Handling the Post-Interview "We'll Get Back to You" Response

Your resume gets selected, you nail the in-person interview, and you’re feeling extremely confident. You’ve done everything right, the pieces seem to be falling into place, and then you hear the dreaded statement – “We’ll get back to you.” You may be thinking, “Where did I go wrong?” It’s important to stay calm and remember that hiring can be a long and frustrating process. If you’ve been told “we’ll get back to you;” and nobody’s gotten back to you? Here are your options:

Take Initiative

When you’re waiting for a response, sometimes the right choice is to be bold. You’ve likely sent a thank-you note and are awaiting word. Your first step should be to call human resources, or the hiring manager. Let them know this position is your first choice, and you are eager to hear back. State, in one sentence, why you would be the perfect fit for this role, and ask what the status of the position is. You may get a non-committal response, or they may not be able to address this. However, the contact may be able to provide you with a progress update or ask for more information from you. It’s also a good idea to connect with workers at your prospective organization to see if you can learn more through networking.

Show Dedication

It’s important to follow up and stay on a company’s radar, but use discretion. You can call for a status update, but be consistent with just one method of communication. Calling, emailing, mailing – that can send the wrong message. Leaving a voicemail doesn’t mean you’re going unnoticed. Leave a short, courteous message and always keep things professional. If you’re really feeling neglected or it’s been over a month since you’ve heard anything, catch the hint. Getting hung up on a dead lead can cripple an otherwise successful job search. Take a moment to be upset, and then move on towards the next opportunity.

Be Patient

Hearing this response isn’t always a rejection. Hiring is complicated, and multiple moving parts means some information can’t be shared. You might be the winner, but they have to wait to make an official offer due to some bureaucratic red tape. It’s also possible they want to hire you, but they need approval. Maybe the head of HR is on vacation. Sometimes the best course of action is to wait it out and hope for the best. If you had a successful interview and there’s nothing left to do, wait for a week. It also helps if you conclude a successful interview by asking, “When can I expect to hear back about this position?” You’ll have a better idea of how long you’ll be waiting, and you can prepare accordingly.

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