Job Interview Advice Hiring Managers Wish They Could Tell You

When I worked in recruiting in the software development industry, job seekers would say things in job interviews that would immediately rule them out for consideration. I was very tempted to give them extensive feedback about how to do better the next time, but my company’s HR and legal departments forbade me from doing so. All that I was allowed to say was, “We hired a candidate whose qualifications were a better fit with the position.”

Job Interview Advice

Not much has changed in the last twenty years. Hiring managers are still usually prohibited from giving honest job interview advice because employers are concerned about legal liability. So here is the job interview advice that recruiters and hiring managers wish job seekers knew:

Prepare for Job Interviews

These days, job interviews are like gold, so you should treat them seriously. This means you have to prepare for all interviews. Preparation means researching the company, the position, and how your accomplishments and characteristics are a good fit for both. If a recruiter calls you and says that he or she “just wants to chat,” recognize that this “chatting” is really a screening interview. If you don’t feel prepared, schedule a different time to talk. You never get a second chance to make a good impression, so do your best to do well the first time.

All Contact Counts

All contact with the organization counts as a job interview. This includes all conversations with human resource employees or administrative professionals who are helping to schedule your appointment, it includes the time you are sitting in a waiting room making small talk with a receptionist, and it includes any social “getting to know you” events with current employees of the organization. In one situation I heard about recently, it also included the taxi driver who was hired by a company to pick up a candidate from the airport. The candidates didn’t realize that the taxi driver was contracted by the company for these recruiting trips, so some candidates made the mistake of saying negative things about the company while on the ride to their interview. The taxi driver relayed all this material to the hiring manager. When I tell this story, some people get very angry or outraged because they think the candidate’s privacy was violated. That may be the case, but just let me reiterate that everything you do or say in an interviewing process will determine whether you land the job or not.

You Can Tell Me Anything (But the Same Is Not True of Hiring Managers!)

Hiring managers or recruiters are not your career counselor. With your career counselor, you can be completely honest about your personality and preferences and you can work with your career counselor to identify the best work environments and jobs for you. But with a hiring manager or recruiter, if you admit that noise bothers you or you have trouble meeting deadlines or getting along with bosses, you probably won’t land the job. This is because an organizational decision maker needs to find the best candidate for the opening and it is too risky to hire someone with known challenges in getting the job done. While I don’t condone lying in a job interview, I don’t recommend compulsive self-disclosure, either.

Don’t Admit You Want Career Advancement Next Month

Hiring someone can be a time consuming, energy draining process. Most hiring managers are hoping that if they select a great candidate, they won’t have to turn around and replace that person within a year. When you are asked about your career goals, it isn’t a strategic response to say that you would like to do this job for a year and then move up. Just so you know, most hiring managers are hoping you will be happy with a job for two years or probably longer before you are thinking about the next move.

Prove You’re a Team Player

Job candidates underestimate how much hiring managers care about interpersonal and communication skills. Most of all, hiring managers want to find employees who can get along with other people. This means that when you are preparing responses to potential questions, you should include a lot of material demonstrating previous success in working as part of a team. Achieving results congruent with an organization’s or manager’s business objectives is terrific, and being able to do so while preserving relationships is even better.

Attitude Counts

If a hiring manager has to choose between a functionally brilliant candidate with mediocre motivation and enthusiasm or a candidate with average functional skill but exceptional motivation and enthusiasm, the highly motivated and enthusiastic candidate is much more likely to be the candidate of choice. This is because skills can be taught but attitude is very difficult to change. Don’t be afraid to let your genuine passion for the job shine through. If you are just interviewing for something because it is a survivor job until the economy improves, try to find something about the job that does excite you and focus on that.

Timing Matters

You should ask challenging questions about the job opportunity and the company to decide if the position is right for you, but be careful not to do this too soon before the hiring manager has decided to choose you. If you are still one of 12 candidates and you launch into interrogation mode like an MBA student conducting a case study and looking for weaknesses in the organization’s business model, it will seem a bit premature. First round interviews are not the time to ask about weeks of vacation or employee share of health care costs when the hiring manager is still trying to figure out whether to advance you to the next round of interviewing. Due diligence is essential but be smart about when you do it.

Positivity Is Persuasive

My most important piece of job interview advice is, “Be positive” when you are talking about your career history. Even if the interviewer asks for your biggest failure or your worst boss or anything else that is negative, find a way to spin it so that you come across as a person who is agreeable, who learns from mistakes, and who recovers from setbacks in a positive way. Discipline yourself not to go on and on about how horrible your last boss was or what a bunch of losers were on your last team. It doesn’t take much negativity before the hiring manager will be too afraid to hire you.

“So What’s Your Greatest Weakness?”

Please think of something reflective to say when you are asked about your greatest weakness. Two responses that have been used to death are the, “I’m a perfectionist,” and, “I work too hard,” responses. Even if these things are true about you, hiring managers don’t want to hear these answers for the thousandth time. Dig deeper to find something unique to say, and make sure you can explain how you are overcoming this weakness so that it doesn’t raise a red flag for the interviewer.

Calm Your Anxiety

If you are worried that your nerves might get the best of you, here’s an article I wrote about calming your job interview anxiety.


This job interview advice might seem like common sense to many readers, but the anxiety of interviewing can cause candidates to temporarily forget common sense if they haven’t recently reviewed interview basics. I hope this job interview advice helps you to land the next job you pursue!

Did this article help you? If so, please share this post with your friends and/or comment below.


  1. Anonymous says:

    I just had a second phone interview today with (company name removed to protect privacy). After speaking with the managers over the phone, I feel that I have answered all questions the best to my ability otherwise I would’ve made it that far. The interview lasted for about 30 mins the same as the first one. The manager then told me the next step in the process is that they were gonna review all the candidates and get back to me within 7-10 days. Not sure on how to take this because usually when they tell me this I don’t get the job. I’ve been out of work for 6 months now and it is starting to became a hassle with no income. I’ve followed all of the advice that there is and even people telling me that if I made it to the second interview I basically have the job. This is true in some cases but not all. This is the first time since interviewing that I have actually made it for a second interview. I’m more nervous then ever to hear a call back. I’m still actively looking because I could get a job offer while waiting for this position to offer me a job. Keeping my fingers crossed in the mean time. Hopefully I could have a job by the end of the month.

  2. Janet Scarborough Civitelli, Ph.D. says:

    Anonymous, I hope you get the job! I removed your real name and the company where you interviewed because of how many employers Google candidates and I wanted to protect your privacy online. You are doing the right thing to keep job searching while you wait because you never want all your eggs in one basket. If you find that you keep interviewing and aren’t landing job offers, the first thing I would do is find some interview coaching in your local geographic area. If you email me and tell me where you live, I will help you find resources wherever you are.

  3. So I applied for a job position that was currently opened at my previous temp place. I left the temp due to maternity leave. I was told to go back if the job was still active. I’m still on maternity leave but actively looking for full time job and found that my temp company is looking to hire permanent for a different position but within the department that I had worked. I emailed my previous boss that I was interested and was offered a phone interview with the hr. Now, what should I expect from this phone interview? I’ve worked for this same manager and I’ve talked with the hr on a personal level at the time of working as a temp. I just need to know how to treat this interview as and how to prep myself. Not only that I’m a little worried because I went back to the site to see the job description again but it said the job is no longer available at this company. I’m not sure what that means but I still have a interview with them next week. It’s a small company so I’m hoping that it gives me a better chance to get the job!

  4. Janet Scarborough Civitelli, Ph.D. says:

    S.C., treat this interview like any other interview. It is a common job search mistake for internal candidates or people who already know the boss to fail to sell themselves well because they assume the boss knows their strengths already. To prepare, review the job description and plan how you will describe how your accomplishments match each requirement. If you didn’t save the job description, you can probably find it again by using Google and locating a cached copy. Good luck!

