Candidate waiting for a phone call

One of candidates’ biggest frustrations is when they do not get called back after an interview they are certain went incredibly well. While this might be frustrating, discouraging and make you feel like a failure, it is important to remember that there are many factors to consider.



Chances are, if you applied at a big company, you will wait longer. It is important to understand that there are probably many people involved in the decision process and that alone has the power to double the waiting period you would need to go through with a small business. There are documents that need to be screened by more than one department, decision makers who are on vacation, different opinions and more factors that make the process longer. When you remember this, you will develop the patience you need to wait for an answer without playing every possible worst case scenarios in your head. Easier said than done… I know. But keeping this in mind will make this stressful season easier to bear.

Wrong intuition

As much as it hurts to hear, maybe your intuition was wrong. You might have thought you were going to land the job for sure, but sometimes, what we think is not always reality. You may have just gotten the wrong impression. A way to avoid this is to give your interviewer enough time to speak and ask them useful questions that will give you an idea of what they think of you. Do not be so focused on telling them about how awesome YOU are that you do not take a time to step back and listen to what they have to say.

Another great candidate showed up

You come out of the interview certain you’ve made a great impression, you felt like everything went great, and you were probably right. However, remember you have competition! Sometimes it is not about you or your performance. It might happen that another candidate shows up after and just has something that adds a little bit more value to his application. The boss might have been asked by his cousin, to hire this candidate they need to help out. Truth is, there are many factors that could explain why they have not called you back. Take a deep breath and keep moving forward. There are many other job opportunities just waiting for you to apply.

Holidays and Week-Ends

Got interviewed right before a holiday or a week-end? Patience. This will most likely slow down the process. Most of the time, the date they set to call you back is just a rough estimate. They probably won’t call you on time and you need to be OK with it.

A useful tip: Set yourself up for success by assuming that timeline is really a guess, and then you will be delightfully surprised when they call on time.


If you are wondering how often and when to follow up, read this article:

How to follow up on a job application without annoying your recruiter?

Ann-Sophie Ovile, Writer, Short Stints


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