Making the switch from 'full steam ahead' to 'wait and see' mode is the most important step to be done while waiting for the hiring managers to respond after you have given your best in an interview.
Waiting to hear back about a job is nerve-wracking. But use the below steps to stay sane- both for yourself and in the eyes of the company.
* Looking interested is good, but looking too interested makes you less desirable. You may think you are showing your future company that you are ready to hit the ground running, but if you come on too strong post-interview, you look less like a candidate they would be lucky to hire and more like someone who is anxious to leave your current role. It’s not fair, but the rules of human nature apply, and someone who seems desperate suddenly seems less appealing.
Need another reason to wait to contact your potential employer? Even if you are a shoo-in, being over-eager will weaken your negotiating stance when it is time to talk terms.
* To be clear, you want to step back from your role initiating communication—which you did when you sent your cover letter and thank you note—and let the company be the party to reach out. However, there is a difference between letting the interviewer take the lead and deserting the dance floor altogether.
Just like you should respond to a request for an interview, if your contact follows up with you, be sure to reply within one day.
* Obsessing over a job is how you know you are on the right track and applying for a role you are really passionate about. At the same time, though, you need that proverbial dose of reality—and regularly—so that you are not crushed if you don’t get the job.
Your personal timeline will depend on your circumstances.
* Okay, ideally, you hear that the job is yours, and then all you need to do is negotiate your salary and prepare to leave your current role. Another, somewhat more depressing scenario—though one you’ll get through just fine—is that one to two weeks go by and you hear that you didn’t get the job. If this is the case, graciously thank the hiring managers for their time and, if appropriate, ask to keep in mind for future roles or to stay connected on LinkedIn.
Perhaps the hardest scenario, of course, is when an employer who tells you you are a finalist then follows the 'never contact the applicant again and he or she will get we went another way' protocol.
So what should you do? How do you know whether a company passed on you or if the hiring process is simply taking longer than expected? It’s OK to send one follow-up email, and from there gauge your contact’s response and response time, and then reply if appropriate. And if you’ve sent a thank-you note, followed up once, and haven’t heard a peep—well, it’s probably best to keep exploring your options.