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Job Offer - How long do I wait?

By JG Côté


The period of time between a job interview and when an employer offers a job can be a very stressful time.  Many people do not know what the “rules” are regarding keeping in contact with the job employer after they have had their interview.  The important thing is to use common sense and keep a few basic tips in mind.


The most important thing to do once you have finished the job interview process and are waiting for a reply from the employer, it to be very patient.  Although this can sometimes be hard, there a number of reasons why it can often take time before an employer will get back to you.  For example, some positions have multiple interviewing dates spanning over several weeks.  Also, some positions have a large amount of red tape to deal with in order to finalize the hiring (this is especially true in government). 


Although this is true, it is sometimes considered acceptable to call the place you had the interview with.  If the employer told you he or she will call within a couple days, make sure you are patient and do not call them before the couple days are over.  If they have not called you within a couple days past the period they indicated, you can call if you feel a need to.  Be very polite and tell them you are just calling to enquire about the status of the job position you applied for.  Usually they will let you know whether you got the job or not, or if they are still determining who to hire. 


One special case where you may want to contact an employer before the call back date would be if you have received an offer for another position.  If you feel that you have a good chance at receiving another offer from a different employer (perhaps the employer you would most like to work for) then you may want to call them to inform them that you have received another offer.  Explain that you are still interested in the pending position they had interviewed you for, but want to know what the status of the position is.  The key here is that you do not want to get into a situation where you accept one job and then one week later turn it down and accept another.  Although this does happen from time to time, you want to avoid it if possible as it can be a very stressful experience.  As well, it is very easy to be given a bad reputation if you begin taking jobs and quitting them soon after.

So, be patient and have confidence in yourself that good things will come to you.  As well, don’t be scared to contact the employer if you feel a need to as long as you have been patient and the time is appropriate.

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