How Long Does It Take To Hear Back After an Interview?
Waiting to hear back after an interview can feel excruciating. As a career coach, job seekers often reach out to me wondering when it’s appropriate to follow up with a recruiter. Understanding the nuances of a modern-day interview process can help you decide when it makes sense to follow up on your candidacy.
In this article, I share how long it usually takes to hear back from an interview, as well as common factors that impact the hiring timeline. I conclude with a template email you can use to follow up on your candidacy.
When Should You Expect To Hear Back After a Job Interview?
To begin, how long should you expect to wait after a job interview before you hear back regarding their decision? The short answer is, it depends. This is because there can easily be a half-dozen or more stages in a typical hiring process, which may include:
- Application/resume review
- Recruiter interview
- Technical interview
- Hiring manager interview
- Peer interview(s)
- Working interview
- Presentation Interview
- Skip-level interview
- HR interview
- Hiring decision
- Salary negotiation
- Offer letter
- Background check
Each of these stages takes time to execute, and the timeframe can vary significantly from company to company, but if you’re looking for a concrete length of time, recent research from Glassdoor puts the average interview length in the United States at approximately three and a half weeks, from start to finish.
Factors Impacting How Long It Takes To Hear Back After a Job Interview
Now, let’s dive into some of the factors that can impact how long it takes back to hear back after an interview.
1. Your stage in the hiring process.
For starters, your stage in the hiring process is often a major determinant of how long it will take to hear back after an interview. Waiting to hear back after interviewing with the recruiter, for instance, will look different than waiting on a final hiring decision.
Consider the fact that moving to the next round in the interview process often only requires the sign-off of one or two people, while extending a job offer can necessitate the approval of multiple departments.
2. The number of decision-makers.
Similarly, the number of decision-makers often grows the further along you are in the interview process. Determining who makes it past the screening interview typically involves just the recruiter and perhaps the hiring manager.
As you progress through the interview process, however, there will likely be additional decision-makers, as well as increased feedback to synthesize, which can significantly increase the length of time between each subsequent stage of the interview process.
To put it simply, don’t be surprised if it takes a week or more before you receive an offer letter after your final letter. This is normal and nothing to be nervous about.
3. The role you’re interviewing for.
Another major factor impacting how long it will take to hear back after an interview is the role itself. Both technical and executive roles often have lengthier interview processes, as there tend to be additional rounds of interviews. When it comes to executive roles, aligning schedules can be a challenge, which can prolong the interview process.
While I recognize that it can feel agonizing, a senior manager or executive-level interview process can easily extend to multiple months. This is particularly true during certain times of the year.
4. The time of year.
Speaking of which, the time of year can play a significant role in the hiring timeline. If the company is experiencing rapid growth or has a new initiative on the horizon, it may choose to expedite hiring decisions. Conversely, if the company is experiencing sluggish sales, it may deprioritize hiring.
Generally speaking, the holidays tend to be a slower time of year for hiring, so you can expect recruiters and hiring managers to take a bit longer to get back to you after interviewing. That said, some companies specifically ramp up hiring during the holidays, so it’s important to consider the nuances of your industry and the specific company.
How To Follow Up With a Recruiter After An Interview: Example Email
So how do you effectively follow up on the status of your candidacy after an interview? Here’s a template email you can use:
Hi [Recruiter or Hiring Manager’s Name],
I hope this message finds you fabulous. Thank you, again, for speaking with me regarding the [Position Name] position with [Company Name].
I am writing to see if you need anything additional from me to facilitate the interview process.
One way to remain patient as you wait to hear back on your candidacy is to ask the recruiter for a timeline at the end of your interview as to when you can expect to hear back regarding the next steps.
And if you happen to forget to ask for a timeline, don’t be afraid to send a quick email checking in on the interview process (see the example email above). You’ve got this!