5 Things to Do When You're Waiting to Hear Back from a Hiring Manager

You've just finished an interview for a job you're hoping to get. Now it's time to play the waiting game. You might be tempted to check in with the hiring manager every few days to see where your application status stands, but this is a bad idea. Send the hiring manager your post-interview thank you note and leave it at that for the immediate future.

wait for offer

If you don't hear back ASAP, don't spend your time obsessing over if and when they'll call. Tearing yourself apart thinking you somehow screwed up the interview won't help you get the job, nor will rehashing events. Instead, while you're waiting, put your time to productive use. Here are five proactive things you can do.

1. Keep looking for a job

Don't pause your job search just because you interviewed for your dream job. Even if the interview went well and you received great vibes, nothing is ever set in stone. Statistics indicate about 28 percent of people interviewed get the offer—it's a good idea to always have a backup plan.

Good opportunities are likely to pass you by if you focus all of your energy on one job. Keep your eyes peeled, and continue to search job databases for additional opportunities in case you don't receive the "You're hired" call. This is beneficial for a couple of reasons—it keeps your mind occupied while you're waiting, and you might discover other exciting prospects.

2. Touch base with your references

You probably already asked the permission of the people you gave to the employer as references, but send a quick note to them to follow up. Thank them for their willingness to vouch for you, and let them know what job you applied to and how the interview went. This way, they have a little more detail about the position and a better idea of how to answer any questions when they are contacted.

3. Plan a salary negotiation strategy

You don't want to be presumptuous and assume you've gotten the job, but if you do get the call saying the organization wants to make you an offer, salary negotiation is the next step. And this can be tricky stuff. If you haven't done it in a while, while you're waiting is a good time to bring yourself up to speed.

  • Check the average salaries for similar positions located in your city.
  • Set a baseline salary you deem to be acceptable so you don't inadvertently undercut yourself.
  • Know what you'll say to the employer to demonstrate you're worth the salary you're asking for.
  • Consider any other benefits you want to ask about—if the company doesn't want to budge on salary, try negotiating extra PTO, flexible hours, remote work, or anything else you consider to be valuable.

Once you've set your negotiation strategy, try practicing with a family member or friend. Aside from getting a real feel for negotiation, it often helps to have an objective opinion to offer tips on how you can improve on your approach.

4. Continue working on your resume

A resume is a living, breathing document. While you'll be tailoring it to fit different jobs, tweak your base resume—be sure it has an up-to-date layout and add in any new details, experience, certifications, or other important accomplishments you've gained since you last sent your resume out.

5. Pursue credentials

If you've got time to kill, why not pursue additional credentials while you're waiting? It doesn't have to be a 10-week course or other time-consuming class. Try something productive and maybe even a little fun. For instance, take a PMP course, learn a little computer coding, take a couple of LinkedIn Learning Certifications, or try one or more of HubSpot's free Academy Courses.

A job interview can be likened to dating—there are simple rules to follow if you want to get a "second date." On the other hand, being proactive while you wait might help you to land you an even better job in the event this opportunity doesn't pan out.

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