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I've been in interviews that have gone good and bad and can generally tell the outcome (especially if the last interview is with a technical manager for the area you would be working in). I seemed to meet and exceed their expectations and the manager even mentioned that my skills may be suitable for a higher position as well after some time there.

It has now been over 3 months since that last interview. I had performed a follow up thank you and "eager to work" response 1 week after the interview and 2 more follow up phone calls since then without a response.

I'm not one to put all of my eggs in one basket and have since then sent applications to other companies but how long is too long to wait for a response after an interview? Is it naive to think that they may still be interested in my employment there after this long? How should I continue following up, if at all?

closed as primarily opinion-based by Jim G., Amy Blankenship, CincinnatiProgrammer, jcmeloni, gnat Nov 15 '13 at 19:35

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • 1
    This is deliberately off topic - my apologies. When I look at your Stack Overflow questions these seem to be focused on DOS and Windows shell scripting. I see a question or two about PHP and JavaScript, out of 86 posted. It's leaving an impression you are just on the verge of being able to write code, but not quite there yet. This would be really good if you're a system admin or a network tech or responsible for production deployments - is that the kind of work you're looking for? – Meredith Poor Nov 9 '13 at 2:28
  • That is close to the role I was applying for, and yes that is what I'm looking for. A lot of times when I come to the stack overflow, it's because I'm learning something new. I figure out usability/syntax issues mainly. After that I generally have a good grasp of it and hardly ever come back to ask anymore questions. I've gone through a lot of different scripting/programming languages, all dependent on the needs of the company. – Mechaflash Nov 11 '13 at 14:12
  • I don't know if you're helping make ends meet using freelancing services, but doing so would rack up some street cred. Tech support is in high demand in a lot of places - evidently you're not in one of them. If you can't move, bring the work to you. – Meredith Poor Nov 11 '13 at 20:14
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I'd hope for an answer from a potential employer within a week but that wouldn't prevent me from interviewing anywhere else in the mean time.

You don't know what's going on inside the company. The position may have been filled, it may have been cancelled, it may be that they're busy and will get around to filling it later.

I once interviewed someone in late June right before my boss went on vacation. When she returned, I went on vacation. This person was the first we'd interviewed, so after my return we had to interview some more before deciding the June candidate was the best. I was very surprised to find him still available. We hired him in September.

In your case I'd stop following up. If you're the top candidate and they have other reasons not to hire you yet, they'll remember you. If you're not the top candidate, you're wasting your time.

  • I figured as much. I suppose I'm asking to help quiet my anxiety as although I'm applying to other places, this company was my preferred to work for out of the bunch. – Mechaflash Nov 8 '13 at 22:52
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3 months - well I can believe that the company is still deciding due to something happening during the time of the interviews, but here's the thing, if you are a propect they would be keeping the communication channels open. If you haven't heard anything, and especially if you've followed up, then I'm afraid I don't think they are interested.

It can be hard, especially when you get good feelings at interview, but as good as it went, they may have decided on someone else (cheaper, boss's brother etc), my advice is move on.

And yes it's really crappy when they treat you like a leper once you stop being a prospect (even an ideal one), it's something you need to grow a thick skin for as it happens at every level.

  • I don't know--I've seen companies with so much bureaucratic crap going on that it can genuinely take this long or longer to hire someone, but the same bureaucratic crap means that the people with a real interest in filling the opening are not allowed to contact the prospect and the ones processing it don't have much incentive. – Amy Blankenship Nov 9 '13 at 16:05
  • The process for my current job took approximately 5 months. Stating "3 months" seems rather arbitrary and won't fit many situations properly... – jmac Nov 11 '13 at 5:59
  • I wonder if that's not the case with my situation @AmyBlankenship . I know the company is reorganizing, and they've laid off quite a few workers and hiring replacements. They're in a transitional period. – Mechaflash Nov 11 '13 at 14:19
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    I wouldn't hold your breath either way. A job you don't have is a job you don't have. – Amy Blankenship Nov 11 '13 at 18:08
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A typical interview question is to ask about the time-frame of the hiring process. No reason they shouldn't want a potential employee to know how many interviews, with whom and when they plan on filling the position. A good interviewer should offer this information up-front.

In your case, there is no magic amount of time, but they don't respond to a follow-up request, it probably means the answer is no.

Start pursuing other positions. If the company contacts you again with some reason about losing your paperwork or the person handling this left the company... You can consider how sincere they are and decide to continue the process.

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