does company’s silence mean I didn’t get the job?

A reader writes:

I recently interviewed for a job, and didn’t get it. A few weeks later, though, the person I interviewed with contacted me out of the blue to ask me if I’d like to interview for a similar position, which was unposted. I went to the interview, met with four different people, toured the office–it took a whole afternoon! I sent off my thank-you notes, and one of my interviewers even responded by saying that she thought I should hear something soon. I felt like it was a lock.

Then, nothing. At first I thought, it’s the holidays, people are gone, it’s understandable that I haven’t heard anything. Then, a couple days after New Year’s, the job is posted as being open on their website. I responded by emailing the hiring manager, politely reiterating my interest in the position: nothing.

So, shall I give up? All I want at this point is closure. There’s this small part of me hanging on, thinking, “They’re just posting the job to cover their bases, and I haven’t heard from them because they’re putting an offer together. But I know it’s far more likely that they’ve simply moved on, don’t want me for the position, and won’t get back to me because they’re too busy.

Could you please tell me what you think is going on? If I’m out of the running, that’s fine. I just want to move on with my life!

Well, they certainly wouldn’t be the first employer to never bother to get back to candidates after interviewing them. It’s incredibly rude and inconsiderate, but it does happen all the time.

However, I don’t think we have enough reason to conclude that’s happening here, at least not yet. Hiring often takes longer than candidates think it will. And when you emailed the hiring manager, you didn’t actually ask for an update on timeline; you just reiterated your interest. To get real information, you need to directly ask about their timeline. Say something like this: “I hoped to get an update from you on your timeline for next steps and/or a hiring decision. I understand hiring takes time, of course, but can you give me a sense of when I’m likely to hear back from you?”

Ideally, you’d always ask this question at the end of an interview, so that you’re armed with information rather than sitting around wondering. Plus, then, if the timeline passes without word from them, you have a logical reason to check back in.

The fact that the job was posted after your interview may or may not mean anything. They might have reasonably concluded, “This guy seems good, but we’d be silly not to open up the candidate pool to make sure he really is the best person for the job.”

As a side note, I think you probably did yourself a disservice by feeling “it was a lock” after your interview. It’s never a lock, not until you have an official offer in hand. They may have thought you were a strong candidate but someone else ended up being stronger, or the job description may have changed in some way, or they may have hit any of a number of snags. Don’t assume it’s a lock, no matter how positive things seem.

Anyway, contact them, ask about their timeline, and see what happens. Good luck!

{ 149 comments… read them below }

  1. Anonymous*

    I interviewed for a position in 2009. I still haven’t received a reply. Yes, I was told that I should hear something within a specified period of time, and yes, I did send a thank you that afternoon. I guess it’s safe to say I didn’t get the job.

    1. Anonymous*

      I think they are just taking their time drafting your offer letter. This can sometimes take 2 -3 years.

  2. Kimberlee Stiens*

    But, on the converse to the comment above, I’ve read tons of stories (many of them comments on entries in this blog!) where people get a call months after they’ve given up. It happens!

  3. Jamie*

    I’ve had to do that – we started the search for someone and then for reasons beyond my control it was tabled for quite a while.

    Months later I was asked to contact one of the candidates for a final interview and she had just accepted a position not two weeks prior.

    It isn’t right, and it sucks, but it does happen. That’s why Allison’s advice about following up appropriately but then putting it out of your mind and getting on with your search is so dead on. There can be a million reasons you didn’t hear back, and some of them may have nothing to do with you. No company calls a candidate to tell them they are sorry, but their process is disorganized and they will call when they get their ducks in a row.

    Although, how awesome would it be if some company did just that?

    1. Anonymous Job Seeker*

      I applied for a civilian job with a local police department. I had to take a test, pass a panel interview, interview with the chief of police, go through a polygraph examination, and a background investigation. Everything went well, and feeling confident, especially after my would-be boss showed me my office and even discussed projects for me to do after all the hoops had been jumped through, I resigned my position at a Silicon Valley startup (the civilian job paid a lot more money).

      Nearly a week goes by, and nothing about a start date. I called my would-be boss, and she sounded very embarrassed, and told me to contact the police chief. He sounded equally embarrassed when he told me that the city manager had said no to hiring me because they didn’t have the money. No one had checked to see if they even could afford me. I felt like a Kafka character, like I had been told something was of value, and I was given it, only to find out it was made of pot metal. I still can’t laugh about it except sardonically.

  4. Organized Working Mom*

    I once had to wait well over two months to hear that I got the job. And that was NOTHING compared to my husband who got a job after five (yes five!!) months. They said their original timeframe was “a couple weeks” which was clearly an underestimate!

    1. Dennis*

      Obviously, the hiring team is waiting for a candidate stronger than your husband, but the right guy never shows up, so, they come back to Mr.No2. I have to say, some hiring teams have no timelines, they just waiting, not so eager to hiring someone.

      1. unfair*

        i think that’s unfair to be considered a replacement if they cant find there dream employee. why not hire him him hes suitable instead of dragging it out to see if there might be some one slightly better then them.

  5. C.G.*

    I also recently had a job interview and have not received any response from the company. A rejection letter, or send an email, let me know something – no, we’ve gone with someone else. Even if they haven’t chosen anyone, still send me an update.

  6. Anonymous*

    Like you, nearly two months have passed since I had my second interview, and the employer did not reply within the two weeks they originally promised. Also, I had been in situation where the employer went silent and I received an offer when their top candidate dropped off. By that time I already had two other (better) job offers. Moral of the story, move on and you might be on the way to something bigger and better.

  7. booboo*

    I had two rounds with a company, the second was to meet the president of the division because the first round went really well with the hiring mgr (VP) and his manager, the SVP. The SVP was asking me when I could start, how my commute would be, etc. The VP asked me for my references, never called them, and then never returned my emails or call. And I was pretty sure that I hit it off with the president.

    This is a fortune 100 company and should know not to treat candidates this way as the word gets out. All they had to do was respond over email and say that they went with someone else or cut the job or whatever. Very unprofessional.

