June 27th, 2016
“Frozen Ever After” Ride Provides a Timely Lesson on Post Job Interview Etiquette
Less than an hour after the highly anticipated ride, “Frozen Ever After,” opened in Epcot at the Walt Disney World Resort, the estimated wait time was five hours. On June 21st, the line looped around the park as guests waited to take a boat ride tour around the fictional kingdom, Arendelle. The staff intelligently kept patrons entertained with fun and games as they waited, but was that five-hour wait really worth it? What about after a job interview? What’s the etiquette for keeping candidates waiting?
Just like the guests at the park, employers need to keep their candidates entertained as they “wait in line,” and candidates need to stay patient during the interview process. That brings up two important questions:
- If you’re a client who is overloaded with candidates, what is the best way to keep your applicants interested while “waiting in line?”
- If you’re a candidate, how long is too long to hear back from a potential employer?
Keeping Your Candidates Interested
If you’re an employer, you need to act fast to attract the best talent. Great employees are almost always working, so if they are in the job market, they probably won’t be there for long. If you find someone that you like, there is probably someone else who likes him or her as well. But what happens if something comes up and you just can’t make a decision quickly?
If someone goes through the effort of preparing for an interview, they deserve updates throughout the process. Offer transparency. Stay in touch with candidates, or give them a name and e-mail address of someone in HR to contact. This way, someone can respond to queries and answer any questions that the candidate may have in a timely manner. Be sure to follow up with them as well. If you don’t know anything, let them know that there is no news yet.
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You should also press hiring managers to make a quick decision, and if they’re intent on taking their time, see if you can help. If you love a candidate, let them know why they stand out. Remind them why your company is the one for them. Lastly, make sure that you give them an idea of when they can hear back.
Waiting on Your Potential Employer
From a candidate’s perspective, you finally landed an interview, sent the perfect thank you note and must now wait. Sometimes you hear back within hours, and other times it takes weeks. Some employers move faster than others, but as a candidate, you have to be patient and understand that people get busy. Sometimes higher priorities come up, decision makers go out of town or there are scheduling conflicts. There might even be times when employers get overwhelmed with their jobs, so they don’t respond.
Though that may seem unfair, it’s reality. If you have a deadline or other offers, make that known—it’s your leverage. You can even let the employer know that you have other offers and what deadline you have to let them know by. Be honest; if you prefer to work for a particular employer, tell them.
The last thing you should do is stress and worry. That can lead to some of the following actions, which you should never do:
- Do not check in aggressively. Excessive messages could ruin your chance.
- Do not stop applying and interviewing for other jobs. It’s not a time to make the “I got this job” assumption.
- Do not say that you have another offer when you don’t. There’s a possibility the employer could tell you they can’t expedite their process, so you should take the other offer.
- Do not become inaccessible. Don’t put your life on hold, but make sure that you have access to phone and email. If you’ll be out of reach, let the company know.
- Do not agonize or obsess over the process. It won’t increase your chances. It will just make you frustrated, restless and upset.
Finding a Middle Ground
Whether you’re a hiring manager or a job candidate, it’s about balance—finding that middle ground. Yes, in this day and age, you hiring managers should probably err on the speedy side, because like we alluded to, the unemployment rate is relatively low and qualified candidates are scooped up in a jiffy. For you candidates, be proactive with your communication, but don’t go overboard. Let your dream employer know that you’re persistent, but understand how much is too much.
For other HR insights, check out Ajilon.com.