We know the drill. You’re on an interview feeling pretty darn proud of your performance and at the end, the vague question comes up: “When can I expect to hear back?”
The recruiter may not know. The hiring manager may not know. No matter what, you’ll probably get a vague response like, “We’re still evaluating candidates and you should hear from us soon.”
Ah, soon. What is that, really? Two days? Two weeks? Well, never fear. We’ve been on the other side (and by that, we mean the recruiting trenches) and there are a few things to keep in mind.
1. You need to stay top of mind. As the interview wraps up and you get a response that’s not a specific date (because really, in their defense, they don’t know since job offers typically need approval from finance anyway, which can take a few days), ask if it’s okay to follow up. This is a polite move on your part because of course you want to follow up, but go ahead and ask, “I’d like to follow up if I don’t hear back within two weeks. Does that work with your time-frame?”
2. Actually follow up. So many people make a mental note to follow up but they shun the voice in their head that reminds them to stay top of mind. Instead, they fade weakly into the sunset. You said you were going to follow up, right? Go ahead and do it.
3. Follow up again. Here’s the thing — recruiters are incredibly busy. As long as you’re not pinging them on a daily basis (please don’t be that guy or gal), you’re good to go. Once a week or once every 10 days or so is fine. When a recruiter is managing a very busy desk of 150 candidates or more at any given time, you’re not pestering them with a simple message.
Instead, you’re helping them. And remember, they’re not trying to ignore you, they simply may not have an answer on your candidacy. A lot of things may be happening behind the scenes like internal candidates interviewing or the job may be on hold — who knows. Just do your job by staying on top of your candidacy.
4. Be polite. As for how not to be an annoyance, that’s easy. Be polite. Be nice. Don’t have attitude (yes, we’ve seen it on candidates — shines right through.) Be cordial. Be professional. Don’t have typos. Do not follow up every single day.
At some point if you don’t get any responses, yes, you will need to move on, but at least you know you did your part in remaining professional while being persistent.