can I ask a company to speed up their hiring process?

A reader writes:

I am interviewing with several companies, two of which I really like. Company A, I interviewed twice already, and they’ve been very responsive to my emails and thank-you notes. They also reached out to me without me emailing them first and told me there’s been a delay in hiring but they will update me soon. They have reposted the job again but continue to keep in contact with me, so I am unsure what is going on.

Company B, I interviewed for recently and it went well, and both the internal recruiter and the hiring manager replied to my thank-you notes. However, Company B’s timeline is four to six weeks, with a second interview in two weeks. I cannot wait this long and I will continue to apply for other jobs because I will be unemployed soon due to my contract at my current job ending. Both companies know my contract is ending very soon.

Is there a way to ask both companies to somehow speed up the process and make a decision without me ruining my chances?

Not really.

If you had an offer from Company A or B, at that point you could reach out to the other company and say something like, “I want to let you know that I have another offer that I need to respond to by Friday. I’m really interested in working with you though, so I wanted to check and see if you might be able to have a decision by then.” If they’re really interested in you, they might be willing to expedite things. That’s not guaranteed; even if they’re interested in hiring you, they might not be interested enough to short-circuit their process with other candidates, or they might have internal hiring processes they’re bound by. But it’s a reasonable thing to ask, and it’s definitely a thing that happens.

But without another offer that’s about to take you off the market, you can’t really ask them to speed up their process. That’s basically just saying, “I need a job soon, can you hurry up?” and that’s not really a thing that’s ever done or that would be compelling to them.

When a company is willing to expedite its process, it’s because the candidate is about to become unavailable to them if they don’t (because they’re on the verge of accepting another offer). They’re acting in their own interests to hire their top choice; they’re making the calculation that it’s worth it to them to forego other interviews, or bother the decision-maker on vacation, or juggle whatever they need to juggle to make a faster decision. You’d be asking them to speed things up because it would be in your interests, and it just doesn’t work that way.

You might read this and think, “Well, if I can use another offer to get them to move faster, couldn’t I just say I have another offer even if I don’t?” But it’s a bad idea. Aside from the issue with lying itself, you risk hearing, “We can’t meet that deadline so you should take the other job and best of luck with it” and then being removed from the running. (In theory you could come back later and say you decided not to take the other job so would like to remain a candidate, but then you look like you were probably bluffing and that’s a big strike against you.)

Unfortunately, employers move at the speed they move at. It might be because they’re slow and indecisive, but there can also be good reason for it, like questions about the role that need to be ironed out before they hire, or a pending potential reorg of the team, or a last-minute internal candidate, or all sorts of things. The best thing you can do is exactly what you’d do if these jobs rejected you or didn’t exist at all: keep applying to other places. If they come back to you with an offer, great. If they don’t, you won’t have slowed down on their account.

{ 86 comments… read them below }

  1. Miel*

    Oof, this is tough!

    If you need some income once your contract ends, maybe you could find a short-term gig, like a temp agency or retail.

    Good luck!

  2. Keeley Jones, The Independent Woman*

    As someone actively job searching right now, even in a job seekers market, the process is still quite slow. I get plenty of interview requests but the next steps, or even just coordinating schedules to set up an interview time is taking weeks. I interviewed for a few and it was 3-4 weeks before the next interview. It’s just how it is. Just keep moving forward until you have an offer, that’s all you can do.

    1. Anonymous Koala*

      The problem with the current market is also that there aren’t enough people on the other side of the table to expedite hiring. HR departments are stretched thin just like everyone else.

      1. De Minimis*

        That’s the situation at my employer. We are severely short staffed, but that means all the processes are slowed way down since each person is having to do the work of multiple people.

        1. Putting the "pro" in "procrastinate"*

          Mine too. All our internal recruiters are swamped, but from what I hear we are even having trouble hiring more recruiters!

      2. The Original K.*

        Yep – we’ve been talking about this where I work. We are short-staffed and needed more people to begin with so we’re screwed. HR is short-staffed too so filling roles takes longer, so we’re going to be screwed for a while.

      3. TrainerGirl*

        This is the situation I’m currently in. I’ve gotten an offer for a position, and the folks in the group I will be joining have been trying to rush the process, but I don’t think it’s going to go any faster because I’m not the only person being hired. I’m not sure why they don’t understand this.

