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The Post-Interview Waiting Game


The Post-Interview Waiting GameYou’ve had your interview, which you think went well. The recruiter said that management wants a new recruit in place within two weeks and that you’d receive a call either way. You emailed your thank you note to the interview team … and two weeks later you are still waiting.

All that waiting seems to demand action;   after all, we are often urged to be pro-active. “What if I called to inquire? Would that help show my interest?” wonders the impatient job hunter. So what is the best way to handle all that waiting?

It all depends.

There are many approaches, a few are listed below, and depending on a person’s character, strength of verbal communications, rapport established with the interview team, indications given about how soon a decision will be made or when the chosen candidate will ideally be starting, a candidate may elect to wait patiently, or to follow up.

  • At the end of the interview, ask “May I give you a call to follow up on the selection process?”  A “yes” gives you the confidence to inquire without angst!
  • Most people feel comfortable sending (and receiving) two follow-up emails. After that it starts to feel desperate, which is a job offer deal-breaker. Keep track of who you call, what was said, and who you’ve not yet reached, to make sure that you don’t overdo it.
  • If it is outside your comfort zone to follow up, you might choose to say so. “I apologize for adding yet another email to your Inbox. I am compelled to write, though, as I want to be certain that I convey my passion for sales and my continued interest in the position of Account Manager.” Reinforce your value in one or two quick bullets of accomplishments.
  • Instead of an email try a postcard or short hand-written note, snail-mailed.
  • Call, but don’t leave a message; rather, call until you reach a real live person. Best bet for getting through to the hiring manager is to call very early or quite late in the day.
  • Source an on-line or newspaper article, and email or snail mail this article, which must of course be of interest to the receiver, who should ideally be the hiring manager. This gives you a great opportunity to share your own ideas on the relevant news story, and casually inquire whether the interview team is close to making a hiring decision.

It is a sad truth that not all interviewers, recruiters, or HR personnel follow through on their promise to call either way. Although everyone deserves the courtesy of knowing, it’s also true that lots of folks have trouble delivering bad news. One last idea:

  •  Never give up. Even if you didn’t land that job, send an email a month or two down the road, thanking them again for a great interview, sharing that although you are exploring a few possibilities you are still available. Or if you know the position is filled, suggest that if they know of a suitable position, in their company or another, you would be very grateful for a referral or more information.

Whether you choose to wait in silence or to act is a personal preference – there is no right or wrong. Ultimately it is up to each job hunter to determine what tactics he or she is comfortable using.

– submitted by Stephanie Clark, at

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