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  • Indrani Stangl, M.A., Career Coach

Tick Tock Goes the Clock.

So you aced the final interview for your dream job, and you are on top of the world. You got the job. You just know it. At the end of the interview they told you that you would hear something by the beginning of next week.

Monday comes and goes. You keep looking at your phone for missed calls. You check your e-mail every ten minutes. You call your phone to make sure it's actually working. You send a test message to make sure your e-mails aren't bouncing. Tuesday afternoon. Wednesday morning. Wednesday at noon is still technically the 'beginning' of the week, right?

Should you call? Should you e-mail them? Should you wait? How long should you wait?

The waiting is excrutiating. Your feelings of confidence diminish.

So what to do? First, don't stop looking for work. The reality is that many things could have happened after your interview, and you may not get an offer. Not only will continuing your job search be a good distraction, it will keep your momentum going, and maybe you will find an even better match!

If you were told you would hear word by a certain time, wait a full week before checking in. When you check in, send a short e-mail doing just that - checking in. Keep your tone positive, and ask if you can provide any further information. Reiterate your interest and ask when you may hear back.

Don't whine, pressure, complain or ask for feedback. If hiring you is still a possibility, the last thing you want to do is put the nail in your own coffin.

At this point, the company should get back to you with something.

Best case scenario is that you hear something about a hold up from HR, or perhaps one of the key decision makers is out of the office unexpectedly. Perhaps they need some more time to line up another interview for you. Remember that when there is a job opening, many people are more busy than usual, and things could slow down despite their better efforts. If you hear back that they need a bit more time, thank them politely and keep on waiting.

Another possibility is that they do get back to you, and it's to tell you that they decided not to move forward. Yes, it is disappointing, but it is very important not to get discouraged. During your job search it is inevitable that you will be turned down. It's part of the process. When that happens, and it will, you need to brush yourself off, and keep forging on. Think back on the experience and try to learn something for your future interviews.

Lastly, it is also possible that you don't hear anything at all. This is absolutely infuriating and unfortunately happens all to often. It is rude and disrespectful. But, there is nothing you can do about that. Think about something: do you really want to work for someone that has no common courtesy? If after the first check in, you wait another week and still hear nothing, you need to let it go and move on.

The day your job search ends is the day everyone signs on the dotted line, and you have a good offer in your hand, in writing. Job search is hard. That is why it is called 'job search' and not 'job fall-in-your-lap'! There are jobs out there, and you only need one, right? Try to keep that momentum going, even during the waiting game.

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