    2. Rayray*

      I agree. I had a job I applied to in early March. I got an email to take an assessment and personality test in April. Then it was another couple weeks till I was invited to schedule a phone screen with talent acquisition, which those appointments were another week or two out. I was told I’d hear back whether they wanted to move forward or not. After 10 days I emailed to withdraw my candidacy. Way too long. This is a company that is also having a mass resignation due to being acquired by a larger company and people not liking the changes.

    3. June*

      If OP is unwilling to wait two weeks I see finding employment will not be easy. Give it time.

  3. Kristen*

    I recently had a real-life “other offer” and the second company – where I had interviewed TEN TIMES over the course of FOUR MONTHS – dropped me from the running. This was after being told I was a top candidate. The recruiter asked me to keep them updated on any other offers, so they could expedite if necessary. So, tread carefully.

    1. Kristen*

      And they didn’t even tell me I was dropped. They just… stopped contacting me. Never heard from them again.

      1. WantonSeedStitch*

        Oof. I’ve had someone contact me to say “hey, I’ve had another offer, and I need to let them know by [date], will you have a decision before then?” And I did have to say “yeah, no, we can’t do that.” But at least I actually said it.

      2. The OTHER Other*

        …and companies wonder why employees are not showing up for interviews, or responding to offers, or accepting offers but not showing up? Now, I think all of these are rude and unprofessional, but it’s rich to see stories about this in the news (including a recent 60 Minutes piece) now that shoe is finally on the other foot after just being accepted as “that’s just how it is” when employers acted poorly.

        OP, I hope you find something good soon, from an employer who’s able to act quickly. In this market companies that take months to hire when others take days are going to be at a real disadvantage.

      3. The_artist_formerly_known_as_Anon-2*

        If they put you through all that, they must be doozies to work for.

        If they took four months and the interview cycle hadn’t completed, something’s really stinking in there. If they’re indecisive about a hire, that’s going to carry on in other things that they do.

        You not only dodged a bullet but you’ve experienced a bad experience – you now know more about red flags and things to look out for.

    2. Pay No Attention To The Man Behind The Curtain*

      If they couldn’t make up their mind in hiring after 10 interviews, you dodged a bullet.

      1. Kristen*

        That’s what I’m telling myself. It was a tech company that everyone loves, so I guess maybe they think they can get away with that. And maybe they can. But it’s no way to treat people.

        1. Elenna*

          Kinda off-topic but now I’m really curious if it was the same big tech company my sister works for! She never went through their regular interview process because she first worked for them as a co-op student (basically a paid internship), and our university did all co-op interviews through their website, with strict time limits for when the one interview could be scheduled for and when companies had to make up their minds. And then they liked her enough after that that she got a full-time offer without going through the regular application process.

    3. cubone*

      out of curiosity: how much overlap was there in the 10? was it more or less the same thing, 10 times, with 10 different sets of people? I just can’t even imagine how you as an employer can end up scheduling 10 meetings and not thinking “is this really necessary”………..

        1. whingedrinking*

          The only thing I can think of is that all the potential future coworkers of a new hire are insisting that they should get a say in the hiring process. Because otherwise pretty much all the useful information I can imagine extracting from a candidate would be in hand within five interviews.

      1. Kristen*

        It was 10 single, hour-long interviews with individuals over the course of three months. Then a final in-person interview with four separate people, back-to-back.

    4. Waterbird*

      My company does this to candidates all the time. A few months ago, one of my colleagues was about to make an offer to someone when the candidate reached out and mentioned they had an offer from another company, asking if the team at my company would have a decision within the coming days. Even though she had been the final choice, the team was so baffled that anyone could possibly want to work for any other company that they dropped her from the running and ended up reposting the job.

      Not sure if this is a common mindset for Fortune 50 companies, but it’s pretty prevalent here. Also one of the reasons I’m currently job searching.

      1. MMM*

        That seems so ridiculous! The people at that company must be drinking the Kool-Aid hard. People will continue to interview since people need to pay the bills and afford food to eat!

      2. The New Wanderer*

        That’s just a bizarre attitude. A) the candidate was asking because clearly they wanted to work at the company or they’d have just accepted the other offer, and B) does the team really expect that people on the job market are just holding their breath on this one company and not pursuing other options?