  8. JC*

    I went on a interview the beginning of this week, I followed up with a thank you note and called yesterday, only to be told no decision as been made should I assume I didn’t get it or sould I wait

  9. Anonymous Job Seeker*

    Thanks for this. I had a phone interview, was invited to a 3 hour interview, which included meeting the COO and being interviewed by him (he spoke very well of my qualifications), demonstrating what I knew about the job, lunch with the team, and being invited to meet the CEO, who asked me to provide my references to the person who initially contacted me. Nearly 2 weeks and nothing. After stewing about it for most of this week, I found your site, and felt brave enough to send a short email asking the status of my candidacy. At the very least, I feel better having taken some action, and my wife thanks you, as I was behaving like a caged tiger, making her crazy. Regardless of what happens, having sent the email gives me back a little control and some of my sanity.

    1. Ask a Manager* Post author

      Good! And I know it seems long when you’re waiting to hear, but 2 weeks isn’t actually terribly long on the hiring side! Check in every week or two to reiterate your interest, ask for the occasional update on their timeline, and good luck!

      1. Anonymous Job Seeker*

        Thanks. If there is no communication from the potential employer, at what point should I consider that I’m not in the running anymore, and should (finish) moving on?

        I have to comment that the company with which I interviewed is run by people roughly half my age, and it isn’t the first time I’ve interviewed with a company where the staff is much younger than myself. In the past instance, I didn’t receive any kind of communication regarding that I wouldn’t go any farther in the hiring process. I mention the age factor because having been a young person myself (and did silly things), having to contact someone about not being hired, an unpleasant task, I’m sure, and then not doing it, seems akin to hiding an onerous piece of homework or bad report card from parents, and hoping it will never be found or that there won’t be repercussions. Is this a trend, sadly, that’s developing in business, as the workforce is younger and not experienced in some of the “old-fashioned” business courtesies of the past?

        I’m middle-aged, and don’t consider myself typical of some one in that group, but I am aware that there are still somethings that should be done, e.g., send “thank you” notes (now emails) to the interviewers after the interview.

        1. Ask a Manager* Post author

          I don’t think it’s due to the place being run by younger people; this has sadly become typical at companies of all types.

          As for when to move on, move on now. Not because you’re definitely out of the running (maybe you are and maybe you aren’t), but because it does you no good NOT to move on. If at some point they contact you with an offer, you can evaluate it then. Moving on in your head won’t prevent them from eventually coming to you with an offer if that’s in the cards. But it will prevent you from agonizing.

  10. Anonymous Job Seeker*

    I did hear back today. They’re “changing how they look at fraud [my area of expertise] in their system and therefore decided to change what they are looking for in the position at this time”, and the usual stuff, “keep in touch”, “sure we’ll be hiring for similar positions in the future”, etc.

    Hey, at least I got closure, and can move on completely. Thanks.

  11. Anonymous*

    I applied for a job at a hospital about 6 weeks ago. The interview went well,and after the interview the manager asked for my references and even asked me to sign a waiver. I thought I was a potential candidate. To only find out I did not get the offer. What happened?

    1. Ask a Manager* Post author

      You know that none of that is an iron-clad sign that you’re going to get an offer, right? Even “we’re strongly considering making you an offer” doesn’t mean you’re going to get an offer. There are lots of qualified candidates, and usually only one of them gets hired.

      I feel like this needs to become its own post because I hear this a lot.

  12. Anonymous*

    Last week I had an interview with my dream company and I got two different time frames of when I would hear back for second rounds. This past week (Monday) I emailed one of the interviewers to clear up the time frame discrepancy. I was emailed later that day and she told me she had copied the director and that the director could clear it up with me. I believe she may have bcc’d the director because I didn’t actually see her on the email. Now today (Thur) I have yet to hear anything from the director and I also noticed that they closed the job posting this afternoon when I went on their corporate website. Is this a bad sign? Should I follow up with the director myself and if so when?

  13. Anonymous*

    on-site interviews, 3rd phone screen calls (HR, hiring manager, hiring manager and team) and nothing. zero. no response. “you’ll hear from so and so by next week”. yeah. i end my follow up with “am I still being considered xyz – 123?” so that it takes 4 steps to get a response and still nothing:

    1. reply button
    2. keystroke “n”
    3. keystroke “o”
    4. send button

    i don’t care about punctuation or complete sentences in a reply. i would be grateful for two or three letters on the keyboard but too much to ask for.

    rejection in a job hunt is a given. applications to jobs online almost always get zero response. again, a given. spending half a day at the company interviewing then not even a “no”? or being told “we’ll get back to you” after your third or fourth phone interview then nothing? that’s the bad part about job hunting. it’s downright insulting. I know i know, just move on, no harm no foul. if any job applicant is just as inconsiderate and rude as these employers are, will they just shrug it off as no harm no foul? riiiiiight. Fs.

  14. B*

    I interviewed for a position a a boutique consulting firm exactly one month ago today. After the interivew, I thought tht I did an ok job. I was not too excited until they asked me for 2 writing samples. I sent them in, and I got no response. I thought it was rude that no one got back to me.

    Then, out of the blue…a few minutes ago, I got an email stating that they would like to set up a second interview with me over lunch.

    I am a little insulted that they never contacted me after the writing sample. I have had two other interviews this week from other companies.

    What should I do? I hate feeling insulted :(!!!

  15. Sasha*

    About 3 weeks ago I interviewed with 9 individuals (all consultants that are high up in the chain) and the main hiring person did not give me a date by which to hear by. I do remember one of them mentioning that they had several candidates they were interviewing (which made me think on the spot that “okay fine so they’re nicely telling me I wasn’t what they were looking for). At this point, I would really appreciate them just letting me know if I am not in the running so I sent an email reiterating my interest but also asking them to notify me if I did not make the cut. It’s been 4 days and no reply email. Should I assume that I’m cut and that this means in 3 months I’ll receive a rejection letter? Why can’t they just hit reply and say that I’m still on the radar or I’m far off it?

    1. Ask a Manager* Post author

      They should, but they may not. And it’s possible you may even get a job offer from them at some point. But the best thing you can do now is to put it out of your head — stop trying to get a response from them, move on, and let it be a nice surprise if they do contact you.

  16. Inquiring Mind*

    I applied for a job online and was immediately contacted by someone for a brief conversation– a couple of days later, I was contacted for a phone interview with the hiring manager. I was contacted about a week later for an in-person interview. They flew me in for a few days and put me through a series of interviews with people at many levels of the organization. I didn’t interview with HR at all. I ended the day with a series of tours of buildings–tour led by some staff members (not hiring manager)– so I wasn’t able to ask for a timeline. It was a bit unclear when the day started who I would be ending with. I did have dinner with the hiring manager the evening before the interviews, though.

