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A few months ago, a recruitment company contacted me and introduced an engineering job position, which I was very interested in. After about 2 onsite interviews and one code test at home, I got the response:

"Our team liked him but concluded as junior with high potential. As we are going through many other candidates, we would like to hold our decision until further notice."

Since that response until now for about 2 months. I didn't get any more messages...
I'm afraid the company already forgot me and I like the job. So shall I make more approaches on my side instead of endless waiting?

What's the correct action that helps me get the job?


Update: Thank you all, I stuck in the wrong place, shall not stop when someone tells me to wait.

65

Sorry, Jiu. You probably didn't get the job.

As we are going through many other candidates, we would like to hold our decision until further notice

This is their polite way of saying they're looking for someone better/more experienced, but want to maintain contact with you if they don't find someone. Or employ someone else, but it doesn't work out.

Forget about it and keep looking. Of course, one day you may be unexpectedly contacted, but don't wait for it to happen.

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    I like this answer, but I disagree with the final point. There is no problem in asking them about it, even if it is simply to put the final nail in the coffin. – espindolaa Sep 6 '19 at 21:17
  • @espindolaa why would you want to put the final nail in the coffin? even if it is only one in a million shot 0.000001 > 0. – emory Sep 6 '19 at 21:19
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    @emory Politely reaching out once won't do that. It could even have some benefit, as while this job is 99% gone, they may now have an opening for a junior. – Gabe Sechan Sep 7 '19 at 6:45
  • I'll let the answer stand, as it's been accepted, but I think you're right; it won't hurt to reach out, although I wouldn't expect a different answer from them. – Justin Sep 8 '19 at 10:13
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    Given what has happened, trying to contact them will be a waste of time better spent looking for, and interviewing with, others who may actually be interested in you. Best thing to do is forget about them and invest the time elsewhere. I think the original answer has it right, even if reaching out wouldn't be a "bad thing". OP probably won't even be dignified with a response anyway. – code_dredd Sep 8 '19 at 18:40
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It never hurts to follow up!

I received a job once, because I called the recruiter several weeks after an interview and explained I had not heard back yet. The recruiter told me the company thought that I was "too good for them" and not interested. I was baffled explained I was indeed interested in the job (and really needed it). They had already hired someone else (who quit within a week) and were looking again. I had an offer almost immediately and worked there for several years.

You cannot read too much into those HR messages, because they are designed to give little information and protect the company from lawsuits. Just politely follow up.

Also, never stop the job search. An interview is NO guarantee of a job. You should make it your job to look for a job. I have seen HR and finance shut down a job opening in the middle of the hiring process! Until you are hired, there is no guarantee that position will ever be filled.

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    Yes, it's always worth following up.  In this case, the chances seem pretty low, but it certainly won't do any harm to contact them just in case.  And, as you say, keep looking!  Persistence pays off; in the long run, it doesn't matter how many failures you have; you only need one success! – gidds Sep 6 '19 at 19:47
  • Given what has happened, trying to contact them will be a waste of time better spent looking for, and interviewing with, others who may actually be interested in you. Best thing to do is forget about them and invest the time elsewhere. I think the accepted answer has it right, even if reaching out wouldn't be a "bad thing". OP probably won't even be dignified with a response anyway. – code_dredd Sep 8 '19 at 18:43
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Realistically, you know this already: you're not getting the job. We can't really tell you what happened, but after two months if they needed someone, they'll have hired someone by now.

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In general, if you are told to wait, then you know there are more people applying, and your chances are low. That’s why you apply for more than one position.

Having applied for another position let’s you call them after two weeks and say “I expect another offer very soon. I like your position very much, so I would like to know how long you will take to come to a decision”.

Possible outcomes: 1. They admit the position is long gone and they couldn’t be bothered telling you. 2. You suddenly look much more attractive because someone else thinks about hiring you, so you get an offer. 3. They are genuinely slow in their processes. If you have an offer, don’t reject it for a potential offer.

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Although 2 months sound like a lot there is still the chance that their process is incredibly slow and you will get the job. This might especially be true if they really have a lot of applicants and you are not their first choice.

But it is also likely that they want to hire somebody else and didn't want to go through the trouble of telling all the other people who didn't get the job. And if that one person rejects them, they could still call up their next choice.

Until you have a legal binding offer in hand you should apply for other jobs as well. There are a lot of interesting jobs out there and you might find one that is just as interesting.

And you should ask yourself the following: If you got the offer and told them

"As I am going through many other job offers, I would like to hold my decision until further notice."

and then waited for two months, do you think the offer would still be standing?

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If you've received no answer, you can always send an e-mail asking them whether they are still interested in you. Most likely, they have signed another candidate and moved on, but you lose nothing for trying. Most companies won't give you the reasons why they refuse to hire you, since every reason they give is a potencial reason for a lawsuit.

If I were you, I would restart the job-search process! Look for different companies/offers

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1

Alright, so you most likely didn't get the job.

What could you have done better?

  • Better research, better interview skills, etc. It's out of scope for the question, but if you're still without a job you might want to think about these things.
  • Followed up (a lot) earlier. Perhaps a week after that email, you could have sent an email with something like "I am writing to follow up on the hiring process for position X." Your goal here is to maintain a line of communication with the company (or rather, with someone from HR), so that next time there's an open position on that company (and after you've gained a bit more knowledge/experience in that area) you can contact this person directly and be one step ahead of the countless CVs they probably receive.
  • Kept looking for a job. In almost all cases, if they tell you to wait, you wait very patiently while looking for other opportunities.
  • If you had any line of contact with the technical person who interviewed you (i.e. the person who concluded you're a "junior with high potential"), you can write to them to ask on what areas do they think you're most lacking, and if they have any recommendations on how to improve. Keep in mind, this is NOT you looking to impress the interviewer, the time for that has come and gone and you did a reasonable job but it wasn't good enough for that particular position. This is you reaching out to a fellow professional who is more experienced than you and might give you a couple of tips on how to become a better professional. Extra useful considering this person's idea of a better professional are very likely aligned with what the company considers a better professional (it's a big reason why they would ask him to interview potential hires), so this person's tips would be very useful for getting a job in this particular company.

What can you do now?

  • All of the above.
  • Keep on learning!
  • Pay attention to Company's open positions, so that when a new position that interests you comes up you make sure they get your CV. But they already had your CV, right? They had the old one. Next time, they'll meet a new Jiu.

Don't let your career stagnate because you didn't get this particular position that you really wanted. Keep on looking for opportunities, embrace change as a chance to learn new things, and realize the potential they saw in you.

Oh, and network a lot. Connect with people, get them to know you, and when a good position for you comes up they'll recommend you for it.

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When they say "wait"... They mean don't wait and keep looking aggressively elsewhere. That is what they expect you to do.

What they literally mean is

We would muchly prefer you sit on your hands until we can { get this position funded / the other candidate doesn't pan out / we find an alternate position for you here }. But we know that's unrealistic, and you have to eat. So we fully expect you to entirely move on, and continue an aggressive job search without us, and we concede that it's likely some other company will hire you before we can put together an offer. That is the outcome we expect.

And mind you, this may be a euphemism; they may just not want you.

The problem is, if you actually did wait, that would be viewed negatively, as if you have few other prospects or there's something wrong with you that other companies are picking up in their vetting.

So what they really mean is

Good luck in your job search, we hope you find a new position quickly somewhere else for now. And then, if we decide we want you and our ducks are lined up, maybe we make you an offer and you jump ship to join us!

So your correct action, the one they are expecting, is go find other excellent work elsewhere. You don't need to know what they mean, because that is the correct course of action in every case.

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