10

I interviewed for a job three weeks ago, and thought that it went pretty well. I was told that they'd have decision in three weeks. I contacted the main interviewer Friday, and he told me that they were still interviewing people and that he expected a decision by the end of this coming week.

I was surprised and disappointed that they are still interviewing people three weeks after speaking with me.

On the one hand, to me, that means they're having serious doubts about hiring me, or else they would have foregone the other interviews.

On the other, I am a local candidate for the position and perhaps other candidates had to be flown in and arrangements made. Perhaps this is why the interview process has been stretched out the way it has. Additionally, one has to consider the week of Thanksgiving as a sort of dead week for interviews.

I'm obviously overthinking all of this.

Does anyone have any thoughts, or similar experiences past or currently ongoing?

EDIT: Thanks for all of the responses so far. I just wanted to say that I plan on updating with whether I was offered the position or not once I receive word.

UPDATE: On 12/23, I received an automated email stating that I wasn't being considered for the position anymore. I guess the email didn't go a as well as I thought.

marked as duplicate by Jim G., mcknz, gnat, JakeGould, ChrisF Dec 14 '15 at 14:10

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  • 6
    seems pretty normal, just because they like a candidate is not a reason to forgo the others they have arranged to see, that would disappoint other candidates who were cancelled, plus they might find someone even better suited. – Kilisi Dec 12 '15 at 16:35
  • 1
    The best thing you can do is apply to other jobs and wait, its out of your hands. Its not a totally positive sign for your chances, though. – Mark Rogers Dec 13 '15 at 0:21
  • Could also be a locale-specific thing. In Australia this would be very normal, as the hiring process is often fairly regimented. They'll set a specific cutoff date for applications, and then accept/interview applicants up until that cutoff, and not tell anyone their results until after the deadline has passed. – aroth Dec 13 '15 at 1:32
  • Where do you get the idea a company hires an employee based on the employees needs and desires? You simply have to wait and if you are upset at knowing others are being interviewed, don’t be… Any single position will always receive multiple applications and it’s nothing personal. The bigger question to you might be: Why are you placing so much weight on this one position instead of applying to other positions elsewhere? – JakeGould Dec 13 '15 at 4:10
26

As a hiring manager a number of scenarios come to mind:

  1. A strong candidate has said something like "I'm away on holiday for the next 2 weeks" and they've already agreed to wait
  2. The hiring manager needs sign off from HIS boss before he can offer, but he is having to wait
  3. Interviews have moved too fast, and the requisition for a hire hasn't been approved yet (happens all the time)
  4. The role is dependent on a project/contract coming in, and that's been delayed/is waiting for sign off
  5. There is/may be a hiring freeze incoming so they need to wait
  6. It's almost end of their financial year, so they need to hit next years budget to do the hire (again they thought it would take longer)
  7. Maybe they like you, but aren't so knocked out that they don't want to wait "just in case" someone who has 110% of your skills but wanting 50% of your money comes along (hey they can dream!)
  8. They are just testing the market to see if someone fantastic comes along, but are really just jerking you along and don't intend to really hire anyone (again, surprisingly common)
  9. As per your update, they know their ATS will send an automated email to all remaining candidates when they close the role down after hiring, so they won't bother pressing the button on your application and keep you dangling (again happens far too often).

Why they can't tell you this, in some cases it's obvious, in others sometimes they are afraid you'll jump for another role if you think there's a possibility it won't happen, so just keep you dangling hoping you'll be desperate enough to wait.

The best strategy, treat every job as not won, until you have a contract to sign, and keep pushing on. If it comes in you might get a nice surprise, or maybe something EVEN BETTER may appear. Also the best way to get them to move and get the offer is to have another one, you immediately become more attractive if someone else wants you (but don't BS, you need to be able to show your hand, but any offer can be enough, even if you wouldn't actually take it).

  • I believe #7 is extremely unlikely. It's hardly possible to make skilled people accept lower wage than others, because they can get more money and they know that. Unless you're in Dilbert's company, hehe. However, #8 is very common, at least where I live. There are ways to deal with it, though, if one thinks about it. – Konrad Viltersten Dec 12 '15 at 19:37
  • 9
    The important part is your last paragraph. Whatever the reason, as long as nothing is signed, go on searching. don't stop. Be relentless. Don't wait. – gazzz0x2z Dec 12 '15 at 20:02
  • 9. They are too disorganised or indecisive to finalise the role – teambob Dec 14 '15 at 1:57
8

The usual process is this

  • Get a bunch of CVs
  • Create a short list of those to interview
  • Arrange for interviews/tests
  • Interview them over a period 1, 2 or 3 weeks
  • Make a decision as to those to either employ or for a second interview

You are over thinking this. But attend other interviews/keep applying for jobs. Do not put all your eggs into the one basket.

  • In the current economy, it's not uncommon to even not hire at all, if they don't like any of the candidates they interviewed. Many companies are simply avoiding even the smallest of risks. – Juha Untinen Dec 12 '15 at 23:44
5

The whole point of interviewing multiple people for a position is so that you have multiple choices.

No matter how good you are as one of the first individuals interviewed, does it not seem entirely reasonable and logical to see the process through to its end before making a decision?

You'd have to have been absolutely groundbreakingly stellar to be worth cancelling the entire set of first-round interviews and immediately moving forward with just you. And all of this supposes that they only have one position to fill during this round.

I do believe you're massively over-thinking this.

3

It's quite likely that they just had multiple candidates that they considered to possibly be a good fit and just want to talk to all of them before deciding on one. I've been on the hiring side of that situation a few times before. Sometimes it just takes a while to get everyone you want to talk to in, especially those traveling long distances.

Sometimes interview schedules can also be delayed by one or more of the people who are actually conducting the interviews being away, especially around the holidays and/or if some of the people who need to be there travel frequently for work. Larger organizations will probably be able to just schedule other people to conduct the interviews more easily, but smaller organizations may have a group of at least a few people who really all need to be there, especially in highly technical fields.

If they already have a few other candidates with interviews scheduled (or with whom they've already conducted phone interviews and are planning to conduct on-site interviews soon,) they're probably not just going to cancel all of the other interviews and make you an offer on the spot unless you're an extremely exceptional candidate for the position. So, yes, I do think you're probably just overthinking this.

On the flip side, you should really be doing the same thing. Just as you're not the only candidate they're interviewing, they shouldn't be the only organization you're interviewing with. As other answers have said, continue looking into and interviewing for other opportunities and don't turn down other offers just to wait to see if you get one from them. If you do get another offer with a short deadline for response, though, certainly feel free to tell them (politely) that you have another offer waiting and you need to know whether they intend to make you an offer by x date. If they already think they're likely to make you an offer, they may go ahead and do so. The worst they can say is no.

1

Firstly, you are not given a confirmation yet, so you should not keep a lot of hopes in the prospect, and continue looking out for opportunities.

Secondly, the company might have committed to the interviews, and they would go forward with them as scheduled with hopes of maybe finding someone better than your profile.

  • 2
    Besides people do like having choices – Ed Heal Dec 12 '15 at 16:42

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