phone interview follow up?
February 20, 2013 2:52 PM   Subscribe

My son had a phone interview for an internship at a STEM center a couple of weeks ago. It went well and the person told him she would follow up with an email about setting up an in person meeting.

He got the impression that she would be contacting him in the next couple of days, and when he didn't hear back from her, sent her a follow up email giving her a little bit more information about himself and contact info for another reference who was late in replying to his request.

So far, he's heard nothing more from her.

Should he send another email, and if so what sort of stuff should it say? Or should he just assume that he didn't get the job and move on?
posted by jvilter to Work & Money (7 answers total)
Or should he just assume that he didn't get the job and move on

Yes. Unfortunately it's pretty routine for companies to say they'll get back to you and simply never do so. Beyond following up once, there's really nothing he can do about it. Just like with dating situations, I find it's better to not waste time speculating what I may or may not have "done wrong" or what their motivations were. He should just forget it and get on with his life.

(There's always the possibility they put the position on hold or something and he'll hear from them months down the road, but don't count on that.)
posted by drjimmy11 at 3:35 PM on February 20, 2013

He should call. Calling sucks, especially when you're young, but it's the best thing to do.

"Hi, I just wanted to follow up on our conversation the other day and see if we could schedule the next interview".

1) The job is filled, no harm done;
2) The interviewer has fallen behind on their work and either schedules the next interview on the spot or promises to follow up; or
3) The interviewer is offended that a potential intern is keen about the job

I'd say 3 is vanishingly unlikely. 1 might be the most likely, but I'd say it's still worth enquiring.
posted by no regrets, coyote at 3:37 PM on February 20, 2013 [1 favorite]

In this situation I would guess that it's more likely that I wasn't selected, but that it was possible that there was some sort of delay in the selection process. I would send a very short and businesslike message to the effect of
"We spoke two weeks ago regarding XYZ internship program. I am starting to finalize my summertime plans. Please, feel free to contact me if you need any additional information or if you have any feedback regarding my application."
On a slightly different note, it would be very valuable for your son to learn the basics of business correspondence (I assume he hasn't got much experience, given that he's turning to you for advice on this). I get a surprising amount of mail from undergraduate students, a lot of which is flowery, supercilious, confusing, and excessive.
posted by Nomyte at 3:40 PM on February 20, 2013 [2 favorites]

If your son is seriously interested, I would try to find a different person to follow up with. He can call the main line and explain that he is following up on a successful interview, so much so that he was told to expect a call to schedule the time to come in shortly, so now he is wondering if perhaps so-and-so has left the company.

Case in point: we have been interviewing a guy I've been very keen on. Because of my interest, I took the time to follow up outside the normal channels only to find out that our internal recruiter had changed and during the transition, the ball was dropped. The candidate had presumed we weren't interested. We are flying him in to interview in person next week.

I wish similar success to your son.
posted by rada at 4:04 PM on February 20, 2013

I think a call would be good, although I can imagine how nerve-racking it might be for him - as a younger bitteroldman, i would have been mortified to be so agressive as to call to see what's up. As an older person, i realize it's not agressive at all, and if done politely and confidently, is good for one's character - it shows that one took the interview and the job offer seriously, and that the person is confident in his/her own abilities.

if someone got offended at receiving a single follow-up call, then the problem is likely with that person.

that being said, i think 1 call is enough. if they don't call back, well, turn the page and move on.

finally, i would add that if the person who did the interview is responsible for other tasks, it's possible that they are just swamped with other work - the only time that i interviewed candidates, i had so many other things on my plate, that i couldn't get back to them until weeks after i had originally promised.

good luck to your son!
posted by bitteroldman at 7:07 PM on February 20, 2013

You say it's been "a couple of weeks" -- for many organizations, this is not a long period of time. If they're short staffed and struggling to get regular work done as well as hiring, they might still be doing interviews with other candidates. Or trying to get response letters done. Etc. Answering phone calls from eager candidates could easily be seen as a nuisance.

Your son has already emailed them once, so no, I wouldn't call.

And for further explanation and advice, I highly recommend reading the Ask The Manager blog, particularly her posts about Job Search: Following Up.
posted by hms71 at 4:35 AM on February 21, 2013

He chose to do a follow up phone call today and was told that his resume is still on her desk and that he will probably hear from her within a couple of weeks. So she's either really busy (which I believe) or she's blowing him off. Either way, he made contact and now the ball is (again) in her court. Thanks for the objective POV's about the situation.
posted by jvilter at 9:14 PM on February 26, 2013

« Older Can I travel from Canada to USA on a Portuguese...   |   What's the best way to tell men about my unusual... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.