  5. I did save the job and it actually took me to the site that I found the job. It still shows the job posting and the description but it also shows that the job is no longer available at the company that applied. I’m assuming that they mean that the job may be filled. But yes, I assumed that I should treat it as any other interview! Thanks for the advice!

  6. Why do some companies have hiring banners or advertise for over a month? I don’t get the productivity of this since some of these companies interview on the spot then want you to take an online assessment, it seem such a waste of time for everyone in the situation if they are only creating a candidate pool of people for one position.

  7. Janet Scarborough Civitelli, Ph.D. says:

    Lo, I don’t know why. I assume there is some sort of delay between when the hiring managers ask HR to take down the job ad and when it actually gets done. Or if the company isn’t large enough to have an HR department, maybe recruiting gets added to someone else’s job responsibilities and it isn’t a priority to maintain the job postings as up-to-date.

  8. How are former entrepreneurs viewed by hiring managers? I hear not well so I changed my title from director to manager but nothing resulted. I am long term unemployed now (1 year +) and need something more than a commission sales job so am considering giving up and heading overseas.

  9. Janet Scarborough Civitelli, Ph.D. says:

    Josh, it really depends on the hiring manager and the culture of the organization. Some hiring managers are threatened by entrepreneurs, for sure, but others appreciate the initiative and innovation that many entrepreneurs bring to the table. The challenge is to convince the decision-makers that you can work well as part of an organization that you didn’t start.

  10. An interview is always a 2 way street, I OBSERVE completely how the people are there, and the style of the interviewers as it CONVEYS a lot about the company, some people fit in on a slow pace and medium pace, some crave the fast pace, it has to be a fit.

  11. I interviewed the company A about a month ago, the meeting went very well. However according to the hiring manager that they want to meeting as much candidate as they can since the position is not time concerned. So I sent a follow up email last week, and he replied that they are still screening candidates, haven’t made any decision for the 2nd round yet. Meanwhile, I interviewed company B, but the opposite is that they need to fill out the spot immediately. So I am scheduled for the 2nd round next week. My question is: should I tell A that I am currently on the 2nd interview with B, in order to speed up company A’s interview process?

  12. Janet Scarborough Civitelli, Ph.D. says:

    Bob, it can’t hurt to mention it to Company A but you’d have to be very careful about how you do it so that you don’t annoy them – you could say something like, “You’re my first choice but I am in an interview process with another company who said they are planning to hire soon. Should I contact you to let you know if I’m put in a position of having to decide quickly?” It might not result in the outcome you want but if you don’t say something, the odds are that the timing won’t work out.

  13. Anonymous 2 says:

    I interviewed face to face with a hiring manager about 3 weeks ago. I followed up with a thank you email and received no response. I followed up with another email to the hiring manager and the HR recruiter wrote me back and said they were still hiring and would let me know when a decision is made. This seems like a blow off. Would you agree?

  14. Janet Scarborough Civitelli, Ph.D. says:

    Anonymous 2, it could be a blow off, but it could also mean the company has a very long and thorough recruiting process. I would touch base in a non-threatening way every few weeks, “Just checking in as I remain confident I would be a good fit for this position…” AND I would look for other opportunities in case this one doesn’t pan out.

  15. Michael says:

    After final interviews with 9 different people which include 2 division presidents 4 VPs and 2 managers and senior recruiter, I was told to have feed back in next 4 days. This is what I received from the senior recruiter ” I should have your feed back next week Tuesday or Wednesday, give me several options and lets coordinate time.” What does it means? do I have the job? please help ASAP

  16. Janet Scarborough Civitelli, Ph.D. says:

    Michael, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have the job but that the recruiter wants to continue the conversation. I would follow the instructions to give the recruiter a choice of a few times on Tuesday or Wednesday to talk and see what the recruiter has to say.

  17. Moranga_H says:

    I interviewed with the hiring manager on June 1st and it was very positive and was told they are in a rush to fill the position, June 5 was contacted to submit for background check which I did on the same day, few days later the recruiter contacts me to tell me the process is going well and that I am a top candidate for the position. A week after that I send the recruiter an email to check on the status of my application, he told me that the hiring manager told him again that I am a top candidate for the position but she hadn’t made a decision yet… Thoughts?

  18. Janet Scarborough Civitelli, Ph.D. says:

    Moranga, it is hard to know what is happening but I would wait a couple weeks before contacting them again AND I would continue to job hunt in case this offer doesn’t materialize. When you contact them in two weeks, keep the tone light and casual, “I am just checking in,” and if it drags on indefinitely, it likely means they are leading you on and the probability of a job offer might not be high.

  19. I had a phone interview a few weeks ago with a company that outsources their employees to major corporations. I then had a phone interview with the corporation and they immediately hung up and called the outsourcing company and informed them they wanted to get me in ASAP for a face to face interview, two days later I was informed by the outsourcing company that the major corporation hired someone they interviewed directly. Today I get a call from the outsourcing company the individual hired was a no show, and the corporation now wants to interview me again. How do I capitalize on the fact that the major corporation for lack of a better phrase”chose the wrong candidate” and is now back peddling to fill the position. I know I need to conduct myself as if this hadn’t happened but I would like to know if there is a positive way to spin it?

  20. Janet Scarborough Civitelli, Ph.D. says:

    Andy, I agree with your proposal to conduct yourself as if this hadn’t happened. Taking the high road is a great strategy. I would focus on making the case that you are an excellent fit for the job and ignore their recruiting disappointment with the other candidate.

  21. I’m hoping you’re still available to answer questions and give advice even though this post is a year old! Maybe there is a more appropriate article to ask this question in but I can’t find any.
    I just had my first job interview (I’m 19) ever this past Tuesday. Wednesday I personally delivered thank you letter, and this morning they called to say I was selected and to go tomorrow morning to accept the job offer and fill some forms. Since I have no experience or anyone to give me orientation on this, and I can’t find much information about it online I need your help.
    Am I supposed to write an acceptance letter the way I did the thank you? What do I say in it? Do I have it typed and printed by the time I need to see them tomorrow? I’d really appreciate a response, I want to do my best, this is going to be my first job and I want to follow through the correct process.

  22. Janet Scarborough Civitelli, Ph.D. says:

    NormaG, congratulations on landing the job!

    Companies have different policies on how they want job offers to be accepted. Since in your case, they asked you to go in person to fill out forms, take a typed letter that says simply, “I am happy to accept your job offer to start as a (title) on (start date).” So if you were going to be a Customer Service Representative starting September 1, 2015, the letter would say, “I am happy to accept your job offer to start as a Customer Service Representative on September 1, 2015.” Note that many companies have a letter already prepared that outlines more details about the job and they will ask you to sign that letter. If this happens to you, sign the offer letter rather than offering your own.

    Hope this helps.

  23. Question –
    I just met an employer for an in person interview. Now I was called in to meet the staff members next week. What should I expect? Should I bring cookies? I know they are trying to make sure the staff members will work well with my personality…

  24. Janet Scarborough Civitelli, Ph.D. says:

    Mo, no need to take cookies. Just go to the second interview and be prepared to answer questions about your work style and the job.

  25. Good day. I was hired in a company on the same day of my interview. It was a one day hiring process. They asked me to submit the requirements that their company needs and I was able to submit all the requirements after 2 working days. The recruiter told me that the processing of my papers would take long and she doesn’t know when will the process could be finished. They would just let me know when will I start then told me that it is rest assured that I’m hired. After 5 working days I haven’t heard from them, is it time for me to follow up? If yes, how could I tell the recruiter? Thank you for the answer. It will be a great help.

  26. Janet Scarborough Civitelli, Ph.D. says:

    Jes, I think it is fine to follow up but just try to do so in a pleasant, friendly way. Something like, “Hello. I am writing to follow up to see if there is any news about my start date. I can be reached at (insert your contact info).” Either leave a voice mail or send an email, depending on what contact info you have for the recruiter.

