When you leave a job interview, you usually—not always—know how it went. Sometimes you are confident you did well, but other times you are well aware your performance could have been better. Until the employer gets back to you with a job offer or rejection, you won't know for sure. Until then, you will be in limbo, wondering whether you will have to continue searching for work or getting ready to start a new job.
What can you do while anxiously waiting for a job offer?
- If you are currently employed, don't do anything that could alert your boss you might be leaving soon. Until you accept an offer from another employer, you shouldn't let on that you are going to quit your job. Go to work every day and do your job well. Take on new projects. You can always transfer them over to a colleague if you leave. While you may be sure you are going to get an offer any day, you can't be entirely certain until you have one in hand. Unless your bank account can handle it, it is prudent to keep those paychecks coming in while you search for a new job.
- Prepare to respond to a job offer if you get one. Immediately following the interview, you may be quite sure you will accept, but to help avoid problems later on, make sure to consider an offer carefully. If you don't already know how to do it, learn what steps you should take to negotiate salary. Find out what the typical salaries are in your field. Be sure to consider your level of experience and education, as well as your geographic area.
- Do some more research about the employer. Hopefully, you learned about the organization before your interview, but you can always get more information. Keep up with the latest news about the company and the industry in general. This information will help you decide whether to take the job if you get an offer. You may even learn something that will change your mind about the organization and turn down the offer instead.
- Contact the prospective employer one week after your interview unless the interviewer told you when a hiring decision would be announced. In that case, get in touch no sooner than a week after that date. Contact them using the method by which you communicated before the interview. Don't make multiple attempts to email or phone your contact person. Once is enough.
- Continue your job search campaign until you get an offer. If you don't get this job, you will eventually get another, but not if you pause your search every time you have a promising interview. Whenever you stop looking for work, you risk losing momentum. If you have other interviews lined up, don't postpone them. Continue to network.
- Try to keep your anxiety in check. It is difficult to stay calm while it feels like your career is in limbo, but try to do it anyway. One way to do that is to keep busy. The more you have to do, the less you will be able to think about whether or not you got a job offer. Focusing on your current job or your search for a new one will, for the most part, keep you occupied.
- While being busy will keep your mind off waiting for a job offer, you should also take time to relax. If you are working, try not to stay late every night. If you are job searching, don't do it 24/7. Whether you relax by exercising, going to a movie, reading a book, or binge-watching your favorite television show, find time for it.
- If you are unemployed, make sure to get out of the house every day. Tend to your job search from the library or a coffee shop with free wifi. Go for a walk and don't bring your phone with you. If the prospective employer tries to call, they will leave a voicemail. Check your messages before the end of the business day so that you don't have to wait overnight before you can return them.