After the Interview, How Long Should You Wait for a Response?

John Krautzel
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Once you participate in a job interview, the anticipation can be overwhelming. Did you get the job? When will you hear back from the hiring manager? While countless questions about your performance run through your head, most applicants struggle with how to follow up to receive interview feedback. Learn the ins and outs of the hiring process to perfect your approach when requesting information about a hiring decision.

The Obstacles of Hiring

On average, employers should not take longer than one week to make a decision once all interviews are complete. If you find yourself anxious after a job interview, know that there are many circumstances that can lengthen the hiring process. Employers may have to wait for upper management to approve any job offers. In addition, companies may have to finalize budgets and make arrangements for any lateral moves when a position opens. In cases where the decision revolves around two or three candidates, the hiring process may take longer if follow-up interviews are necessary.

The Etiquette of Following Up

Your eagerness to nab a job offer can work to your advantage if you show interest before, during and after the interview. However, if you take an aggressive approach after the job interview, you could hinder your chances of working for the company. Immediately following the interview, send a thank you note or email to the hiring manager to express your appreciation for the meeting. Include a summary of your qualifications and experience relevant to the position, and reiterate how you can positively impact the company.

Wait three or four days after sending a thank you message to follow up verbally after a job interview. Know that hiring decisions take time, so putting pressure on your interviewer is not always the best approach. Call the hiring manager and let him know you are still interested in the position and would like to inquire about a timeframe for the final decision. Remain polite and cordial, and express your understanding of the hiring process instead of adopting a pushy tone. A follow-up call shows you are enthusiastic about the position, but if you continue to call each day, the unwarranted contact may not help you acquire the job.

The Cues of the Employer

Take cues from the employer when following up after a job interview. For instance, if the interviewer mentions the company expects to make a decision within one week, wait exactly one week before calling to inquire about the decision. If the hiring manager expresses that the process is going to take longer, ask when you should follow up again, and avoid calling or contacting the employer prior to this date. Use this time to request interview feedback. Let the manager know you are actively seeking a career and value his opinion.

Applicants who find themselves stalled by employers may have to realize it is time to seek out other opportunities. Even if you thought your job interview was successful, there may be other factors that lead to a delay or a decision not to hire you. Keep your options open, and use the feedback from the employer to improve your performance as a candidate.

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