When will you be back in touch with me?
This is the two-million-dollar question.
Every interviewee wants to know when they will hear. When will their potential employer make a decision? When will they notify you that you got the job? This is also one of the most precarious questions a person can ask.
However, a carefully crafted question – a siren call to action – can insure that your nerves are placated, and that you have a solid timeframe to expect communication.
Why should you even bother asking?
Interviewing is a harrowing process. It’s often nerve-wracking and can take a lot of research and practice to prepare for.
It is only fair to want to know when they will make their final decisions. Asking when they will make their choice, how they will notify you when they do, or even what the date of their last interview is shows the interviewer two things about you: you are seriously interested in the job and their company, and that you are a detail-oriented person who appreciates firm deadlines.
Do not leave the interview without having asked this question. It may be the most clichéd one of all, but it is one of the most important.
Employers generally have a time frame for hiring. They need a position filled, and they are, most likely, eager to finish the interview process.
Most of the time, they don’t have a problem answering you straight away and informing you of their plans. However, sometimes, there isn’t a time frame, they have not finished lining up all of the interviews, or they like to keep their next moves close to the vest. In these instances, you are just going to have to be prepared to take a politely worded non-answer.
You can follow up in a multitude of ways after an interview.
Some people send handwritten thank you notes, and some people send emails. Some even make phone calls. Either way, without a time frame given to you by your potential employer, a follow-up is much more difficult.
And in a process that is already hard. Why make it any more strenuous on yourself? Ask the question for peace of mind. Ask the question for a timeline.
And ask the question to gain a basic understanding of where you stand at the end of the interview.