Radio silence after the application? This is the right way to check up

Maybe you know this feeling of burning impatience that sets in when there is no immediate response to your application. The certainty is only a phone call or an e-mail away, but when is the right time to follow up?? And how do you come across as unobtrusively as possible?? We tell you!

Why so silent?

If a lot of time subjectively elapses between sending the application and receiving feedback, this can have various reasons. Large corporations have to sift through and categorize dozens of applications every week before they get around to contacting the applicants.

You also have to keep in mind that a Application often through different hands Go to, because several people or departments are involved in the selection process. If you submit your documents during the vacation period, you must expect to wait a little longer for a response.

All a question of timing

If you apply to a company for an advertised position, you usually have to start with a letter of application waiting period twice calculate: After you have sent in your application and after you have passed an interview. Depending on where you are in the application process, different rules apply for asking questions.

After the application

Once the application documents have been submitted, it’s a matter of: Wait. And wait. And wait. How quickly you receive a rejection or an invitation to interview depends on the size of the company and the number of applications the recruiter has to review.

When can you follow up without getting on anyone’s nerves with your euphoria? A good hint can be Application deadline which is almost always stated in the job advertisements. After their expiration we recommend you, to wait about two weeks, Before you ask for an interim status.

You should allow two weeks to pass after the application deadline before asking for more information.

After the interview

If you have been invited to an interview, you have already successfully overcome the first hurdle. After your interview, you have to exercise patience again. And in this situation, waiting can be even more difficult. You know that you have aroused enough interest to visit the company in person. But in the end, were you able to convince of yourself or not?

Usually your interlocutors explain by when you can expect a response. If this time has passed without you being contacted by the company, you can follow up after a few days. If no specific deadline has been agreed upon, you can follow up in a friendly manner within a week after the interview.

Recruiters usually set a deadline to announce their decision.

The thank you letter

A good way to stay in the recruiter’s memory can be a discreet, friendly thank-you note via e-mail that you two or three days after the conversation Send out. In doing so, you thank them for the chance to introduce yourself in person and emphasize that you look forward to hearing back soon. However, you should only write such a thank-you letter if you are convinced that the interview went well.

Means to an end: telephone or e-mail?

Many applicants are unsure how to contact companies to inquire about the status of their application. Since e-mails sometimes don’t end up where they’re supposed to and like to get lost in the spam folder, the Reaching for the phone is much more effective. We only recommend asking by e-mail if you have a specific contact person at hand, for example the responsible recruiter.

Tips for long waiting times

Companies take between two and four weeks to process applications once they have been received. As an applicant, this is frustrating, because you want to know where you stand. But instead of just killing time, you can use it productively. For example, by send out more applications. If you are rejected by your favorite company, at least you still have other options. And it may even lead to an opportunity you hadn’t thought of before.

It can take two to four weeks for a company to process applications it receives.

No answer is an answer

Companies don’t always put on a fine show when it comes to rejection letters. If you have been waiting for an answer for weeks or even months and are not getting any smarter by asking, you can assume that this job is not going to work out.

Instead of letting frustration gnaw at you, you should ask yourself whether you want to work for a company that treats its applicants with so little sensitivity. Only the few seem to be aware that the employer brand suffers massively from such actions.

Dos and don’ts when asking

Finally, let’s summarize the most important points once again:

  • Stay polite
  • Give the company enough time before asking for more information
  • Prefer phone to email


  • Do not put pressure
  • Do not ask shortly before or shortly after the application deadline
  • Do not become abusive even in frustration

You want more information about the application?

If you want to be perfectly prepared for the application, you need to have the necessary knowledge. So take a look at our comprehensive collection article.

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Comments (22)

Do not agree that you have to wait two weeks after the expired deadline. This is really a behavior that looks similar to modern slaves.
Man must react, not leave the fate to chance and dislike.
You want to avoid conflicts, but that is not a right attitude to create equality for people.
There are other job providers, if it doesn’t fit quitea at the beginning that keep looking.

Thank you for the interesting article. In any case, it is important to stay on the ball. In doing so, you should not appear pushy. Polite inquiry is of course appropriate.
With best regards

Inquiry by phone is not always effective as recruiters are sitting a lot in interviews or other meetings. A short polite mail is the better option. Please also always check your spam folder to see if any info, be it rejection or update, has landed there. I think many cases of "I never heard from the company again" come from lost emails.

Thanks for the article! I was also looking for a job the other day and it sucked a lot when companies just didn’t get back to me. I mean, even a rejection is better than no answer. What helped me were estimates of waiting times of previous applicants, as they are on Glassdor or dabego ( gives. This at least gave me a rough direction on how long it should take and when I should follow up.