        1. Waterbird*

          Yup! When I was new, someone was in the process of being onboarded shortly after me, and I made the mistake of asking if she’d accepted the offer. The hiring manager was truly horrified that I’d even insinuated that someone wouldn’t accept an offer here. Can’t make this stuff up.

      3. MCMonkeyBean*

        Wow! I think that may be one of the most ridiculous decisions I’ve seen on this website which is saying quite a lot.

  4. Emily*

    I think in this job market, you can say, “I’m really interested in this job, and my current position is ending very soon. If there’s anything we can do to speed up this process, I’d appreciate that, and I can make myself available whenever would be convenient for you as far as interviewing.” They might say “no”, but they’re probably not going to hold it against you. It’s true that employers have their own timeline, but if it’s a situation where they’ve been having trouble getting the candidates they want – and this seems to be happening a lot with employers- then they might be willing to adjust something on their end.

    1. PB Bunny Watson*

      But even then there isn’t much incentive for them to move more quickly. Since it’s not a situation where they risk losing the OP, I wouldn’t try to push it. It’s too often that it comes across as pushy or demanding and nixes the candidate. I’ve seen those situations first hand, and it rarely ends well for the candidate–even if they have another offer as leverage.

    2. Tina Belcher's Less Cool Sister*

      I don’t know, to me as a hiring manager this would read professionally immature and not understanding of the realties of the work world. Not enough to knock someone out of contention, but enough to make me think more carefully about any other instances where the candidate seemed less than exceptional.

      I just don’t think the risk is worth the reward – after all, LW has absolutely no leverage to get the company to move forward and indeed would just be announcing that she has no other options at the moment.

      1. Public Sector Manager*

        I agree! Plus, the second a candidate tells a prospective private sector employer their current job is running out, the prospective employer can use that as leverage to offer the candidate less than market rates.

    3. AnotherLibrarian*

      Hmmm… I wouldn’t risk this. It has too high of a chance to backfire and it suggests that your timeline is more important then their time, which it is to you, but likely isn’t to them. It feels prettyy naïve, at best. My response to this would probably be something like, “Well, it sucks to be you.” (Though I’d never say that to a candidate.)

  5. Pay No Attention To The Man Behind The Curtain*

    Alison’s last point is so important; keep interviewing at other places! You seem locked into either A or B and waiting for their response, but really, don’t stop the search until your first day at your new job. Company A could be reposting the position because they don’t feel they got a diverse enough candidate pool, or something about the job/company changed and now they really need X experience or ABC skills that weren’t important before. I’m not sure if the new positions would also be contract, but if you take job C and then get the offer of a lifetime from A or B, you CAN change your mind and accept the offer then.

    1. GammaGirl1908*

      This is critical for a few reasons. Candidates really need to remember that one reason interviewing takes time is that there are several candidates, **each of whom could work out just fine in the job.** The company is choosing among people with probably pretty similar resumes, even if each person has different strengths … and those people all need jobs, so one person’s desperation to find a job isn’t that distinct from any other candidate’s.

      Having one candidate, even their front-runner, get antsy and start trying to nudge the process means that they can drop that person and decide among the rest. That isn’t malicious or cruel on the company’s part, and they aren’t trying to punish that person; they are just saying that out timeline is what it is, and if our timeline is a dealbreaker for you, then we can close things out right here. Nudging the process does not mean it will nudge in the direction you want it to go, because it’s easier to tell one person no when they demand a decision than it is to drop everyone else. The person demanding the decision needs to be waaaaaay out in front for their antsiness to overrule giving everyone else equal consideration (and even then it’s not a given). Most of the time they’re not waaaaaay out in front; they’re in a pile with four others who would be about as good.

      They aren’t just stringing YOU along; they are deciding among several people, each of whom requires time to consider. Losing one of them is often no big thing.

      1. goducks*

        Yes. Unless someone is a once-in-a-lifetime candidate, if they tell me they have another offer before I’m ready to move forward with an offer, I’m going to wish them well and stop considering them.

        Of course, if they are a once-in-a-lifetime candidate, I’m going to move mountains to hire them the moment I meet them because I want to get them before anybody else can make an offer and they get away!

