When you’ve had an interview, one of the worst stretches of time, especially when you really want that new job, is the post-interview wait.
You felt like it all went well. But now you have to wait. For feedback. For follow-up questions. For an offer.
As the wait extends, it’s easy to allow your mind to start telling yourself that maybe you bombed. Maybe they hated you. Maybe it’s hopeless.
There are many variables that can and do delay hiring decisions, a lot of which have little to do with you. Following are a few of the more common reasons;
Decision makers haven’t yet had a chance to discuss the options. In a perfect world, everyone you just met with will sit down, within 10 minutes of your departure, and finalise their hiring plans. In the real world, this rarely happens. Managers are typically pulled every which way, every day. It’s common for it to take a couple of days for everyone to gather and share feedback following a candidate interview.
Decision makers may not be unanimous on their top pick. This can drag the decision making out a longer than anyone would like.
The current round of interviews have not been finished. You may have been the first person interviewed. Depending on what round of interviews you’re in, there could be several more candidates in the pipeline. While you may get some early feedback following your interview, don’t count on much if more people still have to come through.
Something came up. It’s not at all uncommon in any business for something to arise that diverts attention from recruitment. In spite of best intentions to fill critical openings, hiring managers may need to drop everything to put out a fire or focus on something else. And you’ll be stuck waiting.
An offer has been extended to someone, and you’re runner up. This one might not make you feel very warm and fuzzy, but take heart. Sometimes, the reason for the radio silence is that the employer wants to keep you “warm” in case that person declines. The bright side to this? It’s actually not that uncommon for the top contender to ultimately decline an offer. And if the final outcome, assuming you want the job, works in your favour? Who cares?
Here’s the single greatest thing you can do before leaving the interview.
Before you leave the interview, ask what the next steps are, and what timeline they’re working to. This won’t prevent sluggish decisions, but it will give you a time frame. And, if the employer extends beyond that timing, you can (and should!) follow up to see what’s happening.
I wish you every success with your applications.