Q&A: How long after an interview is a job offer made?

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 8 June 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

After an initial interview with a recruiter for a new job, there's typically a waiting period in-between for you to hear back about whether you were successful in getting the job. This could be within a few days, or even longer depending on certain circumstances. It's important to be aware of waiting times after interviews and best practices in the interim. In this article, we answer common questions surrounding the post-interview process including 'How long after an interview is a job offer made?' and provide tips for improving your chances of being hired.

How long after an interview is a job offer made?

To answer 'How long after an interview is a job offer made?', the length of time between your interview and hearing back about the position you applied for depends on the companies' hiring process. This can vary from within 24 hours to a few days and sometimes over a week. For example, a smaller business that's interviewing fewer candidates could let you know that you're successful on the same day as your interview if you impressed them enough.

A bigger company interviewing more candidates may take longer to get back to you. At the end of your interview, always make sure to enquire about when you can expect to hear back from the recruiter regarding the position. This allows you to manage your expectations regarding when you find out if you've been successful in your application. It also shows further interest in the role and shows to the interviewer your enthusiasm for the role.

Related: A guide on how to ace an interview (with tips and examples)

Why am I waiting a long time to hear back about a role?

There are many reasons that a company could be taking longer to get back to you after an interview. It could be due to the processes they follow, or upcoming interviews with other candidates. Reasons why hiring managers may take longer to get back to candidates after interviews include:

Other candidates' interviews

In any job application, companies select a range of candidates that they think are suitable for an interview. In smaller businesses, this can be two to four candidates. In bigger organisations, recruiters could interview more than 10 candidates.

Where your interview falls in the company's schedule affects how long it takes for them to get back to you. For example, if you're the first candidate they interviewed, it may be necessary for you to wait until the other candidates have had their interviews and the recruiter has assessed all potential employees. There are also account assessment processes and follow up interviews in some instances to take into account.

Processing documents

It could be that a company wants to hire you but the hiring itself involves processing certain documents or getting approval from other members of staff first. For example, they could be awaiting a drawn up contract of employment to present you with or need confirmation from higher management of your employment. All of these processes have the potential to delay and delay the hiring manager to notify you about the position.

Meetings with other members of staff

In larger organisations that have interviewed many candidates, the interviewer may meet with other members of staff to discuss which candidate to hire. It could be that the company has had multiple interviewers that come together to discuss their candidates. It can take time for all members of staff to have the time to convene and discuss and this is another reason it could be taking longer for them to respond to you.

Related: Fun interview questions (with 30 example questions)

When can I follow up with my interviewer?

It's a good idea to follow up with your interviewer within a minimum of 24 hours. This helps to keep your interview fresh in the recruiter's mind and is a personal touch other candidates could forget. Send a short and polite email to the interviewer or interviewers that you previously met with.

Things to remember when sending follow up messages

There are certain things you may include in your follow up message after an interview. Mainly, you can reinstate your interest in the role and any important points from the interview. You could also consider the following points:

  • Thank the interviewers for their time and state how much you enjoyed meeting them.

  • Confirm again why you're the best fit for the job position.

  • Confirm if there are any other documents the interviewer would like to see.

  • Offer dates you're available for a second interview, if relevant.

  • End the message saying how you look forward to hearing from the interviewer regarding the position soon.

What can I do to improve my chances of getting hired?

The best way to increase your chances of interviewers hiring you and hearing back as soon as possible after an interview is to be well prepared and confident in your meeting with the recruiter or hiring manager. There are several steps you can take to improve your chances of being hired, including:

Prepare well for your interview

Ensure that you're fully prepared for your job interview. This includes preparing for any questions the interviewer could ask you, researching the company and gathering all materials and documents you need for the meeting. Displaying that you've prepared well for the interview also leaves a good impression on recruiters.

Related: How To Practice For a Job Interview

Study the job position

Make sure to study the job position and application adequately. This ensures not only that the job is the right fit for you, but also means that questions are easier to answer during the interview. Consider how to link the requirements on the job application with your skills and experience.

Act interested and friendly

It's important in any interview to come across as friendly and likeable. Besides your experience and skills, a candidate's personality is hugely taken into account during the interview process. The recruiter is assessing how well you could fit in with the other employees and if you would be an easy person to work and get along with.

Practice

To fully prepare yourself for an interview, it's a good idea to practice beforehand. Do this by asking a friend to roleplay an interview scenario and ask you relevant questions. This gives you a better idea of how the meeting could play out and make you less nervous about the real thing.

Related: How to give interview feedback (with simple steps and tips)

What are common signs that the company wants to hire you?

A recruiter would rarely hire you immediately during an interview, but there are certain signs to look out for that the company wants to hire you. These are typically positive and inquisitive conversations that go into detail about a role. Look out for the following when at your next interview:

The interviewer seems positive

If the conversation with the interviewer feels positive and easy, this is a good sign. It shows that you have found common ground with the interviewer and they find you likeable and easy to talk to. Consider whether the interviewer is using regular hypothetical language to discuss you working in the position, this is also a positive signal that you're in line for the job.

The interviewer asks questions

If an interviewer is engaging it shows an interest in learning more about you, this is a step they wouldn't typically do with a candidate they didn't want to hire. Not only would the questions be irrelevant, but it's a waste of time and prolongs the interview. A long meeting with lots of questions is always a good sign in an interview.

The interviewer discusses the role at length

Interviewers typically only discuss the role at length and in detail with candidates who they are likely to hire. Pay attention to small details or comments made regarding the role. These include questions about when you would be able to start and comments on specific business practices.

An introduction to other employees

In some interviews, you could meet other employees at the company. This is always a good sign as it shows the recruiters are already trying to initiate rapport with you and current employees. Take this time to make a good impression on your potential new colleagues.

Related:

  • Top job interview questions and answers: examples and tips


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