        1. Kevin Sours*

          You should always go into that situation expecting that response. But if you have an offer in hand it’s still worth doing because you have very little to lose. As a candidate you don’t know where they are in the process. They can still be deciding, which means you’re getting wished well. They could be dithering about the decision, in which case this could prompt them to make up their minds. They could be in the process of putting an offer together but moving at a leisurely pace. A deadline would most likely expedite that.

    2. DataSci*

      Don’t stop the search until your first day? Really? So you get an offer, accept it, agree on a start date, give your two weeks’ notice at your current job, and spend those last two weeks not just doing knowledge transfer and tying off loose ends but ducking out for phone interviews and maybe even taking a day off for in-person interviewing? That’s just bizarre, not to mention a massive waste of everyone’s time. Offers can be rescinded – I’ve seen it happen, when the hiring company went through a big round of layoffs and people who hadn’t started yet were first on the list (not sure why there wasn’t a hiring freeze, but weird stuff happens sometimes) – but not so frequently that someone should act like it’s an expected outcome.

      1. GammaGirl1908*

        I do know what PNA means; until you get into the new job, get settled, do the commute a few times, start getting used to it, meet the weirdos, and that first paycheck clears, there can still be a couple of little things up in the air, such that you don’t feel ready to close every single door all the way. I usually phrase it as “nothing is official until the first paycheck clears.” I absolutely have known people who started doing work for a new job that eventually fell through, or who started a position and there was something untenable about the new place that they couldn’t have known until they started. Of course it’s not common that you leave a new job after a week, and you don’t go in expecting to fail, but also not unheard-of to want a bit of an insurance policy until you feel like everything is going to work out.

        I don’t think it means that you’re still running around actively setting up 5 interviews, and you’re not actively planning to leave. But if you get a surprise offer from an interview a month ago, or a surprise call from an application you sent out two months ago … you might still just chat with them to see what they have to say.

      2. Allonge*

        Depends on the situation I suppose. If someone is desperate to leave their job or find a new one, they may not be able to afford to trust that ‘not so frequently’ will not impact them. On the other hand, if you get 3 calls each hour from recruiters…

      3. tessa*

        I would stop searching before my first day, unless the role were something like a year-long temporary role. I had a job like that a few years ago, kept searching, and left after two months.

    3. KnittedViolin*

      I am in this position at the moment. I do have a permanent position, but over the past two years I have been working in contract roles within the same organisation at a higher level. I have been offered a short term extension in this role for 3 months, but it is all pretty shakey (COVID related work).

      I am in the process of interviewing what is possibly my ideal job (on paper) but, the process is incredibly slow (it has been 8 weeks and interviews are still one week away!). If I am successful for this role it also involves me moving state and lots of other life changes so it could be quite some time before I actually start working in it.

      I don’t want to put all my eggs in one basket so I am continuing to apply for other roles. Ultimately this means I have already accepted one contract which I may need to break if I am successful in any of the longer term or permanent roles I have applied for, but ultimately I need to look after my own best interests.

      I am, however, very fortunate that my organisation is understanding that people on very short term contracts are highly likely to bolt and don’t harbour ill will against people for doing so.

  6. Just a thought*

    Not sure of how your employment is structured, but you may also want to see if unemployment is a temporary option.

    1. Siege*

      This. In my state, it can be the case that when a contract is ended you’re eligible for unemployment. It wouldn’t work (if I recall correctly) if the contract is a placement through a temp agency, since the expectation is that you would get another contract, but if you’re an adjunct instructor, yes, you qualify for unemployment, and there are some other circumstances. It certainly makes more sense to me than taking a job in retail, where you’ll be barely trained by the time you leave, assuming you even want to do retail.

      1. Cj*

        I’m not terribly familiar with contract work, but if it’s not through a placement agency, wouldn’t they be a 1099 contractor instead of a W-2 employee and therefore not eligible for unemployment?

        1. Milky way*

          No, people placed by temp agencies are employees of the temp agency. Other contract work may differ.

        2. a clockwork lemon*

          Not always. Grant-funded positions, for example, are usually full-time employees of the grant-receiving institution, even if the bucket of money for their salary goes away after a given period of time if the grant isn’t renewed.

