What does "by the end of the week" mean?
March 19, 2010 9:03 AM   Subscribe

Had a job interview on Wednesday. They said they would have decisions out by the end of the week. It's now 4pm on a Friday, and I've heard nothing. This means I didn't get it, right?
posted by handee to Work & Money (17 answers total)
Well, it might mean that. But it also might mean something else of a higher priority came up and they didn't get around to it. Call them on Monday.
posted by grouse at 9:04 AM on March 19, 2010 [2 favorites]

No, it probably means they're behind. It could also mean they've offered it to their #1 pick and they're waiting to tell the top few candidates that they didn't get the job until after #1 accepts.
posted by paanta at 9:07 AM on March 19, 2010 [3 favorites]

I just did this a couple of weeks ago. It might mean lots of things. In my case, it meant that they gave an offer to someone else, and they were waiting to hear back from him before telling me anything. Sit tight.
posted by craven_morhead at 9:10 AM on March 19, 2010

It means "we might have it all decided by the end of the week, maybe, with good luck and a following wind, if anything else more important doesn't come up...".

Sit tight, call them mid week next week.
posted by hardcode at 9:15 AM on March 19, 2010

Maybe they have made offers but not everyone has accepted, and you're on a wait list. That's even assuming they're meeting the deadline they mentioned to you, which you can't really assume.

I think you know that you don't know the answer yet, but you want to feel like you're figuring things out so you're asking us to tell you what's going on. We don't know what's going on.
posted by Jaltcoh at 9:18 AM on March 19, 2010

Hah! No. Has everyone you've ever worked with in past always done exactly what they've said they would do, and on time?

I had a place that I interviewed with that didn't get back to me. I poked them a couple of times as a couple of extra weeks went by. Still nothing. I was interviewing with other places, etc. I think it was almost a month after the interview that they called me and asked me when I would like to start. I told them I already had a job.
posted by madmethods at 9:25 AM on March 19, 2010

No one here can read the mind of your interviewer. Stop posting questions here and call the person up and ask him this question.
posted by dfriedman at 9:26 AM on March 19, 2010

Stop posting questions here and call the person up and ask him this question.

Just not today.
posted by grouse at 9:30 AM on March 19, 2010 [6 favorites]

I would wait a few more days. Recently I had a job interview on a Wednesday, and they told me they would let me know by the following Wednesday. The next Wednesday came and went, so I assumed I hadn't gotten the job. They phoned on Friday to offer me the job.

People rarely finish things on time - it's best to be patient for a few more days before calling to follow up.
posted by barney_sap at 9:53 AM on March 19, 2010

Sit tight until the middle of next week. A lot could be going on, judging from past experience:

1) Something came up, the hiring manager had a family emergency or called in sick and so nothing has been decided.

2) They stink at deadlines so nothing has been decided.

3) They have offered the job to someone else but that someone else hasn't gotten back to them.

Remember, even if you aren't at the top of the list, the first (or second) pick doesn't always snap the job right up, even in these hard times. They got a better job offer, spouse doesn't want to relocate, they had second thoughts about the company, etc. etc. Often, the company has to go down to its second or third pick before they get a "yes."

So you are not out of the running yet - it's not an official turn-down until they tell you "no" straight out, or you don't hear from them in a month (a crappy passive-aggressive way to say "No, you're not hired" but companies do it all the time, which is why you should contact them next week).
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 10:06 AM on March 19, 2010

No, it probably means they're behind.

Probably this.

Busy people are busy. If they need to hire a new person, odds are they are busier than usual. Plus, it's Friday.

It doesn't hurt to follow up on Monday.
posted by jabberjaw at 10:30 AM on March 19, 2010

In my experience employers rarely meet their self made deadlines for making employment decisions. I'm guessing a 2 day window to make a final decision and get all the relevant people to sign off was more aspirational that anything. I would follow up next Wednesday if you still haven't heard anything.
posted by whoaali at 10:54 AM on March 19, 2010

Over the last few years, I've noticed that it's taking companies forever to make hiring decisions. Weeks and weeks, and sometimes even months. And back when I was hiring people, after 2 years of hiring (and with a perfect record, I might add), the company suddenly decided that after I had made my decision, the person needed to come in again and be interviewed by someone else, just to make sure. And of course that person didn't have any room on their schedule for weeks.

Any number of things can happen to slow the process down, and in my experience, when there are many things needing to be done, making a hiring decision is the very last thing on the priority list. Wait till Tuesday or Wednesday, and then call/email/whatever you feel comfortable with, asking if they've made a decision.
posted by MexicanYenta at 11:17 AM on March 19, 2010 [1 favorite]

In my experience, it's that they're swamped and didn't get to the item that involved notifying you. This type of thing has happened to me before. I too semi-obsessed about it, but the obsession was pointless. I would take the other folks' advice here and wait until Wednesday before assuming that anything is afoot other than their having gotten behind in the workload.
posted by blucevalo at 11:19 AM on March 19, 2010

Maybe they are behind or you are on a B-list. All of those things are possible. However, I have never ever had a single offer from anyone who missed their own deadline for getting back to me. I understand all the reasons why it could happen, it just doesn't. (IME.)

Obviously you shouldn't burn any bridges, but I wouldn't prolong the agony either.

Next time you have an interview, I suggest asking outright: "When can I expect to hear from you?" If they say "by the end of the week" you can then ask "and if I haven't heard from you by Tuesday morning, is it all right if I get in touch with you?" They always say yes, and then you have permission to follow up. You can also add a sentence about it to your thank-you letter.

Then come Tuesday morning, you'll either be out of your misery or you'll know what's holding them up. This may give you an advantage over other candidates who don't know what's going on because they weren't driven enough to pick up the phone.

Maybe I'm wrong about this and you do still have a chance. But the most reliable way (that I've found) to feel better is to immediately apply for as many more suitable jobs as I can find. Not a fun way to spend the weekend, but still more fun than fixating on Schroedinger's Job Offer.
posted by tel3path at 5:07 PM on March 19, 2010

It ALWAYS takes longer than they say it will. Just to give you some perspective, they may have to:

~ Finish all of the interviews
~ Figure out when all the decision makers will be able to meet and discuss the candidates to choose
~ Have that meeting, and actually come to the decision (not easy, when, say, Regional Manager wants Polly Pottypants and District Manager and HR want to hire Suzie Snifflesnort)
~ Check references
~ Call former employers
~ Do a background check/credit check/review drug test
~ Arrange training
~ Come up with an offer
~ Take care of all of the little everyday things that an employee would need (email account/phone number from IT, order uniform/business cards/nametag, etc)

Even just doing three things from this list takes a lot of time, and then every time you add another person or department adds exponentially to the total time a candidate would be waiting for a final decision. I've been told a good rule of thumb is to wait until the end of business on the day they say they'll have a decision, and then call the next day. Wash, rinse, repeat, until it's a "no" from them or a "no" from you because you've already gotten an offer.
posted by mornie_alantie at 10:10 PM on March 19, 2010

So did you get the job?
posted by grouse at 10:22 AM on June 15, 2010

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