How soon and often should a job seeker call to check on the status of their application for a job?

That is one of the most worrisome and tension-filled questions a job seeker deals with on a regular basis.

There are things to consider in arriving at an answer. First, the timeline a company has for filling a position will likely be longer than you expect. Second, they do not feel your level of anxiety in waiting for a call from you. Third, they have many other tasks to perform in a day and you have only one — to get a job. Lastly, untimely calls will likely betray your desperation and reduce your bargaining power for a good salary or other perks.

The best solution for this problem is to ask during the interview how soon the company anticipates filling the position and when would be an appropriate time and method to check on the status? This is a reasonable request and should not be considered too pushy.

Without that information, you should wait approximately two weeks to follow up if nothing has been heard from the company. This gives enough time for the hiring process to have progressed to a decision stage for lower level positions. For higher level positions, a longer wait would be appropriate, possibly a month.

The best action to take to remove the anxiety is to be working your network with other companies so all your eggs are not in one basket. Even if no other jobs are on the internet, actions taken to make connections inside good companies to work for will take your mind off watching this one job. A watched pot never boils.

In addition to keeping you mentally engaged away from the application, a search strategy that keeps many horses saddled with several companies being worked at one time, will help you sound more confident during an interview. If this one job interview is the only game in town for you, it will show during the interview.

Sadly, when a company discovers during the interview process that you are too eager for this position, you lose all bargaining power during the salary discussions.

The interview process should be two-way, with you evaluating them while they are evaluating you. If you lose the element of surprise and uncertainty as to your worth to the company, they might lose interest in you as a highly-valued candidate. They want the best candidate for their money. They do not want low-value merchandise for a low salary. Hiring a poor employee is too risky, no matter how cheap the cost.

In summary, do not be too anxious to call after an interview. You will get a call when they are ready.

Show your professionalism and proper interest for the job during the interview and then move on to other opportunities. Contact them only when they have indicated it is appropriate and in the manner they have prescribed. Keep your dignity and bargaining power intact during the entire process. That way, you both win.

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Glenn Wise is owner of Right Hire Solutions, which provides prescreening and outplacement programs. Contact Wise at 336-509-5606 or