you would respond to any review given to you.

Wrong Position

Some candidates may have applied on impulse and may realize during the hiring process that the position is not a good fit for them. Rather than prolong the inevitable, they will move on to other opportunities. They may not want to give explanations or have the hiring manager try to change their mind.

Do not take this personally or spend time trying to figure out why someone would go through the process and then disappear. If this candidate is someone you are still interested in, you can send a quick email telling them you would still be interested in talking to them in the future about other opportunities.


Candidates like to feel they are marketable and will apply to positions to see if anyone is interested. They may even go through the entire interview process having no intention of leaving their current position. They may use another company’s offer as a way to leverage more out of their current boss.  

This can be frustrating, but consider yourself lucky. At least this happened before they accepted your offer and you stopped looking. Remember: Always Be Hiring!


Communication is key when dealing with candidates. Keep them informed every step of the way. Make sure they understand what will happen if they decide not to show up for an interview.

This is an example of an effective email template you can send to candidates to help explain the interview as well as establish a cancellation/reschedule policy.

Hi (Name)

It was a pleasure speaking with you. We look forward to meeting with you face to face on 8/4/2018 at 11 am at 123 Everywhere, Anywhere, MI 48362.  

We are in the Any Time Plaza, next door to Always Boutique. There is ample parking. Please ask for me when you come into the office.

Our interview will be approximately 30-60 minutes. You will be speaking with me and members of our staff. If you are not able to come in or need to reschedule, please contact me. Not contacting us for cancellations or reschedules could affect future applications.

We look forward to meeting with you. 


The best way to keep your no-shows down is to create a positive candidate experience by treating candidates like your best customers. Keep them engaged through the process and respect their time. Above all, communicate with your candidates every step of the way, even if it’s to send a rejection email.

If you have any additional questions regarding this article please feel free to reach out, we are here to help.

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