How Long After a Job Interview Should You Hear Back?

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 22 November 2022 | Published 13 December 2021

Updated 22 November 2022

Published 13 December 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Each company has its own hiring policies and procedures. This means that the recruiter's response time may vary from company to company. Learning more about common hiring procedures can help you decide when it's appropriate to follow up after an interview. In this article, we discuss how long after a job interview should you hear back from an interviewer, explore some common reasons a company hasn't responded yet and share some tips and examples on how to follow up with them.

How long after a job interview should you hear back?

If you want to know how long after a job interview should you hear back, there are many circumstances to take into consideration. Some factors to consider are:

  • the size of the company

  • whether it's near the holidays

  • the role you're applying to

  • the time of year

  • the stage of the hiring process

  • the industry

If an employer hasn't given you a response time, consider waiting at least one week before following up after an interview. Consider waiting longer for larger organisations as they typically have more candidates to process and have strict procedures to follow. If an organisation has provided a schedule and they haven't replied within their timeline, consider following up one or two business days after the deadline. Avoid sending follow-up emails during public holidays or on the weekends.

Common reasons you haven't heard back from an interviewer

Here are some common reasons a hiring manager has provided no feedback after your interview:

The interview process is still ongoing

Many large companies hire employees in large batches, especially if the company is hiring fresh university graduates. In such cases, a company may provide a schedule for applications and interviews. Carefully read the information on the job posting and review the company's website to see if an employer has published any specific timelines. If there's a set schedule, you can consider waiting until after the deadline to follow up. If you have friends or know other people applying to the same company, you can ask them whether they've received any feedback.

Job offers take time to prepare

Sometimes, a company may immediately provide you with a job offer after an interview. Some companies may have complicated policies to follow before they can formally send you an offer. When attending in-person interviews, an interviewer or another human resources professional may provide you with information on their company's hiring procedures to help you manage your expectations. Consider noting down any information that you can refer back to later to help you stay calm as you wait for a reply.

Related: What to Expect In a Job Offer Letter (With Examples)

They paused the hiring process

There may be unexpected circumstances that result in a company pausing its hiring process after your interview. There may be budgeting issues within the department you're applying for or sudden changes in a company's policies or procedures. Some industries have increased workloads during certain periods, such as department stores or restaurants near holidays. Consider performing some research to understand when a company might be busier. If you follow up with a hiring manager and they say they've paused the hiring process, consider focusing on other applications.

Vacation or unexpected illness

A hiring manager may have taken leave for vacation or medical reasons. In such cases, you may not be aware of the circumstances of the hiring manager. If you follow up and receive an automatic reply, the delay in a company's response may be unrelated to your application. Review their out-of-office message to check whether they have mentioned a return date. Consider waiting for one or two more business days after their specified date before following up.

More stages of an application

Many hiring procedures, especially for larger companies, may involve multiple interviews, examinations and aptitude tests. If there are multiple interview stages, the hiring manager may need time to schedule the following rounds of interviews. Group interviews may require a certain number of candidates to pass the previous application stage, so the hiring manager may still be looking for enough suitable candidates. If an employer has provided a schedule of different stages of an application process, note when the next stage is and consider following up two or three business days prior.

Related: 19 Types of Common Interviews and How to Prepare for Each

They made a mistake or forgot

Sometimes an interviewer may simply have forgotten to email you, accidentally typed the wrong email address or even lost your application. A reminder message can help your application get processed properly in these cases. As some interviewers may be responsible for many candidates, mistakes can happen. If a hiring manager acknowledges their mistake after you follow up with them, consider thanking them for the update.

If the role requires a background check

Some jobs, such as police officer positions, require background checks. As a background check often involves a third-party organisation, how long it may take is outside of an employer's control. For jobs that specify a background check, consider waiting longer than one week before following up.

Aside from background checks, many employers expect hiring managers to verify all the information provided by candidates. This may involve calling universities to confirm your academic scores and graduation and calling references and previous employers. If you have prior work experience or submitted personal references, you can notify your previous employer or your referee that a hiring manager might contact them.

You didn't get the job

Some hiring managers don't inform you when you don't get the job. Following up is still beneficial, as it allows you to focus on other applications. Writing a professional follow up email also helps show initiative and your keen interest in joining the company. There's also a chance that the candidate they selected may reject the job offer. Keeping in constant contact with a hiring manager can ensure they remember your application. Many companies also keep a database of candidates for future openings, so it's important to leave a good impression.

What to do while waiting for feedback

Once you've completed an interview, you can consider sending a thank you email immediately after. A thank you email may show the interviewer your professionalism and may also help you keep in constant contact with the hiring manager. If there are further stages to the hiring process, such as a group interview or aptitude tests, spend some time preparing for them. You can consider reviewing your answers from your interview with friends and family to get constructive feedback. Even if your application doesn't proceed further, this can be beneficial for other applications.

If you're at the final stage of an application process, you can research more on the company by browsing any recent news or industry trends. Extra knowledge on a company's business and culture can help you transition into the role if you're hired.

Related: How to Write a Compelling Post-Interview Thank You Note

Tips for writing a follow-up email

When writing a follow-up message after an interview, ensure your email is concise and professional. As the subject line is the first thing a hiring manager sees, consider including your name and the position you're applying for. Consider using the following template when writing a subject line, [your name] [the role] application follow-up. Here are some tips to follow when writing the content of your email:

  • start your email by thanking the hiring manager for the opportunity to apply

  • mention specific information discussed during the interview

  • write about your enthusiasm for the role

  • provide other contact details, such as your phone number, so it's easier for them to respond

Sample follow-up emails

Here are some samples of follow-up emails for different situations you can reference:

Simple follow-up message

Here's a simple message to remind a hiring manager about your application:

Dear [Interviewer's name],

Thank you for taking the time to interview me for the role of marketing assistant. It was great to meet with you and learn more about the company's expectations and work culture. I'm very keen to join [Company name], and I am particularly interested in the upcoming advertising campaign that's being managed by your team. I'd love to know if there's any feedback on my application, especially if my qualifications are suitable for the role.

Please feel free to contact me if I can provide you with any further information or samples of my work. I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely,
[Your name]
[Phone number]
[Email]

If there are further application stages

If the schedule of the hiring process is available, you can reference the following sample:

Dear [Interviewer's name],

Thank you for the opportunity to interview for the management trainee position. It was great talking to you about the business processes of [Company name]. I noted from the interview that I would receive a response within a week. I'm just wondering if there are any updates to the application schedule as I haven't received any information about the next stage. From the schedule posted on the website, I noticed that the second round of interviews starts on Friday.

I look forward to hearing about any updates on my application.

Thanks and regards,

[Your name]
[Phone number]
[Email]

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