If it's been longer than a week and you still haven't heard anything about a recent job interview, don't wait by the phone like a scorned lover. Try to remember when the interviewer said you'd be hearing back. If it was shorter than a week's time, make contact and politely ask about your status. Don't hesitate because you're worried about rejection. No matter the answer, certainty is better than the scary unknown.
Although it's been a week with no answer since your interview, perhaps there’s no reason to worry. Think back to what the interviewer said -- did she tell you how long it would be until you were called? Did the hiring manager say whether she’d just started the job, or might be leaving soon? Did she say she had a lot of other candidates to interview, or that she had to discuss things with other associates? Review your exchange and ask yourself whether the interviewer indicated that the process might take a week or longer. If so, relax; there may be nothing to worry about.
Say Thank You
You should have sent a thank you note one or two days after your interview, but if you didn’t and you still haven’t heard anything, it's time to drop a line. You can do this via email or regular mail, although since it’s already been a week, email might be the best choice since you won’t want to wait two more days for the mail to be delivered. In the email, refresh your employer’s memory about who you are and what position you interviewed for. Reiterate your qualifications and the reasons why you think you would be a good fit for the company. Use your notes from the interview to mention what you like about the company, and what benefits you can bring to the table. At the end of the letter, say, “I look forward to speaking to you soon and going forward into the next phase of your hiring process.”
Give a Call
If you were promised an answer long before the one-week deadline passed, you might need to go ahead and call. Make sure you speak to the person you interviewed with- - don’t ask a receptionist or someone in HR about your status, because it's important to maintain a relationship with your interviewer. Who knows? Maybe she got busy, or quit, or had a bunch of other candidates, or just has a ton of meetings this week that have kept her from her hiring duties. When you call, try not to sound panicked or desperate. Instead, say, “I’m really interested in the position. I was just calling to find out if you’d gotten any further in the hiring process. Do you need any additional information from me? I have references and letters of recommendation that I can give you anytime.”
Let it Go
If you were promised a call before now, it's possible that you didn’t get the job. Try not to be discouraged; instead, look at rejection as a learning opportunity. Ask the interviewer if she can offer some tips on how you can do better next time. Look her up on a social network site, such as Facebook or Linkedin, to keep in touch (in a polite, non-stalker way). Who knows -- the next time the company is hiring, maybe you’ll be the first to know.
Oubria Tronshaw specializes in topics related to parenting and business. She received a Bachelor of Arts in creative writing from the Santa Fe University of Art and Design, and a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from Chicago State University. She currently teaches English at Harper Community College in the Chicago area.