One of the hardest things for a job seeker to handle is dealing with the dreaded silence of the recruiter after an apparently successful interview. No signal from him and waiting for a reply seems to last forever.
I know the situation well. I already see you, there, waiting for an answer weeks after your job interview. That recruiter who seemed so friendly during the interview never gave you an answer, an update, a nod.
I’ve noticed that no one prepares you for this phase of selection. Listening to the comments and questions that my clients asked me, I was able to verify that, when the interview is followed by a long and inexplicable silence, they feel displaced: “The interview seemed to have gone well, yet I receive no news. Does that mean it went wrong, and I have to put a stone on it? Do I have to wait patiently? Or can I do something? ”.
The silence after the interview
If you think the interview went well, or after the interview the recruiter said “we’ll update”, don’t necessarily expect the phone to ring soon, or to find an update email. In Italy more than abroad, the attention with which the post-interview is managed notoriously leaves something to be desired.
Keep these two things in mind:
- Silence after the interview does not always mean something (or something negative)
- There are things you can do while waiting for a feedback from the recruiter
You, like many candidates, probably after the job interview mull over the quality of your answers, about the mistakes made, re-analyze those signals that had given you hope. And you wonder when the recruiter will contact you.
If your feelings are positive, try to stay positive. The silence of the selector, in fact, does not always imply negative consequences. Companies conduct numerous interviews, and in the selection process, unexpected pathways may occur: candidates who postpone interviews, urgencies that temporarily redefine company priorities, cumbersome decision-making processes, decision-making difficulties, and so on.
Also, since the recruiter doesn’t want to make mistakes, they’ll take their time before contacting the candidate. He is aware that long selection times can cost him important candidates, but if he deems it appropriate to delay, he will delay.
The factors I listed extend and complicate the candidate selection process. In some cases, selections that should close within a month run for two or more. So do not worry. If your feelings are positive, most likely this silence has nothing to do with you.
Another thing you must understand is that it is not necessary to wait passively for the recruiter to “knock a beat”. There are some actions and strategies you can take to prevent the silence after the interview from consuming you.
How long do you have to wait before asking about the status of the selection?
One of these strategies is to get in touch with the recruiter to receive updates on the selection.
Remember one thing: no matter what actions you do and how many times you contact the recruiter, you have to accept that at some point it’s all in their hands, and you just have to stay calm and be patient.
There is no specific rule regarding the time it takes before receiving feedback from the recruiter. In some cases, candidates receive the job offer a few hours or days after the interview. In others, however, the recruiter shows up after a few weeks.
You can send the first follow-up email (that is, an email to request updates) about a week after taking the job interview. This is if the recruiter hadn’t given you a time frame in which the selection will take place.
In case he has told you the day that you would receive feedback from him, wait at least the next business day before contacting him/her. This will help you not to appear anxious and desperate but not disinterested either.
Remember that delays are normal and the selection process can take a long time. So, the best thing while waiting for an upgrade is to apply for other job positions and try to get several interviews. You shouldn’t stop until you’ve got the job offer you want! Don’t expect your follow-up email for information to somehow speed up the selection process or blow other candidates away.
This is why you should continue to apply for other positions: the company may be engaged in interviewing other people or considering promoting a person inside the staff, or a thousand other possibilities.
Remember that the recruiter does not appreciate the calls from candidates unless it is the last step of the selection. An email, however, is always acceptable.
How to follow up with an email asking for updates on the selection
If you have no idea how to structure an email to receive updates to send to the recruiter, don’t worry. Below you will find all the essential elements to build your email with the right formulas to use.
The subject of the follow-up email is very important, it affects whether your email will be opened by the recruiter and how quickly it will be read.
Send this email to the recruiter, and in case you were interviewed by a group of recruiters, send the email to the contact person, the one who contacted you, set up the interview, and told you that he would update you.
One of the best ways to follow up is to reply to the last email you and the recruiter exchanged. It will probably be something like this: “RE: Cognitive interview on Friday 10 am”
This will ensure that the recruiter is quick to open your email, as it will appear to be part of a previous conversation.
The body of the email
Write to the recruiter that you are very interested in the position and that you wanted to get in touch with him to find out if there are any updates or a decision has already been made regarding the selection.
Note: The following email is ideal if you have already sent a thank-you email to the recruiter after taking the interview. In case you haven’t done so, below in the article I’ll explain what to do and what to write to the recruiter.
Here’s what to mention in the email:
- Explain that you are doing follow up after the interview you had
- Be specific in mentioning the position you applied for and interviewed for and include the date of this
- Reiterate your interest in the job offer
- Ask for location updates. He says that every update that the recruiter can give you is well appreciated and that you are waiting for feedback from him
- Conclude the email by thanking again
- Make sure the email isn’t too long, say 2-3 sentences per paragraph
If you have not written to the recruiter to thank him immediately after the interview, you will need to add an introductory paragraph at the beginning of the email.
After saying goodbye to the interviewer, write a couple of lines of thanks for the time he gave you for the interview. I recommend that you specify the day you took the interview by saying something like:
“Good morning, thank you for allowing me to interview you for the position of Marketing Specialist at Cvplus, last Tuesday”
After that, you can continue the email starting from point 3) mentioned a few paragraphs before, or reiterating your interest in that position and continuing with the other points. You can say that it was useful for you to learn more about the position during the interview, that you would like to have an update from him (be specific about what you want to know) and conclude the email by thanking him again for the attention and the opportunity.
