What You Should Do In The Weeks After a Job Interview

December 20, 2017

It's common to be nervous if you don't hear back from a recruiter after a job interview, but it doesn't mean you didn't get the job..

A situation all professionals go through that’s always stressful: you go on a job interview. You think it went well.

And then you sit and wait. And wait. And hear nothing. So, you starting asking your friends if you should email, when you should email, what you should say in that email to seem interested but not desperate… all-the-while sleep and your diet go out the window.

It’s the worst. What should you do after you go on a job interview? When should you email?

You are in luck. In her LinkedIn Learning course Making Recruiters Come to You, long-time recruiter J.T. O’Donnell describes exactly what to do after going on a job interview with a recruiter that’ll give you the best chance of being hired, without annoying the person or looking desperate.

First off, something to keep in mind

To most people, going on a job interview is a big deal in their life. It obviously means a new job, which means a new company, different pay, different responsibilities and potentially a different place to live.

But, to the recruiter, it’s just one of 1,000 things they did that day. And, so while you likely want answers right away, the recruiter has many other things going on that prevents them from doing that.

“(Recruiters have) lots of other jobs they're working on, lots of other candidates that they're recruiting,” O’Donnell said in her course. “So, sometimes it takes them a while to get back to you. And you really need to be patient and understanding. That doesn't mean that you can't take this into your own hands, though, and be proactive.”

The email you should send a week after the interview

You should send a thank-you note to the recruiter right after an interview, which is occasionally matched by a short, polite email back from the recruiter.

And then often you’ll hear little back. If you don’t hear anything for a week, it’s okay to send the recruiter an email – but a polite email

In her course, O’Donnell even gave a script of what you should write:

Dear (recruiter’s name),

Thank you so much for the opportunity to meet with you about the XYZ position. I really enjoyed my time at the company. If there's anything else I can do to further my candidacy, please let me know.

Sincerely yours, (your name).

P.S. I saw this article and I thought of our conversation: (link to article)

There are two reasons this message works. They are:

  • It shows you care about the position, without being aggressive or pushy.
  • Sharing an article that relates to your interview with the recruiter will help you stand out from the competition.

Then what?

Okay, you send the email. Than what should you do?


“When you're too aggressive with the recruiter, it's going to make them uncomfortable,” O’Donnell said. “It's also going to make you look desperate, and this is going to make them not want to follow up with you. So, you're just going to have to be patient.”

I know, it’s frustrating, but it’s the reality. If a recruiter doesn’t get back to you after awhile, it might be time to move on.

Two things NOT to do

This article covers what you should do after your job interview. Here are a few things you shouldn’t do, according to O’Donnell:

  • Send an email to a recruiter on a Monday. Mondays are busy for recruiters – it’s better to get them on another day, when they are in a better mood and have more time to respond.
  • Using phrases in emails to recruiters like “I haven't heard from you in a while”, “hey, I hadn't heard on the candidacy yet” or “hey, I wonder what's up with the job.” All of these will turn the recruiter off.

The takeaway

Hopefully, you’ve done such a great job in your interview that the recruiter can’t wait to get back to you. But, even in that situation, it’ll often take a recruiter a week or two to get back.

Don’t worry, there are a lot of reasons why that’s so. Again, it’s worth reinforcing – while this job interview is likely one of the biggest things going on in your professional life at the moment, it’s just one more task for both the recruiter and the hiring manager.

Following the advice above will give you the best chance of getting that particular job. Even better advice? Watching O’Donnell’s free course on getting more job opportunities, so you can choose between great jobs instead of hoping to get the only one or two you interviewed for.

*Image from Kevin Law, Wikipedia Commons

Want to learn more? Watch J.T. O’Donnell’s free LinkedIn Learning course, Making Recruiters Come to You. Other courses you might be interested in are: