How Much Time From Interview to Job Offer?

Daryl Solomon / Getty Images

There really isn't a definitive amount of time that it takes to go from an interview to a job offer. The hiring process varies from employer to employer. The type of job you are applying for and the industry you work in can make a difference too.

Generally, the hiring process begins when a company posts a job 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).

A portion of the applicants are then invited to participate in the interview process, which might consist of one, two, or multiple interviews (some might be phone or Skype interviews, and others might be in-person interviews). 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.

Average Amount of Time to Get a Job Offer

The amount of time from interview to job offer varies. For college grads, the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) Recruiting Benchmarks Survey reports that, on average, employers hiring new college graduates may take 22.9 business days to extend a job offer after an interview.  Once the offer has been made, the candidate is given less than two weeks (an average of 13.3 days) to make a decision.

That's the average length of time to get a job offer for one sector of the job market.

For others, offers were received within 24 - 48 hours of interviewing. In other cases, the hiring process can drag on for weeks. 

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 the manager’s schedule and the number of candidates, this part of the process can take awhile.

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 be checking your references, or fact-checking 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).

Interview Follow-Up

What can you do if the process seems like it's taking forever? You should always send a thank you letter or email to whoever interviewed you immediately after the interview.

If 10-14 days have passed and you have not heard back from the employer, you might consider politely checking in again with a follow-up email or phone call.

Expanding on something you discussed in your interview or mentioned in your resume would be a nice way to remind the hiring manager who you are and why you are a good fit for the position. Here's more advice on how to follow up after a job interview.