Interviewing is incredibly stressful, and many candidates each day face the anxiety of the interview process, as well as the difficulty of handling rejection.
But between these two steps, there is often a tense and awkward waiting period as recruiters and businesses try to determine which candidates to hire and which to reject.
This in-between period can be incredibly challenging, especially if you feel you could’ve done better in the interview, or are desperate to find employment as soon as possible.
There are many reasons why jobs take time to respond to candidates with news of their success or failure, and it’s a difficult process for recruiters and interviewers to determine the correct hire and inform the other candidates, which can mean it takes some considerable time to hear back, particularly if there are a lot of strong candidates for a position.
In this guide we’re going to look at how long it generally takes to hear back after a job interview, as well as how to handle the various difficulties and situations that can sometimes occur after a job interview, to retain your professionalism and courtesy, as well as potentially increasing your chances of getting the job!
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It may sound strange, as usually, the panic is what happens right before, or even during a job interview, but many people will panic after an interview too, either because they feel like they made a mistake or because they haven’t heard back within a few hours or days.
However, this is a mistake, and it’s not healthy or productive to get worried over something you have very little control over.
Once the interview is finished, it’s important to remain calm and professional and not allow any paranoia or worry to cloud your judgement.
Most jobs, even at large companies, won’t reply right after an interview, even if you are very confident in your interview performance.
There are often many hundreds of candidates for positions and it can take considerable time to get through the process of handling these applications, so there is no sense in worrying after the interview process is complete.
Remaining calm will also help you to handle the situation much more effectively, especially when it comes to responding or chasing up after a suitable period of time either for feedback or an update on the progress of your application.
Typical Waiting Time After An Interview
The typical amount of time it takes to complete a hire is often over 30 days, and a study in 2018 reported that the average was actually 38 days.
This can vary a lot of course, depending on the size of the business you’re applying to, the type of job and how popular it is/how many people applied, location, industry, and a host of other factors that can make the process take much longer.
It’s quite common to hear back within two weeks, or sometimes less, but it’s not unheard of to be waiting for a month or more for a hire to be completed by a business, regardless of its particular field or size.
Knowing this, it’s easier to understand why you may not have heard anything, and you can take a little solace in the fact that you may not yet have been rejected, and there is still a chance you may get that golden email come through offering you a position.
Keep this in mind when you start to doubt yourself, and if it has been a little longer, or if you’re aware that this business or industry typically hires more quickly than this, you can consider following up with the business or recruiter for an update on the situation, which we’ll now take a look at.
When To Consider Following Up
The first thing you should try to do is send a thank you email to the interviewer a day or two after the interview, using this as an opportunity to put yourself back into the minds of the recruiters and show that you’re a dedicated and passionate candidate.
After this, whether you’ve had a reply or not, it’s best to wait at least 10 to 14 days before attempting an inquiry or follow up email, as being too eager to hear back can come across as desperate and actually hurt your chances of getting hired.
A follow up email should be casual but direct and a good way to do this is to ask for an update on the process of your application and on the potential next steps you may need to prepare for.
This shows that you are dedicated, organized and keen to put in the effort, which are qualities that will help strengthen your application and chances of getting hired.
Why Haven’t You Heard Back Yet?
There are many reasons why you may not have heard back. Naturally, you may not have gotten hired, however it may be that there are still candidates to be interviewed, or other applications to process before updating you on your progress.
It’s important not to worry about this too much and focus on what you can control, as well as spending time looking for other opportunities instead of agonizing over a single one.
What To Do If You Don’t Hear Back
If you don’t hear back after a month, it’s very unlikely you’ve been successful, and at this point you can consider emailing either to follow up, or to ask for feedback from the recruiter/interviewer about why you were unsuccessful and what you need to do to improve your chances in future.
What To Do If Your Follow Up Is Ignored
If your follow-up emails have been totally ignored, it’s best to cut your losses and not waste any more of your time on that particular employer.
It is generally considered unprofessional to not offer feedback or respond, and while there may be an explanation for this, such as an incorrect email or technical issue, it’s often likely that your emails aren’t a priority and are being sidelined or forgotten due to more pressing concerns and workloads.
It’s important to not take this personally and remain professional, and simply look at options elsewhere.