We live in an age if instant gratification. Instant streaming, instant Facebook updates, instant Tweets. When do I want it? Right now, of course.

In this age of “instantness”, it is crucial as the job seeker that you respond early and often to inquiries from companies or recruiters. To fail to do so only risks making you look uninterested in a position or a company. Is this an accurate reflection of you, the job seeker? Nope. Fair? Not even close.

But, it’s the way that it is.

True story: we had a candidate interviewing with a major company and he was at the final offer stage.

The company called on a Monday and wanted to bring him into their office on Thursday for a final meeting and possible offer. The candidate was stuck in a secure facility with no access to email or his mobile phone.

After 24 hours, the company began asking if the candidate is really interested and making comments like, “If he were interested, he would have scheduled this meeting.” We reminded them that he was unavailable for two days – in fact, we had told them this a week earlier. Did it matter? Not really. And it almost cost the candidate the job!

While we all clamor for instant gratification, we have to remember that the companies we are interviewing at feel the same way.  This means being available and responsive at this stage, no matter what is happening in our lives, is imperative.