In my book I advise students to prepare for a minimum of two months of additional unemployment after they graduate from a full-time code school. Why so much time? Won’t there be employers clamoring to hire you, now that you have mad programming skillz? While you may be anxiously awaiting a response to your application, there are a few important things to remember while you wait.
Your application may have to pass through several hands before they reach out to you
- Before you are even offered a phone screen, your resume and cover letter may be evaluated by several managers and senior engineers. For every person that is involved in selecting an eligible candidate, you can add a time premium of at least 6 hours. Don’t fret if you don’t get an immediate response.
You may be scheduled for several rounds of interviews
- A phone screen, culture fit, and technical interview are typical and there may be more. You may also be asked to meet with other managers and members of the team. Scheduling time with a busy interviewer can be a challenge, so you may have to wait for a slot to open up. If you are invited for a full day interview, they need to line up a good balance of technical and culture-fit interviews, while being fair to you (three 1-hour technical screens in a row would be just mean).
Time passes more quickly for the hiring manager than it does for you
- Hiring you is not the only thing on a manager’s plate. Mine was working to deliver a product by a hard deadline just as my application came across his desk. While I had all day to craft the perfect casual follow-up email (“Hey there! Just casually checking in! Look how casual I am being even though I am dying of anticipation and excitement and dread! cheers, Katie”), he was swamped with all the other things that go in to being a manager.
There may be many departments involved in the hiring process
- Depending on the size of the company you are applying to, there may be many rounds of communication between the hiring manager and different departments, such as human resources. There is always a communication cost as more people become involved. Everyone is busy doing their jobs, and while the question of your job offer is top priority to you, it is definitely further down the list for everyone else involved.
If I could talk to my Sept-2013-self, I would tell her to just relax. Yes, getting a job is important. Yes, getting THIS job is super important — but once your application is out there, the process is out of your hands. What you can do is be prepared to wait.