The waiting game is perhaps the most daunting part of any job application. It’s the feeling when you know you aced that job interview with confidence only to see that the employer is taking weeks to get back to you.


Not only does it induce anxiety, but it imposes self-doubt—that maybe this job is not the right one for you? Or maybe you think you have the skills, but turns out you are a little underqualified for them. But sometimes, you just want to get it over with and face the reality of it all.

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Regardless of what you may think, recruiters have their own reasons why they are taking a little longer in giving you an update. With the amount of applications they review, along with the demands of their own jobs, they can get pretty busy to return to you with a result.

Composing a gentle follow-up might just be the way to go. Maybe they have forgotten or are entertaining someone else. But it’s absolutely not a bad thing to send a follow-up message after a week or two, this just shows your interest in pursuing the job even if they’re the ones no longer interested in you.


Generally, you should wait up to a couple of weeks after your first interview before making a follow-up. Whether you are doing so via e-mail or phone, here are some of the most professional ways to ask your employer on the status of your application—without scaring them off:

1. Express gratitude

After your first interview, don’t forget to thank your recruiter in taking the time to reach out to you. Out of hundreds of applicants, you’re one of the few they took into consideration—and that should already mean a lot. Some say you should check in 24 hours after your first assessment (unless your recruiter gives you a specific timeframe, then don’t take our word for it).

With this, keep your message brief and conversational. And while they do know how much you’re eager to hear back from them, do not try to sound needy or desperate. Instead, keep your tone polite and warm. This displays your level of professionalism regardless of the result of your application.


2. Reinstate your interest

Sometimes, following-up just shows how much you are interested in landing the job. And if you’re one of the many who are vying for the same position, allow yourself to stand out without looking too weird. There are a few ways you can do this. You can acknowledge a part of the job description that you’re excited about or maybe a recent achievement that you’re proud to share.

You may also use this opportunity to tell information about yourself that you forgot to say during your interview. Make sure that it’s something that would give you an increased chance of snagging the job, and not just something irrelevant.

3. Wait for the given timeframe

We know you’ve been waiting for your phone to ring and hope that it’s your recruiter delivering you the good or bad news. But as with any job application, patience is the key. As mentioned, recruiters have a lot on their plate. So if they establish a given timeframe before getting back to them, it’s best to follow that timeframe so it wouldn’t look like you are rushing them.


If you are asked to wait for a week or so for your result, then give yourself a day or two before checking in. But don’t make it sound like they are responsible for returning back to you beyond that timeframe—this can scare off your recruiter easily. “You told me to get back to you after a week.” Just don’t. 

No matter what happens, don’t let rejection demotivate you. Remember that everyone has their own set of abilities that employers would love to have. So don’t be afraid to open yourself up to other opportunities.


This article originally appeared on Minor edits have been implemented by the editors. Read the full story here.

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