iStock_000024086772LargeHave you ever had this experience? You go to a job interview, and you feel like you really nail it. Then you leave, and half expect to have a job offer waiting in your e-mail inbox by the time you get back home. But you pull into the garage, check your phone, and the e-mail isn’t there. So you wait.

And you wait some more.

A few days go by, and all you get from the interviewer is radio silence.

Silence following a job interview can obviously be confidence-shaking and disappointing, especially when you really feel like you did well in the interview. But don’t panic: Just because you don’t hear back immediately doesn’t mean your prospects are grim.

Take A Deep Breath

That’s the first step to properly addressing post-interview radio silence: Take it in stride. It’s probably not personal. There could be a million reasons why you haven’t yet gotten a call:

  • Maybe you were the last interview before the interviewer went on a two-week vacation.
  • Maybe you were the first in a looooong line of candidates.
  • Maybe the company is coordinating some interviews with internal candidates.
  • Maybe the hiring manager is just taking a lengthy span of time to make a really deliberate and cautious decision.

Whatever the case, don’t freak out. Waiting is hard, but sometimes it’s just what you gotta do—and you can’t let it psyche you out or cause you to follow up in an unprofessional manner.

Follow Up—The Right Way

Speaking of which, how should you follow up after an interview?

For one thing, the Grammar Chic team advocates for thank-you notes—a great way to stay connected with the interviewer and also to show how professional and polite you can be.

As for subsequent follow up, the general rule of thumb is to call or e-mail once every 10 days or so—until your gut starts to tell you that it’s time to move on.

Learn Your Lesson

Of course, suffering through the waiting game may reinforce some key lessons. For instance: In an interview, it’s always good to ask for a timeframe, and to get some idea of when you should expect to hear back.

And the post-interview waiting period is also a good time to hone in on your resume—perfecting anything that arose as a point of confusion or contention in your interview.