    When I had my interview (not the dinner) with the hiring manager, the CEO stopped in to meet me and the hiring manager was “selling me” saying “this one is special–check out the test scores, etc”

    I know they were interviewing some internal and external applicants. I sent a thank you email to the HR person and a staff member (did the tour) right afterwards. It has been 1.5 weeks and I haven’t heard anything.

    Should I reach out and call to ask my status? In normal terms, 1.5 weeks isn’t very long since I know they have other applicants to interview but since they had moved so quickly before I am beginning to wonder. I would also think they would let me know either way since they went to the trouble of bringing me cross-country.

    Advice? Should I call them? Shouldn’t they let me know either way since they invested so much in my interview process?

      1. Anonymous*

        They didn’t. I didn’t end with HR or the hiring manager so I didn’t ask at the end of the day.

            1. Ask a Manager* Post author

              Same advice that you’ll find in the “job search: follow up” section — applies here too! (I get asked this question so many times that now I just refer people to the existing posts on it.)

  17. Anonymous*

    I applied for a position with a local college. A few weeks later, the manager contacts me telling me about a different position I would be more qualified for. I applied that night and received a phone call the next morning to have a meeting. I met with her last Tuesday, but unfortunately, couldn’t meet with one of her coworkers because he was sick. I think I hit it off very well with the manager. I sent a thank you email that night and received a response the next morning to contact the coworker who was sick. I met with him on Friday and he led me to believe that they would be moving fast and wanted someone to start in March. I sent him a thank you note that night, no response (which I know is usual).

    In the meantime, the manager called two of my references the Thursday in between my two interviews. She called my last reference Tuesday morning of this week. I have not heard from anyone since.

    I know I should continue to wait and will follow-up tomorrow to see if they have an update. I just had my hopes up because of the reference checks. Any advice out of the normal, “wait and see?”

  18. William*

    I work for a company as a contractor. Recently, the company posted for a new position at different department and I applied. After one week I got call in for an interview. During the interview one of the 3 persons that interview me read my resume and tell me that my background not fit much in technical field. After interview they didn’t say when they will contact me or give me a final decision. it’s almost two weeks and I haven’t heard anything from them. Is this mean that they think I’m not a qualify candidate so they not told me anything about the hiring process?

  19. J*

    Hi, I’m a fresh graduate so finding a job is a new quest for me. I’ve been applied in several companies and it’s been roughly 2-3 weeks since then and no “responses” yet. Does it means that my resume went straight to “NO” folder, or should I wait or maybe send a follow up email?


    1. Ask a Manager* Post author

      You should continue applying for other jobs. Their silence might be a rejection, or it just might mean that they’re not ready to begin contacting candidates yet; there’s really no way to know from the outside.

  20. Melissa*

    So this is very similar to the question that the first reader posted but I am really worried. I interviewed for a job at a hospital a little while back and received an actual job offer on 02/13/2012, and it is now 03/06/2012(almost a month!) I already did my drug test and got the results of my background check sent to me in the mail, the person that contacted me did not give me any of her info and the email she sent was a non-reply email so there is no one I can really talk to about finding out how the process is going. Is a month not enough time to wait or should I just move on and find something else?

    1. Ask a Manager* Post author

      A month is a very long time to wait, since you have an actual job offer (which I’m assuming you formally accepted). Call the person who would be your manager. If you don’t know who that is, call HR. Say you want to set your start date.

  21. Nini*

    I had my first interview with hiring manager then I had a second one with quality manger and a third one with HR. It’s been 3 weeks and haven’t heard anything. When I asked to the HR how soon the position will be available, she told me 2 weeks. But the quality manager told me they have others candidates and that they will be conducting interview for a couple weeks. should I call and follow up or should I just give up? Please help. I am so depressed right now

    1. Ask a Manager* Post author

      You can follow up! Do it in an email, not a phone call. Read the “job search: following up” category in my archives for tons on how to do this. (You can find the archive categories in the middle sidebar.)

  22. Will*

    After two weeks I send an follow up email to the hiring manager for asking the update status. It’s been couple day and he has not reply back to my mail. Is this mean that he think I’m not a qualified candidate so he would not bother to contact me.thanks

  23. Clay*

    I had my on-campus interview for the Software Intern position exactly 4 weeks ago. So I followed up with them about a week ago and a day later got an email saying “We have not made a decision yet.” Does anyone have any advice for me? Should I keep following up with them or should I just give up?

  24. Bill W*

    I went for an interview 10 days ago, and I thought it went great. I heard last week through the grapevine they had been calling my ref’s. But today I saw they reposted the job. Just wish I had gotten a heads up I didn’t get it. Not a great way to find out you didn’t get a job.

  25. Anonymous*

    I recently went on 2 interviews & thought they went well. Im guessing I didnt get the job because I had called yesterday for a follow up & she said she would call me back but hasnt yet? I just had my second interview on Tuesday.

  26. Anonymous*

    I recently went on 2 interviews & thought they went well. Im guessing I didnt get the job because I had called yesterday for a follow up & she said she would call me back because she was short staffed & swamped but hasnt yet? I just had my second interview on Tuesday.

  27. Anonymous*

    I went to an interview on the 09/02/2012 have been receiving communication from the HR department but not what i want to hear….they asked my notice period, asked if i have medical aid and so on….last week some time i sent an email direct to the person that interviewed me and within two hours got a call from HR asking if i have accepted any other offers ,i responded saying no and she said she will be in touch with me to make me an offer but till today i havent received anything.
    Should i send another email or wait again, and what does this mean?

    Thank you.

  28. Anonymous*

    I went for an interview 3weeks ago and it was great! I really make a good impression and they were smiling and when they asked me questions i answered them with some good answers and just being me. I sent an email the next day to say thank you and it was a great privilege and then the one interviewee said it was our pleasure and then now its 3 weeks and still no answer so i sent an email to see if the position has been filled or not and that if its not that i still expressed my interest…..I just wanna know if they are considering me or not….what do you think?