        3. Captain Swan*

          Not necessarily. I read this as being a government contractor or similar. Most people in those jobs are employees of a company which has been contracted to provide services. If the company doesn’t win the recompete/new contract, then when the contract ends those employees are out of jobs.

  7. DivineMissL*

    I was just recently in a similar circumstance. 3 companies – all three are good jobs, but I felt “meh” about A, B would be pretty good, and C would be fantastic but is the long shot. B and C have been pokey about moving forward, while A made me an offer. I contacted C to tell them that I had an offer but I wanted see where they were, and they immediately scheduled me for an interview this week. Meanwhile, B finally contacted me for an interview, which is the same day as C.

    I couldn’t put A off any longer and I can’t get B and C to move any faster; so I had to decline A in order to hope for the best with B or C. It’s possible I could get an offer from either B, C, or both; or I could end up with nothing. You can only do so much; after that it’s out of your hands.

    1. GammaGirl1908*

      The important thing here is that you considered each position on its merits. You knew all along that you weren’t excited about A, and you decided that if it was A or keep looking, you’d keep looking. It’s a bonus that you still have a shot at B and C., but you had to make the decision about A knowing that B and C aren’t a sure thing. That’s not B or C’s fault; you can’t expect them to adjust because of A.

      1. The_artist_formerly_known_as_Anon-2*

        And you were professional regarding opportunity A – you weren’t interested, you informed them on that, and let them know before extending the process with them.

    2. Cj*

      Are you employed now? If so, that’s an important distinction between you and the letter writer, who will be out of a job soon.

  8. Less Bread More Taxes*

    “I cannot wait this long and I will continue to apply for other jobs” – as you should! I’m of the opinion that you should continue to apply to places until you have an offer in hand. Interviews are not job offers, and I don’t think any reasonable company is going to expect that your job search comes to a complete halt just because they are interested in getting to know you as a candidate more.

    1. Miss Muffet*

      I found it interesting that the OP seemed to think that the process wouldn’t take “that long” anyway – they may still need to find some kind of bridge job anyway. If they bail on this job for whatever reason there’s no guarantee there’s gonna be a job that comes faster!

  9. learnedthehardway*

    All you can really do at this stage is to make the companies aware that you are actively looking at opportunities. IF you get an offer or have a strong expectation that you will receive one (eg. the company has said an offer in the works), then you’re in a position to tell the other company that something solid is on your table.

    At which point, the other company will either speed up their decision making OR not. If not, they may tell you that you’ll have to make your decision and get back to them if you still want to be considered for their role.

    Where telling the other company tends to work out well is when you’re the top candidate and they really do want to hire you. If you’re in the running but not the top candidate, they’re not goin to accelerate their process for you, though.

  10. The Lexus Lawyer*

    Sorry, OP. At least for now, you need them more than they need you.

    Part of this will vary depending on industry, size of company, and number of decision makers that have to greenlight things.

    A good rule of thumb is if it’s a senior position, that is hard to hire for and you actually have another offer in hand, it might work to push them to speed up.

    But depending on seniority of job and difficulty finding workers, pushing them to speed up their decision making could backfire spectacularly.

    Good luck with your continued job search.

    1. Kevin Sours*

      If you have an offer in hand that you are going to take unless they extend an offer by a particular there really isn’t a lot of harm in communicating that fact. They may indicate they are unable to accommodate that but what does that cost you? And I can’t imagine any place I’d like to work at holding that against somebody down the road.

  11. NW Mossy*

    Part of why hiring processes drag, especially now, is that so many people are changing roles and the state of those other roles bleeds over.

    As a real-life example:

    Director A accepts a short-term assignment
    Director B is retiring next year
    Director job C is opened to backfill A for the upcoming year and eventually replace B
    Manager D is hired for C
    Manager E moves into D’s role
    Manager job F is opened to backfill E
    Short-term assignment for Manager G is opened because Manager H’s team is too big
    Individual contributor I accepts Manager G role
    Individual contributor J moves into I’s role
    J’s role is opened for a backfill

    If you can keep all of those moving parts going and conclude the hiring process in a few weeks, I strongly encourage you to apply to my company!

    1. KnittedViolin*

      I feel this comment in my bones! We have so many internal moves and it is really challenging to manage. We absolutely want to do it faster, but it is just not always possible.

