Everyone who has ever interviewed for a job has experienced the agony of awaiting a response from a potential employer. An interviewer who misses a follow-up deadline could leave a candidate worried if the company has chosen another candidate and forgot to inform them.
If you’re a candidate waiting to hear back from an employer and need to get a job now, you may wonder how long to wait after an interview before following up. According to the experts here, the answer depends on several factors. We cover those factors and offer specific examples, as well as some tips on when it’s acceptable to send a follow-up email:
It’s common for companies to take a long time to respond to candidates who have interviewed for a job. Many companies have processes in place to ensure they are fair and taking the time to make a sound hiring decision, but that also means it may take a while to hear back from them.
Some companies have strict hiring policies in place, following protocols and procedures that must be followed on their timelines. You may have a specific time to hear back from them, or they may be following a calendar in which they wait to hear back from multiple candidates before making a decision.
Other companies may have a hiring manager who is not very organized or who is new to the job, which can lead to a delay in communication. Another possibility is that the hiring manager may have booked an extended vacation and is not checking their email.
While you wait, you might worry that you won’t get the job or are losing out to another candidate. The best thing to do is to stay proactive and keep yourself busy. If you don’t hear back in the time you’re expecting, it’s okay to send a follow-up email to the employer. Make sure you do it respectfully and professionally, though.
Consider sending a quick update to the hiring manager, including a sentence or two about your current projects and achievements. Mention that you would like to be kept in mind for any new opportunities that may come up.
In some cases, the hiring manager has specifically outlined a timeframe to follow up if you haven’t heard back. If that’s the case, make sure you follow the instructions in your interview invitation or the instructions on your application.
If the hiring manager hasn’t outlined a timeframe, and you couldn’t ask them about it during or at the end of your interview, you should wait at least 24 hours after the interview and then send an email. If you don’t hear back from them within a week, a simple email to check in may be in order. However, don’t feel compelled to send a follow-up email before the end of the week if you don’t hear back.
Asking yourself how long to wait to follow up after an interview is stressful. While it is normal to want to hear back quickly, it’s also typical for hiring managers to take a bit of time to make a decision.
When you follow up after an interview, remember to be respectful and professional. It’s better to err on the side of waiting too long to follow up than to risk coming across as pushy or desperate. It is perfectly acceptable to follow up after a reasonable amount of time has passed, but if you’re not sure how long is too long to wait, it’s better to wait a bit longer just to be safe. Of course, it wouldn’t hurt to look for other opportunities, especially if you need to get a job now.
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