How Long Should I Wait For An Interview Call-Back?

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“I had a great interview with a company, and they said they’ll be in touch. It’s been two weeks but I haven’t heard back. Does that mean I’m out of the running?” 

However much we like to believe that it’s an employees’ market out there with the talent crunch in most places, there are a gazillion reasons why you’re not getting called back within two weeks.

  • You’re the first candidate they interviewed, and they aren’t going to make any decisions until ALL the candidates they have lined up have been interviewed. Which could take up to a month depending on schedules.
  • The job scope has changed. Oftentimes after interviewing a few candidates, the hiring manager may decide that he wants a different profile of employee, and revises the job scope accordingly. Which takes time. And you may fall out of the list because you no longer fit the new profile.
  • They’ve put you on the backup list. So if someone ahead of you drops out along the way, you get a call. Otherwise, you’re put on hold (Cue: bad elevator music).
  • Internal approvals have not been sought. Any recruiter will be able to regale you with stories of how they have processed a candidate through to the final round, only to be stopped because someone, somewhere along the way who should have been involved was left out.
  • The recruitment department sucks. A professional recruiter is rare. Most are measured on speed of filling vacancies, and it’s not in their interest to waste time giving you an update when they could use it to source for another candidate.

The truth is you will probably never know the reason for the delay, and most companies won’t bother letting you know even if you’re already out of the running. Yes, it’s rude to leave you hanging but do you think they care? What I usually do is send in a thank you note within a week after the interview, and then a follow-up note by the end of the second week. If you don’t get any response, treat the opportunity as toast and get on with your life.

 

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