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5 Reasons Why You Did Not Hear Back After Your Final Interview

Once your final job interview is complete, there are 3 possibilities.

  1. Your Offer Letter is being prepared.

  2. You get a rejection email.

  3. There is no reply, and you have to keep waiting or follow up.

It is often the third possibility that that can be stressful and frustrating. You often hope that you have a clear answer, especially if you know that your interview has gone well.

In my experience, it takes on an average, between 10 days to three weeks to hear back after your final interview, but there is no standard timeframe. There are definitely things going on behind the scenes after you have completed your final interview round. Below are some reasons why there is radio silence, especially when you were informed you would receive a reply within a few days.

1. Other candidates are being Interviewed You are never going to be the only candidate interviewed. With at least 8-10 candidates going though 2-3 rounds of interviews, it is going to take time and if you are one of the first candidates to be interviewed, then you're waiting period is even longer. All candidates have to be interviewed, interviewers / hiring managers feedback obtained, probably internally discussed / reviewed, comparisons drawn and then decisions made. There will be only 2-3 candidates maximum for final interviews and all may be scheduled on different days/times and hence wait period is longer.

2. Feedback from Other Interviewers Interviewers are supposed to make notes or record their interview with every candidate. Sometimes or more often interviewer's feedback may differ from another interviewer and internal review is exchanged by them via emails / calls or sometimes in a meeting.

They may even decide not to rush into a decision and wait a while to make a more informed decision, which could take a week or more.

3. Busy with Other Work

The interviewers could very well have more urgent or important tasks that have surfaced, pushing back their priority to make a decision or pursue the hiring process for that role.

These tasks could involve overseas travel, a project, a task that needs high priority etc. It could also involve someone not being well.

4. No Decision Yet Recruiting an employee involves time and money and more often there tends to be a delay depending on how business has been changing from the time the job was advertised and the interview process had begun. It is in the company's best interest to be 100% certain of its choice before any offers are extended.

5. You May Not Be Getting the Job It is unfortunate, but true. The radio silence could mean that the company has failed to inform you that you have not been selected. While this is not fair—especially since you have attended multiple interview rounds, —it actually happens quite a bit.

What should you do while you wait to hear back from an employer?

Th only solution that I can recommend it not to stop looking until you have officially received an offer letter. Keep going and applying for multiple opportunities at the same time. Attend more than one interview too. Do not commit to anything without reviewing what you have at hand or how long you have got before you need to make a decision. Tailor your resume, write a compelling cover letter, go through your interview preparation guidelines and practice mock interviews.

When can I follow up after a job interview?

Your first follow-up after a job interview should always be a thank you email to each person who interviewed you—ideally within 24 hours. Then wait for 3-5 days and share an email with the hiring manager requesting for feedback (if you have not already heard from them). In the event you get another job offer while you are still waiting to hear back after the interview, you can still write an email or make a call, regardless of how long it has been since you last followed up.

The interview process and timelines differ from company to company and more important from the hiring manager or decision makers perspective. More and more companies are trying to improve their process of providing feedback to unsuccessful candidates through automated emails, it would be even more helpful if the reason of rejection is known.


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