How to Respond When They Tell You "We'll Get Back to You" (2023)

Most of us have heard this cliché phrase from HR managers at least once after a job interview. The question is, what do these words even mean and how should you respond to “we'll get back to you”?

The ideal solution is to write the perfect “thank-you note” after the interview. Here, you can ask about the timeline of their recruitment process and show your lasting interest in the job.

Alternatively, you can even avoid it altogether while still at the interview.

We'll tell you how, plus we'll share some more tips on what to do when you hear this infamous sentence and what it actually means.

Table of Contents

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Table of Contents

  • What does “we’ll get back to you” mean?
  • Why do recruiters say this phrase?
  • How can you prevent the situation in the first place?
  • The best way to respond to “we’ll get back to you”
  • Thank you email template
  • Follow up email template
  • Don’t let one “we’ll get back to you” ruin your week

What does “we’ll get back to you” mean?

After hearing this phrase, many of us get confused and all we're left with is overanalyzing every single detail of the interview.

What was the body language of the recruiter? Have they smiled at the end? Should I thank them after the interview?

First and foremost, while it may feel like a bad sign when you hear these words, in fact, that isn't the truth. This ambiguous answer doesn't automatically mean that you're rejected.

On the other hand, it also doesn't mean that you've been selected.

Here's what “we will get back to you” can signal:

  1. “There are some other candidates we need to consider. If they aren't as qualified or as experienced as you then we will get back to you.”
  2. “I don’t have the answer right now. I need to talk to someone before giving you the answer. Only then will I get back to you.”
  3. “Unfortunately, you’re not quite eligible for this position. Still, I won’t say anything right now because it’s not good manners to say so. That’s why I need to use: I will get back to you.”

As you can see, there’s no need to despair. Unless your situation fits scenario number 3, there's still hope!

And “we will get back to you” doesn't symbolize the end of your job prospects.

On the contrary, it can as well be the next step towards getting you a job.

How to Respond When They Tell You "We'll Get Back to You" (1)

Why do recruiters say this phrase?

You may wonder why is this sentence still so popular, even if became such a notoriously overused and mocked cliché.

Well, it’s because the process of recruiting in many larger companies is usually quite long and complicated. And the final decision about who's going to be hired doesn't lie only on the recruiter's shoulders.

The HR department needs to communicate not only with you and other candidates but also with your future employer in order to come up with the result of the hiring process.

That's why they give such an ambiguous answer — the decision is probably still up in the air and the hiring manager is buying time.

So — try to be patient and understanding.

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How can you prevent the situation in the first place?

You can always get a step ahead of the recruiter and try to squeeze a more concrete answer out of them.

The wisest thing is to ask about the next steps and the decision timeline before you leave the interview.

Try to get an exact date or date range from the interviewer. Ask directly: “When can I expect to hear back from you?”

This will put your mind to rest by giving you an idea of when you can expect to hear something.

It'll also give you a timeframe for following up appropriately without getting too pushy.

The best way to respond to “we’ll get back to you”

If it's already after the interview and you've heard or received these infamous words, here's what you should do next:

1. Send a thank-you note

The first thing you should always do after an interview is to send a thank-you note within 24 hours of your interview.

Why?

  • it's a nice thing to do
  • it's a great chance for you to ask when they'll get back to you
  • you'll leave a positive impression

You can try this simple thank-you email template:

Thank you email template

Dear [Interviewer’s name],

It was nice meeting you today! I would like to thank you again for your time.

I especially enjoyed talking to you about [specific topic you discussed].

I look forward to hearing from you about the next steps in the hiring process, and please, do not hesitate to contact me if I can provide additional information.

Best regards,

[Your name]

2. Follow up

If you’re waiting for a response for a longer time, sometimes the best step to take is to be bold and proactive. In short —follow up.

When is it okay to do so?

You can follow up with them if it's more than 7-10 days from your interview.

Or, if they provided an expected date for feedback after the interview, follow up one business day after that date has passed.

Contact the HR department and let them know about your continuing interest in the position and that you're eager to hear back. Without being too pushy, ask what the status of the position is.

You can try writing an email such as this one:

Follow up email template

Dear [Interviewer’s name],

I hope you had a nice week!

I am reaching out in order to inform myself about the stage of the recruitment process. On my side, nothing has changed and I am still very much interested in the advertised position.

I am looking forward to your answer and decision, and please, let me know if there is anything else that I can do.

Yours sincerely,

[Your name]

Be prepared to get no clear response as they may not be able to address this. However, they may be able to provide you with a progress update or ask for more information from you.

It’s also a good idea to connect with employers at your prospective organization via LinkedIn or other social networks to see if you can learn more through networking.

