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  3. Wondering how long it will take to hear back after an interview?
Wondering how long it will take to hear back after an interview?

Wondering how long it will take to hear back after an interview?

Artwork by: Olga Aleksandrova

  • When should I expect to hear back after a job interview?
  • Why does it take so long to hear back after an interview?
  • When can I follow up after a job interview?
  • Key takeaways 

Waiting to hear back after a job interview is nerve-racking. But how long after an interview should it take to hear back? How long should you wait before contacting them? We’ll cover these questions and why it seems to take so long for employers to follow up.

After that important job interview, it is frustrating to sit and wait to get a response back. You feel like it takes forever. When will they let you know? Well, the only real answer is - when they are good and ready to. It’s not something you can control, and it rarely ever has to do with how well you did in the interview or not. 

Here are some of the questions you might have while you’re waiting for a job offer:

  • How long after a job interview should you hear back from them?

  • Why does it take so long?

  • When to follow up after a job interview

When should I expect to hear back after a job interview?

This varies widely and depends on a lot of things, which we’ll talk about in more detail next. How long it takes to get an offer differs significantly based on the employer and the type of position being filled. Usually, you can expect it to take over a week or two, but less than a month.

Statistical Insight

On average, it takes about 24 days for recent college graduates to receive a job offer after an interview. This is according to a 2019 survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers.

Why does it take so long to hear back after an interview?

It always seems like it takes way too long for an employer to respond after an interview. And, unfortunately, it usually takes longer than they tell you it will. Why is that? Let’s look at some of the reasons why it seems like they are ghosting you:

  • They have a lot of candidates to interview. The simple fact is the job market is a competitive place and employers have to sort through a lot of people to find the right person for their job.

  • Interviewer responses are being collected and analyzed. Typically, an interviewee will be interviewed by multiple people. It could be up to a dozen or more. Gathering all the feedback from these people can take a lot of time.

  • Business operations take precedence. The company is in business to make money, and the hiring manager or other people in the hiring process can get busy doing their other job duties. In most cases, they intended to get the hiring process completed more quickly, but urgent requests or unanticipated projects might demand their attention and cause delays.

  • Stuff happens. It would be great if no one ever got sick, had a family emergency, or had to deal with anything else that took them away from hiring you. But that’s not reality. The hiring process usually requires a number of people to be involved and if someone is not available at the right time, then delays will occur.

  • You didn’t make the cut. The last and worst scenario is that you didn’t get the job. Unfortunately, companies do sometimes fail to notify candidates that were not selected. This is very unfair and inconsiderate, but it happens a lot in busy companies. If you don’t hear from them within a month, then this is probably the case. It is always okay to follow up, after a significant amount of time.

When can I follow up after a job interview?

The first thing you should do after a job interview is follow up with a thank-you note to each person that interviewed you. If the employer does not specify when they will get back to you, then it is acceptable to follow up after ten business days or two weeks.

We highly recommend that you continue your job search while you are waiting to hear back after an interview. You never know what will happen and you may find a better opportunity. If you do receive and accept another job offer, then it is most appropriate to follow up immediately with any other employers that you have interviewed with to let them know.

  • Be patient. You did your best. Don’t worry about what you can’t control.
  • Send a thank-you note within 24 hours.
  • Follow up, politely. Not too quickly or too often. Wait about 10 to 14 days from the interview.
  • Find people to give you support and encouragement while you are waiting.
  • Keep looking, you may find an even better fit.
  • Do something positive with your free time. A hobby, exercise, take a class, anything to keep your mind off of the waiting.
  • Get angry or sulk. You don't know why they are taking so long, and maybe never will.
  • Contact the employer immediately after the interview. Don’t rush them.
  • Repeatedly follow up when you are not hearing back. This is annoying.
  • Spend time going over and over the interview in your head, or your frustrations about waiting.
  • Join other jobseekers in complaining about how bad the interview process is.

Key takeaways 

  1. The hiring process can be a long and painful process, be patient.

  2. Be ready for multiple interviews (phone, online, and in-person).

  3. Follow up with a thank-you note within 24 hours and a polite follow-up one to two weeks later.

  4. It may take several weeks to get an offer. Don’t get depressed if you don’t hear back right away.

  5. Don't sit around waiting. Continue your job search and interviewing until you accept an offer.

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