The Job Search And Career Advice Blog header image 2

Ask Brian Followup – Still Waiting; Now Confused.

March 6th, 2008 · 16 Comments

Posted by

If you have career or job search question you would like answered on this blog, click here to Ask Brian.

Last week, a question from reader Iris prompted me to give some rules of thumb about how and how long to wait/follow up after an interview. She sent another email this morning:

Thanks for the advice last time. As you said I waited for two weeks then emailed the company regarding getting feedback from the second interview.

However the reply I got was something along the lines of:
During the recruitment process they have looked at the department and the way it is structured as a whole moving forwards. Sorry that they have not informed me yet with regards to an answer on the role, but they are still considering their options. They will let me know of any progress asap. And they thank me for my patience and enthusiasm…

What exactly does this imply? I don’t know much about the recruitment process, but is it not usual to look at the structure first and then decide whether they need another person or not? How long am I supposed to wait now?

Brian answers after the break:

Brian Sayz:

I don’t know if my euphemism dictionary is up to date, but it sounds like they might not be hiring for that position anymore.

In fact, it sounds to me (see if the folks in the comments agree) like they might have gotten cold feet because of the slowing economy. They might have been thinking of hiring a few months ago, but now have thought better of it.

Why they’re still stringing you along is beyond me.

I might be wrong, but I think I’m not. And it’s been PLENTY of time now. It might be time to write this one off and move on to other opportunities.

Related posts:

  1. Ask Brian – Does an Employer Have the Right to Ask About Activities/Groups/Clubs?
  2. Ask Brian- How Do I Know If I Aced the Interview?
  3. Ask Brian- How To Schedule An Interview When You Already Have A Job

Tags: Ask Brian · Interviewing

  • Jodith

    While Brian is probably right, there may still be a small chance that they will, indeed, be hiring. It isn’t unusual for the frontline manager to want to hire, but get caught up in a reorg instituted by higher ups. The manager obviously is still hoping that she will get approval to move forward with hiring someone. I’ve seen this happen before.

    My advice, though, is the same as Brian’s. Move on. If something comes through later, great. If not, don’t waste more time on them.

  • Richard Rinyai

    I agree with Brian and Jodith. When I was looking for jobs in the past, I would just submit and forget about it.

    If interviews came about, I would follow up once or twice and if no response, I would forget about it.


    Richard Rinyai

  • Rachael

    An anecdote: My company is very small and is still in it’s infancy. We knew that we needed to hire a web/production specialist and began conducting interviews. We found a great candidate, who was eventually hired, but he was strung along for about two months. The timing wasn’t quite right and we were dragging our feet because had managed to do all of his tasks for the first 10 months of the contract. Now we know that the position is indispensable but we weren’t ready to bring him on until we knew that we couldn’t do the job ourselves anymore. It’s 6 months later, he’s still with us and incredibly busy.

    If the position is a new position at the company I wouldn’t give up hope yet, especially if they seemed interested. It could be a while but it’s definitely possible that they will still come through. If you are interested I’d continue to follow up, but I wouldn’t stop pursuing other opportunities.

  • Ian

    Schools do this a lot, as well. I’m a recently graduated educator looking for a job, and I’ve applied for quite a few and gotten absolutely no response. What’s worse is when you try to contact the principal or whatever and you can’t reach anybody. You leave messages with the secretaries for them to call you back, but two weeks later you still haven’t heard from them. Then, when you call, and finally get someone, you get a curt, “the position’s filled” and then silence.

  • jessie

    I went through a similar situation with a company in regards to being strung along. I heard back from them several times. They emailed me almost immediately after submitting my resume. I had a phone interview a week later and then they flew me out to San Francisco and put me up for the night. After that the HR contacted me and asked me what I thought of the interview. I didn’t hear from her for two weeks and wrote back and she responded that everyone enjoyed meeting me and were impressed with me. Again, two weeks passed and she told me that they were busy and thanked me for still being interested in the position. Two weeks after that I contacted her again and she responded that they were not hiring for that position at the moment but that everyone was impressed with me. This experience was worse than a rejection! It’s been 4 months now and I applied to other jobs but I still can’t get over it. Maybe once I land something I will but for now I don’t see why they would do that to someone.

