I began receiving frantic email from my friend Marissa last week. She was applying for a job she was very interested in and was waiting to hear from her prospective employer. They said they would call her "soon" to let her know whether she got the job.
Filled with anxiety, Marissa sent me email after email detailing what torture the waiting was. "I check my machine a few times an hour when I'm not home," she said. "When I'm home, I check my phone constantly to make sure it's working." I commiserated, tried to calm her down, and finally said "Gee, this is a great idea for an article!"
I think everyone can relate to Marissa's situation. You interview for a job. You're called back for a second interview and maybe even a third. You think they like you. You know you like them. "You can do this job," you say to yourself. Then they say they need a few days to make a decision. "How many days is a few?," you ask yourself. You go home and you wait. And wait. And then you wait some more. Then you wonder how long you should wait before you call them (ANSWER: at least a week).
If you're already working keep on doing what you're doing. Don't give any indication that you're about to leave, even if you're pretty sure you got the job. You never know what can happen and you certainly don't want to burn any bridges. If you're in the middle of a job hunt keep going. You may find something you like even better. And if this one doesn't come through, the next one may be right around the corner.
Now about those nerves. If you're still working you have something to occupy you. If you're not, and you're just sitting around waiting for the call do what you can to relax. Turn on the answering machine and take a long walk. Get a haircut. Go to a movie. Read a good book. Stay home and do some organizing — don't those closets need cleaning? What about that junk drawer?
If you haven't done so already, take this time to learn what you can about your prospective employer. Keep up with the latest news about the company and the industry in general. Oh, and by the way, Marissa hasn't heard from her prospective employer yet.