The Waiting Game – Why You Weren’t Called Back After the Interview

Does anyone really like interviewing for jobs? It’s incredibly stressful! Maybe you’ve been out of work, or you’re not satisfied in your current job. And this interview is (seemingly) your one ticket to career satisfaction. It can seem pretty overwhelming. But, you’ve done your research, practiced, and have aced your interview.

So…why didn’t you hear back?

After all the work and stress put into an interview, not hearing back from a prospective employer is a terrible feeling. There are some reasons why you may not have heard back, though – some within your control and others completely outside of your control:

  1. You didn’t send a Thank You note. Or maybe you just weren’t a good fit for the job. But one of the easiest ways to ruin a good interview is by neglecting to send a Thank You card. It’s a small touch that shows initiative, eagerness, and also good old fashioned politeness. When you interview for a job, send out a Thank You card as soon as possible; preferably within 24 hours.
  2. They hired someone internally. Although distinctly unfair to candidates, some employers will conduct interviews as a technicality, even after they’ve chosen an internal candidate for the job. Employers should be up front about this in an interview, but you may find that a prospective employer has disappeared after a successful interview, and it’s because they were never strongly considering you in the first place.
  3. The hiring decision has been placed on hold. Hiring new employees can be a long, time-consuming and costly experience for employers. Some employers can draw out the hiring phase through several months, all with unsuspecting candidates waiting anxiously in the wings. Your job opening may have been temporarily placed on hold while the company focuses on other priorities.

Don’t sit waiting for an answer nervously – be proactive.

You can combat the anxious waiting period — to an extent — by following these tips:

  • Ask about a turnaround time in the interview. A simple, “Do you know approximately when you expect to make a decision?” can help you gauge when you might hear from a prospective employer.
  • Follow up when that time elapses. If an employer tells you to expect contact within 2 weeks, give it a few extra days before you follow up. When it’s time, send a quick email or make a phone call to “See if you have any additional questions.” This communication can, at the very least, get you some closure if you haven’t been chosen for a position.
  • Move on to the next great opportunity. Sometimes employers simply don’t touch base to update you on your status for a hire. If you have followed up to no avail, it’s best to pick up and focus on the next great opportunity.

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