Ask Gayle: What do delays mean?

Posted on Friday, May 14th, 2010


I interviewed with a company two weeks ago, and they haven’t notified me of a decision.  I even tried emailing the recruiter – no response.  Does this mean I’m rejected?

~ Sanjiv, New York

In one word: no.  After you interview with a company, they will always tell you if you’re rejected or not.

Delays can happen for many reasons, good, bad and neutral:

  • They are going to give you an offer, but would like to have all their paperwork together.
  • They prefer another candidate, but are waiting for her to make a decision.  You are their second choice.
  • The team is being “reorg’d” and the current headcount is unclear.
  • Your recruiter went on vacation.
  • The recruiting team is being reorg.
  • You have a bad / lazy recruiter.
  • One of the many people you interviewed with is slow about entering feedback.

Hang tight – they’ll tell you, eventually.  In the meantime, feel free to politely email or phone your recruiter every several days to check in.

Good luck!



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11 Responses to
“Ask Gayle: What do delays mean?”

  • Raj says: May 14th, 2010 at 7:21 pm

    Very good answer. Many people have this perception that delays means rejection . From my experience irrespective of delays you have equal chance of getting or losing the Job. Right time Right place is what plays the trick.

  • prolific says: May 14th, 2010 at 7:29 pm

    My take on it- yes you are rejected (this is what happened to me till now). Most of the interviewers are not as good as Gayle they simply don’t care and won’t respond. Some would respond after you email them, some even don’t do that. I got offers 3 times and all the times they responded immediatly the next day, I got reject more than 10 times and most of the times they don’t have the courtesy to spend a minute to reply. But big companies like Microsoft, Amazon typically respond though they don’t share any feedback though.

  • Tweets that mention CareerCup Blog » Blog Archive » Ask Gayle: What do delays mean? -- says: May 15th, 2010 at 10:36 pm

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by CareerCup. CareerCup said: A reader asks: "My recruiter hasn't responded. What do delays mean?" […]

  • Mark Vice says: June 12th, 2010 at 6:53 pm

    Great post!

  • P says: August 30th, 2010 at 7:25 pm

    I was wondering if the resume review service will also help me point out to which jobs should I actually apply to ? For instance I am more interested in roles like associate technology manager with Google , and roles with similar responsibilities ? I would like to know this before I ask for a service.

    Secondly, what if after the resume review my resume is pretty much the same, I mean the reviewer felt that my resume was already in a decent condition ?



  • Yash says: September 22nd, 2010 at 10:42 am

    Hi Gayle,

    What OOP language you would suggest we should have a solid grasp on for CS fundamental interview coding questions, C++ or Java ? I know Google is a heavily C++ based.

    SF Bay Area

  • ali says: October 26th, 2010 at 10:55 pm

    Can you please tell me that how can impress the interview that you have knowledge and good programmer? Also tell me how can i become a good developer in Life, its my dream to join a big Tech. company.

  • Ohno says: October 29th, 2010 at 2:44 am

    Good to know. Thanks for the tip!

  • udai says: March 15th, 2011 at 9:34 pm


    I have a couple of queries:
    a. I am an MCA with 7 years experience in C/C++ development. I have knowledge of machine learning, algorithms and good discrete math. Can I apply for Google? Will i get a call?

    b. How to apply? Should I go with a consultant or should I try applying directly through their site?

    Thanks in advance for the response.

  • Okay, folks, here’s how the Google interview process really works | Gayle Laakmann McDowell | Technology Woman says: September 7th, 2011 at 12:01 am

    […] that doesn’t always happen because stuff comes up – reorgs, vacations, general life / work […]

  • How to Ace that Google Dev Interview | Gayle Laakmann McDowell | Technology Woman says: January 31st, 2012 at 5:55 pm

    […] hearing back from your recruiter quickly does not mean you were rejected. Delays can mean many things, but they do not mean rejection. Follow up with your recruiter if you haven’t heard back […]

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