How Much Time From Interview to Job Offer?

Nicely dressed woman sitting on sofa waiting.
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There is no definitive amount of time that it can take to go from sitting for a job interview to receiving an actual job offer. The hiring process can vary from employer to employer, the type of job you are applying for, and the industry in which you work. Here’s a breakdown of the things that happen and the time it usually takes to go from interview to offer.

The hiring process begins when a company posts a job opening and begins accepting applications for that job. The job posting is followed by a review of the submitted applications, which may be processed by an applicant tracking system and then reviewed by a hiring manager.

Next, a portion of the applicants will be invited to participate in the interview process, which might consist of one, two, or multiple interviews (some might be phone, Skype, or Zoom interviews, and others in-person interviews). If the company reaches out to you asking to do a video interview, confirm what type of video conferencing software or app they prefer to use, schedule your interview for a time you know you will have seamless internet, and make sure you will have access to a private location.

Do a test run of the video chat program ahead of time if you don’t use it often.

After the first interview, they’ll usually let you know what to expect next. If the first interview is over the phone, they’ll likely want you to do a second interview in person. If you met in person the first time, they should inform you of what will come next, either another meeting or a decision. 

The next step can be the most frustrating for job candidates: that is the waiting period between the last interview and a job offer or rejection. It’s difficult to be patient.

Average Amount of Time to Get a Job Offer

The amount of time from interview to job offer varies. For college graduates, the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) Recruiting Benchmarks Survey reports that, on average, employers hiring new college graduates may take two weeks to extend a job offer after an interview.

 The time from job offer to acceptance also is about two weeks. But, this is the average for one sector of the job market. For others, offers were received within 24 - 48 hours of interviewing or the hiring process was dragged on for weeks. Unfortunately, some employers don't let candidates know one way or another, even after they have interviewed them.

Why the Wait?

There are a number of reasons why an employer might not give you a job offer right away. Firstly, he or she may have more candidates to interview. Depending on scheduling and the number of candidates, this part of the process can take a while.

Even if an employer wants to hire you, he or she may have to run a variety of checks first, including background or credit checks. The hiring manager may also check your references, or fact-check your resume. An employer may also need to take the time to put together a job offer package.

Another snag that might cause a delay in your job offer might be a formal Human Resources process that requires an HR representative to sign off on a number of steps in the hiring process. The job opening itself might also get delayed or rethought depending on internal issues within the company (this might be due to changes in management, the budget, or a change regarding the person who is vacating the position).

Finally, the hiring manager might also simply be busy with other projects and might not make this hiring process a priority (as frustrating as that is for a job applicant to hear).

What Can You Do While You Wait?

Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. As perfect as this job may seem to you, it’s still a good idea to keep applying and interviewing for other open positions. You can also make a plan on how you want to follow-up with the company after the interview.

Interview Follow-Up and Wait

There is one thing you should do immediately after the interview – send a thank you letter or email to the person who interviewed you. Then you begin the waiting game. If the process seems like it's taking forever, there are some guidelines to follow. If 10 - 14 days have passed and you haven’t heard back from the employer, you might consider politely checking in again with an email follow up or phone call.

Plan to expand on something you discussed in your interview or mentioned in your resume, this is a nice way to remind the hiring manager who you are and why you are a good fit for the position.