Waiting by the Phone

Posted on June 14, 2015.

Waiting by the phone sucked when you were a love struck teenager, and it’s just as wretched when you're waiting for a post-interview callback. In between obsessively checking for missed calls and refreshing your personal email, the interview plays over and over in your mind.

You were engaging and professional.  It felt like you connected with each interviewer.  You have all the qualifications. They gave you the impression you were at the top of the candidate pack.

And yet the phone sits on the corner of your desk, its dark, inanimate screen silently judging.

Before long, you’re dissecting every single aspect of your interview. Maybe wearing grey wasn’t the right choice, or possibly you could have been more concise on that second question during round two. Maybe the small talk about Game of Thrones gave the wrong impression.

Hard as it is to stop, this kind of second-guessing never gets you anywhere except overlyy anxious So what should you do when after an interview, there’s radio silence from your prospective employer?

  • Keep Looking:  Just because you think an interview went well doesn’t mean you’ve got it in the bag, so keep sending out those resumes and checking key websites like LinkedIn and Indeed  Focusing on what’s out there instead of why you haven’t heard back will keep you positive, confident and ready for your next interview.
  • Follow Up: Some might say this is a waste of time, but any marketer will tell you that staying top of mind with customers increases positive results. The same holds with job candidates. The company in question is likely interviewing several people, and sending a brief 'thank you' email or handwritten note, is a small way to remind hiring managers of your stellar interview and viability as a candidate. Just don’t become a stalker. Once a week check in is enough.
  • Be Proactive:  During your interview, you should have determined what the decision-making timeline was for your prospective employer. And shame on you if you failed to ask. If the deadline passes and you haven’t heard back, there’s nothing wrong with checking in via email or phone. The worst case scenario is that they’ve hired someone else, and you are no worse off than you are right now.
  • Gain Perspective: If after following up and checking in you still haven’t heard back, you probably didn’t get the job. But maybe you don’t want to work for that company anyway. The way I see it, the least anyone can do after asking someone to miss work one or more times to interview is send a note saying 'thanks, but no thanks.' Or even better, calling and explaining why you didn’t get the job. Not doing so says something about the company culture. Do you really want to work for a business that doesn’t value your time or a hiring manager that can’t deliver tough news? 
  • Learn From The Experience: Maybe the interview didn’t go as well as you thought, or maybe the position was simply filled from the inside. No matter the reason, if the answer was ‘no’ or enough time has passed that it’s safe to assume you’re out of the running, ask for feedback.  The knowledge may help you the next time you begin the interview process.   Simply call or email the hiring manager and say you’d appreciate any feedback so that you may improve. At this point you have nothing to lose and if you’re lucky, they’ll be honest with you.

While you’re waiting for your next call for an interview, become even more prepared to find the right job by coming up with some interview questions of your own.