We get it. Applying for a job is no easy task. It can take hours to find a job that looks like a good fit, fill out an application, edit your resume, rewrite your cover letter, and send it all to the employer. If you’re going to apply for a job well, you’re going to have to edit your resume for just about every job you apply to. And then the beautiful day of validation comes when you finally receive that email or phone call asking you to come in for an interview.
Your hard work has paid off and apparently, you did something right to be able to stand out from the crowd and land yourself an interview. You take care to thoroughly prep for your interview,
So it can be frustrating when you take the time to find a job that seems like a great fit, put in the work for applying and interviewing, and then wait and wait only to hear complete radio silence from the company. Why is that?
Well, there are many reasons, actually.
It may be that your interviewer loved you, but he or she needs to convince their team to love you too. It’s often the case that several people need to approve the hire in order to move forward and it can be difficult to get answers from every person on the team. One person may be swamped with meetings while another may be on vacation.
Sorry to say it, but you may be the company’s second choice to fill the position. There might still be a chance for you, but only if they can’t have their #1 choice, so they may be stringing you along until they know for sure whether or not you’ll be needed.
HR and salary negotiations are tying up the works. You may have set a salary expectation that was above what the company was initially prepared to offer. This may not mean you’re getting a “No,” but it will mean that your hiring manager will have to pull some strings.
Even if the hiring managers view you as a strong candidate, there will be other interviews. That being the case, it may be out of the manager’s control as to when the interviews take place and how fast they’re able to be completed.
The hiring team is dotting their i’s and crossing their t’s. It can also take a lot of time to contact each of a candidate’s references, perform background checks, and waiting for results to come back before making any final decisions. They may be just as eager to make a decision as you are to start your new job, but until these things are done, they may refrain from leading you on juuuust in case it doesn’t work out.
Of course, every candidate, hiring team, and company will be different which can lead to thousands of scenarios for why you haven’t heard back from a company yet. That being the case, there is a way you can use this time to your advantage to reassure the hiring team of your interest in the position and your potential as a candidate.
Send an initial thank you note after your interview
First of all, immediately following your interview, you should always send a thank you note. Not only is it polite and will help you stand out to your interviewer, it’s sometimes even expected as a regular part of the process by some hiring managers. Here are our tips (plus an example) on how to write a great thank you email following an interview.
Connect with your interviewers on LinkedIn
Now you might feel weird or like you’ll come off as overly eager if you seek out our interviewers on LinkedIn and make a connection. To be honest, it probably depends on how your interview went and the relationship you were able to build in the short time that you met with them. That being the case, go with your gut, but remember that it’s ok to step out of your comfort zone, especially during a job search, from time to time. With your connection request, send a short and simple note that reads something like,
“Hi __[Interviewer Name]__, I had a great time meeting with you today talking about the ____ role and how I would be able to help with _____ and ______. Just thought it might be useful to connect here on LinkedIn as well. Have a great day!
Again, this will probably be something that you want to soon very soon after your interview to reinforce name and face recognition with your interviewer. It could also be a great way to let them know of skills and past work experience that may not have come up in the interview!
But if you’ve been waiting a long time to hear back and feel like you should follow up after your interview…
One of the best things you can do is write a short and simple email to your hiring manager. You don’t need to be afraid of them feeling annoyed that you followed up if it’s been at least a week since your interview (which is how long we recommend waiting before following up). They’ll understand that you’ve been waiting and they may even like to see that you’re still interested in the position and showing initiative.
Your follow up email doesn’t need to be overly formal or long-winded (after all, if they haven’t gotten back to you by now, chances are they busy and have enough on their schedule as it is).
Here’s an example that you can use and tweak for your own post-interview follow up email:
I really enjoyed meeting last week and I want to reiterate how excited I am about the __[specific position]__ role and the possibility of working for __[Company Name]__. If there’s anything else I can send you that would help you in your hiring decision, just let me know.
Again, feel free to tweak this, mention a specific conversation you had, or even specific projects or references you could pass on. That being said, do your best to keep it simple. Your email doesn’t need to be any longer than a few lines in order to get the point across that you’re still interested and eager to hear an update.
Don’t stop your job search
One last time while you’re waiting to hear a response from the job you’re excited about is this: don’t quit your job search. Even if you feel like the interview went swimmingly and like the hiring manager “made it really obvious” that they wanted to hire you, a job offer isn’t concrete until it’s in writing. Sometimes, all it takes is for a reference to say something that makes the hiring manager second-guess their choice or the company may decide to switch their pursuits at the last minute and the decision may have nothing to do with you at all. Either way, you don’t want to be left empty-handed because you put all your eggs in the same basket. Pursue the jobs you’re excited about and hopeful for, but keep looking in the meantime.
What’s the longest you’ve had to wait for a job offer and still gotten a job? What are your best tips for following up with a hiring manager and getting a response? Share your ideas in the comments below and share with a friend who’s also on the job hunt!