I know that job search can make even the strongest of us crazy. Add to that how unbelievably hard it is counting the number of days until you hear some news about whether you got the job or made it to the next round of interviews, and it’s amazing job seekers manage to stay sane enough to handle even the most basic activities of daily life.
But if you want to stay sane, it pays to remember this is all part of a larger process. Employers are not focused on some particular date the way you are. They need time to get things done on their end – even if it means you’re kept waiting in the dark far longer than you think you can stand.
But it’s been three whole days since the interview!
Over the years, I’ve had many hundreds of readers write to me, with pretty much the same concern: it’s been some number of days since the date of the interview, and I haven’t heard a thing!
But the even more frustrating thing is when an interviewer or HR person or maybe even a potential boss mentions a specific date or deadline by which the job seeker would hear back. And then that day come and goes, without an email or phone call from the employer.
The poor job seeker is sent into all kinds of discomfort, thinking the worst: “If they haven’t gotten in touch with me yet, it must be bad news.” Many of us feel that the lack of good communication during the interview process is just plain wrong. But wrong or not, it is NORMAL. And so is not always hearing back on a promised date.
What you need to know about that promise to get back to you
Deadlines in hiring are rarely written in stone – and if they are, they just get a new stone. An employer may have some general timeline in mind, but even with the best of intentions things can happen to delay the process.
What the employer says and what you hear may not be the same thing. Often an employer’s “maybe” or “we’ll try” or “we hope” or “we expect” are heard by the eager job candidate as an absolute deadline. And each day after the presumed date of reckoning becomes torture.
I understand that. I myself have waited for things, and sometimes each hour feels like a day, especially when you have no control of the other party. But one thing you do have control of is how much you let it get to you – and what else you can do to help keep yourself busy and sane.
A few more words about those promises
Please think carefully about what was actually said to you. And then, even if you are sure they mentioned a specific date that they will FOR SURE get back to you, keep that in your mind as only a maybe anyway.
All kinds of things happen to slow things down, things the employer can’t control either. And if you cut the employer some mental slack, you’ll really be helping yourself. These things – more often than not – simply take more time than expected.
Stay positive, wait as patiently as you can … and keep applying for other jobs, just in case. Good luck!
Some articles to help while waiting