1. Archive


By Phyllis Korkki - New York Times

Barbara Pachter, an author and workplace expert, likes to say that time passes much differently for a job seeker than for a hiring manager. - Say you go on an interview and it's the only one you've had all month. Most of your hopes may be invested in that single job. You wake up every morning thinking, "Are they going to call today?" The hiring manager, meanwhile, is at work with all kinds of tasks to perform and may not be thinking of you at all - or even focusing on the position you applied for. He or she may be scheduling interviews across an entire month, or even two.

So if you haven't heard from the employer in, say, two months, you may interpret that as a nonresponse, whereas it may be taking longer than that to make a decision.

Another possible reason for not receiving a response: Hiring for the position may have been put on hold for economic reasons. Now, it would be polite to let applicants know that, but that's not how things always work in the real world.

Other reasons: The hiring manager has left the company; has trouble delivering bad news (i.e., you didn't get the job); has no manners; or just plain forgot.

Whatever the reason, you have a right to find out what happened.

When you are at the interview, be sure to ask when a decision is likely to be made. Send a thank-you note so you stay on their radar. If you don't hear anything by the specified time, wait a week or so and e-mail or phone the person who interviewed you. Be brief and polite, of course. Don't let on that you've been on the edge of your seat every day for a month wondering if you got the job.

After an interview, you have a right to be more persistent - without being a pest - to the extent of one or two more calls or e-mails. If you still don't hear anything, then it might not be a place where you would want to work.