How Long To Wait After An Interview? 5 Reasons It Takes So Long

how long to wait after interview

When you get a call for an interview, you cannot contain your excitement. Soon that excitement is converted to anxiousness. On the day of the interview, you successfully complete all the rounds of the interviews. And then what.. You are confident that you have got through each round of interview well and you are sure that you may get an answer by the end of the day. But, all you get from the hiring manager is a “We will get back to you soon”. Well, okay! How soon is soon?!

The following days are the toughest. You never get a reply back from them. They said they would contact you within three days, a week, or by the end of two weeks, but no reply at all. You are desperate. You first write a Thank You email to the HR and other concerned persons to poke out more information on the interview, but no answer.

You wait, wait, and only wait with no reply. You start to think that you have screwed up in the interview. You start thinking you will not be selected for the job. Eventually, you stop hoping anything from the company.

But, most of the time, the story behind the silence is not your inability to perform well in the interview, it could be anything.

In this article, we will shed some light on the reasons an interviewer may take a long time to get back to you after an interview.

Don't lose all the hope in the world when you do not get a response after the interview. Take a deep breath and go through the reasons why you haven't still received a call back yet.

Reasons for Long Silence After Your Interview

Although you did well in the interview, you are confident that you have impressed the interviewers at every level, there are chances that it may take a long time to hear back after the day of the interview. It can take anywhere between a couple of days to a couple of weeks. Sometimes you may be in luck because you may hear from them soon after the interview.

So, what's all the fuss about? Why does it take such a long time to let you know how you have done in the interview? Why can't they just give away the results quickly?

The answer is quite vast. There are many reasons why they may take a long time. Interviewers of the company may need time to sit down with other interviewers and discuss how you performed. They will take time to exchange notes and compare the end results to come to a conclusion.

Suppose your interview was taken by a single person, they will still take time to share their views on you with their boss, team, HR, and so on.

If there are other candidates in the line of the discussion, they may take a longer time to get back to you. They have to make notes and compare your performance with that of other candidates and check who has done great.

In addition to the above reasons, there are few other things that may have been the reasons for the lateness in responding back after the interview. These reasons may cause the interviewers to take more than a week to get back to you.

Reasons Why You Haven't Heard From Your Interviewers Yet

The first thing that comes to our mind when we don't receive any information after the interview, even though many days have passed, is an obvious one - I have not been selected for the job. But, the worst thing about this situation is that the company doesn't even have the decency to admit it and send an email stating the same. The email could otherwise help you to focus on your next venture instead of wasting time clicking on the refresh button in your mailbox.

However, as we have read earlier, we have other reasons to believe that a lot of other things could possibly lead to the lateness of the response after an interview. So before you jump into the conclusion that you are out of the running for the job position, let's look into the real reasons why there is possibly you may stand a chance at winning that job position.

1. They are possibly interviewing other candidates

There are many possibilities that you may have been the first person they interviewed. After you there can be many candidates waiting to be interviewed. In that case, it is no fun waiting! This means you may have to wait for a few weeks before you can know the results of your interview. This can be rather frustrating.

You can avoid this long wait. All you have to do is ask the interviewers about the next steps they are going to take after this interview. You can even go ahead and ask about the timeframe. You can frame a question something similar to this - “When can I expect to hear feedback? And what will the next steps look like in the process?”

This is the best question you can ask after the interview. This question will give you all the answers that are sure to remove the anxiety, nervousness, and stress from your mind and body once you are done with the interview. If you know how many people are going to be interviewed after you, you may not have to sit by the phone or keep refreshing your mailbox the next day for a response from the company.

2. Someone in connection with your interview is on vacation

Hiring people for a job can be tiring and complicated. There are so many steps and people involved in the process of hiring. Hiring requires an input of a lot of people. They have to speak with you when your interview is going on. After the interview, they have to discuss and let others know that you are good to be hired. They have to say “okay, go ahead and make this person a job offer.” before anything can happen.

If such a person in the team is on leave or enjoying a vacation on the other side of the globe, then it is inevitably going to slow down your selection process. This will result in lateness. You will not hear back from them anytime soon after the interview.

This is the reason why no one should appear for an interview during the summer. It is not the best time to look for a job as many important people who are part of the interview process would be on summer vacation.