  12. KHB*

    The thing to keep in mind is that a company’s hiring process isn’t all about you. It’s not even all about you and some single nebulous entity called “the company.” There are lots of individual people involved in this process – the hiring manager, HR, maybe a whole bunch of other people on the hiring committee, plus all the other candidates they’re considering too – and they all have their own schedules, and the speed of the process depends on all of them. Maybe there’s some senior muckety-muck who needs to be involved in the decision-making meetings, but he’s at a conference this week so everything has to be put on hold until he’s back. Maybe there’s a stellar out-of-town candidate they really want to interview in person, but she can’t make travel plans for a few days. And so on and so on.

    I know it’s tough to be understanding when you’re about to lose your source of income and you need another one ASAP. But there’s usually a reason why the gears turn at the pace they do – it’s not (usually) because they’re just sitting on your application for the heck of it.

    1. Colette*

      This is a really good point. And in addition to the people, there are competing business needs (e.g. “reduce staffing costs for the quarterly results” vs. “we need someone in this role” vs “we might take over another company, which will change what we need”).

    2. cubone*

      as someone who just got send a reference request with THIRTY (30) questions and a deadline of NOON TOMORROW…………….. I’m kind of feeling okay with companies that aren’t running at the speed of light to hire.

    3. Tina Belcher's Less Cool Sister*

      When I was hired for my previous job (pre-pandemic) I had a phone interview and they flew me out for an in-person interview two weeks later. Then they let me know they were having difficulty scheduling the other top candidate and it was going to be SIX WEEKS until I would hear back. I obviously continued looking and it actually got to the point where I had to give them a deadline when I would need to withdraw due to some other opportunities that had come up in my current job.

      It’s so frustrating, but applying for jobs really isn’t about you!

  13. HMS Cupcake*

    And it might not apply to this situation, but I work for a city agency and we have posting and hiring rules we have to follow. I’ve had to repost a job twice even though I had a candidate I liked from the first posting, and it was because the number of qualified applicants were too low. I had to show good faith in trying to source as many qualified applicants as possible before I could make an offer to the candidate from the first posting (a delay of 4 weeks).

    1. AnonPi*

      We recently had the same issue, we had initially only intended to post for about a week, week and a half. But we didn’t meet HR applicant pool requirements so it had to be reposted for 2 more weeks.

  14. Annie Nonimus*

    Hiring is super slow and that sucks for everyone. Literally no one enjoys the fact that it takes so long to hire new people. [especially not those who are stuck trying to work around an open position on their team] There are good reasons it takes a while that have to do with wanting to get the right person in the job so you don’t have to go through the hassle of hiring again in just a couple months. There are annoying reasons that have to do with bureaucracy and the difficulty of finding open times in already packed schedules to have meetings and do interviews. And there are terrible reasons that have to do with the fact that oftentimes people are indecisive and/or unrealistic about their expectations. All you can do is accept that it will in fact be slow and keep applying. May the force be with you.

  15. MMM*

    Hi, OP here!

    I actually submitted this question weeks ago and I got an update to share. Company B did not move me forward. I’ve had several interviews since then. Company A reached out to me this morning and asked me to do an interview today and I did. It was the third and final interview. Funny enough today I also had a third interview with…let’s say Company C (in reality, they’re more like Company M or P at this point haha).

    I am waiting a bit before I email HR for Company A thanking them for setting up the final interview and asking them their timeline for making a decision. I appreciate that after all those weeks, I think they were truly honest when they meant they got a big new project and had to put hiring for the role on the back burner until other roles were filled. I also wondered why they re-posted the job but I stopped myself from asking them on my candidacy. I only ever asked them for one update and they so far have reached out to me far more often than I reached out to them.

    I now have to play my cards right because Company C just asked me for a fourth interview…and they have a fifth interview step right before a decision is made. I am holding off on confirming a date and time with them because I want to know how soon Company A will make a decision.

    Please send me positive vibes!

    1. Annie Nonimus*

      Go ahead and confirm the date and time! If you have to call them and withdraw because you’ve accepted another offer, that’s fine!