But after a long application procedure and a lot of insider knowledge I have to say that in Austria a rejection or in general the fact that you don’t hear anything at all doesn’t really have anything to do with your qualifications.

I, for example, am a lawyer who studied in at least the minimum period of study and had acceptable grades. I was also continuously employed (not in a specific field, but in my opinion this shows a willingness to perform) and have a HAK-Matura (with a focus on IT) with honors.

After successfully completing court practice, I thought to myself that now it would be easy to find a job. But the reality is quite different. Several applications were sent by me, not even 1/3 took the trouble to send me a rejection. I had exactly one job interview and I finally took the job (in retrospect I was too hasty and it was something I didn’t like at all; I probably only took the job because I was starting to panic).)

A good friend of mine is a personnel manager in a very large company and she once explained to me how the whole thing works. They get countless applications, some of them are completely unqualified people applying for jobs etc. Therefore, the personnel only look at an overview of the CVs (especially the pictures) and decide here at once whether you get on. The unfortunate ones who don’t make it don’t get an immediate rejection, no, first a folder is created and a calendar is set, because the candidates shouldn’t think that the company doesn’t take the time.

And if that wasn’t bad enough, she thinks that of course all people with vitamin B enjoy a preference; sometimes even positions are already "filled" and are only advertised as a sham.

And exactly this is the main problem in Austria – there is a competition for performance, but simply the premise "if you know who then you are who". I know people who have received jobs of which others can only dream but were both in studies and in the rest far worse than others who have received rejections. It’s really bad at banks, public service and the chambers of commerce. For example, when interviewing at a chamber, they held an AC/Hearing with about 20 applicants. I have to admit that there were some really excellent people here, especially 2 already with 1-2 years of experience in the legal profession who outshone all the other candidates both legally and rhetorically. One week after the AC/Hearing I got a rejection, I thought to myself ok was clear, if two so good and qualified people were there it is understandable. A few days later I met one of them by chance at a reading at the university and I asked him right away if he got the job. His answer shocked me deeply. He said no he also received a rejection (mind you the same standardized text as me& ) but he knows who got the job; namely a girl with zero work experience fresh out of university who, mind you, was completely overwhelmed during the AC/Hearing and also did not flaunt with expertise. I just looked puzzled and he laughed and said: did not you know that her dad also works at the chamber.

Since then, one thing is clear to me: anyone who gets a job without a vitamin B is either very lucky or there were simply no applicants with a vitamin B&

And I notice it also now at my job all of the employees know the boss resp. the dad is a friend etc.

The really good jobs seem to be really only available that way anymore.

To the author V. I would like to answer the following: It is a matter of principle that it is unfortunately usual that there are companies which leave the applicants often, for a long time and at all in the uncertainty. Whether – as is the case with you – it is already stated in the job advertisement or in the reconfirmation, when a reply can be expected, or. when the interview date is, can finally not from all job advertisements or. feedbacks are said. Please do not conclude from the outset from itself to other companies!

I myself have often experienced that companies (80 percent of my applications) do not get in touch at all, nowhere where something was said, when an interview was or whatever. If one asks, usually reaction, as if one would disturb. Even if one asks immediately whether my call would be better later, usually the answer (unwillingly) so after the motto "yes if it must be". Is it surprising then, if the resentment of applicants on the companies does not become smaller?? To be honest, I don’t necessarily have a particularly good opinion of recruiters – according to my experience so far. And still: not often, but from time to time, I get to know one or the other nice personnel manager… ;-)

I always ask by e-mail if there are any questions concerning the job to be given
Place since my application to (pre) decision on the
Award has come. Is not intrusive, but usually works
always. After approx. 14 days after the application has been submitted, the response is
this question is not too much to ask.

From the employer’s point of view, I find it extremely annoying when you write an acknowledgement of receipt stating that you will get back to me in due course and that you should refrain from making any further inquiries about the status of the procedure. In addition, in the job posting the expected interview date was announced and still come inquiries. Just shortly before the job interview, I am then asked again. How stupid do you have to be, if you haven’t heard anything shortly beforehand, you probably won’t be invited either. And final refusals can be mind. 1-2 weeks after the interview expect. But no more.
As I said, from the employer’s point of view I find it very annoying if you do everything and that is then probably not enough from the point of view of some applicants. We only cancel when the procedure has been completed or when the applicant has been informed of the decision. one has selected an applicant and this has accepted. Or do other employers also reject applicants without the interviews having taken place?? How can one still avert inquiries? I just do not understand it. However, I get a neck every time I find another mail: I just wanted to ask… It has already been 3 weeks…etc

Many good tips! With us it is also the case that a response to several hundred e-mails per month can take up to two weeks. However, it is important that the applicants receive feedback so that they know where they stand.

