86

I had an interview on Monday, which I think went fairly well. I was told that I was the last to interview for the position, and that they were expecting to make their decision by that Friday.

I also sent a thank-you note via e-mail to the hiring manager, CC to the other interviewers, on the Tuesday after the interview.

It is now the following Monday, and I haven't had any direct contact from the interviewers or the hiring manager since our initial meeting. Obviously, at this point, I'm anxious to hear anything about the job regardless of the outcome. Is there a point at which it is appropriate for me to call or e-mail the hiring manager, to check on the status of the position? Are there certain things that should be said (or avoid being said) during such contact?

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    FTR: I did end up calling, and left a voicemail saying I was interested in the status of their decision. Got a call-back from that today. The hiring manager said they were undergoing some changes in staffing processes, and the decision may be delayed by another week. He didn't go so far as to tell me whether or not I was likely to be the one chosen, but he didn't tell me to get lost either. – Iszi Nov 6 '12 at 13:40
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    Given the feedback here though, I do strongly recommend that others consider their relationship (or lack thereof) with the hiring company before doing this. In my case, I really have little to no direct relationship with the company or the hiring manager. However, we do share the same work environment and a few connections. It was on the recommendations of some of those connections that I made the follow-up call. – Iszi Nov 6 '12 at 13:48
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    Glad to hear you got a response. As a rule, the reasons I personally don't follow up are 1) I rarely learn anything I don't already know, and 2) I risk annoying the decision makers or sound like the kid in the back seat asking "are we there yet?" – mcknz Nov 6 '12 at 16:14
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    I know it's been almost a year, but just to wrap this up: I did eventually find out (though by now I've forgotten exactly how or when) what happened with the job. The company I'd interviewed with was undergoing some restructuring and layoffs, and they chose to fill the vacancy with an existing employee rather than lay that person off and hire from the outside. – Iszi Sep 25 '13 at 15:42
81

How do I properly follow-up with a hiring manager, to check on the status of a position?

In short, for all practical purposes, you don't.

It's kind of a catch-22: clearly the employer knows you interviewed, so if they don't respond, it means they haven't made their decision yet. On the other hand, if they have made their decision and you are not their choice, they have little incentive to inform you.

Companies are usually optimistic about the time it takes them to make a decision, and many things can delay that process. Could be a last-minute candidate showed up. Could be their first choice hasn't responded yet, so they have to wait for that before making an offer to their second choice.

I agree that you should wait at least a week if not more, and more importantly, proceed with your job search under the assumption that their answer will be no. Any time you spend waiting and hoping is potentially wasted time.

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    "Could be their first choice hasn't responded yet, so they have to wait for that before making an offer to their second choice" . In my experience this is the reason in most situations :) . – Radu Murzea Aug 25 '16 at 7:26
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    Any time you spend waiting and hoping is potentially wasted time. 1. It strongly depends on what you're doing while waiting 2. If you get the job, it's not wasted time and the extra search could be a waste. – tymtam Sep 19 '17 at 2:53
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    @mayu that's a thinking fallacy. Just because you may get the job doesn't mean looking for jobs is "wasted time". There is simply no way for you to know whether you will get the job, so it is never feasible to plan your action based on unknowable information. You simply look at the outcome. What's worse? Having another interview when you get an offer? Or having no alternatives when you don't get an offer? The answer should be obvious. There isn't anything you can do in the mean time to increase your chance of getting the job, so you look for another. – Nelson Sep 19 '17 at 6:10
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    @mayu true -- I said "potentially" because if you stop your search at that point and get the job, no harm done. At the same time, continuing the search could lead to even better offers. – mcknz Sep 19 '17 at 12:56
16

Don't call or email. If they select you, you will hear, if not it is most likely that you will not hear. Just keep looking at other positions in the meantime. If you get too anxious and keep contacting people they might decide not to hire you even if they were thinking about hiring you. Do not be a pest.

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    +1. No manager wants a needy/naggy person working for them.. – enderland Nov 5 '12 at 23:54
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    This is an important point: "if they select you, you will hear." It may not be as soon as you wish, but they certainly won't forget about someone they are going to hire. – thursdaysgeek Jul 3 '14 at 18:18
14

I disagree with almost everyone's opinion here.

If I'm the hiring manager and I need to choose between 2 candidates who are equally qualified, and one seems more enthusiastic than the other for the job, then there's no question I would go with the one who's checking in frequently.

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    Have you ever been a hiring manager? I have. Enthusiasm can be demonstrated in the interview. Pestering me while I'm trying to do my job isn't enthusiasm. One call might be ok, but it might not be either. – Kate Gregory Dec 31 '12 at 17:36
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    @KateGregory: Have you ever been kept waiting for months before receiving a job offer? I have been a couple times. If I hadn't kept in touch with the hiring managers I wouldn't know where things stood, and may not have received the offers. (I actually did turn one down.) – GreenMatt Jan 4 '13 at 16:56
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    @GreenMatt im sorry that you had to suffer through that. thats horrible – l--''''''---------'''''''''''' Jan 4 '13 at 19:55
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    @Артём Царионов: Thanks for the compassion. The job I accepted was actually pretty good for a while. The delay in getting the offer was a combination of bureaucracy and an upper level manager with unreasonable expectations. – GreenMatt Jan 4 '13 at 21:31
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    I got my first ever "real" job because of a follow up email. About a week or 2 after my interview I saw the same job advertised again so I sent a polite email along the lines of "I see you have advertised the position again. Can I assume my interview was not successful?" Within a week I was offered the position. – John3136 Feb 8 '17 at 2:38
13

As mentioned in another answer, they may not have made the decision early on Friday. In my experience, issues of various sorts can delay decisions for several days or even weeks, although things are generally faster now than they once were.