3. Show dedication but in moderation

Yes, it’s important to follow up and stay on the company’s radar. But be careful and don’t overdo it!

  • Feel free to call for a status update, but be consistent with just one method of communication. Calling, emailing, and texting at the same time — can send the wrong message and put the recruiter off for good.
  • If you want to use voicemail, leave a short, courteous message to keep things professional. But then you have to stay patient and not spam the recruiter with more follow-ups.
  • You also need to stay realistic. If it’s been over a month since you’ve heard anything, there’s no point in beating a dead horse. It’s time to move on.

The truth is that you have no control over the recruiting process and the entire situation is in someone else’s hands. But don’t let this cripple an otherwise successful job search.

Take the time you need, shed your frustration, and move on to the next opportunity. It might be waiting just around the corner!

4. Be patient

Remember that the lukewarm response doesn’t always equal rejection. Accept the fact that some information can’t be shared right away.

The company needs to fill the position but their timeline is often much looser than yours.

You may be the winner, but they still need to wait to make an official offer due to the final approval or some bureaucratic jungle.

In these cases, the best course of action is to wait it out for at least a week.

How to Respond When They Tell You "We'll Get Back to You" (2)

Don’t let one “we’ll get back to you” ruin your week

Waiting is the worst, I know. You're all stressed out, your spirits are low and you have no clue what may be happening in the meantime.

You may be fixated on this one position and have no energy to seek other job opportunities. But that’s actually the worst thing that you can do.

Don’t put your search on hold. Keep trying and pushing forward.

Success never comes easy, and definitely not to those who do nothing but wait around for the phone to ring.

So, don’t let one “we’ll get back to you…” ruin your week.

Stay busy, and proactive, and you'll see that the right opportunity will come through one day!

FAQ: How to respond to "we’ll get back to you"

  • How can you tell if a “we’ll get back to you” after an interview was a positive sign?

    You may expect a positive outcome when:
    - the interview lasted for longer than it was scheduled
    - the recruiter listened actively
    - the recruiter used language that indicated your future position in the company (“once you work here…”)
    - the interview felt like a chat and not like a stressful official conversation

  • How can you tell if a “we’ll get back to you” after an interview was a negative sign?

    You may expect a negative outcome when:
    - there was little eye contact with the interviewer
    - the interviewer was distracted
    - the interview lasted only a few minutes

  • When should you follow up after an interview if you didn't hear back?

    After sending a thank you message after the interview (which you should always do), wait for at least one week before reaching out again. Recruiting takes a while so keeping that in mind will help you to remain reasonably patient.

This article was recently updated. The original article was written by Jakub Kaprál in 2018.

  • Kaja Jurcisinova

    Junior Writer

    Kaja Jurcisinova is a fresh graduate and a junior writer at Kickresume. Kaja completed her undergraduate degree in Art History at the University of St Andrews in 2018 and graduated with a Master’s in Arts and Culture from the University of Groningen in 2021. This year, the results of her master thesis were published in the academic journal Museum International. She was an intern at multiple cultural institutions across Europe, including the Dutch Museum Association in Amsterdam, the Matter of Art Biennale in Prague, and the European Cultural Centre in Venice. At the moment, she resides in Visby on the Swedish island of Gotland.

FAQs

How do you respond to we'll get back to you? ›

The question is, what do these words even mean and how should you respond to “we'll get back to you”? The ideal solution is to write the perfect “thank-you note” after the interview.
...
The best way to respond to “we'll get back to you”
  1. Send a thank-you note. ...
  2. Follow up. ...
  3. Show dedication — but in moderation. ...
  4. Be patient.
8 Aug 2022

What do you say when someone says they will call you back? ›

“Okay, great!” “Great, thanks!” “Alright, I'll talk to you then!” All of these can be followed by “Goodbye!”

How do you respond to I will let you know professionally? ›

You reply on letterhead stationery: Thank you for reaching out to our company, I will take care of this myself and determine if we are in a position to offer a proposal. I can call or email you on Friday to let you know if we can accommodate you and, if so, discuss particulars then.

What does we'll get back to you mean? ›

to talk to someone again, usually on the phone, in order to give them some information or because you were not able to speak to them before: I'll get back to you later with those figures. Thesaurus: synonyms, antonyms, and examples. to answer someone. answer"Thank you", she answered.

How do you say I call you but no answer politely? ›

If your concern comes from attributing an action (or lack of thereof) to the other party. Then it is safe to go with: I called you, but could not reach you. Save this answer.
...
  1. courteous, polite, easy-going.
  2. clearly points out your attempt to call.
  3. keeps focus on what you really want.
15 Nov 2015

Will get back to you formal? ›

Rest assured that I will get back to you as soon as possible. I understand your concerns and am investigating this issue now. Rest assured that I will get back to you as soon as possible.

