Avoid Appearing Desperate After Job Interviews (Stop Whining, Too)

waiting for the phone call

One of the most frequently asked questions in job and career discussions groups is, “How long after the interview should I wait before checking back with the recruiter or hiring manager?”

My question is: Why on earth are you waiting for anyone? Do you not have a long-term career strategy in place or does your vision stop with the next job? You have to take control of your career by avoiding useless passive activity such as waiting for a phone call or email about the position for which you recently interviewed.

All hiring managers want to hire people with initiative and hit-the-ground-running attitudes instead of wait-by-the-phone mindsets. Hounding a recruiter or hiring manager every few days is sure to get your status downgraded too.

woman by red phone

The passive activity of waiting to hear back from a recruiter or hiring manager about whether you are moving forward in the hiring process after job interviews are over unnecessarily builds anxiety and worry (and isn’t worry a prayer for things you don’t want to happen?). There’s all kinds of advice floating around and much of it supporting a groveling approach such as, “call the recruiter and ask again when you can expect a response…” or “you just have to be patient and wait.” Gimme a break. Counteract that tendency to be another lemming by continuing to promote your professional brand and expertise to the hiring manager after job inteviews are over as part of your overall forward-moving career strategy. See one of my previous posts for details on how to do that.

Waiting for a phone call or email is just sitting dead in the water, relinquishing control of your career trajectory and momentum. Other candidates are moving forward…and faster.

Shouldn’t you be doing the same?

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Want to receive a free copy of my Career Strategy Tip Sheets? You get 5 bundled tip sheets (PDF) for career strategy, cover letters, résumés, job interview, and salary negotiation. Just let me know your thoughts on this or any blog post–or let me know of a career topic you’d like me to discuss from the hiring manager’s perspective. I really do appreciate your comments, suggestions, and thoughts.


My name is  Donn LeVie Jr. and I’m a former hiring manager for Fortune 500 companies (Phillips Petroleum, Motorola, Intel Corporation, and others) and have worked in the federal government (NOAA) and in academia as an adjunct faculty lecturer in the Department of Natural Sciences and Mathematics for the University of Houston (Downtown Campus). I am the author of Strategic Career Engagement (September 2015), Runner-Up of the 2016 International Book Award for Business: Careers, and the book that reset the rules for successful job and career strategies:  Confessions of a Hiring Manager Rev. 2.0 (June 2012, Winner of the 2012 Global eBook Award and Winner of the 2012 International Book Award for Jobs/Careers).  

I lead career strategy seminars (for job seekers and for hiring managers wanting to know how to spot talent) at conferences, business/trade schools, colleges and universities, and U.S. military veterans organizations. I also offer a Career Engagement Evaluation subscription program to associations as a member benefit.

Does your conference need a keynote speaker or a career strategies seminar for conference attendees? My 2017 engagement calendar is starting to fill up…contact me directly at donnlevie@austin.rr.com for more information or use the Contact page on this blog.

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