9 Tips on Anxiously Waiting for a Job Offer

How to Stay Calm Until You Find Out If You Are Hired

A businesswoman looks at her cell phone in a cafe.

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When you leave a job interview, you usually know how it went—but not always. Sometimes you are confident you did well, but other times, you know your performance could have been better.

You won't know for sure until the employer gets back to you with a job offer or rejection. Until then, you will be in limbo, wondering whether you will have to keep searching for work or can get ready to start a new job. On average, it takes 23 days for the interview process to be completed. So, what can you do while anxiously waiting for a job offer?

Key Takeaways

  • Keep doing what you were doing before the interview, whether that be job searching or working.
  • Try to relax—go for a walk, find distractions and try not to obsess over when the company may call.
  • If you had a good feeling about the interview, do more research into the company and prepare a response to a job offer so you're ready if one is extended.

Here are nine tips to keep in mind when waiting for that call or email.

1. Don't Leave Your Current Job

If you are currently employed, don't do anything that could alert your boss you might be leaving soon. Until you accept an offer from another employer, you shouldn't let on that you are going to quit your job. Go to work every day and do your job well. Take on new projects. You can always transfer them over to a colleague if you leave. While you may be sure you are going to get an offer any day, you can't be entirely certain until you have one in hand. Unless your bank account can handle it, it is prudent to keep those paychecks coming in while you search for a new job.

2. Prepare Your Response to a Job Offer

Immediately following the interview, you may be quite sure you will accept, but to help avoid problems later on, consider a possible offer carefully. If you don't already know how to do it, learn what steps you should take to negotiate salary. Find out what the typical salaries are in your field. Consider your level of experience and education, as well as your geographic area.

3. Research the Employer

Do some more research about the employer. Hopefully, you learned about the organization before your interview, but you can always get more information. Keep up with the latest news about the company and the industry in general. This information will help you decide whether to take the job if you get an offer. You may even learn something that will change your mind about the organization and turn down the offer instead. At the very least, it will result in a smoother transition to the new job.

4. Follow Up

Contact the prospective employer one week after your interview unless the interviewer told you when a hiring decision would be announced. In that case, get in touch no sooner than a week after that date. Contact them using the method by which you communicated before the interview. Don't make multiple attempts to email or phone your contact person. Once is enough.

5. Keep Looking

Continue your job search until you get an offer. If you don't get this job, you will eventually get another, but not if you pause your search every time you have a promising interview. Whenever you stop looking for work, you risk losing momentum. If you have other interviews lined up, don't postpone them. Continue to network. You may even get a superior offer.

6. Stay Calm

Try to keep your anxiety in check. It is difficult to stay calm while it feels like your career is in limbo, but try to do it anyway. One way to do that is to keep busy. The more you have to do, the less you will be able to think about whether or not you got a job offer. Focusing on your current job or your search for a new one will, for the most part, keep you occupied.

7. Find Distractions

While being busy will keep your mind off waiting for a job offer, you should also take time to relax. If you are working, try not to stay late every night. If you are job-searching, don't do it 24/7. Whether you relax by exercising, going to a movie, reading a book, or binge-watching your favorite television show, find time for it.

8. Go Outside

If you are unemployed, make sure to get out of the house every day. Tend to your job search from the library or a coffee shop with free Wi-Fi. Go for a walk and don't bring your phone with you. If the prospective employer tries to call, they will leave a voicemail. Check your messages before the end of the business day so that you don't have to wait overnight before you can return them.

9. Don't Obsess Over Job Offer Call Time of Day

You can drive yourself crazy wondering when an employer is most likely to call. But that obviously is highly dependent on the individual company and the hiring manager's personal schedule. One survey found that most hires are made on Tuesdays and Thursdays, with the former slightly beating out the latter, but there isn't a huge difference between any of the weekdays.

As for the time of day, the truth is that most interviewers will extend a job offer when they get to it, and that could be any time.

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  1. Zippia. "39 Important Job Interview Statistics."

  2. Smart Recruiters. "Right Place, Right Time: The Data Behind Hiring Success."

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