  27. Hi! I just came across this blog and loved the advice you gave out so far. Is it possible to get your insight?

    I made it through the phone interview and two in-person interviews. I was told that the second in person interview would be the final one – especially since it was with the president of the company. I was told I would hear hiring decision within a week. The week passed and they asked me to come in for a third in person interview. Is this most likely an offer meeting, or “an actual” interview? And how would I prepare if it’s another interview and not an offer – I already asked all the questions I wanted to know in the last interview I had.

    Any advice, insight, help would be appreciated. Thank you!

  28. Janet Scarborough Civitelli, Ph.D. says:

    Hello, Nervous, since there is no way to know whether the next meeting will be an additional interview or an offer meeting, the safest strategy is to prepare for both. You can always find more questions to ask by Googling: questions to ask at the end of an interview. Some of the best are: How would you describe this company’s culture? What do you like best about working here? In the first 90 days on the job, what would be the most important priorities for the person you hire? Is there anything else I can tell you about myself to help you make a hiring decision? What is your timeline for making a decision?

    To prepare for an offer meeting, decide your strategy for negotiation. For professional level positions, I recommend asking for the offer in writing and asking for a day or two to review the details before accepting.

  29. I had a phone interview with the HR person and it went well. The hiring manager then asked me to send my transcripts and degree info. I got an email back about a week later that they want to fly me out to do a face to face interview in a week. I am in Indiana- the job is in Connecticut. Even though this is s fairly large company, I would think that they would limit the number of individuals that they fly in for interviews. What are your thoughts on this? It is a managerial position in a very specific field, so my assumptions are there are not many local candidates.

  30. Janet Scarborough Civitelli, Ph.D. says:

    Sarah R., while we can’t know for sure, I would make the same assumption as you. Flying people cross-country for interviews is expensive so they are probably doing that with only a limited number of individuals.

  31. Hi,
    I am currently interviewing for the same position I hold now, with a competitor corporation (large). I have already been told my salary will be hard to meet, and that I am overqualified for one of the prospective positions. The recruiter wants to “fit me in” somewhere, though. Today’s interview with a hiring manager went alright, but she seemed to wonder why I was jumping ship, too. She gave me a detailed overview of the next steps in their process (when they are conducting other interviews, when she plans to make an offer) but ended with “if for some reason we don’t speak again, best of luck to you in your career advancement.” I don’t know what to think at this point. I am running into the “overqualified” hurdle- how do I handle this?

  32. Janet Scarborough Civitelli, Ph.D. says:

    Kate, this is one of my favorite articles on the “Overqualified” challenge:

  33. Made it through three interviews to the finalist stage, was asked to provide references and was told they planned to make a decision week before last. Haven’t heard anything, didn’t receive a reply to my “just checking in” email yesterday. Today I noticed the job announcement has been taken down. Is this a sure sign they’ve given the job to someone else?

  34. Janet Scarborough Civitelli, Ph.D. says:

    Marie, no, it isn’t a sure sign. It is Labor Day weekend, so someone may be on vacation, or the decision-making process may be taking longer than expected, or they are negotiating with another candidate so they don’t want to reject anyone else until they know what happens with that candidate. My advice during interviews is to ALWAYS stay gracious and optimistic and even if they do tell you that you were a second choice, respond nicely because there are many times I have seen a finalist for a position not get the first job they pursued the first time they tried, but they did land either that job at a later date (when the first choice person either doesn’t work out or leaves) OR a different job with the employer or a member of the interviewing team because you made a good impression with them.

  35. Thank you for the wise and encouraging advice.

  36. Hi I had an interview yesterday with this company and today I sent a thank you letter for the interview to the hiring manager. When he responded he said he sent the paperwork to HR but waiting for them to approve it. My question is what is the approval for? and is it anything I should be worried about?

  37. Janet Scarborough Civitelli, Ph.D. says:

    Robyn, in many companies, HR manages the hiring process, so their approval is a final step before a job offer is extended. No, it isn’t a cause for worry.

  38. Hello,
    I had my about 1 hour phone interview, got an email saying invite to the office to get to know about us and yourself. Does this means, 2nd interview or they have decided to hire and just formal get to know each other? appreciate your answer

  39. Janet Scarborough Civitelli, Ph.D. says:

    S.M., my best guess is that they are inviting you for a second interview. If I were you, I would prepare for that and then it will be a pleasant surprise if it turns out that they already made a decision to hire you.

  40. Thank you for your swift response here , this is amazing. It was a thorough 1 hour long technical phone interview, asked me almost everything about the subject matter. I will follow your advise and prepare myself. One thing that confuse me is that, it says – invite to our office to see our operation and get to know each other better. Doesn’t say anything about 2nd round of interview.

  41. Janet Scarborough Civitelli, Ph.D. says:

    S.M., the invitation to see their operation and “get to know each other better” is the type of thing many employers say when they really mean “interview.” They must have liked what you said, technically, but now they want to meet you and evaluate whether you are a fit with the other employees and with their culture.

  42. I have a similar scenario/question. I interviewed for a position with a company I really have a passion for, and am excited about. I interviewed with hiring manager, then days later with his boss. I got great feedback and hiring manager said they want to bring me on. He said that they are currently under “budget pressure” and him and his boss put together, and signed off on a “business packet.” They sent it up to people above them for approval and we are waiting to receive the approval.

    My questions are this. What are the odds this will not get approved? How long does this usually take (was signed and sent about 2 weeks ago)?

  43. Janet Scarborough Civitelli, Ph.D. says:

    Alburro, there’s no way for me to know how long this particular company takes to make hiring decisions. “Budget pressure” sounds a bit problematic, but they may say that to everyone to discourage salary negotiations. Every few weeks, send them a friendly, non-threatening check-in, “Just wondering how the process is going and I remain interested.” But, continue to look for other jobs in case this offer doesn’t materialize.

  44. Thank you for your response. When I interviewed with him and his boss, they both had no issue with my salary request. However, I met with them over 3 weeks ago and they still haven’t received the approval. I’ve been very impressed with the fact that when I followup he is very receptive, and responds quickly. It is very clear that I’m their number one guy and they want to bring me on. They said due to the “holding pattern”, they need higher-up approval and we are waiting. Due to my current position, I have a deadline that they are aware of, so I am hoping to get this approval this week. I will certainly let you know the outcome.

  45. Hello,

    Interviewed with an organization of about 7k + employees and felt the interview went well (lasted about an hour and 15 minutes). They referred many times to my extensive background and asked questions like “how long would it take you to move here and separate from your current job?” I took this as a good sign and they advised they would be in contact with me since they had to finish up interviewing all candidates. It’s approaching the two week mark and I haven’t heard anything yet. I did send a thank you note snail mail immediately after the interview thanking HR and the interview team. Any suggestions and/or comments?

    Thank you,

    Anon J

  46. Janet Scarborough Civitelli, Ph.D. says:

    Anon J, for a company that size, the average recruiting process is 26 days, so two weeks isn’t unusual. Source:

  47. Thank you very much!

    Anon J

  48. My daughter interviewed with a major Fortune 500 company this past Friday. She had an initial interview with the company’s recruiter and this second interview was with the hiring manager. The hiring manager mentioned how she was very impressed with my daughter’s experience and skillset and that she planned to make her decision shortly. Immediately after the meeting, my daughter wrote a very impressive thank you letter and the hiring manager responded that it was a pleasure speaking with her and good luck with the hiring process.

    I am wondering if that last statement regarding the HIRING process means she may have gotten the job. What do you think?

  49. Janet Scarborough Civitelli, Ph.D. says:

    She might have, but I never assume anything 100% until a written offer is in hand.

