On one of the on-line forums I frequent, a candidate asked the question “when is enough enough? He had been through a protracted interview process with one company for months and couldn’t find out if they where going to make an offer or not and was asking the group when to call it quits. My response is below.
“So when is enough enough? 96 hours. If you haven't heard back from them within 96 hours with a complete description of the next steps... sorry to say, you're not the star candidate.
1 phone call is all it takes to a recruiter asking where you stand. If they don't call back assume they're tied up in a deal or dead. All recruiters live and die on a daily basis by their production. You're the product they have to move. No movement = no money = no job. If a recruiter is dancing with you then you can assume you're the "B" candidate which isn't necessarily a bad thing. Technical skills count for a lot but no where near as much as chemistry does. And as the world continues to shrink and companies become more competitive expect every hire to become critical.. As that happens the chemistry piece outweighs skills. Some recruiters know this - most do not.
How do you win? Make it clear in the interview process that you have your own agenda and schedule to meet. In an unspoken way you need to telegraph the fact that you're in demand. The easiest way of doing that is ask deep penetrating questions that get at the business issues of the company. And don't wait until the end of the interview for your chance to do so. Ask them up front and then make a decision to stay and finish the interview or go. Take control of your life and your career and you'll get the respect you want.”