  29. Anonymous*

    i went to last month on the 19/03/2012 and on Tuesday 10/03/2012 called HR Manager and she told me they haven’t appointed candidates for the post and she doesn’t know when will they call does this mean they might call or should i forget about the interview and look for other opportunities

  30. Anon*

    I went to an interview, it seemed it go well. Immediately after they emailed and asked me to send through all my academic transcripts………its been two weeks now have not heard from them since. Can I assume I did not get the job:(

  31. Anonymous*

    I’ve been going through the motions with a company now for over a month for a position. Two weeks passed after my first interview before I was called back for a second interview. In my second interview the hiring managers told me I should be hearing from them early next week to schedule the final panel interview. A week passed and I heard nothing so I emailed to follow up. I was told they “are at a crossroads with the candidates and the position” and would be in touch soon. Another week has passed and I have not heard anything. Should I send another follow up email? Or chalk this up to yet another waste of time with rude interviewers who don’t have the decency to inform you when you didn’t get the position?

    1. Ask a Manager* Post author

      This actually hasn’t been that long, in the world of hiring. I’d just sit tight and be patient. If you haven’t heard anything three weeks from the last contact, I’d follow up again then — but give it the full three weeks.

  32. Rhonda*

    My husband has been getting several emails from a Hr…she sent him paper work to fill out,like application and a security screening. He sent all that in and was told she would let him know any updates ….he got a email back,saying you should be hearing from the hiring manager for a phone interview…it’s been a week now,and my husband has not received any phone calls.Does that mean they are not interested any longer,or they found someone else. Does it mean they might be busy or does it take longer to prepare for a phone interview. Hope to hear someone advice thanks Rhonda

  33. Rebecca*

    I applied for a job and was contacted for a phone interview with the hiring manager. After the phone interview I was told I would hear about in person interviews the following week. I was contacted the next Friday, asking if I could make travel/hospitality arrangements to be there for my in person interview that following Monday (yes, 3 days later). I’m a recent college graduate and do not have extra money, but I scrambled and made plans to make the 6 hour drive and got hotel reservations for the night prior. I felt the interview went very well, took over an hour, got a tour of the facility, and also was shown the new office area, met the other 4 members of the team, and was also introduced to the AD of the college. After an hour and a half, I asked when they hoped to make a decision, and I was told they would be in contact within 2-3 weeks. It’s been more than 3 weeks, and I haven’t heard back. I sent an e-mail inquiring about the status of the position, but haven’t received a response. Is it fair to assume I didn’t get the job, or is it possible they’re dragging their feet? Why make a verbal statement saying you’ll be in touch if you don’t plan on contacting a potential employee? This isn’t my first interview, and I’m sure it won’t be my last, but this is the most unprofessional situation I’ve dealt with and I’m not really sure where to go with it.

  34. Truth*

    The bottom line is this. If an employer is interested they will make you an offer. I would not wait around because anything can happen and you may not have been chosen. Keep moving forward.

  35. Nemo*

    I passed an assessment test three wks ago. Next day did an interview and day after that was asked to do a drug test and I passed. I called to ask when will I start and they told me when something becomes available. I was told I would be doing assembly. The company is similiar to Caterpillar. It may takes months to get in I’m assuming but why have me believe I would be getting the position by asking me to do a drug test. I thought that pretty much finalizes employment. What is going on?

  36. Stressed Out*

    I was recommended for a VP job by two very high executives. Within the last 3 weeks, I had a phone interview and in-person interview with the hiring Exe VP, interview with the COO and interview with the President of Marketing. In my interview with the hiring Exe VP she asked my salary requirements and that she wanted to move on this quickly. After my last interview I sent an email to the hiring VP re-confirming my interest. She responded and stated she was going to follow-up with my last two interviewers and that “she was still scoping other candidates, but they wanted to make a decision in two weeks but she would follow-up with me later next week on where they are in the process. The position hasn’t been posted.

    After all the interviews and asking about salary do I have a chance even though they are still “scoping” other candidates? In addition, why would they even tell me that? I know it’s only two weeks, but I don’t handle stress very good :(

    I’m not sure if

  37. Anonymous*

    I had been interviewed for a lead role in a startup company. Since the interviews were by phone and there was one round of interview pending with the director of the organisation and this never happened, I sent him an email (he was the one that offered the chance for the interviews) and the reply was that he got busy and asked for my current remuneration. I replied to this and a couple of days later sent a follow up email (I was being impatient, I admit) just to know the status. He replied telling that they had 2 more interviewees lined up for the week. But he confirmed that I was shortlisted and that he would get back to me in due course. Now I’ve waited one more week after the said week of the interviews. Would it be wise if I send another follow up email.

  38. Anonymous*

    Back in Sept of 2010 I recieved a call for a phone screen for a position that I had applied for. I never heard back from anyone. Then the middle of last month I got a phone call to come in for an interview. I feel it went great! The hiring manager even gave me a print out of my pre-interview testing and said that I was exactly what they are looking for. I then interviewed with her boss a week later, who again told me nothing but good things. A week after that I interviewed with the VP and he told me that he was recommending me for the job and that he was looking forward to working with me. The next step was to be his boss calling me, but I was told that this was just standard proceedure and I should not worry about the interview with him. That was a week ago yesterday and I have never heard from anyone. The original time line was three weeks which is next week. I am afraid to bother them by calling. I am not sure what to do. Should I call and check up on my status, or just wait it out? I don’t understand did I not get the job?

      1. Anonymous*

        They didn’t give me any emails. I usually always follow up. But, in this case I am not sure who to follow up to. Everyone of them said that they were recommending me for the job and that it would take a while. I guess I can call but I have no direct line to my would be boss and everytime prior to trying to set up an interview time was intercepted by the recptionist. I guess I am just dis-heartened by my would-be boss’, boss’, boss telling me that he was looking forward to working with me and that he was recommending me and I would have one more follow up interview and never hearing anything. I don’t understand how I could be perfect to everyone and basically being told I had to the job to not hearing anything.

  39. Anonymous*

    I recently applied to a position and had an interview. The interview seemed to go really well. I interviewed with the person that I would be working for, and she said she liked my answers to her questions, and acknowledged my experience. At the end of the interview she said she always interviews all candidates a second time and that she would definitely call me and “second interviews are next week.” She said she wanted to fill the position by early next month because she and the other staff person would be out of town during parts of the month, and she would need coverage. When I arrived home, I realized that she did not give me a business card with contact information on it, but I found her workplace mailing address and sent a thank you letter to her. It is now Friday afternoon of “next week”, and I haven’t had a phone call or an email from her. My gut tells me that she will not call. I have since applied to two more jobs. I realize it’s only been a week, but I feel like during the normal course of events, a hiring manager would limit the number of interviews on the second round to real candidates, and since I haven’t heard anything during the week of the second interviews my hopes are slipping. It is quickly approaching the end of the month, and she is aware that I need to give my current employer two weeks of notice if I am hired. I will continue on with my job search, but should I still hope for further contact from this employer, and is her lack of follow-up a sign that she might not be the best person to work for?

