How Long Does It Take to Hear Back From an Interview?

When Will I Hear Back After a Job Interview?

Waiting to hear back after a job interview can be a nerve-wracking experience: you may find yourself constantly checking your email and reaching for your phone, hoping for that much-awaited call or message. It’s natural to wonder why it’s taking so long and if there’s anything more you could have done to tip the scales in your favor.

As a job seeker, it’s important to remember that there are a variety of factors that can contribute to the delay in hearing back from a potential employer. These can include the number of applicants, internal protocols, and the decision-making process within the company. However, knowing these factors can help you better manage your expectations and ease your anxiety during this waiting period.

In this article, we’ll explore the various reasons for delays in receiving feedback after a job interview and help you identify if it’s time to pursue other opportunities or remain patient in your pursuit of this role.

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Understanding the Waiting Process

Decision-Making Process

In a job interview scenario, you often find yourself waiting for feedback from the company. This is because the hiring manager’s decision-making process takes time: they have to evaluate all the candidates, discuss their performance with other team members, and most importantly, choose the best one for the role. You should keep in mind that the hiring manager has other responsibilities to handle besides interviewing candidates and making a decision.

Factors Influencing Waiting Time

Waiting time after a job interview varies for several reasons:

  1. Number of applicants:
    If there are many candidates, it may take longer for the hiring manager to evaluate each person and reach a decision.
  2. Decision-makers’ availability:
    If key decision-makers are busy or on vacation, it may delay the hiring process.
  3. Background checks and references:
    Some companies may wait for background checks or references to come back before making a final decision.


Average Response Time After an Interview

The average waiting time for a response following a job interview varies depending on the company and industry. In general, it could be anywhere between a few days to a few weeks. If you haven’t heard back within two weeks, it might be a good idea to send a follow-up email or call to express your continued interest in the role and ask for an update on the hiring process. However, always remember to be professional, polite, and respectful of the company’s time in both your communication and expectations.

Related: How to Write a Perfect Thank You Email After an Interview

Interview Follow-up Email Examples (1 day, 1 & 2 weeks)

Why It May Be Taking So Long

Interviewing Other Candidates

It’s possible that the employer is still interviewing other candidates. Hiring managers often want to speak with several candidates before making a decision. This process can take time, especially if recruiters are trying to coordinate interviews with a large number of applicants. Be patient, as this is a normal part of the hiring process, and remember that there’s always a chance you might be their top choice.

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Request for Second Interview

Sometimes, an employer may request a second interview with you or other candidates. This can extend the waiting period, especially if the company is interviewing many potential candidates. If you’re asked for a second interview, take it as a positive sign that the employer is interested in you and wants to learn more about your qualifications.

Still Interviewing for Other Positions

In some cases, the hiring team might be busy interviewing candidates for multiple job openings. This can lead to a longer waiting period for you to hear back. Additionally, your application may be under consideration for other positions within the organization, even if you initially applied for a specific role.

Checking References

Before extending a job offer, many employers will take the time to check your references. This step can slow down the hiring process if your references are not responsive or if the employer is having difficulty contacting them. Make sure you provide accurate contact information for your references and inform them ahead of time that they may be contacted.

Job Opening on Hold

Occasionally, a job opening may be put on hold due to internal factors, such as budget constraints or a change in the company’s needs. While this can be frustrating, it’s important to remember that it is usually beyond your control and not a reflection of your qualifications.

Organizational Factors

Various organizational factors might also contribute to a longer waiting time after your interview. For example, the hiring manager or HR personnel might be on vacation, have urgent matters to attend to, or be managing a high workload. Therefore, it’s important to be understanding and give them some time before following up on the status of your application.

Dealing with the Stress and Anxiety

Managing Your Emotions

Anxiety and stress during the post-interview waiting period are natural feelings. To help manage your emotions, try the following techniques:

  • Practice mindfulness exercises such as deep breathing, meditation, or progressive muscle relaxation to calm your mind.
  • Maintain a positive mindset by focusing on your strengths and accomplishments.
  • Stay connected with friends and family for emotional support.

