One month seems like eternity, especially if you want the job badly, and feel that you did quite well in your interview. But what does it really mean? Do you still have a chance to get the job, or should you let go of your hopes, and focus on another job opportunity, another interview? To be honest with you, in 90% of cases, if they do not let you know anything within a month after your interview, it means that they decided not to proceed with your application. Either someone else got the job, or the entire hiring was cancelled. But what about the remaining 10%, and can you do anything to improve your chances in this case? We will try to find the answers on the following lines, looking at several scenarios you can face here.
No 1. The most probable scenario: They chose someone else and did not let you know
No doubt it is good to think positively, and to hope for a desired outcome. At the same time though, you should be realistic about your chances, and your interviews. One month is a long time. If a job candidate makes a great impression on the hiring mangers, they won’t let them wait one week, let alone one month. Because they realize that people aren’t applying for one job only. If they wait for too long, this amazing candidate can accept another job offer, and they have technically lost their chance.
Of course, in an ideal world, they would let you know. A simple email “Thank you for applying and interviewing, but we decided for someone else”, or sometimes along those lines, would do the trick. But we do not live in an ideal world. Companies do not always treat job applicants the right way. And so, in many cases, they simply let know the one who got the job, and forget about everyone else.
Having said that, there’s still a glimmer of hope in this scenario. If their first choice proves a wrong hire, or the selected applicant leaves after a month or two (the job eventually not meeting their expectations), and you ended up a second best in the interviewing process, or a third best but the second best candidate isn’t interested any longer, you may still receive the phone call you hope for. The likelihood of this scenario is about 1%, but it is better than nothing :).
No. 2 scenario: The interviews aren’t over yet
In certain cases, especially if we talk about interviews for 6 figure jobs, high management and executive roles, or highly technical jobs, companies sometimes take they time to finalize the interviews. It is because the candidates usually have a job already, and typically a busy one, and cannot come to interview at a random time, when most fitting for the company. I have seen a few such cases during my years in recruitment, when the interviews spread over a month or more, simply because of the busy schedule of applicants. And if there is no pressure or deadline for the new hire, the company will prefer to prolong the interviewing period, and talk to more candidates, instead of interviewing just a few who are able to come in a given week.
Again, in a perfect world, they would let you know. A short email or notification “interviews aren’t over yet, please be patient” would do the trick. But very rarely companies send out such emails. They prefer to let you waiting, and wondering. Anyway, if you apply for some basic job–think retail, customer service, sales, construction, etc, there’s no way the interviews can take a month. If you got no response until this point, you should forget about the opportunity, and start looking for something else.
No. 3 scenario: Ongoing hiring with no definite deadlines or number of open positions
Imagine a corporation with tens of thousands of employees, and hundreds, or thousands job locations across the country. McDonald’s is one such example, or Walmart. In fact, there are dozens of such companies in US alone, and millions of people work in them. In such companies, people always come and go. Someone gets pregnant, another quits the job, someone dies. Employees are promoted to managerial roles and new people need to take their place. The fluctuation is enormous, and the HR is often quite a mess too :).
Anyway, in order to have some people available at all times, these companies are always hiring. That doesn’t necessarily mean that you will interview face to face in one of their locations. But they may ask you to do a phone interview, or video interview (with pre-recorded questions). And than a month passes, and nothing happens. In this particular case, it doesn’t mean much, because they may actually like your application. They may just be waiting until a job gets available in the location of your choice, in your area. And just then will they let you know.
In this case, they typically have so many people in their database that they just do not care much whether or not you’ll be still interested in the job in one month time. If you say no, they will simply call another applicant on their long list, one who has also done well in the online/phone interviews.
No. 4 scenario: The hiring process was terminated, for whatever reason
The fact that a company advertises a job, and interviews people for it (possibly dozens), does not actually guarantee that someone will get the job at the end. Things change quickly in the world nowadays. And we live in turbulent times. Just think about the war in Ukraine, the pandemic, the financial crisis we are about to experience. An average hiring process, for a corporate job, takes over a month (starting with publishing the job offer online and ending with signing an employment agreement with one or more people). A lot of things can happen during that month…
The company can get bankrupt, management may change plans, the budget for the position may be cut, or the company simply decides that they eventually do not need the employee they thought they needed a month ago. Or they may eventually decide to promote someone internally. What I try to say here is that a lot of things can happen, and if one of these scenarios takes place, the managers typically have other problems to deal with than contacting people they interviewed and telling them about the sad outcome…
One month after interview and no response – your action plan
If you haven’t heard from them for a month, I suggest you to do two things: First one, calling them. A phone call is much better than an email, since you will immediately know where you are standing. An email can get unnoticed or unanswered. The phone call, however, once you have them on the line, you will immediately get the information. Having said that, I understand that some people do not have a courage to make a phone call. If it is your case, have a look at the following article: Interview follow-up email after two weeks. The samples work great for one month too!
Second thing I suggest you to do is to restart your job search. Because honestly, if one month has already passed since your last interview and there was no response whatsoever, you are waiting for a miracle. Of course, as you know now, in certain cases you may still get the job. But it is unlikely to happen, and instead of passively waiting you should rather spend your time actively applying for new offers, and going to interviews… I hope this helps, and wish you best of luck in your job search!
May also interest you: 15 most common interview questions & answers.