After the Job Interview – Keep Searching and Keep Interviewing

WorkCoachCafeSo many job seekers comment here on WorkCoachCafe that they have interviewed for a job but not heard back yet, even though the employer was supposed to have made a decision earlier this week or last week or last month.

Frequently, the interview went so well that the job seeker expected a job offer.  Perhaps, at the end of the interview, the manager said, “Looking forward to working with you.  See you soon!”  Or something equally promising that made the job seeker think…

“This one is IT!  I’ve got this job!  I can stop job hunting!  It’s over!  YEA!!!”

When an offer seems within reach, taking a break from the hard work of job hunting is a natural reaction.  Hopefully, the offer IS coming and the job search is over!  But, counting on that job offer is a big mistake!  Job offers are derailed for a million reasons, and that offer might NOT happen. Then what?  Here’s what is going on and what you can do to avoid disaster.

Employers Change Plans

Sometimes, the job is cancelled or filling it is postponed.  

Employers are juggling many things when they decide to fill a job, including affording the added expense of a new employee – salary, benefits, training, and on and on.  Many things can derail the process:

  • Unexpectedly, sales drop or some expenses increase dramatically, and the employer decides they can’t afford to fill this job right now.  Maybe later (!), but not now.
  • Someone internal, a “known quantity,” becomes available, so the expense of training someone for a new job is reduced because this person already knows how the organization works.
  • Plans change, for whatever reason – political (the person who backed filling the job changed their mind or lost political ground), competitive (another job is more important to fill right now), or mundane (a new technology can do the role well enough).

The job is cancelled or postponed for any of a million reasons.  (See After the Interview, What Is Taking Them SO Long? and 10 Reasons You Weren’t Hired That Are Outside of Your Control for more of the reasons.)

You Aren’t the # 1 Candidate

They really, REALLY liked you, but…  Those positive vibes you picked up during the interview were real, but then they found someone else they liked better.  Or another candidate already had a connection inside the company, and that connection made people feel more comfortable hiring that person.  Or, a key person didn’t feel “good chemistry” with you.  Or, the # 1 candidate is 150% perfect for the job, while you are only 110% perfect.  Or a million other things could have derailed the job offer.  

(See 10 Reasons You Weren’t Hired That You Can Control and Why Job Interviews Don’t Turn into Job Offers for more reasons.)

No Matter How Promising a Job Feels, Do NOT Stop Job Hunting!

Job hunting is NOT a lot of fun for most of us.  If it looks like you don’t need to continue working at your job search, hitting the “pause” button while you wait for that offer is a really big temptation!  What if you stop job hunting waiting for that job offer you absolutely, positively KNOW is coming?  If it doesn’t happen, you have lost days or perhaps weeks of progress in your job search.  

1.  Your  job search momentum will stop or slow down dramatically.  

If you have been job hunting for a while, you have developed a rhythm to your  job search.  Meetings you go to every week, websites you check every morning, research you do every day, people you call, and so on.  When you put your job search “on hold” those habits break down, and they can be very hard to restore.

2.  Your forward progress will stall.

Because you think (hope!) you don’t need them,  you stop following up on promising opportunities because you think, “Why bother?”  So, calls don’t get returned – or don’t get returned quickly enough.  You don’t follow up on leads.  You stop actively participating in LinkedIn.  Basically, you don’t keep looking for that next great job.

3.  You will need to re-start many things to get back “in the groove” of your job search.

Some opportunities will be gone permanently, but not all of them if you re-start your job search quickly enough. 

Keep Hunting to Keep Your Job-Search Karma Growing!

Maybe  a fabulous job – your dream job for the perfect employer –  is NOT this job!  Maybe it is the one you connect with tomorrow.  But, you’ll never know if you stop now to wait for this opportunity to turn into a job offer.  So, do NOT STOP job hunting yet!

Until you have a written job offer in your hand with terms agreeable to you, you do not yet have a new job.  (See What Happened? Did I Get the Job? for specifics about job offers.)

More About  After Job Interviews, Waiting for Job Offers

What Happened? Did I Get the Job?

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

After the Interview, What Is Taking Them SO Long?

10 Reasons You Weren’t Hired That You Can Control

10 Reasons You Weren’t Hired That Are Outside of Your Control


© Copyright, 2013, Susan P. Joyce. All rights reserved.


About the author…

Online job search expert Susan P. Joyce has been  observing the online job search world and teaching online job search skills since 1995. Susan is a two-time layoff “graduate” who has worked in human resources at Harvard University and in a compensation consulting firm. In 2011, NETability purchased, which Susan has been editor and publisher of WorkCoach since then.  Susan also edits and publishes  Follow Susan on Twitter at @jobhuntorg and on .

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