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How Long Should I Keep Waiting After A Job Interview?

I write about bringing life to work and bringing work to life. Full bio

I was a Fortune 500 HR SVP for ten million years, but I was an opera singer before I ever heard the term HR. The higher I got in the corporate world, the more operatic the action became. I started writing about the workplace for the Chicago Sun-Times in 1997, but it took me ages to find my own voice. Now I write for the Huffington Post, Business Week, LinkedIn, the Harvard Business Review, the Denver Post and Forbes.com and lead the worldwide Human Workplace movement to reinvent work for people. Stop by and join us: http://www.humanworkplace.com

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Dear Liz,

I’m pretty happy with my job search so far except that I don’t have a job yet. But I’ve been looking for three months and I’ve had six interviews, which is better than a lot of people I know. I got laid off in January.

I jumped right into my job search and I made a Target Employer List.

I’ve been sending out Pain Letters and following up with either an email message or a phone call, and like I said I’ve had six job interviews so far.

Two of the jobs I interviewed for were flat wrong for me. One of them paid peanuts and the other one would be a good job for someone who wants to travel nearly 100% of the time. I’m waiting to hear back from four employers.

Two of them have done a pretty good job of keeping me posted on their progress. One of them is really interested in me, or so they say, but they have to get budget approval to hire me. The other company is in the middle of a restructuring, which is not a lie because it’s been in the paper. So I’m being patient.

The other two organizations seem to have dropped me like a hot potato. After every interview I follow your John Cena advice and send a thank you card plus an email message. Two of the companies haven’t responded to anything I’ve sent them. I’m crossing them off my list.

How long should I wait to hear back after a job interview before I move on? Should I do anything else after the thank-you note card and the email message?

I don’t want to be a pest and I don’t want to be a sheep either, but I don’t want to miss an opportunity because they forgot about me when the decision comes down “Go ahead and hire someone.” What’s your advice?

Thanks in advance Liz! You rock and rule -

Garrett

Dear Garrett,

I applaud you for keeping your job-search engine running!

The answer to the question “How long should I wait after a job interview before pursuing another job?” is “however long it takes you to get home from the job interview.”

No employer can take you off the market until they make you a job offer and you accept it. Until then you’re a free-range chicken!

I  want you to send out another Pain Letter after every interview. Never put all your job-search eggs in one basket, no matter how promising the opportunity seems. Here’s the process you will follow:

  • Go to the job interview.
  • Come home afterward.
  • Send a Thank You note card to your hiring manager and a separate one to everyone you met on your job interview.
  • Send your hiring manager a thoughtful email follow-up to your handwritten note card.
  • Make yourself a ‘tickler’ calendar item to drip on your hiring manager one week from now if you haven’t heard anything.
  • Research and send out another Pain Letter.

Even if you heard back immediately from one of these employers, you’d still want to have other irons in the fire. Other opportunities are your only leverage in the negotiation process, and they’re good for your mojo, too!

Never get distracted by one promising opportunity and stop creating new ones.

Even after you’re in offer negotiations with one or more employers, keep sending out more Pain Letters until the minute you sign an offer!

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