I had a first stage interview yesterday; it seemed to go reasonably well.

They told me that they have a pretty quick turnaround on things, and that they'll get back to me tomorrow. It's 4pm, and I haven't heard back from them.

I'm wondering, what do you do in this kind of circumstance? Do I give them another day?

I'm looking for a general answer, whether it's your boss, a colleague, or a potential employer, not something specific to this case.

This question is not a dupe of What do I say when following up a job application that I haven't heard back from? as it refers explicitly to follow up initial job applications.

This question is not a dupe of What is appropriate email follow-up etiquette after no response? as it refers to waiting for replies to specific emails you've sent.


2 Answers 2


The answer depends on the situation and several factors, such as how important is the reply to you, is a delay in a reply beneficial to you etc.

So in your instance where your expecting an important email you've been told to expect and haven't received, there could be a myriad of reasons as to why they haven't been able to send it to you on time. It's polite to give them an extra day and if you still haven't heard anything just send them a gentle reminder once it's 2 days late. They will then pick it up in the morning the following day and will hopefully be able to make it their priority. At the very least most people will go through their emails and send replies to those jobs they can't get round to that day.

If the delay is advantageous for you then it's pretty straight forward, enjoy the delay. This could be if your waiting for a response to continue a piece of work and have more work than you can do that day, that's one less job off your list for today. The onus is on them to send a reply to you. It may get to the point where a late reply is becoming detrimental, in which case send a reminder requesting the email they are supposed to send you, or an explanation for the delay.


You have to judge based on the urgency of needing the reply, how urgent the item might be to the person who needs to respond, and whether nudging them will be more detrimental rather than less.

For instance in the job application, nudging them will not make them move faster and is likely to make them mad at you and reduce your chances of getting the job if you are a pain about it.

But suppose you have a work issue where something is failing and you need a response in order to fix it (for instance I can't work on failing feeds unless I have a job to charge the work to). If I have people who can't log in because the import has failed and the new users have not been imported, that is critical, so I would follow up within a couple of hours if I got no response to my email request for a job ticket to work on (Probably by phone this time). If I was working on an RFP (Request for Proposal) to compete for new work and needed some information from someone, I would try to ask for it in time so that they would have at least a week to respond but they would followup at least a couple of days before the immovable deadline of an RFP.

If I was working on something that I needed a response to and was not getting one even after requesting more than once, I would escalate to the next higher level. You have to remember in business people are not sitting around waiting for you to send them requests and their priorities may not align with yours. When someone fails to respond, escalating will ensure the priorities are realigned or you will be told not to bother this person because his priorities are genuinely higher than yours. Generally you should only escalate if the task is genuinely important or if the person is routinely non-responsive to your requests.

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