What to do if you haven't heard back from the interviewer

After you have gone through the stages of the interview process, you hope to hear what the next steps may be from your potential employer sooner rather than later. It can be discouraging when you feel like you had a great interview but haven’t heard back from the hiring company right away.

Their response may not necessarily align to your expected timeline though, and there are a number of reasons a decision or contact may be delayed.

Employers don’t want to make a mistake on who to hire and depending on the company and situation, they may have a number of candidates they still need to screen, they may be waiting for an application deadline to pass, their internal process is longer than you accounted for and there are more stakeholders involved who need to review or approve the applications, or they are awaiting background or behavioral checks.

Having said that, it is still worthwhile to follow-up with the hiring manager after your interview in order to show your continued interest and dedication. It can be difficult to find the right balance between letting the hiring manager know that you are interested though. You do not want to appear desperate or pushy.

Follow these tips to ensure you remain professional and front of the hiring manager’s mind, even in the follow-up stage of the interview process.

What to do if you haven’t heard back from the interviewer:

  • Be realistic and don’t panic. As you read above, there may be a number of reasons as to why you haven’t heard back
  • Send a follow up email. You want to keep an open and positive relationship between you and the company whilst continuing to show your interest in them
  • Reconsider calling. Unless you have a good relationship with the hiring manager already or are being hired by a recruitment agency, calling can seem a bit desperate, especially since the other person will likely be busy and dealing with a lot of applicants
  • Stay calm and confident. Following up will put you top of mind for the hiring manager, so you want to ensure you are presenting yourself in a positive way again
  • Ensure you are following up with the correct people. Hopefully you will remember who you have been liaising with, but you can also verify this in your email correspondence and job interview meeting requests
  • Don’t leave it too long. Ideally your follow up should be within a couple of weeks
  • Ask about next steps. Briefly ask when they expect to get back to candidates and leave it at that. They will give you the information they have on hand that is free to pass on to you
  • Know when to move on. There’s only so much you can do and contact the company and hiring manager. If they don’t ever get back to you, it wasn’t meant to be and you should refocus your time and effort into finding other jobs and preparing for other job interviews

What NOT to do if you haven’t heard back from the interviewer:

  • Don’t follow up multiple times or demand a response. It will look unprofessional, desperate, and pushy
  • Don’t use strong or blunt words. You want to be friendly, someone who is easy to communicate with, and polite
  • Don’t use unprofessional language or poor grammar when emailing your follow up to them
  • Don’t text them. This isn’t a work-related or urgent matter, and you shouldn’t intrude on their work time and space for your personal follow up message
  • Don’t contact the company’s social media accounts. It will not likely get through to the correct department or hiring manager so reflects a lack of understanding and consideration from you
  • Don’t discuss salary or an offer. You haven’t decided if they are hiring you yet and you don’t want to leave them with a bad taste in their mouth.

The overall message is to not come across as too strong, demanding or forceful. It can make you seem desperate and less desirable. It may also impact how much you are able to negotiate your salary and terms if you do eventually get offered the job.

If you haven’t heard back from an interviewer, don’t get discouraged. Be polite, professional and friendly, thank the hiring managers for their time and effort, and aim to keep the lines of communication and networking open for future possibilities.

If you would like more advice on the job interview process, visit our job interview hub, or contact us today.

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