I’m not sure what’s worse, waiting for a perspective employer to call or waiting for your date from last weekend to call. It has to be one of the most frustrating parts of the interviewing process. Here are a few tips to help you manage:
1. Ask in the interview when you should expect to hear back.
As the interview is wrapping up, ask the interviewer what the process looks like and when you should expect to hear back from them. It’s fair to ask if they’ll be following up with candidates who are not moving forward in the process also. Note: just because they say they will doesn’t mean they will. Let this experience be a good reminder when you’re hiring people in your next position.
2. Follow up only after you’ve not heard back from the interviewer on their deadline
It’s perfectly acceptable to follow up via email and/or phone call after the interviewer has not contacted you on the deadline the committed to. DO NOT CALL THEM that very day. Give it a few days or even a week. You simply don’t know what else is going on that’s taking their attention.
3. Remember your jobs search is not their first priority.
This may be the job of your dreams and you may be desperate to be hired or just exhausted from the interview process. However, that doesn’t mean the interviewer feels the same way. (S)he may be thinking of you and know that you’re the right candidate but other things come up that cause focus to be shifted in another direction. There are a million reasons why you don’t hear back right away or at all. Very few of them have to do with you personally.
4. Set a follow up schedule for interviews.
My interview follow up schedule looks something like this:
- Within 24 hrs I have emailed a thank you note to all interviewers I’ve met with & sent handwritten thank you’s.
- 2-3 days after the date the interviewer said I would hear something, I follow up with an email and/or voicemail asking if the timeline remains the same and if I’m still being considered.
- 1 week after the above email or voicemail I follow up again, letting the interviewer know I remain interested.
- If I’ve still not received a response I move on but remain open to hearing from them should they follow up in the future.
5. Don’t hit send on the angry email.
Read and reread your email before sending it to the interviewer. Burning bridges will only hurt your job search and you never know when your paths will cross with the interviewer in the future. This process isn’t personal and it’s not about you as an individual. That’s hard to see right now but is the best way to keep your sanity and reputation in tact during your job search. TIP: To avoid accidentally hitting send on what could be an email demonstrating my frustration, I fill in the sender’s email address last after I’ve completed the body of the email and any revisions/edits. That way if I accidentally hit send before reviewing it the email has no recipient & wont actually send to anyone.