How Long Should You Wait After a Job Interview?

by Heidi Cope
Guides, Jobs - 1 year ago

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When you walk out the door after a stellar interview for your dream job, you may think that the stress is over.

The interview is the hardest part, right?

Maybe…until you have to endure the wait to find out if they actually want to hire you or not.

When waiting for a response after a job interview, you will probably start questioning your performance on the interview.

Some worries that will probably come to mind:

Did I appear confident?

Was my resume flawless?

Did I ask the right questions?

At this rate, you will begin a dark spiral into self doubt, especially when you don’t hear back right away after the interview.

But is it really time to worry yet? Most importantly, after how much time is it OK to send a follow up to the company?

How Long Should You Wait After a Job Interview?

  • Different jobs have different timelines, so be patient, if you haven’t heard back right after the interview.
  • At the end of your interview, ask the interview committee when you should expect to hear back.
  • Wait a few days after the expected response date to contact the follow up person with either a phone call or an email.

You want to know if you have the job, but you also don’t want to seem pushy and make them think you are desperate for the job. But how can you stay calm, cool, and collected if weeks pass and you haven’t heard anything?

Here’s the most important takeaway:

There is a right way to contact your potential employers and a wrong way to contact them. Luckily for you, we have done the research so you can pass the sometimes excruciating wait time with confidence.

Ready to learn how to jump these hurdles?

How Long Should You Wait After Job Interview

Flickr User riosetiawan | CC< BY-SA 2.0

How Long Should You Wait After an Interview for a Follow Up

Keeping communication open with a potential future employer can be a tricky business. You want to appear interested and excited about the job, but you don’t want to seem pushy or annoying.

One of the easiest ways to annoy a future employer after an interview is to contact them 24/7 for updates. They know people are waiting…but they are the ones who get to make the job offer on their schedule, not yours.

An important part of sealing the deal after the interview is to make sure you ask the right questions at the end of the interview and then follow those guidelines.

What questions you might ask at the end of the interview?

  • When should I expect to hear back from you after the interview?
  • If I don’t hear back by that date, who would be best to contact for follow up?
  • If I have any questions about the position, who would be best to contact?
  • Do you have business cards I can take with me?

If you ask questions similar to these, you have gained some very important information:

  • When you should start worrying if you haven’t heard back?
  • Who to contact if that happens?
  • The day after the interview, write a thank you note to each of the interviewers and address it using the business cards you took from the interview.

    You know what really stands out as a thank you note? A hand-written one.

    If the company hasn’t contacted you by the date specified, then give them a little breathing room– maybe something came up at work and they are running behind on the hiring process.

    Wait a few days and then contact them.

    If you don’t have a clear answer on when to contact them for a follow up, then wait two weeks to contact them.

    A follow up can be a phone call or an email, but a phone call might be a better route to show dedicated interest.

    Example of a Follow Up Message

    Example Answer

    “Hello, this is Colton Flint calling to follow up from an interview I had with Mr. [interview name off business card] on [date of interview] for the position [position number or title].

    I am very interested in the position and would love to be a part of your team at [company name]. I am following up to ask if there is anything else your hiring team needs from me or if I can be of assistance in any way for the process.

    I look forward to hearing from you and thank you again for your consideration of my application for the position.”

    How Long Should You Wait After an Interview for a Job Offer

    The wait for a job offer after an interview can vary from company to company. Ask the interview committee what the timeline is at the end of the interview, so you know what to expect.

    For some positions, you may get a call the same day, but for others, it can take weeks to hear back. All of this is completely normal.

    For some companies, it can take a long time to get an application through the HR department. They may also be interviewing several people at once and are waiting to interview the last person before making any decisions.

    They also may be taking time to contact your references.

    Know that just because they haven’t offered you a job the same day or even the same week doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t get the job.

    Applying for jobs takes a lot of patience, but maintaining a courteous and understanding attitude during the whole process will increase your chances of landing the job.

    What Should You Do If There’s Absolute Silence After a Job Interview

    If you haven’t heard anything back from the position and it has been weeks, then it is time to begin the alternative plan of action for contacting the company.

    Follow the two week guideline for the first follow up, and then, if you haven’t heard anything back in another week, feel free to contact them again.

    But remember, persistence doesn’t always equal higher chances of success with getting the job.

    If they say they need time before contacting you after a follow up, give them time. The last thing a hiring team needs is a billion eager candidates contacting them every two days.

    At the same time, don’t put all of your eggs in one basket. Keep applying and interviewing for jobs as you wait for responses.

    Just because you completed an interview doesn’t mean you have the job.

    The interview is not just a formality.

    Keep applying, and soon you will have job offers coming in left and right.

    Summary

    Still freaking out over the radio silence? We understand.

    Applying for jobs can be incredibly stressful, but it is a great opportunity to practice interview skills and showcase your talents.

    It is important to note that some companies will let you know if you didn’t get the job, but many may never contact you again after the interview.

    If you haven’t heard anything in three weeks after the interview, keep sending out job applications.

    It can be frustrating to not hear back anything after putting in a lot of time and effort into the applications, but that is all part of the job process.

    Don’t give up!

    It is normal to have to apply to many jobs and go through several interviews before finding the perfect fit.

    Keep these tips and tricks in mind, and you’ll land your dream job in no time.

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