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How Long Does It Take to Hear Back After a Job Interview?

A woman wondering how long after a job interview should you hear back

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Whether it’s the first, second, or final interview, you want to know, how long after a job interview should you hear back about it? And the answer is: it depends! 

Several factors can influence how long it takes to hear back from the company after a job interview, most of which are out of your control. And what happens if you don’t hear back?

Don’t worry — we’ve got you covered. This guide will help you understand how long it usually takes to hear back after a job interview and what to do while you wait:

How Long After a Job Interview Should You Hear Back?

So, how long might it take to hear back after a job interview? “Like many things in the job hunt or internship search process, it depends,” says Cidnye Work, principal campus recruiter at Whole Foods, former Meta university recruiter, and career coach. According to Work, things that can impact how long it takes to hear back after an interview include:

  • Where the company is in the interview process
  • Whether or not it’s the final interview round and the team needs to debrief about the candidates
  • A holiday or company break is approaching
  • The hiring manager and hiring committee need to schedule time to get together and compare notes

Unexpected events can also impact response time, like an illness or professional or personal emergency. Even something like severe weather can mess up response times.

And sometimes, it takes a while to hear back after a job interview because after speaking with the candidates, the company realizes it needs to rewrite the job description to better reflect what it’s looking for in candidates. Other times, the company’s fortunes have changed, and the budget isn’t the same as it was when the company started interviewing, so it may need to wait and see if it can or should fill the role.

But while any and all of the above can (and sometimes does) impact how long it takes for you to get a response after a job interview, Work says, “In most cases, you should hear back within one to two weeks max after a job interview, unless the recruiter or team lets you know it will take longer.”

What to Do While Waiting to Hear Back After a Job Interview

So, now you know it can take about two or so weeks to hear back after your job interview. But during that time, you might be a little anxious. To help keep your mind off the situation, here are a few things you can do while you wait.

Check Your Notes

It’s normal to get impatient when waiting to hear back after a job interview. Even if you don’t get the position, you still want to know. But before you pick up the phone, send an email, or fire off a text, check your notes.

>>MORE: What to Bring to a Job Interview in 2023

There’s a good chance the hiring manager told you when you could expect a response, so double-check the timeline. If you were told, “two or even three weeks,” mark that date on your calendar so you know when you can start getting antsy. (Pro tip: asking how soon you can expect to hear something is an excellent question to ask the hiring manager).

Keep Going

Until you have a job or internship offer, keep going. Even if you’re 100% positive you nailed the interview and will get an offer, keep searching, applying, and interviewing. If nothing else, continuing with your search is good practice for next time. And, who knows? You may find something that’s even better.

Don’t Overthink It

It’s easy to think about everything you did, didn’t, and should have said during an interview. While self-reflection is an essential part of growth and improvement, don’t dwell on how the interview went. If you prepared and went into the interview as confidently as possible, you did the best you could, and you should be proud of that.

If there’s something important you forgot to mention, you can always address it in your job interview thank you email, which you should send within 24 hours after the interview.

>>MORE: How to Use the STAR Method for Interview Questions

When to Follow Up After a Job Interview

Though the interviewer may have said you wouldn’t hear anything for a few weeks, you may hear something in as little as one to two days post-interview. It depends on how quickly the company hires and how fast they want (or need!) to fill the position.

With any luck, the hiring manager will keep you in the loop about what’s happening (even if the update is: “we’re still working on it”). However, if it’s been at least a week since you interviewed or at least a week after the timeframe when the hiring manager said you’d hear something, Work says it’s OK to follow up on the interview with your recruiter to get an update.

When It Takes a Long Time to Hear Back After a Job Interview

Sometimes the date for hearing back from the hiring manager comes and goes without any communication. So, you reach out and … nothing. You might wait a week and try again, only to still hear … nothing.

At this point, it’s safe to think you’ve been ghosted. However, in rare circumstances, the company might reach out to you weeks or months after radio silence. What does this mean?

The company may have offered the job to someone else, but it didn’t work out, so now they’re coming to you. It’s equally possible the company had to freeze hiring for a few weeks, or something unusual happened that threw off the hiring timeline (like a major computer crash).

What you do in this situation depends on how you feel about it. You can (and should) ask why you didn’t hear anything, and there may be a very reasonable explanation. But the company may also decline to answer your questions. So, consider this: the way a company communicates with job applicants is often the way they communicate with employees. Ask yourself how comfortable you are with the company’s communication style before accepting the offer.

While you wait, get prepped and ready for your next interview with our Job Application Basics series below. This five-part series will show you how to increase your chances of getting hired. Start with the intro, then check out all five parts:

Read more articles on interviewing:

Image credit: Canva

Rachel Pelta is the Head Writer at Forage. Previously, she was a Content Specialist at FlexJobs, writing articles for job seekers and employers. Her work has been featured in Fast Company, The Ladders, MSN, and Money Talks News.

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