The Waiting Game: Surviving Job Offer Anxiety

Have you ever felt like you totally rocked an interview? You had all your questions and answers prepared, the hiring manager really seemed impressed, and they even hinted at a call back. You wake up the next morning with a huge grin on your face expecting an email or a phone call, but you receive nothing. No worries, right? “They will probably get back to me tomorrow,” you think to yourself. RELATED: How To Be The Leader Every Employer Wants However, tomorrow comes and goes, as does the next day and the day after that, all without a phone call or an email. Days turn into a week, and you begin to get a bit antsy. Hope starts to dwindle as the questions begin to mount.


  • What’s taking so long?
  • Was my interview not as good as I thought?
  • Did I say something wrong?
  • Did I misread the cues?
  • Was my writing sample terrible?
  • Should I send another email?
  • WHY HAVEN’T THEY CALLED ME BACK?
As time goes on, you are consumed by these questions and can think of nothing else. This is a dangerous time for any job seeker. This inner state of turmoil is often referred to as job offer anxiety.

What Is Job Offer Anxiety?

Job offer anxiety is the anxiousness and stress one feels usually while waiting for an interview or a call back. This anxiousness is frequently accompanied by tense behavior and rumination. People who suffer from this are in a never-ending search to discover why they haven’t received an interview/call back when everything seemed promising. In a struggle to answer this question, job seekers start to second guess their interview and writing skills as each day passes. They blame themselves for not getting the call and their confidence all but disappears. Job offer anxiety can even affect job seekers after they have received an offer. For instance, a job seeker may receive a job offer that happens to be their second choice. The question of whether to accept the offer or wait for their first choice now arises. This may cause unnecessary panic in the applicant which can lead to a misguided decision. If you have ever suffered from job offer anxiety, have no fear. Here are some specific causes of job offer anxiety ways to overcome them.

How To Overcome Job Offer Anxiety

Waiting for a call back is extremely destructive to the job search. You end up losing focus, and wasting valuable time that could be spent pursuing other job opportunities. Below are a few solutions to specific causers of job offer anxiety.

Cause #1- Forgetting To Continue The Job Search

The Solution: Apply for other jobs

This advice seems obvious, but many people become so focused on the call back that they forget about the end-goal: getting a job. What better way to distract yourself than to continue looking for other jobs? Continuing your job search allows you to take your mind off the call back and get back to using your time wisely. Sitting around and waiting for the perfect job to get back to you isn’t productive and won’t get you anywhere closer to realizing your goal. And who knows? While you are being focused and productive, time will pass a lot more quickly and you might finally get that call back you were waiting for, and if not at least you expanded your job opportunities.

Cause #2-Restlessness And Insomnia

The Solution: Exercise

All that stress and anxiety can inflict heavy damage to your body and overall health. Those at WebMD.com recommend people with high anxiety to “relieve tension with vigorous exercise or massage.” The Anxiety and Depression Association of America has found that “regular participation in aerobic exercise has been shown to decrease overall levels of tension, elevate and stabilize mood, improve sleep, and improve self-esteem.” When it comes to reducing stress and anxiety, exercise should not be overlooked.

Cause #3- Lack Of Perspective

The Solution: Realize that HR is on a different time frame than you

There is no doubt that, when searching for a job, time appears to creep by at a snail’s pace. Some like to believe that hiring managers sit at their desk with an evil smirk tapping their fingers together (think Mr. Burns from the Simpsons) purposefully making candidates wait in despair. Yet, it’s easy to forget that employers may have responsibilities other than hiring candidates. Hiring managers would love nothing more than to get through all the applicants in a timely manner, but like every job, things tend to pop up unexpectedly that require immediate attention. It’s important to remember this, take a deep breath and give the hiring manager the benefit of the doubt.

Cause #4- Not Sure When To Follow Up

The Solution: Use proper follow-up etiquette

It’s important to remember that the interview doesn’t end until you have sent a follow-up thank you letter. Susan Adams of Forbes advises applicants to send a follow-up letter as soon as possible. If you wait too long, other prospective employees might beat you to it. While sending a handwritten note is a nice thought, it takes much too long for the employer to receive it. It will also be a nice touch if you can if you can add a high point from the interview. However, even after the follow-up thank you letter, applicants can still find themselves without a response. In this case, is appropriate to follow up again. In “4 Things You Need To Do After The Interview To Get The Job,” Sudy Bharadwaj believes that periodically following up every few weeks is a great way to stay on the hiring manager’s mind. He recommends that “instead of asking, 'Have you made a decision yet?,' forward a recent article you’ve read that you believe he’ll find interesting and helpful. Following-up in this way demonstrates that you’re a great network connection instead of a pesky wannabe employee.”

Cause #5- Lack Of Confidence In Your Resume

The Solution: Use a resume builder

One last measure to reduce stress and anxiety during the job search is to make sure your resume is in tip-top shape. Knowing that your resume is up to par can be a great boost to your confidence. A great way to get some tips on your resume is pass it out to your friends. They might be able to bring some fresh ideas to your resume. Reddit Resumes is a great resource to some helpful tips from those in similar industries. Also, resume builders are an easy way to create professionally certified resumes. This is a guest post. This post was originally published at an earlier date. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

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