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Levett Career Center

Waiting to Hear from Employers


After the Interview: the Wait

During the interview: As your interview wraps up, ask interviewers when you will hear back and how they prefer you to follow up. Within 48 hours, write a note or email thanking them, expressing interest in the position and stating that you will follow-up at the end of the specified period to see if you can provide more information. Make sure that message is error-free!

The wait begins: If interviewers tell you they will be in touch in a week or two, that timespan can seem like an eternity. Waiting is very difficult for the person expecting news. After the interview, it's hard on you; once you have been given an offer, it is hard on the person waiting for you to accept it. This explains why employers frequently give a very short turnaround time to accept or reject their offer.  There might be many good explanations for the time lag: you may have been one of their earlier interviews so they still needed to talk with other candidates, something may have come up at the office that caused delays in interviewing, or something may have postponed the meeting to discuss the candidates. Remember, you have made the first cut just to be interviewed at all.

Turn the wait time to your advantage: The secret to the art of patience is doing something else in the meantime. Figure out how you would answer if they make you an offer: do you plan to accept? Do you need a day or two to consider the offer first? How will you handle salary negotiations? (Remember, employers are only willing to give you more money if you can convince them you add value in some way so that they can recoup it.)

Time's Up: Typically, if the timeframe they have given as an outer limit has passed, then they may have made offers to others and are waiting to hear if those people will accept them. (Note that if those candidates received an offer from them, they may well be deciding between that offer and another one from someone else). However, if they are still on the fence, a good follow-up message can tip the balance.

"Thanks for the opportunity; I'm still interested." If you should hear that you did not get the position, but still want it, send them a note thanking them for the chance to interview with them and restating your interest in the position should another opportunity arise. If you're the one person whom they rejected who was classy enough to thank them for it, you will likely be the first one they turn to if a position opens up. On that note, candidates sometimes get an offer after they had been rejected because someone else has broken one of the cardinal rules of interviewing by accepting and later reneging on the offer. Never do that! Be sure you want a position before you accept it.

Best of luck with your search!

Margaret Krantz