I just finished an interview with a developer from a company I want to work for, and am about to send a thank you email to both the developer and the recruiter who contacted me in the first place.

In the thank you email to the recruiter, is it all right to ask how long it would take until I receive a response? If so, what would be the proper way to ask?

  • assuming that you are the one being interviewed, so I edited to make that more clear. Feel free to revert if not correct. – mcknz Mar 24 '16 at 19:59
  • I might ask in the in the interview when they expected to make a decision (this indicates you are still interested after talking to them), but honestly, if you are not selected the chances of ever hearing back are low and even if they are interested, it often takes longer than anybody would guess at the time they tell you. So there is no answer to that question that is actually useful to you. Don't sweat when you hear back, if they are interested they will get in touch with you. – HLGEM Mar 24 '16 at 21:17

I would hold off on asking for a time frame in the "thank you" e-mail.

First, simply contact them to thank them for their time.

Then, if you can wait, contact the recruiter alone at a later time (a day or two) and ask him how long it might be before you hear back from them.

I once wrote to a company asking them whether they were truly considering me for the position or not, as I had another offer on the table.

If you have an offer that you may wish to accept then simply contact the recruiter right away and express this. I wouldn't CC the developer, as he is most likely not the hiring manager, and, at any rate, the recruiter is supposed to be your "interface" with the company in question.

  • Thanks for the tips. How do you think I should go about thanking the developer? I know I shouldn't add something like "I look forward to hearing from you about the next steps in the hiring process, and please do not hesitate to contact me if I can provide additional information" because that should be for the HR, so how should I end my email after thanking them? – user3613290 Mar 24 '16 at 20:01
  • @User3613290 - "Dear X, thank you very much for taking time away from your regular responsibilities to speak to me today. I enjoyed our conversation, and look forward to hearing from you again if you've got any other questions or concerns. Regards, User361329" <- best to keep it short and sweet (you might add another line about being enthusiastic about the position or something). Put the line about the next step in the hiring process in the e-mail you send the recruiter. – AndreiROM Mar 24 '16 at 20:04
  • sounds good. Sorry, one last question, but since the technical interviewer is going to get back to the HR with feedback regarding my interview, should I email him right now? It's been a couple of hours, and I was thinking about getting it to him before the workday ends (3 hours for them). I was going to email the recruiter tomorrow morning. – user3613290 Mar 24 '16 at 20:31
  • @User3613290 - email the dev soon. In the past I've sent these sort of e-mails less than 2 hours after the interview itself. Contact the recruiter to thank him today as well, if possible, I would wait to ask him about the next stage of the process, etc. (unless you're in a hurry for some reason) – AndreiROM Mar 24 '16 at 20:37

It's important for you to put yourself in their shoes. Do they even know when they will have a response? Does the recruiter know how much the company needs to discuss internally? Are key people on vacation or on maternity leave or ... ? There could be a number of variables that could affect their ability to get back to you quickly, and it may not be anything personal about you.

So I would suggest thinking about what your needs are, thinking about their needs and constraints, telling them your situation (if they don't already know form the interview) and asking them for what you want that would not be too much of a stretch for them. Do you have other offers on the table, or do you have other interviews planned, or travel, or whatever, that make it necessary for you to know at a certain time? Let them know that. Or is it just because you want peace of mind and don't want to be left hanging? There is nothing wrong with that.

Just ask them whether they know when a decision might come regarding your application, or when might be an appropriate time to follow-up. That way you are not asking them to commit themselves to a specific date (which would make them feel guilty if they miss it). And you leave yourself room to follow up without feeling like you are being a nuisance.


I'd agree with the other posters. Hold off on asking for a time-frame right away unless you have something that requires bringing it up, eg. another job offer you are considering accepting.

I recently had that type of situation. I was laid off and looking for work. I ended up with two interview processes going forward at around the same time. It was around the holidays so one told me they were going to be off for the week between Christmas and New Years and they'd be moving forward with the process after New Years. The other was able to schedule an interview during the week between Christmas and New Years. I had the first interview and felt like it went well and they told me I'd hear something from them the middle of the next week.

When the other company got back to be after New Years to schedule an interview I let them know I was still interested but that I had interviewed with the another company and was expecting to hear back from them by the middle of the week. I ended up having a phone interview on Wednesday morning which again I felt went well. On the phone interview I let them know that I was still expecting to hear back from the other company soon about the other position.

I got that call shortly after the interview was done and was offered the job. That job offer was at a substantially better pay than I had been making and high enough that I was pretty sure the second company wouldn't have been able to match it so I accepted the offer. I called back the second company and let them know that I was offered the other position and accepted it and told them why. If I had thought the offers would have been closer I would have tried to get some time to make my decision to give the second company a chance to make an offer. In the end the I found out when I called the second company back that they were getting ready to move forward to an onsite interview, their last step, and the manager told me to let him know if I was looking for a job again.

A couple of general tips.

1) Follow their lead on communications. This covers all aspects of communications. Are they emailing you or calling you primarily? Are they being formal or more casual? Are they responding immediately or waiting a little bit to respond? Having been on the interviewing side of things I'd give people at least a couple days before you start asking about a time-frame as they are probably interviewing a couple candidates over a day or two and then need to work through their processes and determine if they want to proceed forward with any of the candidates or continue looking. If you want, it is fine to be slightly more formal than they are but you don't want to be more casual.

2)Be patient. True or not if you seem too eager it can make you appear desperate and people rarely want someone who "NEEDS" a job right now. If you "need" a job odds are you are likely you won't stick around as long as someone who is isn't desperate because you are willing to overlook, at least temporarily, a lot of things just to get that job you need but after a while those things you overlooked start to bug you and you will start looking for something else. I remember one candidate we interviewed for a position that we didn't move forward on because he didn't seem interested in the job. He wanted to move to the city and made it seem like any job in the city would do. In another situation I had a pre-interview and then waited a month and a half before they got back to me to finish the interview process.

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