Temp Got the Job Interview and Now She Waits!

Dear Work Coach,

Just wanted to compliment you on a wonderful site. It is very encouraging especially now that I too am stuck in the waiting game…!

My situation is a bit unique in that I have been working as a temp for quite a long time for the company I am applying to and have made a good impression and several great contacts up until this point. The company is quite large on a global scale and therefore has their own recruiting and staffing department.

I passed the initial phone screen already with the recruiter and went on to a 2nd interview with a panel of 3 hiring managers and was told that they would be making a hiring decision by mid August (2 weeks). They also stressed that the recruiter would handle everything from that point forward. They were just the ones to make the hiring decision and that I should contact the recruiter that conducted my phone interview for any follow up etc.

Well, I followed-up that interview with a thank you to each hiring manager via email that day and received no response. My boss and a few others in my dept had also put in good words for me and offered me a high recommendation.  I had not gotten any word back in 2 weeks from anyone so I decided to follow up with the recruiter to check on the status and to reiterate my interest in the position.

She said that the hiring manager would be making a decision that week and she would keep in contact with me to let me know by early the following week, once she knew something.  Well that was beginning of this week and I left her a voicemail interceding on the status of the hiring decision since I hadn’t heard anything. She followed up with me the next day with an email saying that the interview process was completed and a decision had not been made as of yet, but they were waiting on “some final approvals” before a decision was made.

What does all of this mean?? Everything seems so vague to me and I can’t even get a feel for if they are interested in me or keeping me in limbo while another person is given the offer. I guess no news is good news thus far, but I can’t understand what these final approvals are and why the recruiter is so reluctant in letting me in on where I stand in this whole interview process.

It is now going on 3 weeks and still no word. Would greatly appreciate your advice on this one!




Hi RM!

Thank you for the kind words. And yes…you certainly are stuck in the waiting game!

There’s no way to know what the heck they’re thinking, but looks like you’ve done all the right things so far – and your questions are good ones.

“Final approvals” along with a long waiting time probably means there’s a formal process within the organization, each step requiring sign-off from someone.  In a large company these steps can include sign-off from a financial person okaying the expenditure and from a specific person who must okay the salary and benefits package. And there may also be other managers involved in the process, even if you wouldn’t be reporting to them. Now any one of these may be out of the office for vacation or some other reason, and the process sometimes STOPS COLD until they get back. This often explains the part of the wait that we on the other side never see.

So any of this could be the reason why the hiring decision is not yet final. And yes…it could also be that they made an offer to someone else and they’re waiting to hear back from the person – but they don’t want to lose you, just in case. Or they could even be negotiating with your temp agency at this very moment. (There are often contractual and monetary issues involved when hiring a temp.)

The recruiter may know more than she’s telling or she may be in the dark as much as you. You’ll probably never know. But from what you tell me, you are still most definitely in the running. And there’s nothing more for you to do now than WAIT. If it helps any, this is NOT unusual.

Just hang in there, RM. You’ll know soon enough. I hope you hear the words “We’re calling to make you an offer” very soon! If not, you’ve done your best and can use the positive energy from being a finalist to get you all the way next time around. But I have my fingers crossed for you that this is the one.

Good luck! Please let us know.

Ronnie Ann


About the author…

Ronnie Ann, founder of Work Coach Cafe, bases her real-world advice on her many years as an organizational consultant where she helped interview and hire people, added to a certificate from NYU in Career Planning & Development and her own adventures as a serial job seeker. She can also be found on her new blog, and on Google+.


  1. Definitely not unusual. Hang in there! I’ve had a company recently contact me months after they’ve ignored my emails/calls following up on my interview. Just try to keep your mind occupied on something else. 🙂

  2. Mr. X,
    So happy to hear that! I’ve been waiting for 5! weeks after a verbal offer (to be fair, she spent two weeks on vacation, one week working abroad, and now the office is closed for two weeks until after Labor Day)– but I am so afraid that they are being slow.
    Did you take the job?

  3. Hi TEB,
    Actually no, the outcome wasn’t as “good” as I expected. They just called me to see if I wanted another position that was opening (it was a job below the one I first interviewed for). I went there and saw what the job did firsthand. I did NOT like it at all, I’m so glad I didn’t get that first job that I applied for. It would’ve been pretty much the same thing.

    So long story short, things happen for a reason. I didn’t get the first job that I applied for there, but for good reason. I would’ve definitely hated it.

    Good luck TEB! It’s frustrating when they go on vacation right after your interview. It’s even more excruciating! I’ve taken the approach of forgetting the last interview, if they really really want me, they will call. No use waiting for the phone to ring or waiting for an email to pop up 🙂

  4. Awww…I love seeing the exchange of support. So cool.

    Sorry the job didn’t work out, Mr. X…but I am very glad you got to see that neither job they had for you was right. Nice that you got a “lucky” break. Hope the next one is THE one.

    And TEB…I know how hard it is to be kept waiting with only promises, but I see you working there and so am sure the verbal will become concrete soon enough. Think after Labor Day and give them another week or two even then. It will come. BTW…a call a few days into next week would be totally appropriate.

    Think of it as a gift since you really do need some time to get settled. It will work out, TEB (whether this one or another). I expect by Oct. 1 (or thereabouts), you should be in your new desk at work. In the meantime, I believe there is a new city with lots of cool stuff to take advantage of and maybe even someone to meet for lunch, yes? 🙂

    Ronnie Ann

  5. You guys are both fabulous! Yes, a fabulous city, a great freelance editing job, some freelance writing projects– so nice to have a break from the number crunching! And a wonderful woman to meet for lunch. (Also, now, the satisfaction of having turned people down, a decided plus.)

    Mr. X, are you still looking? I’ve got my fingers crossed for you.

  6. Yes I’m still looking 🙂 One thing I’ve learned (thanks to this site and the wonderful people who contribute) since I’ve started searching is….patience.

  7. Thanks so much for the great advice Ronnie Ann. I ended up getting the verbal offer and the written offer after nearly a month of waiting. Come to find out a hiring freeze had been placed during my interview process and there was tons of paperwork needed to push through my position due to budget constraints. I’m so excited to start my new job and yes things do happen for a reason, you just have to sit back at some point and trust that things will work out for the best!! Thanks again for the support.

  8. Hi RM!

    Wuhooo!!! This is great news. Thank you for telling us. Also appreciate that you provided readers with another reason why companies might be slow to respond. Plus you let other temps know that temping can definitely be a route to a job.

    As my friend Richard always says…no news is no news! Too often people take the silence as a bad sign. But as your story shows, there are many reasons for being caught in the waiting game that have nothing to do with us and our chances for the job.

    Best of luck, RM! Glad we could help you get through this, even in a small way. 😉

    Ronnie Ann

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