I’ve written a few articles about waiting after a job interview, but since not hearing back from an employer is probably the one thing that makes job seekers the most crazy, I’d like to add a few more thoughts about what’s really going on – and why employers don’t get back to you.
But before we talk about what’s happening on the employer side while you anxiously wait to hear something … anything … let’s talk about what’s going on from YOUR side.
How soon do you expect them to call after your job interview?
One of the biggest problems with the interview process is that you have no way of knowing what it will be like until AFTER it is completely over, and you either got the job or you didn’t. But at that point, it’s too late for you to do anything different.
And so you think “Well, at least next time I’ll know what to expect.” But unfortunately, there is no standard rules that employers follow when they hire people. So it might be the same or it might be a brand new set of unexpected processes, and all you can think is “here we go again!”
The truth is, you might hear back in as early as a day (not very common) or it could take weeks – even months, as I once learned even though I was the top candidate and the institution was well-known and well-respected. As I said … no standard rules.
How does waiting in the dark make you feel?
I can tell you that from the thousands of people I’ve heard from over the years, job seekers feel frustrated, disrespected, minimized, helpless, angry, confused, bitter, irritated, resentful, outraged, and rejected (even before they’ve heard the final outcome).
Sound familiar? And mostly they are left wondering if they did something wrong – and what they can do to make the silence stop!
It’s NOT you … it’s them
I want to make it very clear that this is not a reflection of you or how you did or what they think of you. Job search is a grueling process that can sap your confidence, and I need you to know that you are not alone … this happens to almost everyone at some point in their career – no matter how well they did or who they are.
The company may still be great at what they do otherwise, but the hiring process is often seen internally as an extra thing that needs to be fit into the normal course of business. So even if they have a formal Human Resources department (not all companies do) or use a professional recruiter, the rest of the people involved have to find time to do their part.
They aren’t ignoring you purposefully just to annoy you. They have to go through all the steps and get all the sign-offs along the way. And for various reasons they just don’t keep you informed as the process unfolds.
In fact, since they are busy doing what they usually do, the weeks that seem so horribly long to you, may fly by quickly for them. But there are more things that might be happening, including vacations, rush projects, emergencies, delays, reorganizations, etc.
You can find some more reasons plus a few tips here:
So what can you do?
Please don’t jump up and down and yell at the page as you read this, but the best thing you can do at this point – apart from your thank you note and perhaps a follow-up email or call – is to wait. And keep yourself busy. And please keep applying for jobs.
Some articles to help with follow-up notes, thank you notes and staying sane: