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The Post-Interview Waiting Game

Clients often express that it is frustrating to wait for a response from a company after an interview. In some cases, they experience ghosting after the first or second interview. In this blog, Revision Resume will discuss why the waiting game occurs, and provide suggestions for what to do to alleviate the stress.

Why is there a Post-Interview Waiting Game?

You have successfully completed your second interview with a company. You feel it went very smoothly and are expecting an offer any minute. Yet, days pass and you hear nothing. What is going on? Well, there are a variety of different possibilities:

  1. The company may be interviewing other candidates and/or is still making a decision. If the interviews are spread out, it may take a few weeks to complete the process, instead of a few days.

  2. They may be securing the funding for the job. In some cases, job funding is cancelled during the interview process if the financial picture for the business changes during that time. In other cases, it just takes a while for multiple departments to coordinate to get the funding in place and make the offer. Unfortunately, as a job candidate you don't know which is the situation you are in until you hear from the hiring manager again.

  3. There may be more steps in the interview process. Although years ago, two interviews were common, now some companies require additional rounds. Your hiring team may be finalizing their second round of interviews and preparing their calendars to schedule the third round. This may take some time and add to a job seeker's frustration.


What can you do to ease your frustration during the post-interview wait?

Suggestion #1: Get a Timeline BEFORE You Leave the Interview

The more you know before you walk out the door, the better prepared you will be for what lies ahead. You could ask any of the following questions at the end of the interview:

  • “When should I expect to hear from you?”

  • “What is the next step in the interview process?”

  • “When will you be making your final decision?”

  • “How will you communicate moving forward?”

Your goal is to find out what the next step will be and when you should hear from the hiring team. This gives you an indication of when you can be comfortable reaching out to follow up. For example, if the hiring manager tells you they will be making a decision by the end of the week, you can feel comfortable sending a polite message the following week asking for an update if you haven't heard anything. If they say that they have 5 more people to interview over the next three weeks, following up next week doesn't make sense. You will need to wait about a month and then follow up appropriately.

Suggestion #2: Stick to the Post-Interview Follow Up Plan

Man on phone following up after an interview

You may have been told the decision won't be made until the end of the month and still find it frustrating to wait to contact the hiring manager again. However, you must stick to the plan you discussed at the end of the interview. Revision Resume has heard from hiring managers and recruiters who have dealt with job seekers that continuously call to check in. They indicate that this negates any positive view they had of the candidate during the interview. You don't want your post-interview behavior to reduce your chances of getting an offer. Be patient and wait to follow up until the agreed upon time period has passed.

Suggestion #3: Continue to Move Forward on Your Job Search

You may be very optimistic that you will be offered this job, but until you receive the offer, nothing is guaranteed. As mentioned above, sometimes job openings are not filled due to new budgetary constraints. Or, maybe the hiring manager found out his cousin was looking for a new role and filled the position with him instead. Alternatively, an internal candidate may step up and request the opening, causing the company to decide to go with a known performer as opposed to an uncertain new hire. In any of these circumstances, the job you thought you would get is no longer yours. It is worth your while to continue looking for other job openings while you are in the post-interview waiting period. Action steps you can take:

  • Tweak your resume and apply to other postings that are of interest to you

  • Practice your interview skills for future potential opportunities

  • Continue networking to gain new job leads

Man and Woman shaking hands at an interview

Revision Resume recognizes how frustrating the waiting game is. A job seeker feels like they are close to achieving the success they desire, and yet they still have to wait with a feeling of uncertainty. Even worse are the companies that conduct a couple of interviews and then never follow up with the candidate. Unfortunately, until the hiring industry changes, job seekers will still face these frustrating situations. Hopefully implementing the suggestions above help ease some of the aggravation.

Looking for help with your resume, cover letter or value proposition letter? Revision Resume is here! Fill out our "Get In Touch" form to learn how we can assist you in your job search.

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