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One Week After the Interview and You Haven’t Heard Back – What Next?

Tips for how to keep your job search active while waiting for a callback after an interview

You interviewed, sent your thoughtful thank-you note and now…it’s just a chorus of crickets. You need to know if you’re still in the running or should cross this one off your list. What do you do?

You want to maintain professionalism at all times and never look desperate or needy. Pestering the recruiter or hiring manager is not going to leave a lasting positive impression.  

The Day After the Interview: Do not Pause Your Job Search
No matter how amazing any interview goes, the day after you should be right back onto checking job openings, sending out your resume, and attending local networking events. A large part of the job search is about always having multiple irons in the fire.

10 Days After the Interview
Send a follow-up email to the recruiter (if you worked with one) or hiring manager you spoke to. Say that you want to touch base and re-state your interest in the position and why you are a solid fit for it. If you have a new portfolio piece you can show them, attach that and say, “Here is an additional piece from my portfolio that illustrates the level of work I would bring to the role.”

Two Weeks After the Interview
If you’re still getting radio silence, consider sending a LinkedIn request to the recruiter or hiring manager. Also, check the organization’s LinkedIn page and website to see if they have announced a new hire for the role. If not, consider yourself still in the running.

Three Weeks After the Interview
There are many reasons why you may not have heard back by now.

Perhaps you were Candidate #2 and they are currently negotiating with Candidate #1. A hiring freeze could have come down from above. Maybe the hiring manager has gone on unexpected leave.

At the end of week three, send one final email. Ideally you have seen something about them in the news or a press release on their website announcing  a new product, service, or initiative. Say, “ I saw that your company has [insert news item/website update here]. Congratulations. It sounds like it is an exciting time to be part of your company. If the [insert job title] position is still open and you would like to know anything further about my experience or background, feel free to get in touch.”

One Month After the Interview
At this stage, it is likely time to move this opportunity off the “active list.” If an organization does not have the courtesy to give you any kind of sign this far after the interview, would you really want to work for them? Timely communication would not appear to be their strong suit.

Hang back and do not call or email. The ball is in their court. If they aren’t serving it back, accept it and move on. Don’t burn any bridges by being tempted to send a snarky email. Stay gracious.

You never know what can happen. They could’ve selected a candidate who will quit in two months and you’ll be back on their radar. But because you haven’t slowed down your job search, you’re more than ready for the next opportunity that knocks. 


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