How long after a job interview should it take to hear back?
July 21, 2019 12:43 PM   Subscribe

I had a great job interview and am stressing about having not heard word back yet from them. It was two weeks ago tomorrow, I guess I want to know what's a usual amount of time before one hears back? It's been years since I've changed jobs so I can't remember... I'm sure it's case by case but what do you think?

I had a job interview for a nurse practitioner position almost two weeks ago on 7/7, and it went SO well- I mean at least it seemed like it did! But I haven't heard anything yet. They said lots of encouraging things that seemed super positive and reason for optimism... but nothing official. I wrote thank yous the day after to four of the people I met, and wrote one more to the person who told me to apply officially online to make sure they got my info. They said HR would be the ones who knew, and that they'd look into it.

Basically I don't want to be annoying or overbearing and wind up ruining a great opportunity, but that's totally my style. "Hi! Hi! Hi! It's me, do I have it yet?" But I also don't want to sit back when getting in touch could have helped! How long has it taken y'all to hear from jobs one way or another? They didn't give me any sort of timeline. Should I just sit on my hands and wait or should I be doing something more?
posted by emirenic to Work & Money (7 answers total)
Two weeks feels like nothing is going to happen here. But at this point it would not be out of line to contact them, and just inquire (a) have they made a decision yet? and (b) if not, is there any other information they would like you to provide?
posted by beagle at 12:46 PM on July 21 [1 favorite]

This sort of thing varies hugely from organisation to organisation (and even within an organisation), so it's hard to make generalisations about what is "normal".

Just to note - it is often the case that the people who interview you aren't the people responsible for making the HR decisions/driving the recruitment process - as an interviewer, I've definitely been in the situation where I've submitted positive feedback on a candidate only to hear nothing for days to weeks, and then have to chase down the hiring manager to find out what happened.

However - two weeks isn't unreasonable to wait to hear back, particularly from a larger organisation who might be interviewing a number of people for an open role - but also it's long enough that it probably wouldn't hurt to drop a (polite, formal, short) email to ask if there's any updates.
posted by parm at 1:02 PM on July 21 [5 favorites]

Agree w/parm -- and another possible factor is that it's midsummer, and the person/people who need to make or sign off on hiring decisions may be on vacation. A brief polite query is probably fine, maybe along the lines of "Do you have a timeline for a decision?" But in your shoes I wouldn't freak out.
posted by Kat Allison at 1:05 PM on July 21 [4 favorites]

This seems within a reasonable timeframe for healthcare, especially in a larger organization. You can reach out to whoever was most in charge of the interview and ask about next steps in the decision-making -- Ask A Manager has a whole subsection for following up after a job interview with some good scripts -- but two weeks is about how long it takes to get a search committee to commit to getting everyone in the room at once to discuss candidates.
posted by basalganglia at 2:26 PM on July 21 [2 favorites]

I have worked at places where that would be a normal pace for decision making and places where that would mean something is wrong. Big orgs lean toward the "normal" end in my experience. Getting the right people available for interviews can be hard, so getting six first-round candidates seen can take a couple of weeks. Then after that they call everyone back and let them know if they're a finalist.

Two weeks is definitely an annoyingly long time to hear nothing, though, and it would no be inappropriate to reach out to your contact person and ask what their timeline is. That is not pushy, it's professional.
posted by gideonfrog at 2:36 PM on July 21 [1 favorite]

thanks everyone! I guess I just need to relax. Tomorrow I'll reach out with something short just to see where we're at.
posted by emirenic at 3:38 PM on July 21 [1 favorite]

FWIW in the public sector in my country, where after interviews they have to convene hiring committees etc., it can be months after the interview that you'll hear anything back (if at all). I've had notifications four months after the interview.
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 12:15 AM on July 22

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