  • jorge


    I had the first interview in spanish, two weeks later I had a second interview in English, Both times I followed up with thank you notes, after another two weeks I called to see if they have made a decision, but the interviewer was vague as to when they were going to make a decision. It has been more than a week. Should I called back or wait or should I email them?

    Please help


  • jessie


    I think you should wait two weeks and then ask when do they think they will make their final decision. If they’re vague again you may want to just forget about them. They’re not trying to impress you so they may be interviewing someone else. Sounds like they don’t have proper interviewing etiquette.

  • Sil

    So I was interviewed for a non profit org last week and they told me on the spot that they liked me and that they wanted a second interview. I left the interview so excited and happy! But now its been a week and I have not heard from them. I send a thank you letter 2 days ago and I still haven’t received anything from them. What should I do? Should I just move on? Please advice.

  • Ryan

    I interviewed on May 25th for a position and was told that they hope to make a decision by end of the week. I sent a thank you letter on May 28th and a follow up email on June 7th. It’s already June 14th and still haven’t received a response yet. I was wondering if I should send one more follow up letter/call or just chalk it up as “lessons learned” and move on.

  • Anni

    I had a great interview about a week ago. I think it went pretty well and left very enthusiastic about this position. After 4 days of the interview, HR contacted me to ask me a couple of questions regarding my last compensation, if I was authorized to work in the U.S. (which I am) and finally she asked me to fill out and fax a pre-hire CDR form which I believe is to check your credit and finances. I have not been contacted since then, although its been just 3 days since then. Is this a good sign? Should I contact them know or should I wait a bit longer? Any advice would be appreciated.

  • MIKE

    Thanks in advance..

    a few weeks back i was called for an interview… went to the interview its a small 3 owner business with about 20 employees. i was then called to meet with the other 2 owners. (first interview lasted about 4 hiurs.. toured the plant…2nd interview.. another 4 -5 hours… toured the pant again.. this time i observed a few of the workers perform their jobs. after, i gave the initial owner feedback on what i observed. it all went very well. so.. of course i sent all 3 owners thank you cdards.. when following up on a monday, the owner (original contact) said he would have a decision by weeks end.. they are just very busy… at the end of the week.. i called him like heasked and still hasnt worked on the position … so.. a fw days later i get an email from him telling me hed give me a call the next day.. he never did… so.. i called him the day after and had to leave a voice mail… what should i do now??? i have a wife and kids to think of.. and i am still looking and keeping my optiosn open but this positio was / would be a great fit. do you think i should call him again? or send an email? ohh.. one other thing that i did was send him a design of a ficticious property to give him an idea of my styke and techniques… ive won awards from major players my deisigns and this one was top notch… so .. what do i do??? any advice will be helpful.

    dad of 4 hoping to score (this posiiton)

  • Crystal


    I just had an interview last week, and they told me that they would be interviewing through the next day, but would call me “either way” by the beginning of next week. They called as promised, and asked a few additional questions that she said they didn’t get around to at the interview. I answered them as best I could and was told that she needed to speak to another hiring manager and would be calling me back soon. Two days later, and no call back. Should I be worried?
    College Girl

  • nt

    what if i went in for an interview and got offered a job, took a drug test, hearing and vision test and now just waiting for a background check and at that time i wasnt working. i was in a situation where i needed to work asap and then got offered another job and took it for a temporary time, would that be lying on my application?

  • Jeremy

    My name is Jeremy. My wife and I just relocated. I had two interviews with the same company and they said I got the job. Four weeks later I’m still waiting. I’ve called them and they said that it is a busy time and they will call me when I can start. This company has great benifits but, I’m afraid I might be  waiting too long missing out on other stuff. So when is it not worth the wait? Ironically my neighbor is the manager that interviewed me. She said they really like me but, it might take another two weeks before I can start. I’ve  already waited four weeks. Bills are stacking up. I feel like I’m being strung along. Should I move on?

  • Terriitsme

    I had a fantastic interview early in the week. He even asked me all the right questions……wages, when I could start, he was very pleased with my experience etc.
    He told me that he would get back with me at the end of the week, which he didn’t, so I called and he said that he would be calling applicants on Monday. Well I have not heard from him and it is Tuesday. It has been a week ago today that I had the interview. Should I call again or email to find out the status?

  • Employment Contract

    This is a harsh place to be; the uncertaintly can be stressful to say the very least for all concerned. Make sure that you have in place a contact number that can give you an implication.