Waiting 101

Waiting 101

Photo by Vitaly Nikolenko

Waiting for anything is a common source of frustration – waiting in line, waiting for payment, waiting for an event, waiting for an answer – in short it’s not on most people’s list of desirable states of being.  Waiting to hear the status of your job interview is perhaps the cruelest of all.  So much depends on it – not the least of which is your financial survival, but it also involves many other psychological aspects that can make life more stressful than it needs to be.  Interviewing is stressful enough – here are a few general rules Searchwise candidates follow to make life easier.

How long should you wait before giving up hope? It’s important to establish this guideline for several reasons. Industry consensus advises that a potential employer should be together enough to give you feedback in approximately 3 to 4 business days. If a week or more goes by, either they are in over their heads and can’t find the wherewithal to respond to candidates or they care so little for them that they can’t empathize with what it’s like to be at a crucial crossroads. While there might be legitimate reasons why it’s taking longer to decide – common courtesy (yes, it’s still a “thing”) dictates that a quick note explaining the reason would be in order.

If there is no fixed deadline in your mind, the tendency is to delay other interviews while presumably waiting for an answer. This is not a good strategy – though it might be a good avoidance technique, because it will not raise your chances of success. Other opportunities are lost – and in truth, the few days off the interview circuit will still be fraught with all the same worries and problems. Keep booking interviews.

Should I call to find out the status? Is that pushy? There are no rules against it, and a quick email enquiry may yield an answer, but it’s not likely. Use your intuition and your sense of the people you interviewed with and make your decision accordingly, but here again have a deadline in mind. At Searchwise, we make sure our candidates

not only get timely feedback, but useful information about their performance that can help them refine their interviewing skills.

The waiting game becomes less onerous if there is less waiting and more doing and that goes for not only interviewing but all avenues you take to research and learn more about the types of jobs you are pursuing. You may discard some jobs and appreciate others more, but you will not be living in suspended animation. There’s already too much of that uncertainty and inability to make definitive decisions – make sure you counter that with positive actions that expand your life experiences.