How do you say yes I know professionally? ›

Yes! Of course there is! In fact, we have several ways to say yes in English for casual and professional situations.
...
Polite Ways to Say Yes in English
  1. Yeah, sure. Here you go.
  2. No problem! I'm always happy to help.
  3. Yep! I will be right there. ...
  4. Yeah, I'd be happy to!
  5. Cool. ...
  6. You got it.
  7. Okay.
20 Sept 2017

How do you say I agree with you professionally? ›

Expressing agreement
  1. I agree with you 100 percent.
  2. I couldn't agree with you more.
  3. That's so true.
  4. That's for sure.
  5. (slang) Tell me about it!
  6. You're absolutely right.
  7. Absolutely.
  8. That's exactly how I feel.

How do you say it's okay professionally? ›

OK
  1. absolutely.
  2. affirmative.
  3. agreed.
  4. all right.
  5. amen.
  6. assuredly.
  7. aye.
  8. beyond a doubt.

What to say when someone says can we talk? ›

How to respond when your child says, “Can we talk?” In an ideal world: Respond immediately, stop what you are doing, make eye contact, and let them know you're ready by answering, “Sure, what's up?” Listen closely to what your child has to say, and respond empathetically, without making assumptions or passing judgment.

How do you respond when someone wants to meet you? ›

However there's two simple things to remember:
  1. Say no – you can be polite about this, but make sure it's clear. “I'm sorry, I can't” is a really simple response to give.
  2. Tell someone about the conversation. There's lots of people you could tell.

What to say when a guy wants to know more about you? ›

Take the time to get to know him better.

Tell him, "I like you, but I want to get to know you better before I commit to a relationship. Let's hang out as friends and see what happens." If you want to say yes, but are not ready to have a relationship yet, you could say "I want to date you. I want to hold your hand.

How do girls flirt over text? ›

How To Flirt Over Text
  1. Keep it short and sweet. As a general rule, the simpler the message, the better. ...
  2. Stay positive. Flirting, by nature, is meant to be cheerful and lighthearted — it should make you both feel like you're in high school again. ...
  3. Be complimentary.
  4. Ask a playful question.
7 Dec 2021

How do you respond properly? ›

Speak directly and clearly when you respond.

Make sure they're paying attention to you so you don't have to repeat yourself. Recognize if someone else wants to speak and allow them room to talk as well. Allow the person to respond to what you've said as well.

How do you answer no formally? ›

Use these examples to politely say "no" to your employer and coworkers:
  1. "Unfortunately, I have too much to do today. ...
  2. "I'm flattered by your offer, but no thank you."
  3. "That sounds fun, but I have a lot going on at home."
  4. "I'm not comfortable doing that task. ...
  5. "Now isn't a good time for me.

How do you say no without being rude? ›

Here are 10 ways for you to say 'NO' in a polite manner:
  1. I'm honoured but I can't. ...
  2. I wish there were two of me. ...
  3. Unfortunately, now is not a good time. ...
  4. Sorry, I'm booked into something else right now. ...
  5. Damn, not able to fit this one in! ...
  6. Sadly, I have something else. ...
  7. No, thank you but it sounds lovely, so next time.
19 Apr 2019

How do you say professionally again? ›

again
  1. anew.
  2. over.
  3. repeatedly.
  4. afresh.
  5. anon.
  6. bis.
  7. by and by.
  8. come again.

How do you say noted professionally? ›

In a professional setting, people use the phrase “duly noted” as a quick way to acknowledge someone's email.

How do you say no in a smart way? ›

Different Ways to Say No and When to Use Them
  1. I appreciate the offer, but I can't.
  2. I'm honored, but can't.
  3. I'd love to, but I can't.
  4. I appreciate the invitation, but I am completely booked.
  5. Thanks for thinking of me, but I can't.
  6. Regrettably, I'm not able to.
  7. You're so kind to think of me, but I can't.

How do you say just let me know professionally? ›

“Please let me know if you have any questions.” “If you have any other problems, just let me know.” “If there is anything else you need, please let me know.”

How do you say I agree smartly? ›

Different Ways to Say I Agree
  1. I agree with you.
  2. Yup.
  3. We are of one mind.
  4. You can say that again.
  5. I could not agree with you more.
  6. That's right.
  7. Agreed.
  8. You took the words right out of my mouth.
29 Jan 2019

How do you say I agree without saying I in an essay? ›

Agree
  1. 1)As far as I am concerned, I am on the same wavelength with them on… As far as I am concerned, I am on the same wavelength with them on legalizing surrogacy.
  2. 2)From my point of view, I cast no doubt on… ...
  3. 3)Personally, I see eye to eye with… ...
  4. 5)Personally, I do not see eye to eye with…
7 Oct 2020

How do you say OK in a formal way? ›

  1. acceptable.
  2. fine.
  3. satisfactory.
  4. adequate.
  5. good.
  6. decent.
  7. all right.
  8. tolerable.