  50. Anonymous 3 says:

    Last week I had a phone screening with HR which went well, then the Hiring Manager emailed me directly the very next day with details of the positions available and we set the phone interview date / time together by email (the following day); he even shared the outline of the discussion and sent me an outlook invite.
    The Phone Interview went OK I think, there were a couple of awkward silences in between from the hiring manager which bothered me because he was either doing something else (ex. reading emails) or not interested in me; but after answering all technical questions, he said “you will hear later today or tomorrow either from me or HR about the results”.
    A week has passed and I have not gotten any answers so I emailed the Hiring Manager directly asking about the phone interview status; after a day, he replied me back saying that they are still reviewing candidates and they will let me know by next week.
    How did “later today or tomorrow” changed to 2 weeks ?
    Do you think I still have a chance or at least being considered or what is happening on their side?
    Also, should I reply him back saying thanks or dont reply to him anything at all?

  51. Janet Scarborough Civitelli, Ph.D. says:

    Anonymous 3, awkward silences are common in phone interviews because the hiring manager may have been taking notes. For the interviewee, it can feel like the hiring manager is multitasking or being weird, but that is usually not the case. As for the delay in decision-making, that’s common, too. Hiring managers change their plans and timelines all the time. I think you may still be in consideration but there is no way to know. I would reply, “Thank you. I look forward to hearing about next steps.” But also keep job hunting so that all your eggs aren’t in this basket.

  52. I had a face to face interview 3 weeks ago. I felt connections with all the interviewers on different levels. The second day after the interview, I sent thanks-notes to every interviewer via e-mail. I got an e-mail from the HR Business Partner that he would talk with me soon; another e-mail from a different HR Manager saying that he is happy to hear everything went smoothly, and hope that they would be seeing me soon. Then one week later, one HR manager wrote me that he should hear something in the next few weeks, and they were still interviewing applicants. Now it has been for three weeks since my face to face interview. Please tell me what you think about my chance to get this job I really like? Thanks.

  53. Janet Scarborough Civitelli, Ph.D. says:

    Julie C., there’s really no way to know. Sometimes companies take a long time to make a decision, so they might still be in their recruiting process, or they might be negotiating with a candidate and that’s why they haven’t told anyone, “No,” yet. “Next few weeks” could mean 3-6 weeks or more. I would consider continuing your job search until you have a firm job offer in hand, and feel free to check in with this company every few weeks with a quick, “I remain interested and confident I would be a great fit,” type of voice mail or email.

  54. Does that mean anything when HR wrote me after my thanks-note that it was a pleasure to meet me, and talk with me soon, and another one wrote they will be seeing me soon? Thanks for your suggestions.

  55. Nicole S. says:

    I had a phone interview last week that I thought went pretty well. It was positive, relaxed and friendly. At the end of the call the hiring manager asked about salary. I tried getting her to talk money first. She told me she liked what I was doing there but wouldn’t budge. I ended up giving her a number and she said we were in the same ball-park. She told me she would be doing face to face interviews the next week. I sent a thank you email the next day and I haven’t heard back. Should I assume that the phone interview didn’t go as well as I thought? Should I follow up or just let it go? I thought it was a good sign if she was asking about salary. Maybe I assumed wrong? Thank you for any advice!

  56. Janet Scarborough Civitelli, Ph.D. says:

    Julie C., unfortunately, it is hard to know what it means when HR and hiring managers say things. I believe they mostly mean well, but I have observed that they sometimes say things that aren’t correlated with outcome (job offer or not), so I take everything they say with a grain of salt until a job offer is in hand. That’s why I recommend that job seekers continue to job hunt until they have accepted a job offer.

  57. Nicole S., there isn’t any downside to following up as long as you do so in a friendly, professional manner. Check in with the manager and reiterate your interest and see what happens. Also, see my recent comment to Julie C. as I think it is relevant to all job seekers.

  58. Janet, I appreciate your advice. Thanks!

  59. Hello Janet,

    I did a phone interview with a company a few weeks ago and was told (with enthusiasm) that they wanted to set up an all-day interview with the heads of various departments. They were clearly anxious to hire and my experience was, as they said, “fantastic” and “just what they were hoping for.” I waited… and waited… and finally heard back this week that they ended up hiring a person who had been in the position but left. The HR manager then told me that the person I’d done the phone interview with still wanted to meet, though they don’t have any open positions. I’ll be meeting with three people, plus the HR manager, for an “exploratory interview,” which they hope might lead to something down the road. I’m going to take the interview, but I’m a little unsure how to proceed since it’s not your typical informational interview–they’re asking me to come in, not the other way around.

    So my question is, is this unusual? And does it mean just what they say it means, that they really don’t have a spot available? I know based on the phone interview that the position they were hiring for was actually being made into one position from two–but that two people with that position had left at the same time. Is there any chance they’re looking at me as a backdoor candidate in case they need that second position after all? I’m interested in your thoughts.

  60. Janet Scarborough Civitelli, Ph.D. says:

    Sara, it is a bit unusual, but it never hurts to deepen connections that might pay off in the future. It isn’t an information interview. I would treat it like a job interview because budget situations can change. I wouldn’t spend much time trying to guess what the true situation is because you can’t know that (unless someone gives you insider info, but even then the info might not be accurate). Focus instead on what you can contribute and make that case. Let them worry about how to make the job offer happen either now or later.

  61. HI Janet,

    Asking for your advice on my job search journey. I’ve recently graduated from college and my job searches in human resources field. While, I was in school I was working for a company as hr assistant/scheduler few months ago I resign (I wanted to pursue a career in HR get away from scheduling plus the company was not willing to give a pay raise after completing my degree in the hr field).

    Since then I’ve been on several interviews some went well (I thought I had the job),others not so good (the job wasnt for me) others I was told I’m overqualified. Like other job seekers I think some of the interviws was fake or space filler.
    My question to you and seeking your advice about this up coming company. I apply to this company about a month ago, ive just received an email from Hr director explaining the reason in delay in hiring process (the email seem like general email to all applicant) and they will be in contact within 2 weeks by email. So, am asking should I replay back to the email or just wait to see if they will reach out to me? Thank you for your time. Choice51

  62. Janet Scarborough Civitelli, Ph.D. says:

    Choice51, one option is to reply (make sure you aren’t choosing “Reply All” ) with, “I look forward to next steps.”

  63. Hi! I landed an interview through a recruiter last Wednesday and it was honestly one of the best ones I’ve ever experienced. The owner and I hit it off. It lasted close to 2 hours and we were on the same page about everything. She was really excited and told be that she was going to email some work schedules over to me that evening so that we can get the ball rolling this week. As promised, I called the recruiter to fill her end as she was really excited as well. She told me that she would follow up with the owner and get back with me ASAP.

    Well, the email from the owner never arrived and I called my recruiter Friday to see what was going on. She said she hadn’t heard anything. It’s now Monday and still no word from the owner and still no response from the recruiter-even after another VM this afternoon.

    Should I assume this is a lost cause? Is it ok for me to reach out to the business owner and follow up since the recruiter won’t return my calls?


  64. Janet Scarborough Civitelli, Ph.D. says:

    Kristy, this does seem strange but maybe something happened in the owner’s life that caused a delay? Perhaps send an email to the owner that says, “I am following up because in our last conversation, we talked about next steps and I look forward to continuing our discussion.” You could consider copying the recruiter to keep her in the loop but that’s up to you because she hasn’t been very responsive so far.

  65. Hi, I landed three interviews, first one over the phone with HR, second with the VP and the hiring manager. The third interview was with three managers. After a week, I emailed the HR and the hiring manager, in my email I mentioned to them that I’ m still very interested in the position and asked them when a hiring decision will be made. Next day I received email from HR stating that she received feedback from the group that “they want to continue to look for additional candidates before a decision is made. They ask that you sit tight until they have a chance to see a few more people. I should have another update soon in about 3 weeks.”
    Should I reply and wish them a good luck with their search?