3. Something new and urgent matter came up in the group

Every project has many things going on. Besides hiring, the hiring managers and other team members will have a lot of things on their plate all the time. They may be building products, making the company money, saving the company money, or any number of other things.

Something or the other important things keep coming up in the project. However, for us, the interview and hiring process is the most important thing in the world. Because you need a new job and this is the only opportunity you can get to grab the job you have dreamt of in your dream company.

Although getting a job is the top priority to you, hiring you is not on the top priority list of the company. This is just a small part of their job. They will have a lot of other important things to worry about and work on.

For this reason, you can safely assume that they will not have any problem in delaying making a decision on the interview process. They may even postpone the rest of the interview process. They even have the right to just put the job opening on hold for weeks or even months if the group has too much going on! They will not hesitate to make these decisions even if they already started the process with you.

This mainly happens because we never know what is coming up in the workplace.

4. The job opening was put on hold

More often than not, a company may decide they do not want to hire someone at the moment. Or they may be just too busy to hire someone, for the reasons we have mentioned above.

So, there are many possibilities of putting this position on hold for an indefinite amount of time. This definitely doesn't mean that they did not like you. This is just about the company not being in the place of hiring people.

Another reason could be trouble in the budget. Sometimes budgets get cut too. Or they may have opened a new position that’s more crucial. For example, the company is in need of a new manager because the old manager has left the company abruptly. In this case, they will decide to hire the manager first and then let that manager be a part of the hiring process.

5. They forgot or lost track of you

Stop assuming and follow up if this could possibly be the reason. Most of the time, this can be the reason why you are taking the brunt of waiting. There are chances that things get lost in the shuffle.

Generally, this happens at the initial stage of the interview, particularly when you submit your resume and it has been misplaced. But, sometimes this happens after the interview too! For example, a new HR may have forgotten because they lost track of needing to schedule the next steps with you. Or maybe your hiring manager thinks they have sent you the email but actually never sent it. Or there is a technical issue while sending email to you and they did not pay attention to it after hitting the send button.

There can be any number of things that could have happened and you end up suffering. For all these troubles, sending out a follow-up email is the best thing to do.

What To Do Next?

If you don't get any email after you have successfully completed all the levels of interview, there are chances something has gone wrong. To know if something really is wrong, you can send a follow-up email to learn all about it.

Following up with an interviewer after an interview is an art. All you have to know is playing the right card at the right time. You can learn a great deal about following up in this article.

There are a few pointers that you can take away from this article.

While writing the follow-up email, try not to be timid and shy while asking for anything. Be clear and direct in your email. At the same time, try not to be rude or impatient.

If they reply back saying there is a delay or if they are still in the deciding stage, try not to be negative about it. Don't ever rush them or show a negative reaction to their email. This may cost you your potential job. What you can do instead is, mark your calendar so that it can remind you to send a follow-up email again in a couple of week’s time.

One thing you can take home from here is that the longer it takes to hear back after an interview, the less likely it is that you’ll be receiving good news.

So you have to stop worrying and waiting for a job offer, take and a deep breath, and move on. While there are always chances that you may get the job offer letter a few weeks after your interview, you must keep applying for more and more jobs and line up your schedule with more interviews.

You cannot avoid the long wait between the interview and receiving an offer letter. But in the interim, you can apply for more jobs.

So, try focusing on what you can do and do it. Get more job interviews lined up, so you don't waste your valuable time in just waiting for one offer letter which may or maybe not come to you.

Is It Okay To Follow Up After The Interview?

Absolutely, following up after your interview is considered almost standard process now. In fact, if you don't do it your interviewer might feel as though you aren't passionate about the position. If you are curious about how you might follow up after your interview, you can read our guide here.

How Do You Inquire About A Job After The Interview?

If you're worried that the status of the position has changed and you want to learn more, it's absolutely okay to email the hiring manager and ask a simple question, "Is the position still open? Or has it been filled?" Asking this question can be informal and simple. The hiring manager will appreciate the fact that you are following the process and wanting to be informed. As long as you keep your email polite and professional, the hiring manager should respond back quickly.

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author: patrick algrim
About the author

Patrick Algrim is an experienced executive who has spent a number of years in Silicon Valley hiring and coaching some of the world’s most valuable technology teams. Patrick has been a source for Human Resources and career related insights for Forbes, Glassdoor, Entrepreneur,, SparkHire, and many more.


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