Employer says they will call you - what does it mean?

Updated on September 18, 2023
What does it mean when an employer says they will call you

I did a little research and found out that on average 120 candidates apply for a single job in the USA. However, only 20 to 25% of candidates are called in for a job interview.

Usually, very few candidates get the job right there on the spot. Most are told to expect a call within 1 to 2 weeks.

So is it a good or a bad sign when an employer says they will call you after a job interview?

It is a good sign if you have been told by an employer or a hiring manager that they will give you a call. This is the next best thing to being told on the spot that you got the job. You should lean toward being considered for the job.

However, it is very likely that other candidates will be considered for the job as well. In this case, context is important. Think about how your job interview went.

If the hiring manager seemed pleased, invested, and hopeful, then you should have every expectation to get that call later on.

Why did they tell you that they will call you?

If you were told that you would be called eventually after your job interview, this could be due to a few reasons. Here are some of them:

1. The employer would like to interview more candidates for the position

This is a common practice, especially for roles that are highly competitive or specialized.

Employers often want to ensure they've seen a range of candidates before making a final decision.

2. The company is not eager to hire a person immediately, so they are testing the waters

Sometimes, companies might be in the initial stages of determining their hiring needs.

They might be gauging interest and assessing the available talent pool before committing to a hire.

3. They will need some time to come up with a job offer that will be given to you

Crafting a job offer involves various considerations, including budget approvals, benefits packages, and other logistical details.

This process can sometimes take longer than anticipated.

4. You negotiated the salary, and now they have to think about your demands

Salary negotiations can introduce a delay in the hiring process.

The hiring team might need to consult with higher-ups or the finance department to accommodate your salary expectations.

Unfortunately, if you asked for more than their budget allows, you might have already lost the job offer.

5. The hiring team is discussing and comparing notes on all interviewed candidates

It's common for the hiring team to convene and discuss the strengths and weaknesses of each candidate after the interview process.

Given the importance of hiring the right person, these discussions can be thorough and may involve multiple rounds of meetings, especially if there are differing opinions or if multiple stakeholders, such as department heads and HR representatives, are involved.

6. Some companies conduct thorough background checks after the interview

Background checks are a crucial step for many employers to ensure the integrity and credibility of a potential hire.

These checks can range from verifying your employment history and educational qualifications to checking references and even conducting criminal record checks.

Depending on the depth of the check and the responsiveness of references or previous employers, this process can introduce a delay.

7. Unforeseen changes within the company can temporarily halt or delay the hiring process

Sometimes, events like restructuring, mergers, acquisitions, or budgetary constraints can impact the hiring timeline.

For instance, a department might undergo a reorganization, leading to a temporary freeze on new hires. Or, budgetary reviews might necessitate a re-evaluation of open positions.

What should you do if they tell you to expect a call after a job interview?

What you should do if they tell you to expect a call after a job interview

Being told to expect a call after a job interview is a positive indication of the employer's interest. However, the waiting period can be filled with anticipation and uncertainty.

Here's how you can manage this period effectively:

1. Continue your job search

While it's promising that you might receive a call back, don't halt your job search. Continue applying for other positions and attending interviews.

This approach ensures you're not putting all your eggs in one basket and keeps you proactive in your job search journey.

2. Reflect on the interview

Review the interview in your mind. Consider the questions you were asked, your responses, and any feedback or reactions you noticed.

This reflection can be beneficial for future interviews or for any follow-up discussions with this employer.

3. Send a thank you note

If you haven't done so already, it's a good practice to send a thank you note or email to the interviewer.

Express your gratitude for the opportunity and reinforce your interest in the position. It's a small gesture that can leave a positive impression.

4. Set a reminder for follow-up

If the employer provided a specific timeframe for when they'd call, mark that on your calendar.

If they didn't give an exact date, consider setting a reminder for a week later to possibly follow up or reassess your next steps.

5. Stay positive

The waiting period can be nerve-wracking, but it's essential to stay positive. Hiring processes can vary in length for numerous reasons.

Every interview, whether it leads to a job offer or not, is a learning experience. Trust the process and stay patient.

You can take a look at our guide on how many jobs you should apply for to ensure a good response rate from employers.

How to tell if they are going to call you after your job interview?

There are certain aspects of a job interview that you can interpret as positive signs that it went well and you will be called for the job eventually. Here are some examples:

  • The interview took longer than planned
  • You were told in-depth about the role
  • The interviewer was interested in what you had to say
  • Their body language communicated engagement
  • You were introduced to future colleagues and management
  • You were told about the next phase of the hiring process
  • The whole interview felt like a nice conversation

And here you can find out about the signs that your phone interview went well.