  66. Janet Scarborough Civitelli, Ph.D. says:

    Monica, I think it would sound rather snarky to say, “Good luck with your search.” If you still want the job, wait it out and the offer may still come if they finish interviewing and decide you are the best choice.

  67. I had a phone interview with the HR, then was called in for a interview with their 3 other individuals. I was told that I should hear something on Monday. I received a text from HR on Monday that said, “They had not made a decision yet. Thank you so much for your time. Should have a decision by the end of the week?” Am I still a option?

  68. Janet Scarborough Civitelli, Ph.D. says:

    Morgan, Monday as in two days ago? Yes, I think there’s a good chance you are still being considered because there is no reason to think otherwise. It isn’t over until it’s over!

  69. I have been expecting an e-mail from HR to give me an answer – it has been 3 weeks since the HR Manager told me he should hear something in the next few weeks. Actually during the interview, one interviewer told me that I am a perfect fit for the job and my skill-set is exactly what they are looking for due to my rich experience at the fortune 500 companies. What took them so long to give me an answer? Thanks.

  70. Janet Scarborough Civitelli, Ph.D. says:

    Julie, I have no way of knowing the specific situation but some possibilities are bureaucracy introducing a delay, indecision on the part of a hiring manager, disagreement among the hiring team, negotiations with another candidate and they are waiting to see if it works out before talking to other candidates, someone influential is on vacation or out sick, and/or an overwhelmed HR department so there is a backlog of candidates to contact.

  71. Hi,

    I have an MBA with 4 years work experience and also a career gap of 5 years but in that 5 years I was volunteering from home for 1.5 years. I recently went for an interview of low pay(totally different work field than my previous work) since I wanted to continue my career somehow. Interviewer was really impressed about my past experience and volunteer work and offered me a better position based on my qualification and experience. He set me up a call next week with the Technical Lead. This call was total disaster, as he neither asked questions related to my previous job nor to the new position. I finally asked this interviewer about what exact skills they expect for this position? His reply was “To be honest, I really don’t know”. It has been a week and until now I haven’t heard back from them. Please let me know how to consider this interview and do I have a chance?


  72. Janet Scarborough Civitelli, Ph.D. says:

    santa, it is disappointing when an interviewer doesn’t know how to do his job, isn’t it? This happens sometimes. I don’t know if you still have a chance because I don’t know what the Technical Lead is thinking, but please don’t let this experience scare you away from continuing to hunt for the right job. If this opportunity doesn’t work out, there will be others.

    Hopefully you won’t encounter another incompetent interviewer, but in the future, one strategy to try is to ask, “Would you like to hear about my experience at ?” When the interviewer says yes, it gives you an opportunity to direct the interview a bit.

  73. I had a phone interview with the hiring manager just for to explain the job description in detail. He asked if I was willing to perform the duties and I said yes. He then said he would email an application which he explained had questions that he wanted me to answer in more than a couple of sentences which I did and emailed back to him. The following day he called me and we went over a couple of questions he had and then asked when could I start. He then ended it saying he was going to send the app to his human resources and they should get back to me within 2 days and they might want to do a video interview. It’s been 3 days. Why would the process start with the hiring manager then next to human resources?

  74. Ladiv, it is common for companies to structure their hiring process in the way you described. It is also common for actual hiring processes to take longer than originally predicted by the employer.

  75. Hi i was wondering if i got this job at an ice skating rink as a cashier the Manager said he liked that i have Retail experience and a smiling enthusiastic personality so he told me that he wants me to get a feel of the atmosphere Sunday (i’m not working on Sunday just like a tour) to see if i like it and if i’m comfortable with it now i asked my Husband and Mom as to if i got the job they said it sounds like you got it, it’s my decision if i want it after trying it out do you agree? the Manager also told me they’ve had big turnovers so he’s hiring a brand new staff

  76. Amanda, I agree with your husband and mom. It sounds promising but the only way to find out for sure is to go to the rink on Sunday.

  77. Okay Thank You Janet 😀

  78. Anonymous 5 says:

    I have been underemployed despite hundreds of applications and a lot of interviews for over a year after finishing college. Statistically this shouldn’t even be the case, but yet it is for me. After following up with HR last month for one opportunity with multiple openings I interviewed for in August, which was supposed to start this month, I see that the job posting is still online, but today actually saw on Linkedin profiles of other people hired for the positions. I don’t know when those people actually updated their Linkedin to reflect that new job, but is that a definite sign the employer didn’t wish to move forward with me? I’m thinking that either they just haven’t taken down the posting yet, OR they have more openings, and are just continuing to look for other people who are not me. I will contact them on Monday to politely inquire about my candidacy and hopefully get closure (I never let companies whom I had at least a phone screening with reject me without my knowing) , but am just asking if there’s a more optimistic explanation for this? Meanwhile, I guess I could remain hopeful about other opportunities I’m currently interviewing for, which at least haven’t officially rejected me yet.

  79. Janet Scarborough Civitelli, Ph.D. says:

    Anonymous 5, as you said, you don’t know when these people updated their LinkedIn profiles, so I wouldn’t conclude anything from that. There is often a lag between when companies makes decisions and when they update job posting status online, so I wouldn’t conclude anything from that, either. If you have had a lot of interviews and no job offers, maybe participate in some interview coaching to ensure you are representing yourself well. If you finished college within the last year or two, you should be able to use the career services for alumni offered by your school.

  80. Anonymous 5 says:

    Thanks for the response. So are you saying that it’s possible the employer might still consider my candidacy, despite the LinkedIn profiles I saw of those people who were already hired? And another misfortune I had was one job where I thought the interviewer definitely wanted to hire me (though in the mean time I knew not to stop applying until an offer was made), though the next step involved finalists meeting with a second person. Unfortunately, the next week she emailed me saying that she left for a new job, though she passed on my information to the new hiring team as she thought I was a really strong candidate. The position has since been on hold, quite possibly because the new hiring team thought they didn’t need a new person. I’m still bitter when I think of that random misfortune which I had no control over, but it’s also astonishing that no other interviewers have shown that much interest. I’ve also continually researched good questions to ask interviewers that would increase my odds of a job offer, but even then I get no luck.

  81. Anonymous 5, yes, I always stay optimistic until there is no longer any doubt that the hiring manager has decided not to extend a job offer, so, yes, I still think there is a chance. Regarding the vaporized job offer, that is frustrating, for sure, but is not uncommon. I encourage job seekers to persist and trust that another opportunity will coming along. And to repeat something I wrote earlier, if you haven’t already done some interview coaching, please consider doing so. Even people who are good at interviewing can greatly benefit from just an hour or two of candid feedback. Most schools offer alumni an affordable way to participate in this.

  82. Anonymous 5 says:

    Thanks for your replies to both my inquiries. I do feel like I could perhaps benefit from interview coaching, given my overall bad luck thus far. Nonetheless, still optimistic things will change for the better for me in the near future.

  83. I submitted an application in August for a position at a large foundation that I’m very interested in. I never heard anything, but in early October had an opportunity to meet with one of the top leaders at the organization in a professional capacity (through my current job). I saw that the position was still posted, so I reached out to her the next day to express interest and see if we could meet to discuss. I included my resume. She responded very graciously, and said they have a candidate they are expecting to hire, but have been having trouble scheduling the final meeting with the President. She said she’d love to talk if it falls through. Two weeks later, the position is still listed. Do I follow up again? Or was she just being courteous and I should let it go. I don’t want to embarrass myself because of my current professional interaction with this organization, but I also feel really strongly about the position and don’t want to let opportunity slip away. Advice?

