As a jobseeker, you may have likely experienced waiting around for at least two weeks fuelled with hope that any minute you just might receive a great job offer.
This does not mean you should stop looking for another role, give up, or stop networking altogether, which may further delay your job search progress.
Job offers can arrive late for different reasons – most of them may be beyond your control. However, do not be so quick to rest on your laurels and wait for the job offer to fall in your lap without adequate research, preparation, follow-up, and self-reflection.
The hiring manager might have had an unexpected project or emergency come up that delayed the job offer. Alternatively, the human resources department may have had difficulty connecting with the individuals you listed as references. This is actually the final missing puzzle piece that many jobseekers lack, and therefore, miss out on a great offer. And sometimes, the hiring process is simply put on hold due to changing priorities.
Strategy Matters When Approaching Job Offers
This is why it’s important to ask about the timeline in the job interview. If the hiring manager says you can expect to hear back in one week, you can follow up after a week – ask if there is anything he or she needs from you to expedite the process along. Alternatively, inquire if you can follow up again if you have not heard any response in another week. By getting permission to follow-up, you do not have to worry that you’re being a bother.
But what if you didn’t ask about a timeline, or get permission to follow-up? Sometimes you may have received positive feedback that signals that a potential job offer is forthcoming, and the offer never arrives. In this case, the follow-up call might yield the information that the position has been offered to someone else.
Post-Interview: Elicit Constructive Feedback
Jobseekers often fear not getting a job offer within a reasonable amount of time even though they may be quick to justify their suitability for the role and have conducted their due diligence.
Regardless of whether you receive a job offer or not, you owe it to yourself to find out how you performed in the interview and why you were chosen or passed over. The easiest way to find out is to simply ask in a polite way.
You can forward the hiring manager a thank you note that also requests feedback on your candidacy; however, you’re unlikely to receive a response unless you follow that up with a phone call or email. A phone call will probably yield your best chance to find out why, if you can get the hiring manager on the phone.
Eliciting constructive feedback after the interview will help you gain peace of mind and connect your performance with the results. You will also note how you can improve your interviewing skills next time with specific strategies.
Viewing Rejection in a Positive Light
Remember that the reason given for most hiring rejections is that another candidate was “more qualified.” That does not necessarily mean that the individual had technical qualifications that more closely aligned with the job’s requirements. Often, it’s a matter of “fit” — whether one candidate or another aligns better with the organizational culture.
If you can generate feedback from a hiring manager, you can leverage the information to position yourself better for the next opportunity. You may find that it’s desirable to have a specific credential or educational background for the type of position you are seeking. But don’t get overly concerned why you didn’t receive a particular job offer. Instead, focus on what you can do differently in your next interview — recognizing that every “no” gets you closer to your ideal “yes.”
Finally, as several of the scenarios outlined above demonstrate, the hiring process does not always work out as anticipated. Therefore, following up with the hiring manager to thank him or her may lead to a job offer, especially if the top candidate turns down the position, withdraws his or her candidacy, or fails to pass the background check.
If, however, you consistently find yourself getting job interviews — but not job offers — then you might consider what you need to change in your personal interviewing style, or the types of jobs you are interviewing for — that will boost your chances of securing a lucrative job offer.
Ask yourself whether you are communicating your unique value -- what you can bring to an organization.
For more information about job offers or interviewing, contact Lori Jazvac, Certified Resume Strategist/Career Consultant at Creative Horizons Communications –Resumes at 905.730.2374 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.