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How Long Should I Keep Waiting After A Job Interview?

Dear Liz,

I’m pretty happy with my job search so far except that I don’t have a job yet. But I’ve been looking for three months and I’ve had six interviews, which is better than a lot of people I know. I got laid off in January.

I jumped right into my job search and I made a Target Employer List.

I’ve been sending out Pain Letters and following up with either an email message or a phone call, and like I said I’ve had six job interviews so far.

Two of the jobs I interviewed for were flat wrong for me. One of them paid peanuts and the other one would be a good job for someone who wants to travel nearly 100% of the time. I’m waiting to hear back from four employers.

Two of them have done a pretty good job of keeping me posted on their progress. One of them is really interested in me, or so they say, but they have to get budget approval to hire me. The other company is in the middle of a restructuring, which is not a lie because it’s been in the paper. So I’m being patient.

The other two organizations seem to have dropped me like a hot potato. After every interview I follow your John Cena advice and send a thank you card plus an email message. Two of the companies haven’t responded to anything I’ve sent them. I’m crossing them off my list.

How long should I wait to hear back after a job interview before I move on? Should I do anything else after the thank-you note card and the email message?

I don’t want to be a pest and I don’t want to be a sheep either, but I don’t want to miss an opportunity because they forgot about me when the decision comes down “Go ahead and hire someone.” What’s your advice?

Thanks in advance Liz! You rock and rule -



Dear Garrett,

I applaud you for keeping your job-search engine running!

The answer to the question “How long should I wait after a job interview before pursuing another job?” is “however long it takes you to get home from the job interview.”

No employer can take you off the market until they make you a job offer and you accept it. Until then you’re a free-range chicken!

I  want you to send out another Pain Letter after every interview. Never put all your job-search eggs in one basket, no matter how promising the opportunity seems. Here’s the process you will follow:

  • Go to the job interview.
  • Come home afterward.
  • Send a Thank You note card to your hiring manager and a separate one to everyone you met on your job interview.
  • Send your hiring manager a thoughtful email follow-up to your handwritten note card.
  • Make yourself a ‘tickler’ calendar item to drip on your hiring manager one week from now if you haven’t heard anything.
  • Research and send out another Pain Letter.

Even if you heard back immediately from one of these employers, you’d still want to have other irons in the fire. Other opportunities are your only leverage in the negotiation process, and they’re good for your mojo, too!

Never get distracted by one promising opportunity and stop creating new ones.

Even after you’re in offer negotiations with one or more employers, keep sending out more Pain Letters until the minute you sign an offer!

Many a promising job offer that  looked like a sure thing has fallen into the abyss. Many job-seekers have seen what looked like a 100% certain job offer disintegrate overnight. If that happens to you, you’ll be glad you never took yourself off the market mentally or emotionally!

I recommend that you ‘drip’ a message on your hiring manager once a week every week after your interview until you get sick of it or until they either tell you “No thanks” or re-start the conversation. Of course, if you’re working with a headhunter, he or she should do that follow-up for you.

We had a client who dripped 15 email messages and the same number of voicemail messages on his hiring manager before he finally got a callback and then a job offer. That means it was 15 weeks after his interview before he got the job. He was interviewing with a lot of other people but he really wanted to work for the manager he ended up with.

Our client, Ernie, had gotten one voicemail message from his manager Matt after the interview. On the voicemail message Matt said “Ernie, great visit and it looks like an incredible fit. Let’s talk very soon.” That was all. Then Ernie couldn’t get ahold of Matt again.

Is it grovelly and sheeplike to leave a guy 15 voicemail messages and 15 email messages? That is a personal decision. Ernie said “I know a lot of guys like Matt. He has a big job in a  growing company and he’s crazed.

“He’s in his own world. He said he’d get back to me in a month but actually three months have gone by. He’s not a bad guy, he’s just got too much going on. That’s why I’m willing to be patient and keep dripping messages on him. I doubt that the other candidates for the job are doing the same thing.”

If Ernie had been scooped up during those 15 weeks then Matt would have lost out, but everything worked out fine. I tell our clients that hiring managers live in Brigadoon, which is a magical village featured in a Broadway show and a movie of the same name, starring my idol Gene Kelly.

You have no force with the hiring manager except your ability to walk away, so there’s no point in berating the person.If you decide to do the same thing Ernie did, make sure that every voicemail message and every email message you send sounds positive and forward-looking.

There’s no sense writing to your hiring manager to say “I don’t what the heck your problem is – why haven’t you gotten back to me?”

Another client of ours, Annika, waited four weeks after her job interview. The company kept telling her “We’re waiting for the budgets to come out.” Annika didn’t have another offer but she called her hiring manager Beth anyway. She said “Beth, I understand that you’re waiting for budgets, but we need to talk or I need to drop out of this process.”

Beth called Annika right back and they talked about what Annika would need in a job offer. When the budgets came out a week later Annika got the offer.

Keep your mojo high, Garrett, and never let your job search engine idle! It’s going to be a lucky manager who gets you on his or her team.

All the best,



By: Liz Ryan

Link: http://www.forbes.com/sites/lizryan/2015/04/27/how-long-should-i-keep-wa...

Image: http://blogs-images.forbes.com/lizryan/files/2015/03/ride-the-waves-SHRM...