You know the drill. You get the interview. You ace the interview. In fact, it was the best job interview you ever had! You head home dreaming of the offer for the new job you’re pretty sure you just landed. And then…you wait. And you wait. And you wait some more until you just want to scream! And then maybe you do scream. And rant a little. And even think of all the things you’d like to do to that stupid company you once thought was so perfect for you.
But before you decide the company is made up of former Guantanamo guards trained to torture you in some sick waiting game, take a deep breath and let me take you behind closed doors. It’s time you learn more about the mysterious steps of the interview hiring process – what goes on inside the secret rooms – and why you aren’t getting any feedback from the company even though you send e-mails and call them hoping for even the tiniest clue.
Hard as it is to believe, sometimes there are good reasons – really! – why a company’s interview hiring process steps take so long – and why all too often you have to wait forever (or so it seems) before you hear back from an employer after a job interview.
So what does go on behind the scenes after an interview?
I was recently asked to guest post on the Pongo Resume Blog, and decided this would be a great topic since I get sooooooooooo many e-mails and comments about how painful the waiting game can be. I once even wrote a post begging Human Resources people to be more considerate. But sadly, for many reasons, the torture continues and you’re still waiting.
I hope by telling you about what goes on behind the scenes after the interview, you might be able to relax just a little more knowing one week, two weeks, even three weeks or more of waiting can be perfectly normal.
Possible reasons you’re still waiting after the interview:
Here’s an excerpt from my guest post:
- Sometimes HR controls all communication and that means people you write to are advised not to respond to individual candidates. Why? It could be a mandate from legal to prevent any miscommunication. (A poorly worded response from the company could be construed as an offer when none exists yet.) Or it could simply be HR wanting to call all the shots. It happens.
- Someone critical to the process (aka SCTTP) may be sick or called away. Why not work around the person? They could, but sometimes the company prefers to wait for the sake of continuity — even if that means you wait too.
- Our SCTTP may suddenly have been put on a top-priority project that’s taking all their time. Even if they said they want to hire quickly, the hiring process can get put on the back burner. I’ve seen this many times.
- Our SCTTP has been fired or quit and must be replaced first.
- The department is going through a reorganization — again.
- The job is being rethought and possibly needs to wait for HR to approve a reclassification. Why? Sometimes they find a specific candidate (maybe you) whose skills are even more suited to their needs than their original concept. Or they find two people they like and decide to split the job into two different positions.
- Hiring may require numerous people who did not interview you to sign off on various steps of the process. Meanwhile, you wait.
- Sometimes it simply takes weeks to find room on everyone’s calendar for the next round of interviews.
So if you’re stuck in the waiting game, try not to get caught up worrying about things you can’t control…like all the stuff behind closed doors. Instead know you’ve done your best (that’s all anyone can do), make sure you’ve sent a great thank you note and, after a couple weeks have passed, follow up with a polite e-mail and/or phone call saying you’re still interested and would love to know your status. You might even ask if they need anything else from you.
Other than that, you just wait. As long as it takes. I once waited four months and I was their top candidate!
Meanwhile, do what you can to keep yourself busy and diverted so you aren’t obsessing about the wait. Also…keep looking! Not only does the action help you stay sane, but you may actually wind up finding an even better job in the process.
Good luck finding the right job for you.