You’ve been out searching for a job. A great opportunity comes along at a company you always wanted to work for. You have been through your third round of interviews and ten days ago you were riding high. The interviews all went great. Everyone you spoke with said you would be a great fit in the company. The last interview with the hiring manager was one of the best interviews you ever had. They told you they would be in touch shortly. One week later, all you are hearing is silence. Why? But more importantly, what should you do about it?
The first thing you must do is put everything in perspective. You are coming at this solely focused on how this affects you. As a result, it’s top of the list, front and center in your mind. It may not be that way for the employer. In fact, most likely, it is not. Remember, everyone you interviewed with has a job to do, a boss to answer to, deadlines to meet, responsibilities to take care of, etc. You are one piece of a very complex puzzle. It’s frustrating. In fact, it’s the most frustrating part of a job search. But many other things are potentially going on behind the scenes, including:
- The hiring manager has been called out of town for an extended period to address a critical issue.
- All parties have not been available to sync up and make the final decision.
- End of quarter/year is approaching, and attention is currently focused on “the numbers.”
- Priorities “right now” demand attention in another area.
- The company may take its time or struggle with big decisions.
- There might be a decision maker who was not part of the process but is now getting involved.
- There might be other candidates they need to speak with.
All of these situations are frustrating. Certainly, someone should notify you of what is going on. But what should happen and what does happen are not always the same.
What now? You are nervous, frustrated and anxious.
So, What to Do and What not to Do?
If the prospective employer gets a sense of your frustration, it could be all over for you. Try to look at things from the other side. Each person is trying to do the best they can within the boundaries of their position.
- Do not become a pest. Sending emails and voice mails every day will cast a negative light on you.
- Check your social network. Do you know anyone who works there? Check with them and see what they know or what they can find out without them sending bad signals or annoying their colleagues and undermining your chances.
- Listen to your gut. Your instincts can guide you when your brain might merely rationalize. “Why didn’t they answer my last ten emails?” What does your gut tell you?
- There is a difference between nudging someone and pestering them. If a timeline has passed, wait two days and send a “checking in” email. Provide something of value in the email, though. Maybe a link to a recent event affecting their business or industry. Perhaps, share a link to a relevant article where you can provide some of your own insights and tactfully distinguish yourself from the other candidates.
- You should continue working opportunities elsewhere until you get a response. Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket. This is not only a smart practice, it will help to prevent you from obsessing.
- Don’t be afraid to go directly to the hiring manager (assuming you interviewed with that person).
- Don’t take it personally. It’s business. The last thing you want is for this to adversely affect your confidence.
There are a lot of reasons why an employer is slow in getting back to you after a great interview. Make sure your follow-up actions keep you in the best light as the best possible candidate.
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