Who has heard after 14 days still nothing, can call quite times. This is not only a sign of interest, but it can also happen that an application is lost. If the personnel manager does not have time, you should accept this immediately and, if necessary, contact him. call again later or briefly ask whether you can send your request by e-mail.

With a refusal one would like to know naturally gladly, wherefore it failed. Often it is written in the rejection e-mail. If there is nothing at all, you can ask for it. If the company gives an answer, this is valuable information for the next applications. But again: Don’t be annoying! Because maybe the company publishes another interesting job for which you can apply and maybe it fits better then.

Enough Austria ranting, Germany is even worse. With the 180 applications I sent out in a few months I went to 20 interviews, 3 of them wanted to have me right away, but I didn’t get a job. bad salary conditions still no employment contract. This to statistics..

From my personal experience, you get an automatic confirmation of receipt the same day. If someone is interested, then you are called immediately (on the same or the second day) and invited to an interview at short notice. The 4-week rejections by mail with usual phrases "unfortunately blah-blah-blah more accurate to our profile past" has nothing to do with the interviewed person at all. If you ask for the real reason to improve your presentation techniques, you never get a sincere answer, "in order not to have a written proof of discrimination" (statement from the employment office).

Mostly it is even sweeping reasons:
– a woman sent the same application to the same company for the same position on the same day: once blonde (> rejection); once brunette with glasses (invitation to interview!) This proves how attentively the personnel manager read the CV, that he didn’t even miss the name ;)
– the skills and experience and study fits to 98% the sought profile, one gets rejection and after one month one finds in the job exchange the same advertisement with Pkt.1 as a condition: One must be in the vicinity of M.-Airport North live! And why was this not already said during the interview?
– another company is urgently looking for 4 sales managers. The first 2 interviews (telephone interview in French, Skype interview in English) go well, at the 3 personal interview in German the manager is disappointed that you are not friends with the buyers of the large chains of furniture stores to place their 3 "made in China" baby products in furniture stores. While the manager is on vacation for 2 weeks, so theoretically she can’t interview anyone else, you get rejection that "decided for someone else who fits the profile closer" and that you "don’t have enough baby products knowledge". What is so to know about a blender where I (a mom) only have to push one button. (btw. I have experience in customized technical industrial solutions that need explanation).
– 3.Case: all 3 interviews successfully passed, you are relaxed, the employer "is convinced of you", the recruiter is already looking forward to the placement commission. And all of a sudden the call comes: the American boss has "thrown a wrench in the German employer’s plans".

Am I so unlucky? Are the Germans so narrow-minded? Or does Murphy’s Law apply: the more you try, the less result you get?? I don’t know anymore… I’m curious what Marie’s experience was if she wants to tell…

Partly really interesting comments or. Experiences!

Ah yes, and as for the Austrian entrepreneurial spirit mentioned here… yes. Quite honestly. I don’t want to comment any further on this, because of what I personally experienced after my successful graduation ten years ago ;-) Kudos to Christoph Leitl and his honesty regarding our business location, with which numerous entrepreneurs inevitably have a lot to do. Austria is not in Europe for nothing.

As a rather unplanned freelancer, I’d rather not offer any real insight into my sometimes great experiences with others (at which point we’re talking about clients…). My choice is to continue to swim and hope that I will not drown completely.

In contrast, any rejections that did not take place… are pure honey pie. As soon as I can afford it, I don’t apply anywhere anymore – why bother, if nothing comes out of it anyway?. Humor can help.

4 years ago I had to look for a new job due to my move to another federal state. For about 80% of my applications I didn’t even get an answer, from a few companies I got a standardized rejection (it’s strange when you are told as a HAK graduate that you are not qualified for a commercial job)?!) and those two who made an effort to invite me for an interview wanted to accept me directly.
However, I find it annoying and pathetic when there are no replies at all – does not necessarily speak for the Austrian entrepreneurial spirit :(

very clear question: have you never heard of "Off the record"?? If so, why don’t you talk about it?

The employer wants only women, people under a certain age, they should be dressed like this and like that, even wear a certain size of clothes…

Off-the-record requirements remain secret because of potential discrimination, therefore also refusals are not sent resp. not justified or. generally justified.

A rejection is a rejection and no response is an implicit rejection. you would like to know the reasons, but you are not allowed to do so.
And honestly: Do job seekers really want to read in a rejection letter that they are unfortunately not a woman or a man?. are not a man or that they do not have the desired clothing size?