  84. Janet Scarborough Civitelli, Ph.D. says:

    MJM, since she already knows of your interest, I would probably not follow up again since it has only been two weeks and there is often a lag between the time a position is filled and the time websites are updated.

  85. Thanks for the advice.

  86. Anonymous27 says:

    I am currently working full time but am not happy in my current position and have been applying for jobs for an extended period of time. I have the skill set desired for many positions and a well formatted resume which has secured several interviews; however, I have been unsuccessful in landing a new job. Today I received an email from a recruiter who wants to discuss my career goals. What should I expect from this initial interview and how should I prepare to tackle her questions. I want to work for their company, I want job stability, to work for a company that values their employees and provides for advancement after positions have been mastered, I want to continue to learn new things and be challenged, and to continue to assist the public, which these positions provide, but I am unsure how to communicate this appropriately and in a way that would spark her interest to provide a face to face interview.

  87. So I had an interview with the director right after that I had a panel interview with two supervisors. Days later I received a call to set up a phone interview with the hiring manager. What are your thoughts?

  88. Trish, that likely means you are being seriously considered for the position. Prepare for the interview and good luck!

  89. I have been jobless for 4 months and been actively looking for jobs. Recently in early Sept this year, I was shortlisted for an interview for 6 months temporary HR position. But the interview turned out to be successful. In early Oct, the HR from the same company called me that there was an opening at another department and asked me if I am still keen and available for the position. I agreed and was shortlisted for an interview yesterday . Towards the end of interview, the interview panel told me that they will let me know in a while. Does this mean that I might stand a chance of getting the job successfully?

  90. Janet Scarborough Civitelli, Ph.D. says:

    D.A.H., yes, definitely. Send a thank you note to them and good luck!

  91. I had a phone interview for a large company, then was contacted in September to be flown cross country for a face to face interview. Interview was three hours and ended up having lunch with the hiring manager and another manager. At the end of the interview, the hiring manager said “hopefully HR is quicker this time.” I interviewed the first week of October and emailed the hiring manager this Monday with an update. He responded with this: The hiring process is still in the works.
    I’m hoping to get the final documentation in HR’s hands tomorrow for review. (The review also takes time)
    Thanks for your patience and you should hear something in the next couple of weeks.

    Any insight on what this may mean?

  92. Janet Scarborough Civitelli, Ph.D. says:

    Great8, I think it means their hiring process is very, very slow. Respond with something like, “Great. I look forward to hearing about next steps.” Then be prepared for more waiting.

  93. I had a interview with the hiring manager on the phone for 15min. As anyone experience that before?

  94. Hi Janet,
    I had a face to face interview less than a week ago. I think it went well. When asked about situations (tell me about time …..)from my previous job or school projects, I made sure to show the learning outcome and the professional way of dealing with such situation even when it was a struggle or negative fact. At the end of the interview, the hiring manager (manager of the department) expressed his satisfaction with the way I communicated my ideas and answers, he also appreciated the fact that I was not trying for what people might think the “best answer”. He felt that I was honest, and he explained that they were looking to hire and train a person who can be trusted to stick with the company and have good intention and not just always looking for a better opportunity elsewhere. During an earlier question, I have expressed my intentions to work for them because of some qualities of the company, and that my career decision is a great step in life and for that reason I looked to their company as a place to have a long term career. After the interiew I started to wonder how much was I off the “right answer” that everyone Strive to show to the hiring manager? And how much my honesty might hurt me even though I followed the STAR technique in my answers? What can I conclude from his statement that he could tell I was honest and not trying for the “right answer”? Was that equivalent to “thank you for cutting down my decision time ?” I also would like to know if it is wise to add hiring mangers to your LinkedIn after interview? And if it is OK to figure out what their email is in order to send a thank you note if I forgot to ask for a business card given that the contact before face to face interview was inernal recruiter with whom I had phone interview first? Do you think I have a decent chance to pass to the next step? Thank you in advance.

  95. Janet Scarborough Civitelli, Ph.D. says:

    nidajo, here are some thoughts:
    1. It is always difficult to know what a hiring manager is thinking. I usually tell job seekers to try to resist the temptation to analyze every statement the hiring manager made because in my experience, it doesn’t accurately predict outcome.
    2. I would wait until the hiring decision is done before trying to connect with the hiring manager on LinkedIn. You don’t want to make the hiring manager feel uncomfortable in the middle of the hiring process.
    3. It is OK to figure out and use work email addresses, not personal ones.
    4. Yes, you have a decent chance, as far as I can tell with limited information.

  96. This is a weird one. About two years ago I interviewed with Company A, made it through about 5 interviews (one in person)with flying colors, and was flown out to do a “day-in-the-life” kind of test. I’d been grieving and was exhausted, and needless to say, I was an absolute train wreck in the interview and did not get the job.

    Fast forward to today. I am interviewing with Company Z and am in round 3 of the interviews. I found out that the Company A’s hiring manager (who I would have reported to) is now working at Company Z. You can imagine my anxiety.

    He and I would be peers if I am hired in this position and, while he works in another part of the country and we won’t have much interaction (to my knowledge) he will see my name either during or just after the hire. The test I took at Company A is supposed to be highly predictive so my sharing my circumstance will just sound like an excuse for a terrible performance. Can he share what an absolute disaster I was in the interview? Should I reach out to him or am I just running the risk of drawing more attention to it?

    I am a bundle of nerves. Any advice you can offer is greatly appreciated.

  97. ebennett, of course I don’t know the exact right thing to do because I don’t know how good his memory is, but if it were me, I would not say anything about the previous interview to this guy but I would just do the absolute best I could in the current interview process. Lots of people have landed jobs after a bad interview and you can, too.

  98. Thank you very much for the advice. Big interview tomorrow and I feel much better hearing another viewpoint about the odd situation. Much appreciated.

  99. Hi Janet,

    I was recently applying for the job a week ago. Then I was immediately reviewed my profile by the hiring manager and he sent me the home-based test to do for an hour. In the next day morning, the hiring manager sent me an email to set up the phone interview right away. My phone interview with him lasted for about 30 minutes and we discussed mostly based on my resume. In this interview, he also set up the salary he would pay to me based on my expectation and talked about the benefits I would receive when joining the company. For this position, I have to reallocate out of my state. Since then, he told me that this phone interview is the final stage of the selection process, and I will know the hiring result for 1-2 following weeks. Additionally, I have just noticed that the company has recruited for this position about 3 months ago and it seems like they continuously search for the right candidates. According to my information, I have known that they are going to hire not more than 5 people for this position. I am just wondering if the hiring manager signaled me for the chance to be hired after just only a phone interview??? Can you please advise me for this situation?

    Thank you very much!

  100. Tracy, it is unusual for an employer to extend an offer after only one brief telephone interview but since the hiring manager told you that this is the company’s process, maybe that is indeed how they operate. Send a thank you note and I hope you receive a job offer soon.

  101. Dear Janet,
    Last week a HR manager from a large corporation called me and told me that a Sr. Director wanted to talk to me. And two days after, I had a nice phone conversation with their Sr. Director (HM). The conversation touched almost every aspect of a very scientific job, which requires me to manage over 40 employees with broad background. During the conversation, I answered his questions by combining my extensive scientific experience at the fortune 500 companies and my MBA knowledge for business efficiency and employee management (I have MS and MBA degrees). It was so smooth and it took only 25 min for the whole conversation. At the end the hiring manager said it is VERY good. And he still had some other candidates to interview, and he would report his evaluation about our conversation and see if they need further phone interviews or onsite interviews. He also told me he manages a 200+ group, which surprised me. I feel that it is a right job I have been looking for and he is the kind of leader who can bring out my best. I am wondering why he didn’t give me an onsite interview right way? Do I still have a chance in the interviewing process? Thank you for your valuable advice.

