It finally happened. You got called for that dream interview for that next vital step in your career. Or, maybe it is just a job, but like many people, you need the work. You complete the interview process and walk away with a great sense of accomplishment – you feel like you will have a job offer in hand any day. Depending on the role, you may have had multiple interviews, but you had built great rapport with the managers and the recruiter was really upbeat about your experience.

Then it happens. Or rather, it doesn’t happen. No call, no email… nothing. A week passes. Two weeks go by, then three. You even kind of forget about that ‘dream company’ and move on to other opportunities. Of course, after a month or two you finally get ‘the email’. You know the one. It is the generic “Thanks but no thanks” email with no feedback and you are just left feeling empty wondering what happened.

This has probably happened to anyone reading this. To be quite blunt to my recruiting peers, with the technical communication tools at our disposal, we need to do a better job keeping our candidates in the loop. Even a short message to them letting them know we also are waiting for feedback helps candidates know we haven’t abandoned them to the candidate electronic abyss.

However, as this trend continues, being an applicant, it would be great to be able to find out where you stand. You won’t be able to completely eliminate a lack of communication but you can certainly try to manage some expectations with the organizations you are interviewing with. Here are a few things you can do to help get feedback in a timely manner.

Before and During the Interview:

Most applicants speak with a recruiter, HR Rep, or even the manager before sitting up the interview. In that window of time try to find out how quickly they are looking to fill the position, how long the interview process usually takes, and who would be a point of contact following the interview. The point of contact is important because it is only fair to you, as a job seeker, to find out more about the hiring decision.  Especially since you have done your diligence in applying for the role, learning about the company, researching the position, etc. They may not give you all of the information you are looking for, but it shows that you are interested in the position.

During the interview you want to ask some of the same questions to the hiring manager. Even if the recruiter told you they would be the main point of contact, make sure you ask for the manager’s email address so you can send a thank you note. Then ask if you can follow up with them directly in a week or two if you haven’t heard anything. You may also want to ask when it would be appropriate to follow up if you haven’t heard anything. This sets an expectation on the manager and the recruiter.

After the Interview:

Write a thank you note to the manager. It is amazing how many applicants do not do this. It allows you to stay top of mind with the manager. Even if you are not a fit they can let you know sooner than later.

Follow up! Follow up! Follow up! Keep asking the recruiter for feedback. Let them know you are interested but that you are looking at other positions elsewhere, as you likely are. I know that may make some recruiters cringe, but you need to do it. However, don’t be annoying. Maybe check in once a week for the first couple of weeks after your interview. Then check back every other week a couple more times.

Learning to Let Go:

There comes a point when you need to recognize the silence for what it is. The job isn’t for you. If the timeframe to fill the role has passed and you are still not hearing anything it is probably time to move on. Keep in mind, It may not be you and it could be an indication you really don’t want to work for an organization, or that part of an organization, that does not value a positive candidate experience.

Hopefully these simple tips in communication and setting expectations with your potential next career move have been beneficial and you can be a little more in control in the interview and job selection process.

Happy Hunting.