How do you respond to a short text? ›

Making Conversation With Someone Who Is Only Giving You Short Answers
  1. First, accept the conversation may just not work out. ...
  2. Try asking more open-ended questions. ...
  3. Ask for more details about their short answer. ...
  4. Give them more time to come up with a response. ...
  5. Try changing the subject.

How do you respond to small talk? ›

For example:
  1. Question: "How are you?" Short response: "Fine." Better response: "Good, thanks. ...
  2. Question: "Where are you from?" Short response: "Seattle." Better response: "I'm from Seattle. ...
  3. Question: "What did you do this weekend?" Short response: "I went house-hunting." Better response: "I went house-hunting.
30 Mar 2015

How do you not answer a question? ›

10 English Phrases to Avoid Answering a Question
  1. #1 – No comment.
  2. #2 – I'm not at liberty to say.
  3. #3 – Wait and see.
  4. #4 – Let me get back to you.
  5. #5 – I'm sorry, that's confidential.
  6. #6 – (Sorry) That's personal.
  7. #7 – I'd rather not talk about it.
  8. #8 – Mind your own business.

How do you know guy is serious about you? ›

He Makes You a Priority

If your guy is serious about the relationship, usually, he will go out of his way to make you a priority. He will plan things with you for the weekend and during the week too. The bottom line is, if he makes you a priority in his life, then you can be rest assured that he's pretty serious.

How can you make a guy fall for you? ›

How To Make Guy Fall In Love With You: 20 Simple And Crazy Ways
  1. Dress up confidently. Save. ...
  2. Make him smile. Who doesn't want to be around someone who makes them laugh? ...
  3. Take a stand for him. ...
  4. Smell great. ...
  5. Take an interest in his hobbies and interests. ...
  6. Carry your style. ...
  7. Try to be his friend. ...
  8. Be yourself.

How do you say I would like to know professionally? ›

If it's politeness you're trying to achieve, you could say I would like to know. This transforms what might have been interpreted as a demand into a request. An alternative word would be enquire, such as in I would like to enquire.

How do you respond to a professional politely email? ›

How to write a response email
  1. Respond quickly. ...
  2. Start with a greeting. ...
  3. Reply to questions or concerns in separate lines. ...
  4. Ask for confirmation of understanding. ...
  5. Include closing remarks and your signature.
13 Apr 2021

How do you say professionally let me know? ›

Bring it to my knowledge. Keep me posted. Keep me updated. Keep notifying me.

How do you politely say let me know as soon as possible? ›

Consider these alternatives:
  1. As soon as possible, or _____. Use this to say that something's urgent, but can wait until a specific deadline if necessary. ...
  2. Promptly. This one can serve as a nudge by suggesting the recipient has been less than prompt. ...
  3. At your earliest convenience. ...
  4. Whenever you're able.
21 May 2019

How do you say most likely professionally? ›

  1. presumably.
  2. assumably.
  3. doubtless.
  4. doubtlessly.
  5. in all likelihood.
  6. in all probability.
  7. like as not.
  8. no doubt.

How do you professionally say thank you for your response? ›

Thank You For Your Prompt Response Notes
  1. Thank you for responding so quickly. ...
  2. Thank you for your prompt response. ...
  3. Thank you for getting back to me so fast. ...
  4. I appreciate your swift reply. ...
  5. We appreciate your prompt response. ...
  6. Thanks for getting back to us so soon. ...
  7. Thank you for providing that information quickly.

How do you politely respond? ›

There are many ways we can respond politely to a request. Knowing how to make a polite request is important. What about responding to them politely as well?
...
Instead of yes, you can say:
  1. Yes I can/Yes, sure thing.
  2. Yes of course!/Of course I will.
  3. Yes I can. ...
  4. Sure. ...
  5. Sure thing!
  6. I can certainly do that for you.
8 Dec 2021

How do you say quick response professionally? ›

Less formal
  1. Thank you so much for the speedy reply.
  2. Thank you so much for your speedy reply.
  3. Thank you for the/your quick reply.
  4. Thank you for the/your quick response.
  5. Thanks so much for....

How do you politely end an email? ›

Cool Sign-Off Phrases
  1. Kind regards.
  2. Thank you for reading.
  3. Looking forward to meeting you.
  4. Please contact me for additional help.
  5. Best.
  6. Sincerely.
  7. Regards.
  8. Cheers.

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