      1. MMM*

        I know I should because without an actual offer in hand, I really don’t have any power to stall on a date and time with Company C. I also want to be professional though and not book another interview so soon with them and then have to cancel. They do however use a system where you can just tell them dates and times through an app. I could just stall them by saying I am only available starting next week on Monday. I made the mistake last time and gave them all these dates for the third interview yesterday and they booked me in for the very next day (today!).

        1. Keeley Jones, The Independent Woman*

          Go ahead and schedule. Even if A wants to make a decision next week that doesn’t mean 1. They they will actually make a decision
          2. The decision will be in your favor.

          You could always go through with the interview for C anyway. Maybe you will like to better or it has better pay, benefits, etc. As
          PP mentioned, do not stop interviewing until you have accepted an offer (even then it’s ok to still keep going if you want)

          I hope you update when you get a great offer!

          1. MMM*

            Thanks. I sent the thank you note to HR for the final interview and asking for timeline on the decision.

            I also gave my availability for Company C and they booked me in for tomorrow morning! Company C is moving so fast despite so many steps in the process.

    2. recruiter*

      Good luck! Don’t read too much into them reposting the job. Depending on what applicant tracking system they are using, it could be automatically reposting onto the job boards (most of them do!). Most companies don’t “close” the position/remove it from job boards until it is actually filled, even if they have final candidates.

  16. Becky*

    I wish I could get my own company to hurry up and hire somebody–we have an opening that both me and my manager really really need filled but there’s a hiring freeze going on and my manager’s superiors are NOT BUDGING–except the hiring freeze makes no sense for a client-facing role like mine. There are at least three openings on the team managed by my boss and they won’t allow her to fill any of them and if this goes on much longer it people will start becoming overwhelmed and drop balls and potentially lose clients (we’re the first team clients interact with after the contract is complete so we really have to make a good impression on them).

  17. Lorac*

    This has happened to me. Interviewed and got an offer at Company A while Company B was still deliberating. I did what Alison recommended and told Company B I had another offer, and what the status of the interview was with them. Company B actually told me to go ahead accept Company A’s offer as their process was being delayed (there was some kind of internal restructuring happening), so I did.

    Six months later Company B reached out and said they wanted to resume the interview process and asked if I was still interested. It all worked out since I was not having a good time at Company A.

  18. Koalafied*

    Yep. My company has always been known for slow hiring, so when I had a position open up recently, knowing the market out there, I tried to move as fast as I could. This is how that went:

    Week 1: Conducted first-round interviews with four qualified candidates spread throughout the week with the last one on Friday afternoon. All would be acceptable if it came down to it, but two are very clearly stronger than the other two. Let them all know my own boss was going to be out for the next two weeks so the next round of interviews won’t happen before then.

    Week 2: On Monday, I ask HR to go ahead and schedule second round interviews when she’s back for the top two candidates, but by Wednesday I hear back that both have dropped out because they had accepted other offers. I ask HR to repost the job on a few additional sites to see if we can broaden the applicant pool before my boss gets back.

    Week 3: A fifth qualified candidate applies early in the week and I ask HR to schedule an interview, which doesn’t end up being til the following week.

    Week 4: My boss is back. I interview the fifth candidate on Tuesday and really like her. We’re not getting any other promising applicants, so – acutely aware of the need to move quickly in this job-seeker’s market – I ask HR to schedule her and our third choice from the initial four interviews for a second round with my boss, and a timed skills test as the final steps in the process. We’re able to squeeze one of the interviews in on Friday.

    Week 5: Second finalist interviews on Tuesday with my boss and both candidates complete their timed tests on Wednesday. By the end of the day my boss and I both agree on our top candidate, but unexpectedly my boss’s boss decides he needs to interview our finalists too, so we quickly get those two interviews scheduled for Thursday and Friday. After meeting them both, grandboss tells us he thinks we couldn’t go wrong with either, so on Friday afternoon I write to HR asking her to proceed with final reference checks for our top choice, knowing that the HR person is out of office until Monday.

    Week 6: HR conducts reference checks on Monday and Tuesday, which both come back glowing. I end up out sick on Wednesday with a bug that had been making its way through my team. I meet with HR early on Thursday, we put together the offer terms, and she sends it to the candidate. Candidate counters $2K higher. I approve the $2K increase, which HR sends on Friday.

