How Long Should I Wait To Hear Back After An Interview?

Dear Liz,

How long should I wait for a company to get back to me after an interview?

It seems like the more I want a particular job, the longer I have to wait to hear anything.

I interviewed for one job two weeks ago and I haven’t heard a thing yet. The interview went really well as far as I could tell. The manager “Hal” said he was glad to meet me and he said he liked my experience.

There’s no headhunter involved so it’s just me and Hal. I’ve left him two voicemail messages and one email thank-you message. No response. Should I give up and move on?

Thanks,

Rafael

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Dear Rafael,

They say job-hunting is like dating. I haven’t been on a first date since Ronald Reagan was president but I still remember the butterflies in my stomach on those occasions.  You can’t help but wonder “Did that person like me?” even if you realize a few days later that the person you met on the date isn’t your type at all.

Job hunting has a similar quality. Most job seekers want to impress the interviewer. They work hard to make a great impression during the interview. When they go home they sit by the phone wondering whether the company is going to bring them back for a second interview, or not.

Only part of that post-interview anxiety is related to your desire to get the job. Part of it is emotional. We like it when people like us — naturally! We hate to hear “No, we don’t want to hire you.” Even if we know we’d hate the job, we still want to get the offer! It feels good — and job-seekers need all the reinforcement they can get.

That’s why you have to practice going to a job interview, capturing your notes when you get home, sending a polite thank-you and then putting the interview out of your mind.

Wondering and worrying about how you did at the interview is a waste of your time.

If you’re meant to work with those people, you will hear from them. If not, it’s not the right job for you — at least right now.

Maybe you’d hate the job. Maybe they can’t see your brilliance and thus don’t deserve your talents. Either way, you’re off down your path and they are shrinking fast in your rear view mirror!

Don’t wait for any employer to get back to you after an interview. Keep the job search engine running at full power.

If you hear from them, you’ll cross that bridge. No need to wait and worry about when and whether they will be in touch.

Don’t wait for anybody when you’re job-hunting. Put new irons in the fire every day and let the most deserving employer win!

Yours,

Liz