Waiting to hear about the next step in the job-interview process can be agonizing. Here’s how to move it forward.

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Q: I received a call from the company about the job I had applied for online. The telephone interview went well and it seemed like the interviewer was impressed with my resume. At the end of the discussion, he said he was going to pass my information and resume to his boss, the department manager.

He then said that his manager is extremely busy and wasn’t sure when he would be able to call me. It’s been one week since then, and now I’m not sure what I should do. Do I send an email to the department manager or just wait it out? I’m still searching for other jobs, but this is the one I really want.

A: It sounds like the hiring manager (the department manager) asked a lower-level employee in the department to conduct the initial telephone discussions and forward to him the most qualified candidates’ information. While this is unusual, it’s not unheard of, although it’s more often the HR recruiter who conducts the telephone screening interviews with job candidates.

It can be frustrating when the hiring process isn’t moving forward as expected. Since you haven’t yet spoken with the hiring manager, here’s what you can do.

Send an email. Send a polite follow-up email to thank the interviewer (the person who works for the hiring manager) to reiterate your interest in the job. Mention that he had said the next step in the process was to pass your resume and information to the department manager. Let him know you understand how busy things can be this time of year, so you were checking in to find out when you should expect to hear from the hiring manager for a discussion about the position.

If no response, call. If you don’t receive a reply to your email after two or three days, call your contact person.

Be prepared to leave a message. If it rings into voicemail, leave a similar message as what you mentioned in your email — that you are calling to follow up on the next steps in the hiring process for the open position of (job title).

Contact HR. If an HR representative or recruiter was involved, you could also try contacting that person to obtain an update on the job opportunity.

Look online. If you still haven’t heard back after sending an email and leaving a voicemail, check online to see if the job is still posted. If you no longer see the job posting online, it’s a sign that the position may have been filled.

Lisa Quast is a certified executive coach, and the author of the book Secrets of a Hiring Manager Turned Career Coach. Email her at lquast@careerwomaninc.com.