Contacting those you interviewed with can be a double-edged sword: If you don't follow up at all and the process takes longer than planned, the hiring manager may think you are not interested or have found another job and drop you from consideration. Alternatively, contacting the hiring manager may annoy her/him and lead the decision away from hiring you. Unfortunately, there's no sure way to know what reaction you will get. In fact, the reaction may depend on the the hiring manager's mood when contacted.

That said, my suggestion is to ask them. Ideally, at the end of the interview you would establish some sort of plan for how future contact should go. It seems you did that somewhat, but not in detail. In the future, it might be good to say something like "Since you plan to make a decision by Friday would it be okay for me to contact you on Wednesday of next week?" This gives them some time and (hopefully) keeps you from seeming over anxious and annoying. If their answer is "Don't call us, we'll call you." (or similar), that definitely tells you that they don't want you to bother them ... and may indicate you aren't their first (or maybe even second) choice, but that they haven't ruled you out entirely.

In this case (assuming no plan was set up at the interview), I recommend waiting a few days after they said they made their decision and then sending an email to inquire. An email has the advantage that it usually won't intrude into their day as much as a telephone call and allows them to answer on their own schedule. In it, you can ask about how the process is going and how frequently to make future contact to keep up on the process, as well as whether they've made a decision and if it is you, of course.

One note: Sometimes you'll be told that no decision has been made or a delay has occurred when that's not really what's going on. This sort of answer is sometimes given when your are considered a viable candidate but not the first choice. This way they hope to avoid telling you they prefer someone else, but will take you if that someone else doesn't take the job.

7

If they said they would make their decision on Friday, it might have been one of the last things they did before leaving, so I wouldn't necessarily expect to hear back before the end of the day on Monday (one full business day after they said they would make the decision). The earliest I would follow-up with HR and/or the hiring manager would be sending an email after the close of business on Monday or during the day on Tuesday (at least one, perhaps into a second business day after the decision).

In this email, I would explicitly mention that it was said that a decision would be made on Friday, ask if it has been finalized, and what the outcome was. If you don't have any pressing concerns (other interviews or offers), perhaps consider waiting two full business days before following up - some companies might make the decision, but not say anything until the offer package is sent out, and that might take time.

6

I’ve been in these situations before and I completely understand how you feel, but my advice is to wait at least for a couple of days, maybe they haven’t make a decision yet and if you write them at this point it won’t really change anything, in my experience, the recruiters will contact you when they know for sure what’s going on , not before.

I would wait at least 1 more week, if after that you haven’t heard from them maybe you can shoot an email saying you just want to follow up and that you are very interested to hear the outcome and feedback of your interview, if the recruiter knows that enough time has passed and that they haven’t give you any news then they will probably let you know what happened (process on hold, they still deliberating etc.)

5

TL;DR: Don't call unless you have a need, and don't expect a good answer right away.

I was in this situation once. While I was in college, I accepted a job as a Resident Assistant and was scheduled to start training in mid-August. During the summer I applied & interviewed for a part-time job in my field of study (IT) for a large local employer that would also start in the fall. Because of the time required, I could not do both.

As the time drew near to begin my job as a Resident Assistant, I still hadn't heard back from the IT job. About two weeks before RA training began I chose to call the hiring manager to ask what was going on. I was polite, thanked him again for the interview, and just told him the situation. While I was perfectly willing to begin my RA job and quit after a few days, I told him I'd prefer to give them enough notice so that they could find a replacement for me in enough time to send him/her to training. I let him know I was waiting to hear from him before I gave notice to my other job.

He told me that he understood, but he wasn't in a situation where he was allowed by policy to tell me the status of my application - that was HR's job. He did however tell me, "You should be hearing something very soon. Do you get what I'm saying?" About three hours later I got a phone call from HR extending me an offer.

All that to say, if you're in a bind and you need to know for some particular reason, call them and tell them what's going on. You may not get an answer right away, but they can probably speed things up behind the scenes if they want to bring you in.

3

It is good to ask at the end of the interview when you can expect the answer.

You can contact the hiring company and ask if they can provide the date by which the result will be known.

It's OK to ask when you will be given an answer.

  • Yes, it's good to know approximately when you might hear from them and at the very least know the closing date. If they can provide neither politely decline, I always get a answer when I do that. I don't let it drag out so they can hire others and let them go only to run down the rest of their list. Organisational skills are important for the owners, as they are for the employee. – Rob Dec 12 '17 at 19:17

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