Emerging from a job interview that went really well is a great feeling. You answered all the questions just as you wanted, put some relevant ones of your own forward and the hiring manager was hinting at a job offer. After a few days without a phone call or e-mail from the employer you naturally begin to get anxious. As a few more days pass by, doubts and frustration begin to creep in.
Following up with the hiring manager can be a positive move but when you’re desperate it’s easy to overstep the mark. Here are five typical mistakes eager candidates make:
Stalk the hiring manager: At SkyWater, we always advise sending a post-interview letter of thanks to the employer, reiterating your interest in the job. You may also have been given a deadline for a decision on awarding the job. If that date has passed it’s perfectly acceptable to follow up via e-mail or telephone. You must, however, resist the temptation to stalk the hiring manager by calling constantly throughout the day, every day, after the deadline has passed. Making a final decision on candidate selection can often take longer than anticipated. If you are the favored candidate, you can be certain that an offer will be made at the earliest opportunity. If you are fortunate enough to receive an offer from another employer while you are waiting, then it’s essential you contact the hiring manager and explain your situation (especially if you prefer their job to your alternative offer). Beyond that, it’s a case of ‘wait and see’.
End your job search: Until you have a formal job offer, don’t end your job search! This is a mistake we have seen candidates make when they are certain they’ve found their dream job. Nothing is certain in the world of recruitment without that offer letter. Sometimes the CEO puts a halt on hiring, sometimes an internal candidate emerges (or a last minute external applicant), sometimes the job spec changes and your skills are no longer a perfect fit. Take nothing for granted in your search. If you want to make a move from your current employer, keep looking, applying and interviewing until that job offer is made.
Go AWOL: If you’re going on vacation, changing your cellphone number, moving home or altering your e-mail address, tell the employer or your recruiter! If they can’t contact you for more than a couple of days they’ll assume you no longer wish to be considered for their vacancy and will offer it to an alternative candidate.
Pretend you have another job offer: As noted above, if you are genuinely the recipient of another job offer, it’s vital to contact all employers you have recently interviewed with in order to gain some closure. Informing the employer you have another offer as a ruse to force a decision isn’t a wise move. You run the risk of the hiring manager congratulating you on your new role and eliminating you from their decision making process. Be patient.
Be miserable: It’s impossible to try and second guess the decision making process within a company. Small businesses may move quickly. Larger employers tend to take longer due to internal due diligence in their hiring processes and the level of administration which is often required to process the onboarding of a new hire. A lack of response from the employer doesn’t mean they no longer consider you to be a strong candidate for the job. Don’t make yourself miserable wondering why you’re still waiting for a decision. Be proactive, continue with your job search and the right job (if it isn’t this one) will come along. Chances are, you’ll be pleasantly surprised.