You’ve been ghosted – or you feel like you are consistently waiting for the recruiter to get back to you? It seems like waiting is just part of the hiring process – but when is it okay for you to reach out?
Read below on how long to wait after each step (since it’s apparently super common), and how to do it without getting on anyone’s nerves.
1. After you submitted your application
So, you’d finally found an exciting job and submitted an amazing cv and tailored cover letter. You waited, and waited, and nothing. What next?
First, do keep in mind that reviewing applications is a time-consuming process that often involves several people. The recruiting team might be waiting for a large volume of applications to come in to compare them before making calls.
Once you’ve given it a solid three weeks, though, it’s reasonable to attempt to check in (depending on the size of the company – the larger it is the longer it usually takes). Best idea for now is to send an email – DON’T CALL. You might want to consider this style:
Dear Ms. X,
I recently applied for the Trainee role at XX on February 1, and I wanted to reach out regarding my application. I’m excited about the potential of joining XX so I thought I should introduce myself, but I’d also appreciate checking on the status of my application.
I’d be very interested to learn more about the position if you’re still in the search process. I have been undertaking several internships at XY that might provide a good basis for the job requirements mentioned in the trainee role description. Please see attached my CV for your interest.
Thank you and warm regards,
Feel free to check up one more time if you haven’t heard back in another week (or two), but if you still haven’t heard back after that it’s probably best to put that one to rest. You might be able to check in if you happen to have a close contact at the company (hint:ambassador), but otherwise probably best to just leave it —you don’t want to annoy the hiring manager in case he or she does end up reaching back out to you later on.
2. After the Phone Screen/ First Round Interview
First round interviews are often over the phone and only about half an hour. At the end you should get the chance to ask questions – see our blog post #12. Aside from learning about the company, you’ll want to see what the next steps for the interview are and when to be expecting them.
If it’s more than a couple days past the date they gave you for when you’d hear back, it’s time to check back with them. You likely have the contact information of the recruiter who scheduled and possibly spoke with you on the phone, so – again – email and don`t call:
Hello Mr. X,
Thank you again for arranging my phone interview for the trainee role. When we last spoke, you mentioned that I’d be notified about the next stage of the interview process by February 12, so I just wanted to check in to see if there are any updates. Please let me know if there’s any additional information I can provide to help move the process along.
Thanks for your help,
Notice that this message is short and to the point. It’s easier for the recruiter to respond to one specific request.
3. After the In-Person Interview
So, you finished your interview and of course you nailed it. You exuded charm, confidence, and competence. You even sent out custom thank you notes. They gave you a date that you’d here back by—and yet, nothing.
Wait a couple more days, then send the recruiter a quick email. Put yourself in the recrutier’s position, especially now that you’ve spoken with her or him. What can you say?
I hope all is well. It was a pleasure speaking with you a couple weeks ago about the trainee role. I’m excited about the opportunity to join XX and help the digitalisation team you spoke about.
Please let me know if I can be of help or provide any additional information as you make your hiring decision.
I look forward to hearing from you,
It’s relatively unlikely for you to get ghosted after an on-site interview, so give him or her the benefit of the doubt and assume there are other things going on at the company.
This same step applies if you’re going through multiple in person rounds or have to complete an interview assignment. Wait a couple days after you expected to hear back from them, then give a friendly and helpful reminder.
Ultimately, your goal each time you follow up is to be persistent, without being annoying. This might just be the thing that sets you apart from all the other applicants.