You know when you’ve left a job interview feeling confident that you’ve made a favourable impression on the interviewer, only to hear crickets after? And when you drop the interviewer a casual email asking for news, they reply saying they’re still in the midst of reviewing candidates. What should you infer from this, and how should you deal with the wait?
Job hunting over an extended period can take its toll, particularly when employers engage in a long, drawn-out decision-making process. Waiting has to be hardest part, as there’s nothing one can do but be patient. To help you understand what goes on behind the scenes, here are a few common scenarios that can cause a prolonged hiring process for employers:
1.Too many parties involved
Having too many decision makers involved in the process can cause a deadlock if there are conflicting perspectives on the best candidate for the job. Having different individuals weigh in on a hiring decision can add value to the process, though there’s also the risk of prolonged decision making due to the inability to reach a consensus. The delay could simply be due to ‘too many cooks’ rather than a reflection on your performance during the interview.
2.The hirer is tied up with back-to-back interviews
It’s not unusual for hirers to be held up in back-to-back interviews if it’s a busy hiring period for the company. If you’ve not heard back from them, they might still be working their way through the candidate shortlist, so sit tight.
3.Indecision amongst the management
It’s also possible that the boss or bosses are wrestling with indecision. In a way, it’s a good sign that you haven’t heard back from them. If they’ve made a definitive decision that you’re not the person for the job, you’d have heard. The fact that they’ve not ruled you out means that you’re still in the running, so just be patient and wait.
4.The recruiter has decided to expand the talent search
Perhaps the hirer feels the need for a wider talent pool and has therefore extended the application date to attract more candidates. It might be disheartening to think that they didn’t find you compelling enough, but this might be a good time for you to review your job hunting approach and your suitability for the jobs you’ve been applying for.
5.Sudden change in direction to unexpected circumstances
On the other hand, there’s a good chance that the delay in getting back to you has been prompted by a sudden change in management direction. It could be that there’s been an unexpected need to restructure, or financial limitations that have just come to light affecting all hiring decisions. The delayed decision making could be due to any number of reasons. Things can change at a moment’s notice in the business world.
However frustrating it is not to get a definite decision on your application, the most sensible thing you can do is to move on. You might get an answer tomorrow, or you might not hear from them at all. No point in getting your hopes up unless you’ve received an official offer in writing. It’s not a done deal until you sign on the dotted line.
What do you find most challenging about job-hunting in our current economic climate? Share your insights with us in the comments section below.
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