You walked out of the interview feeling optimistic but naturally hesitant. What happens next?
The anxiety of waiting by the phone (or constantly thinking you feel it vibrate in your pocket) is part of the interview process. However, you don’t need to sit and wait for the phone to ring for weeks on end. A follow-up call is in order, and it can help you prepare for what comes next.
So how long should you wait to follow up after the interview? Use this guide to help you plan your post-interview timeline.
Follow the Timeline Given by Your Interviewer
In today’s world, good practice dictates that HR will let you know a timeline at the end of the interview. It lets everyone know what to expect and puts everyone on even footing.
Whether you’re successful or not, you’ll know by the date given.
If HR or the hiring manager gives you a date, stick to that date before you think about a follow-up. If you don’t hear back by the date given, give them an extra two business days to get back to you, particularly in today’s climate where businesses have to manage changes at a rapid pace.
Tip: if you had a great interview and want a few extra bonus points, send a quick email simply thanking the team for their time and the opportunity.
What If You Have Other Interviews Lined Up?
Hiring managers will assume you’re actively job hunting, so there’s no pressing need to let them know about other interviews and deadlines at the interview or when you follow up.
The only time you might let the team know you’re being actively considered for another role is if you have another offer in hand and you want to use it to negotiate a better deal.
Otherwise, Wait One Week to Follow Up
If they don’t give you a timeline, and you haven’t heard anything after 4-5 business days, then you are free to follow up. If your interview is on Monday, wait until the following Monday before you call.
Usually, a rejection or confirmation comes quickly after you follow up.
Remember that HR doesn’t always have answers. They can only push the decision-makers so much. So, if things are slow at the top, then it will trickle down.
Use the Follow Up as a Chance to Reaffirm Your Interest
The waiting game is part of job hunting, but you don’t need to wait around forever. If you don’t hear anything for a week (or within the timeline), give HR a call and ask them when you might expect to have a decision. Calling will reaffirm your interest, and it will help you plan your next steps.
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