They didn’t call you for a week – did they hire somebody else?

Waiting for a call from an employer for a week or two after a job interview is normal and expected. If you don’t get a call for more than 10 workdays, then it is quite possible that somebody else got the job.

(If you are not getting responses from employers, consider finding a seasonal job because they have low-entry requirements.)

How long should you wait for an employer to call you after a job interview?

How long you should wait for an employer to call you after a job interview

Typically, a call from an employer will come 5 to 10 workdays after the job interview.

It is very likely that during this period other candidates will be interviewed and considered for the position. That is why you should continue to job hunt while you wait.

Should you follow up if an employer doesn’t call you after a job interview?

If you don’t get a call for 10 workdays, then you can follow up to find out what happened. It is absolutely possible that the company is still interested in you so don’t give up just yet.

Simply contact them and ask nicely if you should wait a little longer or move on.

In the end, if you don’t get the job, then here is how you can ask the recruiter for constructive feedback.

How to follow up if an employer doesn’t call you after a job interview

If possible, find the hiring manager/HR rep who conducted your job interview on LinkedIn.

It will be easier to send them a simple DM asking if you are still being considered for the job or not.

You can also call them or send them a simple email that goes like this:

Dear [Hiring Manager's Name],

I hope this email finds you well. I wanted to follow up regarding the [Job Position] interview I had on [Date of Interview]. I'm very interested in the position and am eager to know if there have been any updates or decisions made regarding the role.

I understand that these processes can take time, and I appreciate the opportunity to interview with [Company Name]. If there's any additional information or documentation you need from me, please let me know.

Thank you for considering my application. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Best regards,

[Your Full Name]
[Your Phone Number]

You don’t have to feel like an impostor, it is perfectly fine to contact the company and ask if you are being considered for the position.

In case you get the job after all, check out our guide on how to quickly become an effective employee.

When to move on if an employer doesn’t call you after a job interview

If you don’t get a call from an employer for two weeks and you can’t seem to contact them, then it is time to move on.

Focus on other job opportunities. It is very likely that somebody else got the job. Meanwhile, make sure to check our guide on how to prepare really well for an interview and get hired!

But in the end, even if you get the job offer, you might decide to decline it due to not meeting your salary expectations or finding out that the workplace is actually too far away for you.

My experience waiting for a callback from a potential employer

A few years back, I interviewed for a position that felt like the perfect fit.

The team was dynamic, the role aligned with my aspirations, and the company culture resonated with me.

At the end of the interview, they mentioned I'd hear back soon. Days turned into a week, and every ring of my phone sent my heart racing.

Doubt began to creep in. Did I say something wrong? Did they find someone better?

Nearly two weeks later, just as I was about to write it off, I received the call.

Not only was I offered the position, but I learned that the delay was due to internal discussions about creating a tailored role for me, combining aspects of different departments to match my unique skill set.

The experience taught me a valuable lesson: Silence doesn't equate to rejection.

Behind the scenes, there could be discussions, considerations, or even opportunities being crafted that simply take time.

So, if you're in that waiting phase, hang in there. Sometimes, the best outcomes are worth the wait.

Frequently asked questions about hiring delays

What does it mean if the employer gives a specific date for the call but doesn't follow through?

It could indicate a delay in their hiring process or unforeseen internal matters. It's advisable to wait a day or two beyond the specified date before following up.

If the employer doesn't call back, does it reflect poorly on my application or is it more about their internal processes?

Not necessarily. Delays or lack of callbacks can often be attributed to internal processes, changes in hiring needs, or administrative challenges, rather than a reflection on your application.

How can I mentally cope with the stress and anxiety of waiting for a callback?

Stay engaged in other activities, continue your job search, and practice relaxation techniques. Remember, the waiting period is a common part of the hiring process.

Is it a bad sign if the employer calls back much earlier than the timeframe they provided?

Not at all. An early callback can indicate their keen interest in you or that they've expedited their hiring process.

Should I be concerned if the employer mentions they're still in the process of interviewing other candidates?

No, it's standard for employers to interview multiple candidates to find the best fit. It's a transparent way of communicating where they are in the hiring process.

Written by:
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galin office topics square
co-founder / office worker
Alex has been an office worker for more than 10 years. He is dedicated to helping other office workers to achieve the perfect life-work balance through well-being, effective communication, and building productive habits.

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