What To Do When You’ve Interviewed, But Haven’t Heard Back From The Employer

June 4, 2018

You finished your job interview and were excited about how it went. Then you waited for that important call back from the hiring manager or recruiter. And you waited. And waited. And waited some more. “Now what do I do?”you wonder.

In addition to writing a thank you note after your interview, it’s also important to create your follow-up plan. Because you’ve already learned how to close an interview with class, you’ll have asked the hiring manager about his or her next steps in the hiring process and the time frame for the hiring decision. Use this information to make a note in your calendar on the day you expect to hear back from the employer.

If you haven’t heard anything within two or three days after the hiring decision was to have been made, send a thoughtfully worded email to the hiring manager, reiterating your interest in the position and checking in on his or her progress in the hiring process. If you were working with a recruiter or someone in HR, it’s best to first send a follow-up email directly to them (before you attempt to contact the hiring manager).

If you haven’t received a response to your check-in email within a few days, follow up with your network of contacts who work at that employer to see if they can find out the status of the hiring process.

But, let’s say none of those follow-up tactics work. That’s when it’s time to move up the chain of command. For example, if you were working with a recruiter or someone in HR and you haven’t received a response to your check-in email after several more days, send an email directly to the hiring manager.

If your email attempts don’t elicit any response, your final option is to call the person directly. Prior to calling, prepare what you’ll say, be it live or in a voicemail message. If you still haven’t heard back from the employer after several more days or even weeks, be prepared to move on to other job opportunities.

Unfortunately, not every employer treats job candidates with due respect by notifying all those who went through the interview process after a hiring decision has been made. In my mind, this is a required step, and as a former hiring manager, I personally called all candidates who made it to the final round of in-person interviews after I had made my decision.

When you don’t hear back from an employer after both email and telephone follow-up attempts, you should move on to other job opportunities and think about what you’ve learned about that employer. Do you really want to work for a manager who doesn’t take the time to notify job candidates after a decision has been made? If you were working with a recruiter or someone in HR during the process, do you want to work for a company where HR thinks so little of human assets that they don’t keep potential employees updated on their hiring progress? How you were treated during the process (and afterwards) could be a reflection of the company’s overall culture – and is that how you want to be treated as an employee if you worked there?

My same advice holds true if you’ve applied for several different positions at one employer and either haven’t heard back or you’ve gone on interviews and then never received any closure. Take a step back, take a deep breath, and think through if that’s the kind of company for which you want to work. Remember, interviewing is a two-way street. The employer is trying to find the candidate that is the best fit, but it’s yourresponsibility to see if the hiring manager, department, and company are a good fit for you.

~ Lisa Quast

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