Waiting is the hardest part, as it’s been said time and time again.
When you have an interview, you’re excited, hopeful, and may be in serious need of employment. This makes the time waiting after an interview to hear back from the interviewer frustrating.
And waiting is especially frustrating if you’ve been patient for a long time, like three weeks or more.
But what should you do? And is waiting for three weeks to hear back after an interview normal?
Read more to find out how long should you wait after an interview, and what it could mean.
How Long After a Job Interview Should You Hear Back?
While there is no universal standard for waiting times after an interview, most companies usually have a similar process and similar timing.
The average amount of time that you should wait to hear back after a job interview is 1-2 weeks.
This may differ depending on a variety of factors. Some factors that can affect the amount of time you’ll wait to hear back after an interview include things like:
- Where the company is at in the interview process.
- What round of interviews it is.
- Whether or not the hiring team needs to debrief about the applicants.
- A holiday or company hiatus is approaching or happening.
- The hiring manager and committee need to find time to get together and discuss applicants.
- The position doesn’t start for quite some time.
- The size of the company.
- The position or role.
- Natural disasters or other unexpected events.
While one to two weeks is completely normal and average, sometimes your waiting time may be longer or even shorter. This depends on the company, as well as various factors that are totally out of the interviewee’s control.
Does It Take Three Weeks to Hear Back From a Job Interview?
While waiting to hear back after a job interview may be painful, everyone goes through it. The amount of time you’ll wait to hear back from the company depends on many different things.
Waiting three weeks to hear back from a job interview isn’t unheard of and is still within a normal time frame.
Companies have a lengthy process that they must follow when hiring new employees, and oftentimes it includes a lot of meetings and sharing of notes. Schedules often conflict, and time gets away from even the most professional of hiring managers and teams.
You may wait longer as the company finishes interviews, shares notes, meets with the hiring manager and goes through the list of steps that they must follow before you hear back after your interview.
That said, a three week waiting process is on the long end of normal. And having to wait that long, and certainly any longer than that, may be a sign that you didn’t get the job.
Why Haven’t I Heard Back Three Weeks After Interview?
When a company starts the hiring process, they’ll have a long list of processes and steps that they must take before they hire.
That process includes vetting applications, rounds of interviews, meetings, discussions, background checks, and more.
These things take time, especially as the hiring team also works on their daily work alongside their hiring process duties.
Three weeks is still a normal amount of time to wait and often means that the company is still in deliberation, or that the hiring team hasn’t been given permission to contact interviewees yet.
However, it’s also possible that you haven’t been chosen and, if you’ve waited that long, it would be a appropriate to follow up with your point of contact.
Three Weeks After an Interview and No Response: What To Do?
If you’ve waited three weeks after your interview and still haven’t heard back, it’s now appropriate that you’re able to take some action. But what can you do?
There are a few things that you can do if you’ve waited this long without coming off as pushy or desperate.
If you’ve waited 3+ weeks after your interview and you still haven’t heard anything, consider following one or more of these tips.
Email The Company
This is the most obvious step and is one that you should’ve already done the day of or the day after your interview via a thank you note.
If you’ve waited three weeks or more, feel free to contact the hiring team again, this time with a gently worded message. You may ask the team if there have been any updates. Be humble and kind, try to understand that they may have been busy, and never take it personally.
Call Your Point of Contact
If you tried to contact the hiring team or manager via email, try calling them instead. A call is a great way to stand out and shows that you’re very interested in and serious about the position. If you’ve been waiting for a long time, consider calling the person who interviewed you, or the hiring team and manager. Remember to call early, as most professionals are likely to be more agreeable in the morning than in the late afternoon.
Waiting to hear back after an interview feels like a long process, and when you’re looking for employment to keep the lights on, it can be. Try and remain patient, and never let your frustrations get the best of you.
While 1-2 weeks is a normal amount of time to wait, sometimes things take longer, especially if it’s a very large company.
If you still haven’t heard back, consider reaching out after three weeks to clear up any confusion.
Remember to be clear and direct, but to bite your tongue before your frustration betrays you.
Waiting is hard, but it eventually pays off, and it will for you too.
For other tips on interviews, check out our article with best practices on how to ace an interview.