  102. Janet Scarborough Civitelli, Ph.D. says:

    Sunny, yes, you always have a chance until the employer says you don’t. Many companies have a process where they do all the initial screening interviews and then they decide which candidates to invite to the next round. Send a thank you note and hopefully you will get good news soon.

  103. Hello Janet,
    I had two phone interviews with a late stage startup and then was invited for an onsite interview out of state one month ago. I sent thank you emails after the full day of interviews and submitted my travel expenses. I really like this position, its a great fit, and hiring manager said he didn’t have any concerns about me with the position. I have followed up twice with the hiring manager and just received a check for my travel expenses. His last update was that “We are still in the process. Taking awhile to sort through things.” His update feels so vague. Do you have any advice on his message? Thank you!

  104. LP, I suspect it means they are still interviewing candidates or haven’t yet gotten all the interviewers together to make a decision, which is completely normal. Vague statements are also normal because they don’t want to prematurely reveal anything until they are ready to do so. I would let their process play out and if it starts feeling like it is taking too long, consider evaluating other opportunities so that you aren’t counting on just this one possibility. (But it doesn’t mean you are out of the running if it takes a long time…many times the recruiting process just takes longer than you would expect because employees are busy and are doing other things rather than recruiting full-time).

  105. Is it by chance a new trend instead of telling a candidate that they didn’t get the job, company’s tell them we took a look at the position and need to re-evaluate it?
    Why would they interview for a position that they don’t know if they need it?
    This has happened 3 time to me since July of 2015- I was one of 3 finalists each time, and each time the process took a week or 2 longer than promised to get back to me. I feel they are moving on with an offer to another candidate and waiting to see if that candidate accepts it, before telling me I didn’t get the position.
    I would much rather be told-sorry we decided on another candidate than left dangling in the wind saying “we will call you back once re-organize”

  106. Janet Scarborough Civitelli, Ph.D. says:

    Confused, I don’t think that’s a new trend but is a continuation of an old one…it has always been difficult to find out what is really going on with hiring processes.

  107. Hi Janet,

    I recently went on an in-person interview, and I thought it went well. But I found out from my peers (who applied for the same position) that at the end of their interviews, a second interview was mentioned. I did not get a mention of this second interview, so I now strongly believe that I am not in the running for the position.

    Is there a possibility that the interviewer just forgot to mention the second round of interviews? The conversation went longer than the expected time slot, and the receptionist kept beeping him that other possible candidates were waiting (which he ignored to continue the interview), therefore, he might have felt a little rushed and forgot to mention all key points. I am not sure if this will matter, but this position was for an entry level engineering position at a fairly large project management company (I saw that you said the second interviewing process is fairly irregular for academic related positions, but I am not sure if that is the case for large corporations).

    Thank you ahead of time for your response and advice!

  108. Janet Scarborough Civitelli, Ph.D. says:

    Nicole, it could definitely be the case that being rushed caused the interviewer to forget to mention second round interviews. Interviewers say all kinds of things or don’t say things in interviews and it is always really hard to know what they are really thinking. My advice is always the same: Do your best, keep communicating with the company as if you are still in the running, and don’t give up until you are told you are definitely not getting an offer right away. Even then, be friendly and professional because so many times a second or third choice finalist does end up working for the company because the candidate made a good impression and the hiring team remembered them when additional job openings were created in the future.

  109. I went on an interview for an assistant general manager position and spoke with the HR lady and the general manager and things went really really well. I sent a follow up email the next day thanking them for the opportunity to speak with them and also reiterating what would make me a good fit for the company. I received a reply a week And a half later saying that they wanted to reach out and let me know that they’re still interviewing and to have a great weekend. Do I still have a chance to get this job or am I out of the running?

  110. Janet Scarborough Civitelli, Ph.D. says:

    Mary, there was nothing in that message that sounds like you were ruled out so yes, you definitely still have a chance!

  111. I recently applied for a managerial position that’s been advertised online for about 44 days. I sent my resume in and was contacted 2 days later to schedule a phone interview. Phone interview went well and I was told they are looking to fill this position ASAP. Was scheduled a face to face 10 days later and a 7hr drive. I feel the interview went very well in front of 4 people one being a old co-worker of mine from a previous company. After the interview I asked when I will hear something and the VP stated I should hear something in 2 weeks to a month because they still have to schedule interviews. I sent thank you notes the next day and did not get a reply message back. It will be 14 days tomorrow and have not heard anything. They did assure me that everybody will be contacted if hired or not. I just think it is odd to still schedule interviews for a position that been advertised already for over 50 days. Especially when I was told they looking to hire somebody ASAP.

  112. Janet Scarborough Civitelli, Ph.D. says:

    Dee, they said “2 weeks to a month,” and in my experience, companies take longer than they predict, so they will likely take the full month and more to complete their decision-making. Here is a good guide to the average length of hiring processes:

  113. I always had great paying jobs and was in a career I loved but made a mistake and got terminated by the company I was working for and had to take a $10 hr job to survive. I have had interviews but have not gotten rehired in that career and believe I am black balled by the company that terminated me since everyone in the industry knows each other. I have decided to move on and have had some great interviews in the next career I am trying to get an entry level job for. But I always think they are great interviews, and they can’t be if I am not getting hired. I know I have been way to eager and might have come across as desperate for a better paying job when I first started interviewing. Also I was way to enthusiastic and talkative, which I have toned down. It seems that I am always the first person they interview and have others to interview. Am I really the first? And Why? Do they interview the one they are most interested in first, or the one they are least interested in so they can eliminate them?

  114. I’m thinking the first one interviewed is at a disadvantage. Won’t I be forgotten? I’m thinking that is part of my problem, thinking I need to be unforgettable. My personality is positive and outgoing with a sense of humor so it’s hard for me to tone the sense of humor down and be more serious. I know I give great interviews but think I need to tone down the humor, they can find that out after I’m hired. Maybe I’m just searching for something that tells me why I haven’t gotten hired at a better paying job. It’s just been so hard but I won’t give up, I can’t.

  115. Janet Scarborough Civitelli, Ph.D. says:

    Shelly, there are contradictory studies on whether it is better to be early or late in an interviewing process. If you are consistently landing interviews but not offers, participate in some interview coaching to get candid feedback. Most cities have affordable or free ways to do this if you research community employment centers, job search groups, or community college career services.

  116. Hello,

    I had an initial interview with HR for a medical device specialist position in another state that I applied for since I plan on moving there. I then had a “casual” interview with the hiring manager for that region. It went well and it ended with the hiring manager saying she would talk to HR about doing a face-to-face interview, probably a FaceTime interview since I do not live in that region, and that HR will contact me about setting this up. It has almost been a week. I called the HR yesterday near the end of the work day and left a voicemail reaffirming my interest and asking about the timeline for this face-to-face interview. I haven’t heard anything back yet. Is this normal in the hiring process or is it just them leading me on?

  117. Janet Scarborough Civitelli, Ph.D. says:

    Nikayla, yes, this is very normal. There is never any way to know if employers are really going to follow through until they actually do so, but hopefully they will schedule the interview soon.

  118. On Monday I had an interview for Company and the interview went pretty well and after we were done she said that she had a few more people to interview and then I would know with him there too it was Wednesday and I hadn’t heard anything so I called her up to inquire about the position she said that they now had two positions and should have figure out who to put where and I would be hearing back from her and is now Friday and I went on the interview on Monday should I call her back today or should I wait. In the meantime I am still looking for jobs but I do really want this job.

  119. Janet Scarborough Civitelli, Ph.D. says:

    Veronica, I would wait a bit longer. It hasn’t been that much time so I would give them some more business days to complete their process.

  120. Anonymous 6 says:

    I applied for a role and at first they sent me a test online, i must’ve passed that because i got round to first interviews! my interview was on Monday and the day after they contacted me to say i was put through to second interviews. I’m not too sure what to expect as the email says its a ‘General discussion with the hiring manager and there’s nothing to prepare before hand’. I really want this job so i wanted to go a little prepared at least in case i’m completely unprepared and mess it up right at the last stage.

