Race to the Top: Interview Process is Lagging

Q: I interviewed for a job with a company in Houston two weeks ago, but have not heard anything. I really want the job. What should I do?

A: Getting a job takes time – sometimes a long time. It’s important to keep in mind that everyone you met during the interview is very busy, so 95 percent of the time, a slow response after an interview has nothing to do with you. Having said that, yes, you should follow-up.

First, I would go back and reread your follow-up email, the company representative’s response to it and any other meeting notes. Usually, during the interviewing process, someone, often the HR representative, will make a statement about next steps (i.e., “we expect to contact candidates during the next few weeks”). If this is the case, mark your calendar and if in a “few weeks” you have not heard anything, it’s time to reach out. The key is to do so without suggesting there is any reason why you have not heard anything. Keep it simple. “Dear Mr. Brown, It has been a few weeks since our last email exchange/conversation so I wanted to check in. I continue to be very excited at the prospect of joining the company. Is there anything else you need from me?” I learned years ago it is great to end an email or a voicemail with a question. It seems to prompt a quick response.

Now, in some cases, you will finish your interview and may even send your thank yous without anyone bringing up next steps. This is not a bad thing. In fact, this tends to happen when the interview has gone so well that you and the company representatives are so engaged, you both forget. In this case, I would recommend reaching out with a simple note: “Dear Mr. Brown, It was great to meet with you on Thursday and I really enjoyed the time we spent talking about the new strategy for your department. When time permits, I would welcome your thoughts regarding next steps. Naturally, I am also happy to provide you with any additional information you need to complete my application.”

And keep in mind, you may need to follow-up with the HR representative or the hiring manager several times before you reach the offer stage. In each case, keep the right tone: you are simply checking in – you are very excited at the prospect of joining the organization – you are happy to provide any additional information that the hiring team might find helpful. It took me five months to get a job once and there were plenty of times that I thought, maybe, something had gone wrong. Every time I spoke to the hiring manager, she said that something else had come up, but that we were still moving forward. It was nerve-racking at times, but I took her at her word and it was one of the best jobs I have ever had.

Lilyanne has worked in corporate America for 25 years and has supported eight CEOs.  She wants to answer your career questions – so you can get ahead at work.  Email your questions to Lilyanne@racetothetopcareers.com, rttcareers@gmail.com or at Forward Times,  forwardtimes@forwardtimes.com