Wise Owl Tip: Job Seekers—Tired Of Not Hearing Back?

Hello, cybersecurity friends. I have learned from talking with you that all too often, as job seekers, you are finding yourselves in conversations with hiring managers and recruiters—internal or external—who say they will get back to you, but never do! According to what CyberSN hears from job seekers, 60% of these conversations end in ambiguity and without resolution.

However, job seekers can ask questions too—not just recruiters and hiring managers. Use my model below to get in the driver’s seat and significantly lower your percentage of conversations with recruiters/hiring managers that end with ambiguity.

Every time you speak to someone about a job possibility, be sure to ask the following questions. Gathering these answers will help you determine why you may not get a call back, or if you even want one.

Question for recruiters only:

  1. Do you have signed contracts with the company you are recruiting for? Are they actively seeing your candidates?

You will often find that the recruiter you are speaking with doesn’t actually have signed contracts with the company they are talking to you about. Ask the recruiter if they have signed contracts and are actively showing candidates to the client. Knowing this information will diminish uncertainty about why you aren’t getting feedback. Also, ask if the recruiter has successfully placed anyone with the client.

Questions for both recruiters and hiring managers:

  1. Is this position approved and budgeted?

Find out if the job you are discussing is approved, because it might not be. Yes—this happens all the time; people talk to job seekers about jobs that aren’t yet approved or budgeted.

  1. Who does the position report to directly?

If a recruiter doesn’t know this information, they don’t have a relationship with the hiring manager and they probably won’t be able to get you an interview. If you are speaking to a technical manager, also ask who the position directly reports to. This will give you insight.

  1. How long has the position been open?

What have the challenges been in filling the position?

  1. Why is the position open?

Is the position due to growth? Replacement?

  1. Are you close to making an offer to anyone?

If yes, will you still be interviewing more people now?

  1. Do you think I am qualified for the position? Why? What could potentially make me not qualified?

If you aren’t right for the position, some recruiters/hiring managers will not want to tell you. It’s really silly that recruiters/hiring managers can’t be honest, but the reality is, most people avoid confrontation even when it’s positive confrontation. So, ask recruiters/hiring managers if they think you are a good fit for the job, and most importantly, WHY? Do you agree with their answer? If not, engage in conversation until you both, the job seeker and the recruiter/hiring manager, agree on whether or not you are a good fit for feedback. If you both agree that there is no need, because you’re not a fit, that’s fine too. You lead this decision

Overall, my friends—if you are waiting for feedback and you aren’t getting any, you aren’t in the driver’s seat during these conversations. If you have the above questions available for your conversations with recruiters and hiring managers, you will see a significant difference in your understanding of the level of probability that you will be getting a call back or want a call back.


Keep in mind that even with these answers, you will always be dealing with the human element of job searching and there will always be some uncertainty, but when you implement these Wise Owl Tips you can reduce the ambiguity from 60% down to 20%

Love Deidre, Wise Owl and CyberSN CEO