  40. Anonymous*

    I applied for a position for a comany online. A week later I received a call from someone in the hr department which ended up being a phone interview. I was given two online assessments which I completed the same day. I was told I would be contacted again if they were still interested. Tomorrow will be the one week mark from the phone interview. Should I be concerned? Its been a week, I am going to be a sr in college and this is for an internship so im new to this.

  41. Spacey*

    I went for an interview a week ago, on 17th it went on well, this is the second week, i send a thank you note, but there was no reply, i later send a follow up mail expressing interest for the job , still there was no reply . I have the number for one of the interviewer, when should i call them to know if i still stand a chance

  42. Eric*

    I’m glad I stumbled across this website. Like everyone else, I recently had what I thought was a fantastic interview and now playing the waiting game. It is very hard, the longer you are in the job search the more you get used to it… but it is still gut wrenching, especially after you had a strong one.

    The best advice is to send a quick, polite Thank You email a day or 2 after the interview…. then go back to applying for more jobs. If they want you they will get back to you. I would think the longest timeframe would be a month, surprised to see some cases here where people were called back not only months but years later… crazy… Good luck to all.

  43. Anonymous*

    I had an onsite job interview about 18 days ago. I did reasonably well in the interview. The hiring manager mentioned that people were impressed and we would have offered the position right away, but 1 of the higher executives is not there and you may have to meet him before. He also mentioned that he would be on travel for 2 weeks and that I should email him regarding happenings on my end. After the interview, I followed up by a thank you note. I also sent him an email exactly 2 weeks after my interview, to ask for the decision. I also mentioned about the meeting with higher exec(I am interested etc). However, I have not received any response for any email I have sent. I am in a lot of confusion as to did he really mean what he said after the interview. Also, I expect a 1-2 line reply to an email is not a big deal. So why is it that they are not responding? Any suggestions?

  44. Anonymous*

    I had an interview on 5/27/12 with 3 members of the management team and the person who set up the interview. I felt it went well. They were interviewing about 5-6 others for the position and the interviews were 1/2 hour long. They advised the next step of the hiring process was to complete an Application, and they would advise by end of the week or early the following week on who that next step.

    As I always do, later in the day I sent my “thank you e-mail” to the person who set up the e-mail. This job I really would like a chance at.

    The person in the company that setup the interview must be a “night owl” because around 12:30 am EST on 5/31 I received a e-mail to “thanking me for attending the interview, and as a next step in the process” to please complete the attached “application for employment” “release waiver (for background check/drug testing/and if hired potential direct deposit)”, and further “Interview Questions” I needed to answer.

    All of these were asked to be returned by Friday 6/1 no later than 1pm to “keep the process moving”.

    I completed all the forms that day 5/31 scanned and e-mailed back. It is now 6/5, and I haven’t heard a word.

    At what point is it OK to contact with followup as to status? Or, do I simply move on and continue looking for work?


    1. Anonymous*

      Thanks for the quick reply :) Actually last night after 10pm I received an e-mail from the company contact with an offer letter and a non-compete to sign! The offer letter requires no signature just states the basics salary, benefits, etc.

      The Rate of pay is than my last position and not even competitive with the job description/other salary ranges for job title and my work experience. So, I am going to have to attempt some “negotiating” on the rate of pay. They are asking me to make a decision by 6/7/12. I am calling their HR Director this morning as that is who I have to let know my decision vs. dealing directly with the company contact. (The HR Director is the person wrote the job offer).

      I am hoping that my attempt on a “counter on the offer” doesn’t make them rescind the job offer. I have been trying very hard to find a job that I really would really “like” for a long time. :) But, I also need to be able to survive & pay bills etc.

      Ps. Your site is very helpful!

  45. Anonymous*

    I recently applied for job. Got an on-site interview with all the managers. Also got call a call from the hiring manager (May 28) that my background check has cleared and he hoped to get everything wrapped up the following week. I followed up with him a week later only to hear they have not made any decision yet and that they had other candidates for the same position. I am having a bad feeling about this. Does it mean I did not get the job ?

      1. Anonymous*

        Thanks for the reply. I called the contact again yesterday. He told me he’s yet to meet with the managers at that facility. Could this be stalling or things are just moving at a snail’s pace ?

  46. Anonymous*

    I got offered a job and filled out all the paper work and did the background check and drug screening on June 1st and I was told they would contact me. I got a start date and a letter from them stating I got offered the job and it says when I start but I haven’t heard anything on what time orientation will be or anything like that. They had a big expo for their hiring so maybe they are just busy with everyones paperwork?

  47. Anonymous*

    The first interview was in early April, via telephone. The second was via phone conference, also in April. I was extended an in-person, morning-long interview with three different departments. I handled it incredibly well. As a matter of fact, the interview actually turned into a conversation between myself and a lady who heads up one of the departments (my skills matched their needs so well). That was mid-May. I did follow up with a “thank you” email to the department head who would be my boss. I also connected on LinkedIn with the lady who I clicked so well with. So, weeks go by, and nothing!! I called the HR department late last month inquiring about an update on when a decision about the job would be made. I left a message and got a call back the same day. I was told June 8 and that they were still “very interested” in me, though they had another interview to conduct (whether that’s true or not, I don’t know). June 8 comes and goes, while I’m on vacation (this consumed my mind during Friday, June 8 as I thought I would get a call back) and nothing!! I placed a follow-up call on Monday, but it was never returned. Now I’m getting that silent treatment that is so typical of today’s job market (wouldn’t be nice if one freaking politician called out some of these companies for doing this!!??!!).

    What’s even more frustrating is that this is a reputable government job. I feel as if a pension and a sound retirement are at stake for me as the private sector doesn’t offer much to your typical, professional employee anymore.

    I am going to start up my job search again immediately and put this place out of my mind. However, I have been job searching for 9-10 months now, and I am planning to relocate to the city I want to live in by September. I’d hate to quit a job for no job, but my happiness is at stake (it’s a personal move). I’m mid-career and extremely frustrated and feeling betrayed by my career choice as a result of this long wait. Making matters even worse is that people who live in the community that I live in are finding jobs without a problem. The city I want to move in is almost 4-times the size of where I’m at! It makes no sense.

