8 simple rules for waiting to hear back from a recruiter

Just like January, a few days can feel like an eternity when you're waiting to hear back from a recruiter. Here are the do's and don'ts for this trying time.
Avantika Vaishnav
Avantika Vaishnav
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So you’ve aced the interview but now you’re in the dead zone – waiting to hear back from a recruiter. Like the month of January, the whole experience can feel like an eternity. But sometimes to get to job heaven, you have to sit around in purgatory for a little while.

As with everything in the world of work, there’s a right way and (several) wrong ways to do this. Swat up on these dos and don’ts and make sure you know the etiquette for this truly trying time.

Do follow up

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It’s a nice thing to do post-interview, just to send them a note to thank the recruiters for their time. It links the black-and-white text version of you and the real you in their minds. Plus, if you do it right, it help will distinguish you from the other candidates as someone who’s humble, grateful and a good communicator.

Don’t follow up too much

Notice how we said a note. ONE note. Really you should be contacting the recruiters no more than three times in the two weeks following the interview. It’s just like online dating, you wanna look interested but you don’t want to look too interested. Appearing desperate will undermine your case for the job, so under no circumstances should you double text!

Do continue the conversation

If you do decide to send a follow-up email or two afterwards, there’s a certain way to do it. We like to call it ‘continuing the conversation’. This is where you pick up on something you said during the interview and develop it. It usually starts with something like ‘It’s interesting you mentioned X because…’, then you drop a little bit of evidence e.g. something from your portfolio to support the point. This allows you to communicate anything you weren’t able to in the interview and shows enthusiasm without being creepy.

Don’t pressure them for a decision

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If you wanna appear completely neurotic and discount yourself right away, this is definitely one way to do it. Employers are already stressed enough with the lengthy and expensive process of hiring someone without you badgering them. Trust us, when they have something to tell you, they’ll tell you.

Do apply for other jobs

Just because you’re ‘in the funnel’ for one job doesn’t make you married to it. Indeed, it’s a better idea to keep your options as open as you can. We’d encourage you to keep applying and interviewing for other things, not only to stay busy, but so that if you don’t make the position, you’ll have something else lined up.

Don’t lie about other offers you have

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You might think this makes you appear more desirable but honestly, it doesn’t make the blindest bit of difference. You really shouldn’t be telling employers about other offers you may have unless you seriously plan to take them. And if you don’t have them, you definitely shouldn’t make them up. Recruiters may feel somewhat blackmailed by you and if they do, it’ll all backfire on you pretty quick.

Do keep yourself busy

If you’re not blessed to have another interview coming up, don’t sweat. Just find other ways to keep busy. If you’re in a job already, throw yourself back into it and try to rediscover your passion for it. If not, indulge yourself in one of your hobbies, teach yourself a skill. Hell, watch your favourite show on Netflix. It doesn’t have to be productive.

Don’t stress

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At the end of the day, just relax. If you haven’t heard back for a while, it’s because recruiters don’t take their decisions lightly and because you’ve given them a lot to think about. Let them do their job and don’t let it get into your head. Whether you get the job or don’t, life goes on regardless – no decision is the be-all or end-all.

To learn more, check out our Guide to job offers.

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