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February 18, 2010 10:45 AM   Subscribe

How can I best follow-up on this position that I phone interviewed for and turned down 3 months ago?

I have a tendency to overthink things and the thoughts are stopping me from actively following up about this position.

About 3 months ago, I applied to a posting for a Project Coordinator position that was right up my alley. Based on their description, I was what they were looking for, even down to the Myers-Briggs type they preferred. During the time between applying and hearing back, however, I received and accepted an offer from the company I was temping for. I promptly accepted because it was the end of my assignment, and really as a temp, any perm position seemed like a step up. I also wasn’t holding out much hope for response from the PC position, state of the economy and all, but I did end up getting a callback from them.

The next day, I had a brief phone interview with the hiring person for the posted job. He explained they were looking for someone to start off small for 8 weeks (like an intern) and then if they were the right person, hire them. I let him know right away that I had unfortunately just accepted a position and felt obligated to not back out. He wasn't dismissive at all, which I had expected, thinking I had wasted his time. Instead, he left it open and said I had his information and could contact him down the line AND that I could always feel free to visit since our offices were only a short walk apart.

3 months in I love having my current job, but I LOVED the description of that job listing and it was much more in line with my previous work experience.

I’d like to follow up with the guy about the position. For all I know, it’s been filled and they’re not looking, but I think about the position just about every morning because it reminded me of a job I used to have that I loved going to. Right now, I am just having a hard time saying what I want to say, which is that my interest in the position and company has not swayed. I'm not even sure if he'll remember me or what the end result of the search was. I am very interested and want to at least keep the lines open.

How much should I jog his memory? Should I remind him that I declined to accept another position? How can I make it clear that I am not coming to him because I am unhappy about my current position, just very interested (still) in this position? Is there any reason I shouldn’t contact him? A better time to contact him?
posted by alice ayres to Work & Money (3 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
He'll remember you. I'd call and simply ask if they are still looking to fill the position. You can say that you are content in your current role, but have continued thinking about how good of a fit you would be for their needs and how the position is in-line with your own background.

If they filled it, he will say so, and you'll know. If they haven't, and you were as good of a candidate as you thought, they will still be interested in talking to you. Either way, you have nothing to lose.
posted by hamandcheese at 12:08 PM on February 18, 2010 [1 favorite]

I would not mention that you are happy in your current situation as it makes you a bad risk -- who's to say after three months working at the new place you won't be moving along to a position that's even more to your liking?

I would simply say "My situation has changed and I would like to pursue this job after all. Is it still available?" If they ask about your current job simply say "It has turned out to be a poor use of my skills, and the position we talked about fits me much better."
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 12:18 PM on February 18, 2010

Are you actively looking to move from your current job to this other job because you've decided the other one fits you better after all, or are you just trying to stay on this person's radar for when you want to switch down the line?

...what I want to say, which is that my interest in the position and company has not swayed

But it sounds like, despite your interest in the position and company the last time you interacted with them, the result was still your working for another company. You love the current job, i.e. still have a motive for working there, so what has changed from the POV of a hiring coordinator? I am very interested (in in working there now, or eventually...?) and want to at least keep the lines open. So I guess that is where I would start and what I would clarify if I contacted this guy - what has changed, and what hasn't. That can be your whole conversation. I would need to go in with a very specific purpose, like, I want to work here ASAP; is that possible? or, Please consider me when another position opens up; or, I am just interested in the work that you do here and would like to learn more though I am still working at this other place.

How can I make it clear that I am not coming to him because I am unhappy about my current position, just very interested (still) in this position? I would just say that you are very interested in this position. I think I would change Tell Me No Lies' "poor use of my skills" into something positive about how you enjoy the current job (in specific ways that show you would be productive at the new job), but the new job would be an AWESOME use of your skills. A better time to contact him? A good time to make contact might be when you had a specific reason to get in touch, i.e. you two could have a reasonable exchange of information or assistance. Not just, "Remember me? Good..."

I would call, or go visit, and say something like, "Hi, this is ___. We spoke a couple of months ago about ___ position. I just keep thinking about that position -- how much I could bring to it, and what a terrific fit it would be, especially given my skills in ___, the company's focus on ___, and my long-term trajectory toward ___. Is it still open?"
posted by ramenopres at 4:52 PM on February 18, 2010

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