  48. M. T.*

    I am elated a happened upon your article. It has truly been therapeutic. I interviewed for a position and sadly was not selected. I prepared for days for this position. I researched, composed a PowerPoint presentation, and a tabbed folder containing a plan of action for the school term for each interviewer. I was passionate about making a difference in their school. I was sobbing when I found out it was not ment to be.

    Please help me to understand why I was not selected.

    1. Anonymous*

      I read your post M.T. and I understand how you would feel. I have also read Alison’s article about this.Her article helps. Yes, it is so hard to handle when you plan, prepare and give it all you have and are disappointed. I have one situation kinda similar. I knew on paper I had everything down right. I am married to someone in management and they checked over everything for me. They helped me edit and I was so sure. It is kinda embarrassing when they do everything right and have this wonderful career and I can’t seem to get my foot in places. Don’t give up. Keep working, we haven’t failed yet.

      1. M. T.*

        Thanks. For your response. I found out from a very reliable source, that the position had been promised to someone inside the company. They gave the position to them. In addition, they mysteriously lost one copy of the proposal I shared during the interview.

  49. Juluet*

    Last Monday I was offered a job verbally and I was instructed to go on with a leaving notice, I was told that all documents will be posted on Tuesday. I made a mistake and give a leaving notice, I waited to hear form my manager to be but there was silence and I gave up on waiting and call them today. I could since that the lady at the other end was worrying while she was talking to me, she told me that she was trying to get back to me but she couldn’t ( which is poor lies) because no one rang me and even if she did I have hold on function which makes my phone always available even if I’m engage in conversation. Anyway, she told me quickly that I’m not starting my work on the 2 of July and if I have given already leaving notice I can cancel or “extend” because I wont start job till August or September! She told me that if I don’t get my job back that I can have a “great opportunity” to registered with nursing agency and they will be hiring me from there until I start my job officially. I asked her by the way she was talking that it sounds that I don’t have the job anymore and I’m at risk as well of loosing my own, then she started telling me that my job is still there but unfortunately in the meeting they choice to pick other 8-9 candidates but not me at the mean time…. She asked me to contact her on the outcome whether if I still have my current job. I just smiled hang up the phone and contacted my current manager regarding this matter. I thanking God that my manager is very understanding, I explained to her what is happening and she let me have my job back. How can I trust after all this company again? And they are big well known health providers? They left me nearly without my job plus embarrassed and frustrated. I hope the will get their revenge some day by the way they threat people. As for me, even if they going to invite me again I’ll never ever going to work with them, even if they are going to be the only one company in the whole city.

    1. Ask a Manager* Post author

      It’s not foolproof, unfortunately, but one thing you can do is to never, ever give notice until you have an offer in writing, no matter what the employer says.

  50. Juluet*

    Thank you! Now I know that I should never ever a give leaving notice before getting an official document.
    There only one thing can’t get to my head is that why are HR managers are playing with peoples life’s like this? They don’t think that it’s someone life? Future? I could have been left without job and I have small kids, I know it’s not their problem but they should have think of it before taking any actions, especially offering the job, instructing to go on with leaving notice and then throwing at the very last minute! They don’t realise how it hurts? How it brings people’s well being down? I have been very upset all day, and what makes me worst that there is nothing I can do about it, I can’t even take this matter to court for breech contract. If they found that they don’t need me anymore is that a big thing to just give a call or even leave message that they don’t need me anymore? Why silence? Unsaid words? WHY???

    I believe there is a God above all, and even though I can’t bring any justice against those people who hurt people feelings like this, but I believe He can, and when He starts bringing His justice it will be the right one.

  51. Juluet*

    I’ve lost my job today because general manager already filled my position with someone… I had been working for the company 5 years! I’ve been in tears all day, what can I do now? Can I bring this Hospital to court? because of them I’ve lost my job!! You can read my story above.

  52. M. T.*

    I found out from a very reliable source, that the position had been promised to someone inside the company. They gave the position to them. In addition, they mysteriously lost one copy of the proposal I shared during the interview.

    Is this common? I feel as though I prepped a proposal and plan of action for a school term for someone else to take advantage of. Should I not have given out copies? I thought this would allow them to see my preparation and keep me in their minds.

  53. Katie*


    So three weeks ago I interviewed with the VP of Operations, Director of sales and training and another marketing coordinator. They all loved me and said how excited they were about me coming to the company. The VP told me how perfect I was and that they were going to start the hiring process. So HR sent me all my documents for Background and Drug test which I completed. I am 2.7 years sober and unfortunately have 2 DUI’s on my record, one of which is 7 years old. I put “DUI” on my application knowing they were running a background check and if the second showed up I would explain more in detail. So it has been a week since HR called to question my DUI and restricted license and said that she was going to talk to her supervisor and get back to me. Later on that same day I spoke with the VP who hired me and she gave me a verbal offer and said HR would send the paperwork after they approve my background. Then she went on saying, “we are all vey excited you are coming inboard and we want to reassure you of that.” So being another week of torture, I still haven’t received my approval and written offer. My questions are: Do they have to let me know if I am disqualified for the position? Do you feel that the VP Reassured me because she new thu were having difficulty with my background? If there a chance they are just trying to get it approved still? Any suggestion please! This is a life changed for me and being sober for almost three years and changin my life it is so hard to have something like this happen when you are so close. Thank you very much!

  54. seeking a job*

    I am not sure whether my experience fits in, so feel free to direct me to another section of the website. I was wondering what do you do in the case of sending open applications. I sent one a while ago, and since I could not find an email of an hr person on the website (yes, i looked everywhere, its an online magazine so only press email there) i sent a letter of interest along with my CV to the person I would interested in working for (same department). Unfortunately days have passed by but no response. Any advice?

    1. Ask a Manager* Post author

      You can try following up to verify receipt, but lots of places don’t respond to candidates unless they’re interested in interviewing them (especially if the application wasn’t in response to a particular ad), so after one follow-up, I’d move on.