  121. Janet Scarborough Civitelli, Ph.D. says:

    Anonymous 6, one idea is to try to find out more about how the company interviews by checking sites like Glassdoor and CareerBliss. You can also do research about the types of interviews common to your career path and industry. That way, you would be prepared to the extent that you can be.

  122. Anonymous 7 says:

    I interviewed for two internal positions in the same department at a different site of my large company. These positions have two different hiring managers, who work together. The interview was virtual with both managers there, as well as their boss and another person. Where we left the meeting, it sounded like the two of them were going to talk and someone would get back to me. It’s been a few weeks, and now I’m not quite sure how to approach follow up. I’d be happy with either job if offered, but am trying not to alienate either manager in case one is interested and the other not. Would you suggest following up with both at the same time (individual with separate emails or combined in one email?) or just picking one to follow up with?

  123. Janet Scarborough Civitelli, Ph.D. says:

    Anonymous 7, if you follow up with each of them in separate emails at the same time, you can tailor your response for each job and maximize the chance of selling yourself into one of the roles.

  124. Pessimistic says:

    Went for an interview at a company and at the end of the interview this company manager wanted to confirm me on spot but I told him I still have another interview with others company and need to take time to consider. I told this situation to my brother but he said I should not be so honest to tell them I still had another interview at other company. Therefore I really don’t know whether I should be honest to the interviewer or not?

  125. Janet Scarborough Civitelli, Ph.D. says:

    Pessimistic, I agree with your brother. When you tell one company about your interest in a different company, it raises questions about your commitment. Sometimes people use an existing job offer as leverage to negotiate a second offer but they are accepting the risk that doing this may jeopardize the first offer.

  126. I had a pre interview i filled out a basic application
    Then i interviewed with the recruiter who told me to fill out more in depth application.
    She told me submit application and look out for a personality test directly from company. Then after personality test i interview with hiring manager.
    Recruiter double checked with Hr they have my application but im still waiting for my test its been two buisness days.

    What to do?

  127. Janet Scarborough Civitelli, Ph.D. says:

    Donald, did you check your Spam folder to ensure the email with the test isn’t there? If it isn’t there, I would wait 5 or so business days and then follow up with the recruiter.

  128. Doing your research on the company and the role goes a long way! It shows the dedication and enthusiasm that companies are looking for in a candidate.

  129. Dear Janet
    I recently applied for a job and the very next day was asked for a phone interview. The recruiter told me that their VP was really impressed by my resume. We talked for about 30-40 minutes. The recruiter told me that there were 2 other candidates. She told me I would hear from her within next couple of days. I did send her a Thank you email. Then the following week, since I have not heard back from her) I sent another email expressing that I was still interested in the job if it was still available. Never received any response at all. I am surprised that the recruiter would not even respond to me at all. May be they filled the position, I don’t know. Is it common for recruiters to ignore the candidates? The position is still listed on their website. I am not sure what to do now. This job seems like a great fit for me and I know I can be such an asset to this company. What should I do (besides keep searching for other jobs). Thank you so much!

  130. Janet Scarborough Civitelli, Ph.D. says:

    Kate, unfortunately, this is extremely common. My usual advice is to contact them once via email, once via voice mail, and then to focus on other opportunities. I know it is extremely frustrating!

  131. I went to the first interview about week ago and at the end they told me that they will call in two weeks for a 2nd interview schedule if I make the cut. 3 day pass by and i get a call that they want to do 2nd interview as soon as possoble. Does that mean I might get the job ?

  132. Janet Scarborough Civitelli, Ph.D. says:

    Pawel, you might, yes, but focus on doing well in that second interview. Definitely invest some time in preparation.

  133. I want to get a job with the Secret Service as a special officer, which is basically a security guard for Secret Service agents, facilities the government owns, and relative political dignitaries. They don’t expect a degree, unlike special agents, but it’s a big advantage. Right now, I’m a college student, looking for a full time job relative to my degree (criminal justice). On the Secret Service website, it says it’s not hiring for Special Officers, but I read online I should call anyway to try to get at least an interview. What I’m having trouble with is how to sell myself in the right light, even though, I may not be tier one quality they’re looking for. How do I initiate the contact? How do I structure the resume and cover letter without lying, but make it look impressive too? Please help!

  134. Janet Scarborough Civitelli, Ph.D. says:

    KS-R2, it sounds like you would benefit from a session with a career counselor to help you develop a strategy. If you are a college student, your tuition should already have paid for that as part of your student services fee. If you message me the name of your college, I will tell you how to meet with the right department.

  135. Janet,

    Having read this blog, you have given some great advice.

    I would like to pose a situation to you and try to get some feedback.

    I recently received a phone call out of the blue.

    A lady states, “I am ……. with X company.(Fortune 1000 company) We liked what we heard in your interview and would like to offer you the position of ……. at $……….. per year. Is this something that you would be interested in?”

    Here is the problem, I never applied for or interviewed with that company. Although, they had my resume’ and all contact information. I asked if I could have a few days to make a decision and she was quite agreeable.

    I called back on two days later and told her that I would accept the position, but I had to let her know that I had never applied for the job or interviewed with the company. To which she stated, “Oh My Gosh, this has never happened to me before, let me arrange an interview to get you in here and the offer still stands.” I agreed and have never heard back from them, and when I called to check in, my calls are not returned.

    I have since verified that the lady is an actual person working for the company she stated.

    What is your opinion on this situation, as I worry about “Identity Theft.”

  136. Janet Scarborough Civitelli, Ph.D. says:

    Wizanger, that is completely bizarre! I have never heard of that happening before. Either it really was a completely odd mistake or it is some sort of scam but since they didn’t follow up, it is tough to know.

  137. Eager to Start says:

    Hi Janet

    I hope this message finds you well.

    I landed in this post because I was reading about the role of HR in the process, and the work in collaboration with the hiring manager. Please, could you share with me your perspective as HR professional about the following situation?

    Currently I am waiting to hear back from HR. I am applying for a position. I used to have a similar role a company which has a partnership with my prospective employer. I am being told I am a strong candidate given my previous experience with the accounts I will handle in the future if/when I get the role.

    This process started with the hiring manager, who then got HR involved.

    The telephonic interview with the hiring manager went well. She talked to me after her boss introduced us, upon my approach to him. I was told they needed to touch base with HR and wait until the position was posted, which has already happened and I already applied, following the standard procedures.

    My last contact with the hiring manager was 10 days ago, before she left for the Holidays. Before se left i was informed that she would be back to work on January and also she mentioned that HR was supposed to contact me in her abscense to conduct the HR interview and discuss the next steps in early January with her as the hiring manager (an in person interview). That contact from HR has not happened yet, and those were her instructions 10 days ago.

    I was told that she wanted to start in January, but then she mentioned that considering the delay for the holidays, she was aiming to late January of the first week of February.

    I thought of contacting her assistant, just touching base and expressing that I remain at their disposal to continue the process as suggested by the hiring manager. But I thought it might not be a good idea. I don’t want to upset anybody in HR, especially considering how hectic these days can be, which affects the timelines.

    Should I just wait for another week? Or wait until she comes back in January? It conflicts me that this role is also about bridging communication and being proactive. From my perspective, following up could be a sign of “I am staying on top of this”, but I don’t want to bother the HR manager or be annoying.

    Please, I would appreciate to know your opinion.

    Thanks in advance for your time,

  138. Janet Scarborough Civitelli, Ph.D. says:

    Dear Eager to Start, I would probably follow up but do so in a very low-key, friendly, non-threatening way. “Just checking in to continue the process. I am available this month and also in January.”

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