Don’t make the email too complex. Get straight to the point and write exactly what you want to know. In all likelihood, the recruiter will reply apologizing for the long wait and tell you that they have not yet made a decision. Or, it will tell you that there is some update on the horizon and will notify you in the email reply to yours.
Whatever the answer, your email reminded him that you are waiting for updates and that you are still interested in the position, which is very good as the company likes to hire people who are genuinely interested in the job.
If the recruiter does not give you the slightest information, you could keep the conversation going by answering him with a series of questions to press him and get some details, for example: “He vaguely knows how long it will take to proceed with the next step? ” or “Can you tell me how long it will take before you get feedback?”
In case you don’t get an answer
If you sent a follow-up email to the recruiter but didn’t receive a reply, here’s what to do.
First of all, make sure you wait a couple of (business) days before contacting the recruiter again. Give it a little time. After that, reply to the same follow-up email you sent to the recruiter by writing something like:
“Hello, I just wanted to make sure you got my last email asking you for updates for the Marketing Specialist position for Cvplus. I await your updates and thank you again. ”
If after implementing this last strategy you have not received an answer, then there is only one thing to do: be patient. Most likely the decision for hiring or the next steps of the selection requires the participation of more people or maybe a person who is currently unavailable because on vacation or busy or has had some unexpected.
If it’s been more than two days since your last email, and you feel your anxiety is growing you can try connecting with another person within the company or who is in charge of the recruitment process. If you would like to get in touch with another human resources person or another available contact, here is a possible subject of the email:
“Interview update. I wrote to * recruiter name * with no reply ”
It is slightly longer, but specific, which means that the recipient will not think it is spam, and your message will be opened.
What to do while waiting and how to manage stress
Waiting for feedback from the recruiter is a very stressful moment and learning to manage silence after the interview is essential, especially when you have to undergo many interviews for different job positions. Here are some tips to apply.
Don’t blame yourself
You did everything you could do, don’t spend a minute brooding over what you said in the interview, what you didn’t say, what you could or should have done. It’s a waste of energy that knocks you down.
It’s okay to be aware of the mistakes you’ve made and remember them, so you don’t make them in an upcoming interview. We tend to be very critical of ourselves: the truth is that many candidates would be surprised to find out how well they did during the interview. The selection of the recruiter is based on several factors that you cannot control, so don’t waste your time looking for what could have gone wrong.
While what you interviewed for seems like the perfect job, now that you’ve seen the promised land, don’t forget there are tons of other great jobs. Keep looking for them and apply with the same energy, this will help you reduce the tension of silence after the interview.
Not only will it keep you busy, but it might turn out to be a good move to find a better opportunity that you haven’t considered. And should you be called in to conduct a second interview, you will approach it with positivity and the confidence that you have other backup options.
While you’re waiting for feedback, take the opportunity to improve your skills and communication skills. So you will be ready to face the recruiter with greater confidence when called upon to do so.
Elbow, but gently
Do not pester the recruiter with e-mails, do not call the company, do not keep checking if the job posting is still online. Just send a follow-up email asking for updates and showing yourself interested in the position offered again.
Remember that it is important to show professionalism, confidence, and dignity even outside the job interview. A candidate desperately looking for a job is never ideal.
If you intend to email request updates from the recruiter, do it in a conscious and planned way. Check the urgency of sending one email after another in a short time.
Schedule an email after the first week of the interview and if you need another email 3 weeks after the interview. If you stick to the ideal timing, you’ll make sure you show interest without impatience.
If you receive a phone call or email with “negative” updates regarding the selection, for example, you are told that they are considering a more qualified candidate or that the process has slowed down for some reason, or that they are still far from making a decision, behave professionally and politely.
Don’t get down on yourself or panic, just keep going by continuing to apply for other vacancies, and remember that if you don’t get that job it’s not the end of the world.
Listen to your instincts
If you strongly believe that the interview didn’t go well and that you don’t have the slightest chance of getting the job, then don’t focus on that for now and go on your way.
There is no room for despair when you’re looking for a job. There are tons of other opportunities, so head over to those and get ready for the perfect interview.
Don’t take it personally
If you are ignored by the recruiter, this will probably make you understand the level of seriousness and professionalism of the company. It could happen that, during the selection process, the company has changed the definition of that position offered or has decided to cancel it without leaving a trace and for this reason, no one has contacted you anymore.
Sometimes, after sending one or more follow-up emails, it happens that no response is received. As I told you there are always external causes that you do not know and cannot control that affect the selection. It’s not about you, so don’t take it personally, don’t obsess, and go further.
Advice for your next interviews
In your next interviews, end the meeting with a question such as: “When will it be possible to get initial feedback?” or even “Will you be the one to contact me?”.
These questions will save you from having the stress of silence after the interview. You will know the timing more or less with certainty, and you will also have a clear idea of when to contact the recruiter for follow up.
Ask for contact information and next selection steps
Ask the recruiter a few questions about the steps in the process. Will the recruiter contact candidates after one week for a second interview? Will you make the job offer after 10 days? Will you contact all candidates or only those who will move on to the next step?
If you’ve interviewed multiple people, make sure you have contact with them. If necessary, ask the person coordinating the whole process for the information you need.
Taking the names of everyone involved in the selection process is extremely important because at the time of the post-interview thanks you will have to email each of them.