Steps to Take When Waiting in Your Job Search


After pouring yourself into applying and interviewing for a job, and writing a thank you note, you need to switch gears and give the hiring manager the time they need to make their decision. You need to switch from a proactive approach in your job search to a holding pattern, and be patient while waiting to hear back. Here are a few suggestions on how to wait it out until you get the call:


  • Looking too interested in the job may work against you. The last thing you want to do is to make contact too soon or too often about the position. If you come on too strong after an interview by contacting the hiring manager in less than a week, or communicate too often in multiple ways when you do not receive an immediate response, you look more like a desperate person rather than a competent candidate for the job.


  • Do not drop the ball completely. Once you have done your thank you note, and have let the company take the initiative to contact you about the position, you should be ready to respond to their call within one day or ideally a few hours. If you are going to be away make sure to indicate this on your email and voicemail message to let them know you are unreachable. You don’t want them to think you are no longer interested in the job.


  • Do not get obsessed about not hearing back right away. It is a good thing that you are excited about the job prospect, and indicates that you are headed down the right career path. You want to keep yourself in check to avoid a roller coaster ride of emotions that could leave you crushed if you don’t land the job. Give yourself a reasonable timeline to wait on a response, such as a week, before you start moving ahead with other job opportunities.


  • Move on if you don’t get the response you want. Hopefully your next steps include negotiating your final salary, and planning your exit from your current job. But if the results are not what you want, and you receive a “no” after a few weeks, graciously thank the hiring manager, if appropriate ask to be kept in mind for future job opportunities, and stay connected through LinkedIn.  If the company is not responding at all, and you do not hear back after following up once, you should assume they have moved on and plan to keep looking for new options in your job search.


Source: “What You Should and Shouldn’t Do When You’re Waiting to Hear Back About a Job,” by Sara McCord, The Muse

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