After the Interview: 4 (or 5) Useful Things to Do

WorkCoachCafeThe wait after a job interview can be agonizing, particularly if you feel it went well, and you really want this job.  Hopefully, as I recommended in How to Ask the Right Questions in a Job Interview, you asked them about the time table and next steps in the process at the end of your interview.  So, you may have some idea of what is happening.

If they said they’d be in touch with you by Wednesday, and it’s noon on Wednesday, don’t jump to any conclusions. Hopefully, you sent your thank you note/email within 24 hours of the interview (sending an individual thank you to each person who interviewed you, including HR).  If you didn’t send those notes earlier, send them now!  

Now What Should You Do While You Wait?

1.  Keep looking for a job!

No matter what, until you are holding the job offer you want in your hand (right title, right salary, right starting date, etc.), don’t stop looking.  As the old saying goes, it ain’t over ’til it’s over.  

2.  But, don’t give up on this opportunity, yet

Particularly if it has only been a few days or a week or so past the date the employer said they’d get back to you, don’t give up on the job.  Don’t wait for it, or count on it coming through for you (see # 1, above), but don’t give up either.

If it is more than 1 week past their deadline for getting back to you, and you haven’t heard from them or reached out to them, reach out now!  Calling is the best strategy.  Try to talk with  a real person, if possible, rather than leaving a voice mail.  Be positive and upbeat!  Smile while you are talking with them – do NOT expect rejection.  

When you are talking with someone, preferably the recruiter or the hiring manager –

  • Tell them your name, the job you interviewed for (job title and requisition number or other identifier they might be using), when you interviewed (date and time of day), and who you spoke with during the interview (names with job titles, preferably).
  • Tell them the date you were given as the date you could expect to hear from them (hopefully at least a day or more in the past!).
  • If something about you seemed to make a big impression, mention it now, as in, “I’m the person who worked as a project assistant on the XYZ project for Really Big Competitor.”
  • Reiterate your interest in the job and working there.
  • Ask them the current status of the job.  
It can be a good sign if they remember you, but don’t be disappointed if they don’t.  Focus on being pleasant and easy to hire.  Prepare and practice what you are going to say – winging it can backfire!

3.  Put your network to work!

If you were referred to the job by an external recruiter – an agency or independent consultant – ask them what they know about the situation, whether or not the job has been filled and the status of your situation.  If they don’t know immediately, they may be able to find out.

If you worked with an internal recruiter, contact them.  They will probably give you the employer’s official “party line,” but it can be very helpful to reach out to them.  Hopefully, they will share useful information with you.

If you have contacts inside the organization, ask them if they can find out anything about what is going on.

Go on LinkedIn.  Look at the “Company Profile” for the employer to see if you are connected to anyone currently there, and to any former employees.  See if you can quietly gather some information from your LinkedIn network.

4.  Do some sleuthing.

Check the employer’s website.  Any big announcement made recently?  Perhaps there is big news like a drop in sales (which could kill all open jobs) or a big increase in sales (which could mean they should hire 2 or 3 people for the job you interviewed for, rather than 1).

Google and/or Bing the organization’s name to see if there are any hints about something happening that wouldn’t be posted on the company website.  

Check the website where you found the job posted (if that’s how you found it).  Is the job still there, or has it been removed?  Is something similar – but different – posted now.  The job may have been taken down because the time frame for a paid posting has expired, not because the job was filled.  Google the job title plus the employer’s name to see if the job posting is still out there somewhere.

5.  Keep looking for a job!

YES, I REPEAT – KEEP LOOKING!  Unless you are independently wealthy, you can’t afford to sit and wait for any job offer to happen.  You need to keep your “pipeline” filled with opportunities.

No matter how well-qualified you are, how much you liked them, how much they seemed to like you, and how much you want this specific job, keep looking!

IF This Job Does Not Happen for You…

Send them a nice thank you note.  Seriously!  Tell them it was very nice to meet them all, great to learn more about the  organization, and you were happy for the opportunity.  If you really liked them, ask them to keep you in mind for other openings they might have, and ask them what similar opportunities may be available in the near future.  

Then, ask how often you should check in with them, perhaps every month or two, to see what may be developing.  Notice you are not asking for permission to check in!  You are asking about the timing.  Tell them that, while you may land a job in the near future, they seemed so nice and the organization so good that – if you are available – you’d like to keep them on your list of preferred future employers.

The worst they can do is to say “no.”  At this point, what do you have to lose?

More About Waiting to Hear After an Interview

After the Interview: What Is Taking Them SO Long?

How Often Should I Call an Employer After My Interview?

After an Interview: Can Weekly Follow-up Calls and Emails Help Get You the Job?

How to Tell If a Job Interview Went Well

I Got the Post-Interview Temporary OCD Blues

They Reposted the Job. Should I Kiss It Good-Bye?