  55. Anonymous*

    Ok so weird situation here… I’m typically what most consider a job hopper I often for one reason or another find something to motivate me to usually look elsewhere when it comes to employment. I worked for four years at my last job which I abruptly quit rather impulsively and with the passing of time I learned to regret it due to the decent money I was making and I really never lasted that long anywhere else, so I heard through the grapevine that they were hiring and actively interviewing. After much thought I swallowed my pride and called and spoke to the main boss guy. We spoke for a good half hr I admitted my fault and openly said I wanted to go back I laid all my cards on the table and he listened and gave me hope since he himself said he remembers what a good worker I am but that I am a bit emotional and have a tendancy to take things personal, he said he’d look at the upcoming schedules and speak with the other managers and this was last week. He said he’d get back to me either Monday or Tuesday. I was ecstatic and not so sure now since I haven’t heard jack! I couldn’t apologize enough and my old boss seemed open and understanding… Now the suspense is killing me! What is going on? I don’t and will NOT contact again because silence is obvious rejection, I’m just confused at this point, I wait by my phone as if waiting for the love of my life to call. I know I’m rambling but my mind goes back and forth thinking positive then negative. Please some advice!!!! :(

    1. Anonymous*

      I hope Alison answers this question for you. I would not have the first idea what to tell you. I wish you the best of luck.

    2. Ask a Manager* Post author

      He said Monday or Tuesday and it’s still Tuesday. If you don’t hear from him by Thursday, follow up once to reiterate your interest and ask when he thinks he’ll have a decision.

      Also, punctuation! Your message is hard to read because of how little you used :)

  56. Anonymous*

    I am now applying to a company then they’ve said that they’ll contact me after 2 weeks then that week came, So i’ve emailed them for follow up, then they replied “we’re in the middle of screening”. what should i reply? thank you.

    1. Ask a Manager* Post author

      Just say thanks and that you’re looking forward to hearing from them. Also, check the “job searching: follow up” category in the archives, which has a lot on this.

  57. Anonymous*

    I had a phone interview 3 weeks ago, and I thought it well. They told me what the health benefits were and how much vacation I would get. They then asked for 2 references over the phone, which I thought was strange since it was just the phone interview. They said they would email me the next week to give me a date to come in for the interview. A week went by and I didn’t get and email, so I emailed them. Still no response, so I then called and left a voicemail message and also another email. I haven’t heard from them and they didn’t even call my references which they said they wanted to do. I’m not sure what to do.

    1. Ask a Manager* Post author

      You’ve done all the follow-up you can do and it’s in their court. Unfortunately, companies do often do this. At this point, I’d move on.

  58. Anonymous*

    I had a hirevue interview about 9 weeks ago, this was followed by a phone interview about 6 weeks ago, then i was awarded a site interview where i meet the staff i would be working with and the work area about 3 weeks ago. After the site visit the company had even arranged for me to meet with a realtor who gave me a tour of the surrounduing areas and its housing prospects.

    Everything seemed so organized and i felt things where going smoothly. After the site interview i was informed in 2 weeks i could follow up on the interview process status. I did, but however I ‘ve gotten no replies. Is it still too early, or is it possible some other candidate tipped me for the job? Things were moving at smooth pace so I am a little concerned about not hearing anything for a week.

      1. Anonymous*

        thanks for the reply, I’ve read similar situations of people who posted earlier above but they haven’t given an update on the job status after couple of more weeks of waiting. I’ll try to remember to update if anything happens.

  59. Anonymous*

    I applied for the same job with two travel companies (Thomson and Thomas Cook) Thomas Cook were polite and sent me a rejection letter, but Thomson after a long interview and the reassurance I would hear from them within a week have not contacted me at all. It’s been 3 weeks and I’m a little bit annoyed. Should I contact them?

  60. Anonymous*

    I applied for a job online and was shortlisted for a phone interview. I sent the panel a thank you email a day after the interview and asked them for their timeline that would take more than 2 weeks. A week after the interview, the hiring company checked my background from my previous supervisors. I haven’t heard from them since the last time ( a week) I asked them on the status of my application. The correspondent, however, mentioned in my last email that the supervisor will be in touch with me soon. Does that indicate something “positive”? Should I ask them again for any update or should I wait? Thanks.

  61. Natasha*

    I need your advice, I have given this interview 3 weeks back which lasted for 45 mins, after interview same day I was asked to fill n send the background check forms, then 3 days later I got call from HR who told me my interview was good n she wanted to discuss some duties and responsibilities as hiring manager wanted to make sure that I should be aware of this n should not have any problem in performing these later, now its 3 weeks completed n I didnt got any mail/call from HR, also wen i inquired 1 week back, she did reply n said, she wil check with the hiring managers as what decision they have taken n get back as soon as she has any update….I can also see that job posting has been taken out from the job site…m very worried n tensed now, as this was my dream job…what do you think, still there is some hope left ? do you see any thing positive in this or should I accept the fact that I didnt got the job…pls help

    Thanks in advance.

  62. Natasha*

    I had a interview on 18th july, which lasted for 45 mins, and same day after interview I was asked to fill n send the background check forms, 3 days later I got call from HR who told me my interview was good n managers are waiting for some approvals she also discussed some duties and responsibilities with me.
    then for a week I didnt got any mail/call from HR, so I inquired by sending email, she did reply n said, she wil check with the hiring managers as what decision they have taken n get back as soon as she has any update….
    since her last mail I haven’t got any update,m still waiting n this wait is killing me…I can also see that job posting has been removed from the job site…m very worried as this was my dream job…

  63. Anonymous*

    I was interviewed by the hiring manager on July 16. It went well and at the end of the interview, he told me that the next interview would be with Human Resources.

    Human Resources called me on July 23 and asked me to come for an interview on July 25. They also sent me background check forms to complete and bring along to the interview.

    The interview went well and I was told that they would get back to me by the end of the week or early next week.

    When I didn’t hear back, I emailed the hiring manager on August 1 to inquire about the status of the decision. He responded with ” we are still in the process of making a decision, we hope to make one soon”.

    At this point, I am not very optimistic and have started applying for other jobs. However, I really want the job. Is it possible that I may still be offered the job in future?


      1. Anonymous*

        Thank you. I am just surprised that they asked me to complete background check forms and provide copies of my certificates. Human Resources even went as far as confirming that I had told my references to expect phone calls…

  64. Lena*

    I have a job, and recently went through a “process” with another company. I took the ridiculous online assessment test (no job related questions, all personality stuff and puzzles for 1.5 hours), filled out the paper application and background check form, had two interviews with three people and then, not only did they not get back to me in their own stated timeline they actually did not respond to my e-mail. The interviews seemed to go very well, but as we know those can be tricky.

