Q: Regarding your column on employers taking longer to hire new employees: Is there anything a job seeker can do to speed up the process?

A: Take the earliest available interview slot you can manage, to start the process quickly, says David Hayes, president of HireMinds LLC, a Cambridge, Mass., affiliate of the Sanford Rose Associates executive-search network. Line up your references in advance; tell them they might receive a call and that you’d be grateful if they could respond promptly, Mr. Hayes says.

Sending a thank-you email within 24 hours of each interview, mentioning something specific that you appreciated or took away from the conversation, sometimes helps move the process along, he says. If you don’t hear from the employer within two to three weeks, send a friendly follow-up email—not to ask for a status update, but to say you continue to be excited about the company and the job, and hope you’re under consideration, Mr. Hayes says.

If you’re expecting another offer, send a polite email saying you enjoyed the conversation and the company remains a top choice, but that you’re expecting other offers very soon, says Robert Hellmann, a New York career coach with The Five O’Clock Club. Explain that “you’d hate to miss out on working together just because of avoidable issues with timing,” and ask if there is anything you can do to speed decision-making, he says.

If you’re simply feeling impatient, explore other opportunities, Mr. Hellmann says. “Have multiple opportunities in the works at any one time, so you’re not overly focused on one,” Mr. Hellmann says. The delay can become an advantage if it gives you time to line up competing offers.

Copyright WSJ March 29, 2016 5:58 p.m. ET  @ http://www.wsj.com/articles/how-to-speed-up-the-job-interview-process-1459288733