Working with External (Agency) Recruiters

Not Hired for a Job You Really Wanted? How to Recover!

Rejection Follow-Up (

Turning Rejection into Opportunity (


  1. I have not written on here in a while… I have had some great things happen within two weeks.

    I had an out of state interview last Tuesday, October 9th, 2012. I met with the HR Director, Ms. Byrd. I personally think the interview went rather well. Unbeknownst to me, there is a second interview process. She kept hinting around as if I had already gotten selected for the second interview. Ms. Byrd was making comments like this, “when you come back for the second interview with Ms. Williams you will need to bring your license so you can finish filling out the application form.” I took this as I already had the second interview. But I am trying not to dwell on it.

    She said I would hear back from Ms. Williams either Friday (Oct. 12th) or Monday (Oct. 15th)–the HR Director said she likes to push her employees to call people back within two days. Welp, it’s Tuesday and I still haven’t heard anything from Ms. Williams–Ms. Williams will make the decision as to whether or not I get called back for a second interview because I will be working in her department. I called yesterday to check the status of my application and left a voicemail (Ms. Byrd said I could do that). I received a call back from the HR Director’s assistant. She said that Ms. Williams was out but would let her know I was asking about the status of my application. I HATE WAITING–the SUSPENSE should only be allowed in novels. While I’m waiting, I applied for another position within the same company–it’s the same job description just in a different department. I don’t know if this will hurt my chances or not. Your thoughts?

    I took the advice of the website and continued to job search. I had a phone interview this morning with the American Red Cross and that went well. I now have to fill out an online form when I get home, hopefully I will get contacted by the local American Red Cross soon. The person I spoke with said it could take 3-4 weeks… SHEESH!

    I have one more interview this week and that is on Friday. The only problem with that is… At my current employer there are only three people in my current office (including myself) and so far I have been the only one coming in this week. One lady is on maternity leave and the other person had surgery. I’m not sure if I can reschedule for this interview because they lady I spoke with only gave me two days to come in, Tuesday (today) or Friday (Oct. 19th). I hope the person who had surgery last week is well enough to come in at least on Friday. What should I do if I have to reschedule? I don’t like rescheduling interviews.

    • Mo,

      Try to reschedule the interview if possible — but only if they can see you early next week. You don’t want to lose out on full consideration.

      If you need to say you have a doctor’s appointment on Friday, I would do that — especially if the interview is only for a couple of hours. If memory serves, you’ve taken yourself out of the running with an employer of interest before because an interview was only for a half-time job. I’d encourage you not to do that again.

      Good luck and all the best,

      • I am going on my interview tomorrow with a nonprofit HfC. I’m interviewing for a Home Coordinator position and I would have to train foster parents to meet regulatory requirements. I also got a call today from the ARC. I’ve got a face to face interview with them on Monday! 🙂 The position there is volunteer coordinator. This position serves as a resource for daily operations of a Chapter program or service and acts as a liaison between program and its internal and external partners. If I get either one of these jobs the problem is going to be which one do I take? I am very passionate about nonprofits and both of these jobs do philanthropic work–which is the career path I want to take.

        The American Red Cross job is out of state and the Home for Children position is locally. I do not wish to continue to reside locally and want to move, however this job does require travel. But if the pay is more locally, I’m wondering if I should be responsible and take that one? I guess I’ll wait until I’ve been offered one of these jobs before I make that decision, huh? 🙂

        Thanks for all your advice Chandlee!

      • Hi Mo,

        Good luck. Let us know what happens and I hope you get to decide between the two. Please note that I edited the name of the companies out — you shouldn’t ever share this type of information online.

        All the Best,

  2. Hi – thanks for the use of this blog.
    I had an experience of almost getting an offer and then declining it because my intuition on the team was feeling there were hidden expectations I could not meet such as being technical.

    In all my interviews the Executive mgt. indicated that being technical was not a requirement. Well, when meeting the team one guy kept pushing for technical skills and while he was technical he a staff member wanted to new person to be just as technical. I said no I am not technical and he was forcing it upon me.. and his frustrations.
    My intutition told me that this was not a good situation. Contradictory staff and exec. expecations.

    Anyhow, when I asked to be re-considered for the job sure enough they came back with well after thinking it over we need somone more technical and with top level exec. skills.

    That’s idealistic. I moved on but felt this one guy on the team was going to make whoever took this job a bad experience..

    I think I made the right decision.


    • Poweris,

      Good for you for going with your gut. It sounds like you may have dodged a situation that would not have been good for you.

      All the best,

  3. Chelsea Belcoure says:

    Two very quick questions, wondering if these are good or bad signs.

    1. If they wish to get back to you within the next two days, is the answer of rejection already decided?

    2. If they never refer back to your resume to follow-up and used sheet outlined questions and asked a few of their own.

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