How soon is it OK to follow up on status after a job interview?
February 12, 2018 1:20 PM   Subscribe

Hi. I had my second job interview with "Company X" on Tuesday the 6th. Although I'm not optimistic by nature, I had a good feeling afterwards regarding the impression I made and my prospects of getting the job. I sent a thank you e-mail the following day (I'm now second-guessing myself, i.e. was it too soon?), and thought I would have heard back from them by now, but I haven't, and it's been nearly a week.

Granted, I obviously wasn't the only person to get a second interview, and they didn't give a specific timeline as to when the decision would be made. But the number of applicants who were called back for second interviews is presumably far smaller than the number who were interviewed the first time. I'm really hoping I land this job – I traveled roughly 5 hours R/T (and they know I'm not someone who lives in the area), so I'm being careful not to do anything that would compromise my chances of getting it. Would it eventually be OK to contact them again (and if so, when), or would that come across as pushy or desperate? Thank you in advance for any insight or tips you'd like to share.
posted by DavidfromBA to Work & Money (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Waiting is a bitch, but I'd wait at least a week and a half before a followup. That said, any responsible hiring manager will understand a candidates anxiety and not hold an earlier call against him. I phrase it as "how long until a decision", not "did I get the job".
posted by SemiSalt at 1:30 PM on February 12, 2018 [5 favorites]

I'd wait two weeks, personally, but there's no hard-and-fast rule. Next day was definitely not "too soon" for a thank-you email, though.
posted by chimpsonfilm at 1:40 PM on February 12, 2018 [9 favorites]

I sent a thank you e-mail the following day (I'm now second-guessing myself, i.e. was it too soon?)

For future reference, same day or next morning thank you e-mails are now pretty standard. Take enough time to think of better answers to any question you feel might might not have been great at and to come up with any additional questions you might have after thinking about the interview, but get them in quickly.
posted by Candleman at 1:47 PM on February 12, 2018 [2 favorites]

After I’d gotten a chance to participate in hiring processes a couple of times (even just as “person who prints out all the resumes and schedules interviews” with no actual hiring input), I became a LOT less stressed about not hearing back from employers super soon.

The people who are doing the hiring almost certainly have jobs that aren’t specifically related to the hiring process – they have full-time jobs that they’re supposed to be doing on top of the hiring, with all the attendant obligations. Plus, they have to work with the schedules of every other person they’re interviewing. Even if these guys are only talking to three or four other people aside from you at this point, it’s entirely possible that it took them a week or more just to get all those interviews done, and then depending on the company there may be further meetings between staff members or with HR or whatever, and then maybe some all-hands-on-deck crisis comes up and they have to put the whole hiring question aside for a couple days, etc etc…

“Nearly” a week is nothing, in other words. Wait two solid weeks, is my advice.

(Also, next-day thank you notes are 100% normal and correct. Often people will send them immediately after the interview, and I’d say that’s more common than waiting over two days.)
posted by showbiz_liz at 2:04 PM on February 12, 2018 [14 favorites]

You emailed them your thank you note on the 7th, so it's only been three business days since you last contacted them. Take some deep breaths and wait until next week before you email them again asking where things stand. Having been on the hiring side before, the candidate selection process is what you do after you get your actual work done so it doesn't move super fast, and there are a lot of steps and people that get involved along the way. Sit tight.
posted by AppleTurnover at 2:13 PM on February 12, 2018 [1 favorite]

My guess on timing based on my own experience hiring people:

Week 1 -2: interviews
Week 2-3: decision is being made
Week 3-4: Offer

This is in a place with speedy hiring.

Sending immediate thank you was the right thing to do. So maybe e-mail after 2 weeks, but understand that they might have just finished interviewing. Also, during your next interview, it's ok to ask about the company's timeline.
posted by Toddles at 2:24 PM on February 12, 2018 [4 favorites]

If this is academia it could be more like 6-8 weeks. In any case, patience is your best bet.
posted by songs_about_rainbows at 3:04 PM on February 12, 2018 [1 favorite]

As others have pointed out, it depends on the role. If you were applying for an inside sales job, for example, being a little pushy to get a reply and following up relentlessly would probably be admired, and not doing so would probably be a sign that you're not a good fit for the role.
posted by bigplugin at 3:32 PM on February 12, 2018 [1 favorite]

Thank you everybody for your input. Based on what just about all of you are saying, I'm going to wait at least another week before following up.
@ bigplugin: No, definitely not sales. I wouldn't last a week in a sales environment. [Enter winking smilie here]
posted by DavidfromBA at 3:39 PM on February 12, 2018 [1 favorite]

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