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I recently interviewed with a company on Friday in which I think the interview went really well. Now that it's Wednesday, I'm starting to get some jitters that I may not have got the position.

I have a few questions:

  1. How long does it normally take to receive an offer? - In my experience I've had anything from the next day to multiple weeks.
  2. Would it be appropriate to send a follow-up email? If so, what would be the ideal time to do so?
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I am just going to comment here, because this is a very subjetive answer. In many cases a company, especially a large one, will have a lot of hoops to jump through before contact can be made. I have personally had it take a week or more to hear something back and I have also been given the offer on the spot after the first interview, so it really depends on the hiring team, how much paperwork is involved, and how many other interviews they have lined up. –  Bill Leeper Feb 26 at 16:02
Yea its a very broad question, I would wait at least 1 - 2 weeks –  Marriott81 Feb 26 at 16:04
It can actually take months sometimes. Personally , I never wait on a response but keep on looking. If I want the job and have another offer, I might send them an email asking about whter I am still in consideration, but that is the only time. Hiring managers hate to be annoyed by these types of emails especally from candiates who are not in consideration. –  HLGEM Feb 26 at 16:08
To comment on the follow up email portion, I would say it is usually a good idea. I have tended to send one the next day (if I have the email address(s) of the people who interviewed me) saying "it was lovely to meet you", "thanks for your time", "if you need any further information based on our discussions" etc etc. To align with @HLGEM's comment though, I would take into account how the interview went and also the personality of the interviewer(s). If they are not particularly personable, then it could become counter-productive –  Mike Feb 26 at 16:15
Next time, when you end an interview remember to ask "What's the next step? How long should I wait before I follow up?" –  Joe Strazzere Feb 26 at 16:33
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3 Answers

up vote 12 down vote accepted

It depends.

Timelines for following up after interviews depends hugely on the company. A small company may get together after you leave, chat for half an hour, and make you a job offer the next day. A big company may take a week to gather opinions from everyone who interviewed you, and then have to send them all to HR, who will put you on the list of people they are gong to call back when they've finished the others. Some companies [cough]Google[/cough] will send the results to a committee who evaluate your performance, and may take weeks.

What is normal is that a good company (small or large) will tell you the timescale on which they are going to get back to you. If they said they will get back to you tomorrow, and they haven't, it's perfectly OK to give a polite reminder. If they said it will be a week, never bug them before that. The exception is if your circumstances change, and especially if another company is about to make an offer. Getting competing offers is always a good thing, and it's only fair to let a company know if they have a time limit.

If they didn't give you a time, three days is probably too soon to be bugging them. However what you can do is follow up with a 'thank you' and a polite enquiry. "Thanks for meeting with me on Friday. I really enjoyed talking to you quys. I wondered when I might expect to hear a decision about the next step from you?"

I wouldn't necessarily read anything about whether you got the job into a delay. With some companies, especially big ones, a delay is a good sign, since the next step involves doing something, like setting up more interviews, whereas if you were rejected they just have to call you. Or it might mean they have invited several candidates for interview and want to talk to them all before making a decision. Or it might be that the HR guy is sick, or that one of the interviewers went on vacation without giving his feedback. Stuff happens.

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This. If they don't let you know the time frame in which you can expect to hear back, ask what that timeframe is, and then if you don't hear in that timeframe plus a day or two, ask again. I would always ask for the timeframe at the end of an interview - even a phone screen. –  Joe Feb 26 at 17:03
As an addendum (feel free to include this if you'd like, DJClayworth), keep track of the people who you have pending offers with, even if they seem to dragging their feet and/or ignoring your emails. This gives you potential leverage when you receive an offer somewhere else (either letting the pending companies know that they have a deadline or using these nebulous interviews to make the offering company consider competition) and it's polite to contact the foot-dragging companies and say that you have found something else. –  Sean Duggan Feb 26 at 20:20
"With some companies, especially big ones, a delay is a good sign, since the next step involves doing something, like setting up more interviews, whereas if you were rejected they just have to call you." I agree here... Especially if there is a "panel" of people you talk to. –  bigdaveyl yesterday
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Yes it does depend on a couple of things;

Whether you applied for the job either;

  • through an agent
  • directly to the company

If it was via an agent then it's the agent you have to chase, not the company itself. In the case of an agent then you can follow up with him the moment the interview is over - once you have left the interview premises - with your feedback, which of course encourages communication. The agent is more willing to fight for you when you build a rapport with them.

If it was direct with the company, then 5 days is normally a good time to wait until you contact them.


At the end your interview with the following questions;

Do you have any reservations about me at this stage? When can I expect to hear from you?

This closes the loop and creates the expectation that you are not there for fun, but there with a purpose (the job of course!).

I've been in several jobs over my career and I can tell you, each time I ask these questions, the employers ALWAYS follow through so it works.

Much of what I've said is past tense yes, but hopefully it will help you moving forward, not just with your issue now.

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The longer a company drags their feet, the less likely you are to get the job. After 2-3 days, you should effectively begin acting as though you will not be offered the job. They may come back sometime after that with an offer, but it is not likely.

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... why? This really doesn't explain "why" to anything it says. –  enderland Feb 26 at 21:15
This does not provide an answer to the question. To critique or request clarification from an author, leave a comment below their post. –  kolossus Feb 27 at 4:34
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