Related: Mindfulness Exercises: 7 Effective Techniques

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Staying Productive in Your Job Search

While you await a response from your interview, remain proactive in your job search:

  • Keep applying for other job opportunities to diversify your options.
  • Enhance your skills by taking online courses or participating in workshops.
  • Network with professionals in your field by attending events and joining online forums.
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Proactive Steps After the Interview

Sending a Thank You Note

After your job interview, it’s crucial to send a thank you note to the interviewer. This displays your appreciation for the opportunity and reinforces your interest in the position. According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, 80% of HR managers say that receiving a thank-you note has an impact on their decision-making process. Keep the note concise and personalized, mentioning specific topics discussed during the interview.

Related: How to Write a Perfect Thank You Email After an Interview

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Following Up with the Hiring Manager

If you haven’t heard back within the timeframe the interviewer provided, don’t be afraid to follow up with the hiring manager or recruiter. It shows your continued interest and initiative. Send a polite email inquiring about the status of your application. Remember to:

  • Be patient: hasty follow-ups can be viewed as pushy and unprofessional
  • Stay professional: maintain a courteous and respectful tone
Touch Point Timeframe
First Follow-Up 1 week after the interview
Second Follow-Up 2 weeks after the first follow up

Stick to the above frequencies to avoid appearing overeager or impatient. Learn more:

Interview Follow-up Email Templates (after 1 day, 1 & 2 weeks)

Continuing Your Job Search

Despite your best efforts in acing the interview and following up, it’s crucial not to put all your eggs in one basket. The hiring process can often be lengthy, and other candidates may be considered alongside you. Continue to:

  • Research potential job opportunities
  • Network with professionals in your field
  • Improve your skills through training or online courses

This way, you’ll ensure you’re not caught off-guard if the first job offer doesn’t work out as planned. While waiting can be nerve-wracking, use that time effectively to focus on other aspects of your job search, increasing the chances of landing your dream role.

Evaluating the Situation

Assessing the Employer’s Feedback

When waiting to hear back after a job interview, it’s important to consider the feedback you received from the employer. Were they genuinely engaged in your discussion, or did they seem preoccupied? Reflect on their non-verbal cues, gestures, and tone since these cues can help you gauge how well you performed in the interview.

If the interviewer provided any specific hints for improvement, take note and aim to improve those aspects of your resume or interview performance. Furthermore, don’t hesitate to send a follow-up email to express your gratitude and reinforce your interest in the position. A well-written follow-up email can potentially improve your chances and possibly prompt a response from the employer.

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Analyzing Your Own Interview Performance

Now, let’s evaluate your own performance during the interview. Consider the following points as you reflect:

  • Were you punctual, well-prepared, and professional throughout the interview process?
  • While answering questions, did you provide concise and relevant examples to support your answers?
  • Did you ask appropriate questions that demonstrated your interest in the position and the company?

Take some time to evaluate your own performance honestly as it will help you improve your chances in future interviews. Remember, if a response is taking longer than anticipated, it may not necessarily mean a negative outcome.

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When to Move On

Interpreting Radio Silence

After a job interview, it’s natural to eagerly await the employer’s decision. However, sometimes you may experience radio silence from the company. This could be due to various reasons, such as the employer needing more time to make their decision or dealing with other internal issues. To cope with this uncertainty:

  • Give them additional time: Remind yourself that the decision-making process can be slow, especially if there are many candidates or the company is restructuring.
  • Send a follow-up email: After waiting for a reasonable time, sending a polite, concise follow-up email can show your continued interest in the position and ask for any updates. Learn more: Interview Follow-up Email Examples (1 day, 1 & 2 weeks)

Handling Rejection

Rejection is an inevitable part of the job search process. It’s essential to handle it gracefully and constructively:

  • Reflect on the experience: Evaluate what you could have done better in the interview, and identify any areas where you can improve your skills.
  • Don’t take it personally: Remember, the employer’s decision likely reflects various factors, such as the compatibility of your skills, the level of demand for the position, or even their preferences.
  • Stay persistent: Keep applying to other job opportunities and refining your cover letter and resume. The more applications you submit, the higher your chances of receiving job offers.

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Posted in: Job Interview