With kind regards

An interesting text, but you have left out ONE point ;-)

There are also those who invite you to an interview, where everything goes quite inconspicuously in the sense of "good in itself"… but: feedback on whether you have/get the job, or not… apparently the clients/employers-to-be lack the courage for that.

Congratulations! THAT is real courage.
YES or NO would be enough.

Just as a side note: who doesn’t feel screwed there..

Asking by phone tends to be discouraged because:
– you often don’t have a concrete contact person from the start
– at first you are put on hold for an eternity
– who knows nothing concrete at the other end of the line
– or want the phone call to go away and demand a call the next day (but then preferably to a colleague),
– declaring oneself incompetent (gladly also in the variant "playing dumb")
– the person in charge is in a meeting at the moment
– or is justament today on business away from home
– Summary: 8 out of 10 such calls are a waste of time

Inquiries by email:
– tendentially no or meaningless information

However, this will hardly surprise anyone, since the personnel scene in general still has a lot of – to put it politely – development potential in the direction of service quality. Qualified feedback does not exist anywhere, so that even where everything runs correctly from a process point of view (d.h. where an immediate, automated confirmation of the receipt of an application takes place and the time span up to an information, whether one is still in the race, is justifiable) in case of a then if necessary. still following rejection without exception always only phrases are served, according to which others "unfortunately, blah blah, are even closer to the requirements and often, blah blah, only minimal differences make the difference"

It would be a matter of politeness, decency and, in many cases, non-existent backbone to communicate to applicants who invest time, research, energy and also sympathy for the target company in their applications, at least in a few substantial keywords, the key points that have led to a rejection. But instead of that, even where there is communication (and that is already a large majority), there is still only empty phrases, with insincerity oozing out of the pores.

Since very few personnel managers (most likely one-man/woman personnel service providers) are tough enough to improve the quality of the process on the feedback front, one can only recommend the entire industry to take an example from the universities, specifically from the evaluation practice there. This way both, applicants and recruiters, would be able to learn continuously.

I have the experience that an application sent to a German company also received an acknowledgement of receipt and that in a period of 3 to 24 hours
with companies from Austria no answer, only after Telefonischer after question, also an answer that the documents are present, and the man siech mahl somehow with me contact takes up .

Reference number: KA / 4341424
Confirmation of the application by 16.02.2015
Except the reference no. and the job region and the job description no other information to get in contact with the provider. How should I follow up?

I have had other experiences. (My report is about e-mail applications) In large companies (which usually receive more applications than small companies) it is usually done correctly. Ie. in 48 out of 50 cases the application runs after the correct scheme – one gets by Mail a message that the treatment still some time can last, and gets then usually within 1 month an answer – either refusal or ev. invitation or. most of the time you get a phone call when you are invited, sometimes also a written invitation. Invitation to the interview.

In small companies (which usually receive fewer applications, depending on the type of job to be filled) the situation is different… You usually do not get any feedback after receiving the application, and usually not even a rejection. I would not advise asking by e-mail, because you rarely get an answer.. and if, then the usual phrases, that it just still lasts.. (in the end, this usually means indirectly equal to "rejection" )
A few times I had with these small companies already tel. I asked (after about 1 month), and usually the responsible person is difficult to reach, or you get the usual phrase "What kind of job is it exactly?? Wait a moment.. ah, it still takes a little while.."One is put off, and gets then either never again a message (also 2. Demand runs similar to the 1. or then suddenly after 2 days the refusal..

Unfortunately, this has happened to me several times – but it doesn’t exactly testify to the seriousness and reliability of the company…

Personally, I find it always annoying, if you zb. 100e at applications writes and not even 1/10 of it strive to write at least one refusal – since most applications run off anyway already by Mail, costs the refusal also no postage more, only more 1-2 minutes… that should be inside. Whereby with smaller companies the problems are obvious: The person who has to/should process the applications often has a lot of other tasks to do… so the thing with the rejections is clearly postponed or disregarded altogether..

In reality you don’t get an answer to your questions: the HR departments are silent and unfortunately have no motivation to give reasons.

A small hint would often help applicants a lot and possible self-doubt not arise at all.

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That comes a bit on the job or. To the company you’re applying to. Large companies tend to have their own processes for managing large candidate requests, and it can sometimes take a while for the application to reach the right recruiter.
In principle, however, I think it is fair to ask after 3 – 4 weeks whether all documents have arrived. Something like this also shows that you care about the job.

When can I expect to hear back after an interview? When should I ask?

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