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interview process

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bhodgetts | 15:50 Wed 17th Oct 2012 | Jobs & Education
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i interviewed for my dream job 3 weeks ago and it went great. They asked for my references and said they would hopefully be making a decision soon and will hopefully be in touch soon. 2 weeks after the interview I emailed the interviewer asking what their timeline was for making a decision, but no response. I realized that the email he gave me on his card was different than the email he responded to my thank you with, so although I did not get an error message, I'm not 100% sure he got the email asking about their timeline for making a decision. I decided it would be more deterimental to email again if he saw it then if he never got it so I left it alone. Now its been three weeks since the interview and I emailed the HR person yesterday afternoon asking the same question. No response from him either. I'm very confused because both men seemed very nice, they understood I was very interested in the job and they seemed like they weren't the type to play games. I'm afraid it means I did not get the job, but at the same time I feel like they would have responded saying I didn't get it if I definitely did not get it?

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Can you ring them?
i'm afraid you have to take the bull by the horns and phone them - it's not a crime to ask and they should be ashamed if they have been dicking you about! x
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I guess I technically could, but I've read that you should stick with how you've been communicating. They obviously called me to set up the interview as well as a phone interview, but from then on we've been contacting through email. I'm also afraid it will come off as nagging, like "wow, two emails and she still hasn't gotten the hint?" I feel like I put in the time an effort to go to the interview so I have the right to an answer, but if the reason why they're not responding is (and yes i'm being optimistic, not necessarily realistic) because they're still in the interview process and they haven't picked someone yet, I don't want to ruin my chances because I was impatient.
I have been on the other end of problems like this. What usually happened in our case was that the short-list was interviewed, and one person was offered the job, and only then were references taken up for the top candidate. Maybe references were not entirely satisfactory or the referees were on holiday or otherwise unavailable for a long while. I used to get calls from the rest of the short-list saying " what's going on ?" and I was always very embarrassed not to be able to tell them why. There was only a small chance that the references would be so bad or so late or so non-existent that the first candidate would have the offer withdrawn, but the chance might still be there. A very, very small one, I admit. Poor management practice, but not uncommon, I'm sorry to say. You might end up glad you will not be working for such a thoughtless bunch.
We only take up references for the person we offer the job too. I would expect that if I had not heard from an employer after three weeks that I did not get the job. It's frustrating but not uncommon not to hear. Every job I was ever offered has been on the same day I interviewed.

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