Bottom line, when you don’t hear back after a job interview, it is because the potential employer is not ready to take the next step with you. Instead of MSUing (making stuff up) about why, use these 6 after-the-interview tips:
1. Did You Send a Thank-You?
Current research shows at least 68% of hiring professionals want to receive a thank you email, letter, or note, but only 43% of job seekers send them.
2. Assess Your Performance
When you leave the interview, make a note of how long you were there. The longer the interview, the better.
After that, it’s a good idea to wait up to 24 hours to let the experience settle.
Then, review your interview performance and take your learnings. If you don’t feel good about how you answered the interview questions, don’t fall into the trap of criticizing yourself or the company.
It doesn’t help to focus on negative thoughts.
3. Keep Your Job Search Rolling
Stay focused on your job search by tracking this performance metric. Continue to find and pursue job openings. That’s the best action you can take to increase your chance of getting an offer.
4. Follow Up Every 2 Weeks
Reach out to your primary contact person(s) every 2 weeks. If you call more often, they’ll feel stalked. Make contact less often and they’ll likely assume you’ve lost interest.
Call the hiring manager if you have met them. That goes for the recruiter/HR rep on the search too. Ask where they’re at in the hiring process. Graciously restate your interest in the position.
Both HR and the hiring manager have tasks to complete in getting to an offer. Thus, it’s good for them to visit the status of their search every 2 weeks. Your calls will make that happen and might get a stalled process moving again.
If you don’t connect on the phone, leave voice mails and send an email addressed to both people.
Do this for 2 months and then, if you haven’t heard anything, it’s probably time to let go. The 2021 Jobvite Recruiter Nation Survey found that 91% of jobs get filled within 60 days:
5. Connect with Administrative Assistants
If you connect with administrative assistants rather than your targets, don’t be upset. Except for making the decision, good AAs can do everything needed to get you hired.
Because of this, an AA might be your best contact.
I have seen them take ownership for completing a search more than once (getting interviews scheduled, doing administrative work, etc.). They don’t like telling you there’s no news, so they often take the initiative to keep the process moving.
6. Don’t Forget Your Recruiter
If an external recruiter introduced you, be sure to check in with that person and copy them on emails.
Accept What You Can & Can’t Control
Follow those after-the-interview tips. Then, keep on finding and creating more great career options for yourself.
If you don’t hear back, know that per a Greenhouse survey, 75% of people have been ghosted after an interview. You can’t control people’s behavior inside the company, but you can control your own.
One more thing, in the not-too-distant future, you might be able to get a status like this sample interaction from Aptitude Research’s recent report on conversational AI in recruiting:
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Updated May 2022
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Donna Svei, an executive resume writer and former C-level executive, retained search consultant, and CPA, authors all of AvidCareerist’s posts.
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It’s not only the waiting – it’s all the negative thoughts that flood the mind eroding one’s self-esteem – while waiting. Especially if it’s a recurring scenario. Your suggestions & info shed light on the process, distancing the negative energy of (love your acronym) MSUing (making stuff up) as to why you haven’t heard back. Acknowledge yourself for having done your best up to this point & don’t take the waiting ‘void’ personally!
Thank you for your comment too. I’m finding people’s comments to be my favorite part of blogging!
I’ve found it universal that the day they say they will call is never the case.
I usually joke and ask “ok Tuesday.what week?”
Thank you for writing this article – great advice!
Thank you Stephanie. Donna
Wonderful article. One frustration I have had is when an employer with whom an interview occurrred won’t “let you go” so to speak. I had one interview in which the time between the first contact and receiving of the word that another person was hired was just 3 days short of 3 months. THAT is frustrating. Clearly I understand that there can be delays, but to me, if I truly was a great candidate, there would have been no need to stretch out the interview process that long. I would have much preferred that they tell me perhaps a month after my interview that they were still looking, but that I did not meet their requirements, thereby letting me mentally go, so to speak.
And yes, I understand that perhaps they were holding me in reserve just in case they didn’t find their ideal candidate. The problem is, if that was the case, and they would have ended up hiring me, then I have to believe that they perceived me as not a great choice and therefore I would have started the job in negative territory before I put in my first full day.
So I guess my advice then is if the time elapsed between the interview and still hearingthat the interview process is still going on is 30-45 days, then one has to mentally move on and write it off. Don’t do like I did still holding out a glimmer of hope in the 3rd month following the interview.
Best of luck to all reading this! Hang tough!
Bob, Thank you for your comments. One grace note…there’s every reason under the sun for a long elapsed time between first meeting and an offer. An offer is an offer…don’t let the time it took to get there tarnish a new employment relationship. You might never know the real reason it took so long and it might have absolutely nothing to do with you. Donna