Do’s and Don’ts While Waiting to Hear Back from a Job

Waiting to hear back from a job interview can be excruciating, but there are ways to alleviate difficult feelings. Sometimes impatience while waiting for a job offer can lead professionals to make unwise decisions. Read on to discover what you should and shouldn’t do while waiting for an answer about a possible job offer.

Follow up. To help alleviate some of the uneasiness of job offer anxiety, ask the hiring manager in your initial conversation what their typical hiring process is and how long it may take. Ask if, when and how you can follow up with them. That way, you have a plan to follow up and you won’t be left wondering.

Add a reminder to follow up with the hiring manager on your calendar, phone or computer. When you do follow up, ask if there is an update, if there is any other information you can provide for them and if there are any other questions you can answer for them.

[READ: Tips for a Successful Internship Interview.]

Don’t be aggressive. According to Indeed, job applicants wait up to two weeks to hear back from a prospective employer. Having to wait makes most people impatient, but resist the temptation to get aggressive with the hiring manager. This will not contribute positively to your professional image and could actually harm your chances of landing the job.

If they did not give you a specific time frame of when to follow up with them, you can check in by phone or email one week after your interview to ask about the status of the position. However, do not contact the hiring manager repeatedly.

Notify your references. You should notify each reference you provided to the hiring manager that you gave their information. Explain what the position entails so they know what they should speak about if they are contacted. Their recommendation will sound that much more professional and relevant if you have prepared them and they know what they need to tell the prospective employer about you.

Update your voicemail. Make sure that your voicemail message sounds professional so that if you miss a call from the hiring manager, your message will leave a good impression. Make sure that it sounds upbeat and confident. Ask someone you trust to listen to it and give you feedback.

[Read: How to Ask for the Job at the Interview.]

Don’t lie about job offers. Do not lie to the hiring manager and allude to having another job offer if you don’t have one. A hiring manager can easily call your bluff, either by researching the company where you supposedly have a job offer or by contacting recruiters they work with. The only impression this will leave is that you are not an honest professional, and this will not help you get a job offer. On the contrary, a hiring manager will not hire someone they feel they can’t trust.

Don’t tell your boss. If you currently have a job, don’t tell your boss you are waiting for another job offer. Do not let on — either on social media or in your conversations — that you are considering taking a new job.

Update your LinkedIn profile only after leaving your old job if you are concerned about them noticing. This isn’t being dishonest; it simply isn’t the right moment yet. If your boss knows that you are looking for a new job, this could backfire on you and you could end up without a job. Instead, continue to do your best work at your current position while you are searching on the side.

Keep looking. Sometimes people make the mistake of stopping or pausing their job search once they have interviewed for a job. They’re tired. The interview process was stressful. They’re overwhelmed. However, job seekers must keep in mind that an interview isn’t a guarantee of a job. Even if you feel that the job you applied for is a perfect fit for you, if you haven’t been offered the position or started negotiations to accept the job, you need to continue to search and interview for other jobs.

Other suitable positions may pass you by if you passively wait to be called for a second interview. Continuing to apply helps keep you busy. Your mind is on other things versus just waiting. It also ensures you are not putting all of your eggs in one basket.

Don’t ghost the hiring manager. While we recommend that you keep looking, don’t ghost the hiring manager you have already spoken with if you think you have found a better job. If you are interested in both positions, this creates an opportunity where you are able to speed up the job offer and negotiate better perks or salary.

However, if you simply have found a job that is a better overall fit for you, communicate that to the first hiring manager. Let them know that you appreciate their time but that you will be moving forward with another job offer, so they no longer need to include you on their list of job candidates.

Be patient. Resist the temptation to check your phone every five seconds when waiting for a job offer. Try to remember that the hiring manager or human resources professional most likely interviewed several other candidates. Interviewing numerous applicants and comparing them to each other along with the overall fit for the company takes time. In fact, a Glassdoor study found that the average length of the job interview process in the United States is 23.8 days.

A good hiring manager will not want to make a quick decision. Respect that they want to make the best choice for their organization and this usually isn’t made immediately. Also keep in mind that, while you are waiting, they are conducting the interview process and doing their jobs in addition to that.

[Read: How to Highlight Interpersonal Skills in Interviews and Resumes.]

Continue research into the company. When waiting for a job offer, this is your opportunity to look into the details of the company and solidify your interest in accepting a position. Check your network for connections who work there or worked there in the past to gather information on company culture. See if the company publishes an annual report to get a sense of their financial standing.

Handle rejection with grace. Unfortunately, even after doing your due diligence, some employers may never respond to your follow-up requests. Resist the temptation to blame yourself or think that you didn’t do enough to land the job. Avoid lashing out on social media channels about the lack of communication from the company since, in the end, this only affects your professional reputation when other hiring managers view your profiles. Instead, accept that you weren’t the right fit for the company and continue your search elsewhere.

Stay positive. While waiting for a job offer, schedule time to take care of yourself. Take breaks from your job search to participate in activities that help you stay positive and reduce job offer anxiety and stress, such as exercise classes, getting together with friends or listening to upbeat music.

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Do’s and Don’ts While Waiting to Hear Back from a Job originally appeared on

Update 02/22/23: This story was published at an earlier date and has been updated with new information.

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