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When Should I Expect a Call-Back After an Interview?

by Grace Ferguson, studioD

One of the most difficult parts of the job hunting process is waiting to hear back after an interview, especially if you are passionate about working for the company. Several factors influence hiring decisions, and they vary by employer. There is no hard-and-fast rule as to when, or if, an employer will contact you after the interview. However, knowing an average response time might give you some insight into how long it could take.

Average Response Time

Companies interested in hiring recent college graduates take an average of 24 business days after the interview to extend a job offer, according to a March 2013 article published by website Brazen Careerist. Because those are business days, the response time could take up to five weeks or longer. The average time frame varies by industry. An electronics and computer manufacturing company takes around 16 days to make an offer, the site says. An accounting job has an average response time of 17 days. Engineering and constructions service companies could take approximately 30 days to make an offer. Hospitality and recreational companies may extend an offer after 39.5 days. Government agencies could take 38 days.

Factors Influencing Decision

Employers' primary goal is finding the right candidate for the job. They want someone with qualifications that fit the position and characteristics that gel with the company’s culture. Considering that the final decision may involve input from several people and the amount of time it takes to interview candidates and process related paperwork, 24 business days might be reasonable. The decision-making process also may depend on the strength of your competitors. If you soundly defeated the competition or someone inside the company recommended you, and the company needs to fill the position quickly, an offer might come swiftly. Otherwise, the company can take as long as it needs to make an offer.

Sending a Thank-You Letter

In a competitive job market, employers want to see employees take proactive measures to advance their careers, according to the Public Broadcasting Service NewsHour website. One way to display initiative and instigate a callback is to send your interviewer a thank-you letter within 24 to 48 hours after the interview. In the letter, express your gratitude for the opportunity to interview, restate your interest in the job, and recall a specific topic during the interview to show that you were truly invested in the process. Though you can email the letter, consider mailing a hard copy instead to set you apart from your competitors.

Calling the Hiring Manager

If more than two weeks have passed since the interview and you have not received a response, call the hiring manager to reiterate your interest in the position. Ask when she anticipates filling the job, and what, if any, steps you should take. If you cannot get the hiring manager on the phone, leave her a voice-mail message. Move on with your job search if you receive no response after these attempts.


According to an article published by website Business Insider, if you do not receive a response after the interview it could be because you did not send a thank-you note, your references do not portray you in a positive light, or the interviewer does not perceive you as a good fit. Another reason might be undesirable online presence, such as inappropriate content posted on your social media pages.

About the Author

Grace Ferguson has been writing professionally since 2009. With 10 years of experience in employee benefits and payroll administration, Ferguson has written extensively on topics relating to employment and finance. A research writer as well, she has been published in The Sage Encyclopedia and Mission Bell Media.

Photo Credits

  • Sam Edwards/OJO Images/Getty Images