    I work in a field where jobs are NOT scarce, one of the few left in this economy. I also have a strong resume. I already have a job and did not feel like dealing with the nonsense for a marginally better job. I sent HR a note with my thoughts on the process and when they sent me a snarly reply, let them know I was no longer interested. It felt good, and I did manage to keep everything professional in tone.

    I think before I go poking around again for another position, I will be more clear of my own objectives and I will try to learn more about the cultures of the companies I apply to before I invest much time and energy.

  65. bertha*

    i applied for a job two months ago.they call me for a part-time position with them the next day. they wanted me to come and take the assessment . I did.and i pass also had a interview. they just open. they only had part-time position available that can lead to full-time. i haven’t heard from them it been two months. they didn’t say when they would call. do you think they would ever call?

  66. gabe*

    i want to know if i should move on regarding a job application i sent to a certain company.. you see, i sent an application about a month ago and haven’t heard back since.. on the 3rd week of my application, i emailed the HR manager to ask about their timeline and when they would be calling for interviews, i also reiterated my interest in the position, the hr manager said they appreciated the fact that i contacted them & they’ll get back to me once they’ve reviewed my application.. but since then, they haven’t sent any emails & they haven’t called me yet.. this coming thursday would be the 5th week since i sent in my application.. does their silence mean i didn’t get the job? should i move on or should i wait a few more days or weeks? since one of my friends said that she got a call from a company after 2 months.. so i was thinking that maybe it would just take a few more weeks before i get a call.. but this is really bothering me and i want to get closure as soon as possible, especially if another company i’ve applied to wants me to start asap..

    thank u

  67. Z*

    I had an interview on February 12 where the manager said he would finalize a decision that week. On Feb 14th I received an email from the HR Recruiter saying she wanted to touch base with me and let me know they are still “closely reviewing candidates for the position and are hoping to have everything finalized next week-Friday Feb 22”. Friday, Feb 22 I received another email saying she just wanted to touch base again and let me know the final decision (in the final stages of evaluating the candidate pool) would be made Monday, Feb 25th when she “will be in touch with you over the phone”. Should I get my hopes up? Do employers normally call to reject you?

    1. Mml*

      Z, I interviewed two weeks ago as of tomorrow Feb 26th and the job is slated to begin March 11th which would be two weeks from today. I called a week ago to find out how I would be notified if I didn’t get the position and was told via email. I haven’t heard anything one way or another and I’m pretty disappointed as of now, 3:16PM Feb 25th. The interviewer even spoke about hiring in time for the candidate to be able to give a full 2 weeks notice and I reiterate, that would have to happen today. Really wanted this job so much but I will just have to get past it and start over again.

  68. christy*

    So I went to hooters to turn in my app to the manager. One of the hooters girl was super friendly asking me a few questionsand right away we hit it off. She then gave me an app to fill out and said oh he will definitely hire you! As long as you smile and have a good personality then you will get hired. The manger finally came out and took my app then explained how he hires a couple girls a month and is always hiring but then said give it a couple weeks and if I don’t hear back to come stop in again to follow up. Do I have a chance of becoming a hooters girl. What do I do?

  69. Ruth*

    After I got interviewed, I have received an update email saying this:
    “…we are currently holding off on making offers until we can further define our personnel needs for two new projects. We should complete this process within a week and be able to update you furthere at that time.”
    Is this a rejection letter?

      1. Ruth*

        Thank you for your quick insight … I really appreciate it. Up untill this time no employer sent me an update regarding my application. I always either got a clear rejection letter or no response at all; however , this time the waiting is killing me.

  70. Elizabeth*

    A few weeks ago, the HR department of a smaller sized company called me back for a position. I had a phone interview with the hiring manager, after rescheduling 3 different times throughout the week. After the phone interview, we scheduled a face to face interview the following Monday with the remaining management team. The Friday before they called saying they had to reschedule again and they were to get back to me first thing Monday. It’s been over a week now and still no response after I sent a polite follow up email stating my eagerness and referencing how to move forward with the interviewing process. Am I being too eager or is their way of slowly turning me down? They said they had a fast timeline so this is surely throwing me for a loop. Your insight would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!


    I interviewed for a job at a Firm a little while back and received an actual job offer. The lady who interviewed me discussed my compensation package, but did not give me a start date. It’s been two weeks already. I emailed the interviewer and have not received a response. Is it safe to say that they found better candidate after they offered me the position?

  72. Piw*

    I interviewed for job in first week of april 13 and after two the hr replied to my email regarding my status. It been five weeks now and no word. below is hr’s reply. please help

    Thank you for your email in regards to the engineering role you had interviewed for, we appreciate your eagerness. Currently we are still interviewing possible candidates, and assessing the work load for that role here at Operation. Any updates on your resume status for this particular position can be viewed online at under your application profile. If we need to update you we will be sure to reach out to you.

  73. Kerry*

    One month ago I had an interview at a hospital for an LPN position at a walk in clinic, I have many years of experience and good references, the interviewer said they needed to check references.
    I waited a week and sent a thank you card offering to bring in any further information if they required it. Last week (week #3) HR called and left me a message saying they received my references but as it was a holiday week end (memorial day) the signatures they required on the final paperwork could not be obtained. It is now another week with no word and this Sunday it will be a month since my interview, I called the number that the HR person left me and had to leave a message, she never called me back. What am I to think at this point? Thank you.

  74. Coby*

    I had an interview with the hiring manager on the 31st of last month (it was a Friday). It was a cordial conversation and she mentioned the HR person who set it up would follow-up with next steps. Last Thursday I sent a ‘check-in’ note to see if he had heard back and this morning he replied saying the hiring manager is on vacation for a few weeks so he’ll follow-up as soon as he hears anything.
    Is it normal for hiring managers to waltz off on vacation during a hiring process? Or is this a new round’about way of saying… better luck next time, mellow down for a few weeks and we’ll forget about you too.

  75. Anonymous Job seeker*


    I had an in person interview on the 3rd of October which went well. The Hiring Manager contacted me a week later to come in for an interview with the CEO and the Director of the company. This was on the 18th and I was told that as they are interviewing more candidates I should hear back from them by the 26th. It is the 29th and no word from them. So I waited a week and 2 more days and sent them an email, no reply. What do I do now?

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