    Week 7: Candidate accepts our offer over the weekend and we email a rejection on Monday to the other two candidates who had been part of the week 1 first round interviews.

    I can’t stress enough that this was breakneck speed for us. We might could have shaved a week or two off if nobody had been out of office on vacation or sick, or if our initial pool of applicants had been large enough that even if a few dropped out I would have still felt comfortable cutting off applications after just 1-2 weeks of first round interviews. But given the reality of how thin the applicant pool was, and that we did have 4 staff members whose vacations and sicknesses and calendars packed with other meetings that we had to schedule everything around, I honestly don’t think we could have moved any faster than we did.

    1. Evan*

      I can make this quicker for you. Dump the “timed test” and third interview. Or make it a combined interview with the boss and grand boss. Two weeks, decision made, done.

    2. Perpetual Job Seeker*

      I am curious why you didn’t cut the first two candidates loose once you knew you weren’t moving forward with them? Can you just not reject people until someone is hired?

  19. JennyBP*

    I was able to significantly speed up a hiring process with my current employer (think four months compressed into a week and a half). I had another offer, which I risked by pushing out my decision. I basically had to tell them, “I have a week to decide, I need an offer in my hand by 12:00 on Monday or I’m taking this other job.”
    HOWEVER, The drawback I ran into is I essentially had to “pre-accept” to get them to expedite me. I knew I was a top candidate (They had pursued me about 6 months earlier even with many efforts to rebuff), but I lost ALL of the bargaining power in salary negotiations by telling them that I would accept but I needed them to move.

    Long story short, even with an offer it’s not risk free.

  20. Xaraja*

    My experience might be unusual, but I’ve only ever gotten jobs when the process moved quickly. Anytime it took longer than…a week maybe? I didn’t get the job. And my last job change was a mid career professional IT position with a degree and 7 years experience in the field, so I’m not just talking about minor positions. That one involved a phone screen, a phone interview, a panel interview including a C suite executive, a technical interview, and a variety of text and email and phone conversation with the recruiter and the HR Director. At this point (I’m 40), if I don’t hear anything within a week (from whatever the last contact was, although I do mean as of the successful hiring events were a week from contact to offer), I figure it’s not happening. But surely it’s not that easy for everyone?

    1. AnotherLibrarian*

      For us, it 100% depends on how the hiring goes. I successfully brought in two great people in under 4 weeks, because I was about to leave for major medical stuff. It worked out, but that was rare. We need HR approval before we can make an offer and that usually takes about a week. However, more than 30 days and I figure I didn’t get the gig.

    2. Fasty*

      I am a bit more generous, but assume if I don’t hear anything after two weeks then I’m no longer in the running. It’s definitely been my experience that I tend to get offers when things seem to move quickly between steps and/or the organization is keeping me regularly informed. (And that was my experience as a hiring manager as well–I always wanted to keep top candidates looped about the process and their continued candidacy.)

      1. chamomile*

        Similarly, on the hiring side, our boss asks us to move forward with people right away when they’re a top candidate. I’m sorry to say this, LW, but when my boss has me use my “the process is taking longer than expected” email template, it’s because he doesn’t really want to hire the person, but isn’t ready to reject them either — he’s hoping to keep them in the wings just in case we need them as backup if our top candidates fall through. The process isn’t “taking longer than expected” for the top candidates, only for the bottom ones. It’s maybe not a good hiring practice, but it’s the way my org runs things.

  21. PrincessButtercup*

    I’m going through a weird interview process now that is sort of the reverse of all this. I’m trying to slow it down a bit. I am currently employed and was not looking, but a really terrific company in my industry contacted me about an excellent management position. I have gone through 2 phone screens and a Zoom panel interview with 5 people. The last step is another 2.5 hour interview with more people and including a 45 minute presentation by me. Except I am having major surgery next week. Very major. So I pushed it to May 31st, which was as far out as I could get. We shall see, but this is definitely the first time I wanted an interview process to go slower rather than faster.

  22. Nesprin*

    Entirely disagree- I work at a staid government style institution that takes months to do interviews. When we have someone we like and think we want to hire, we can become very very nimble. Emailing hiring manager to say that you’ve got a competing offer and need us to decide on an offer by monday can get things moving very quickly. And if it doesn’t you’re out one email.

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