Quick interview follow-up email question
April 16, 2013 2:43 PM   Subscribe

So last Monday, April 8th, I interviewed for a summer internship. The interviewer mentioned I should hear back sometime this week, and I wanted to send him an email to let him know how interested I am in this internship (of course, under the guise of "I wanted to know if the position has been filled" etc). During the interview, we talked about running for a little bit. It turns out he runs half and full marathons, pretty seriously. Would it be out of place to include something like "In our interview, you mentioned you run marathons. I wanted to extend my condolences if you or anyone else were affect by the events..."? I'm hoping to send the email before 5:00 tonight.

A little bit more information:

- this is an economic research internship
- this is my second email sent post-interview. The first was a thank you letter.
- I've been thinking of calling on Thursday.
- I think the interview went ok, but for reasons below, I think it could have gone better.
- The reason I'm not calling right now is because he speaks very quickly and is somewhat hard-of-hearing, so I'd like him to have a hard copy of what I said.
posted by obviousresistance to Work & Money (16 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
IMHO keep it strictly business unless you have some concrete reason to know he was affected (and in that case, I'd probably just hold off on the email altogether).
posted by primethyme at 2:47 PM on April 16, 2013 [1 favorite]

Do not do this. Unless you are literally in Boston.
posted by purpleclover at 2:47 PM on April 16, 2013 [6 favorites]

The missing info here might be where you're located. If you're near Boston, it would make more sense to include that than if you're, say, in Arizona.
posted by duien at 2:48 PM on April 16, 2013

Even if you are literally in Boston, unless you know he was affected and have any kind of relationship outside of that interview, don't, under any circumstances, do this. It can't do *any* good and will only make you look like a kiss-ass creep.
posted by bensherman at 2:49 PM on April 16, 2013 [20 favorites]

Where are you located? I can't tell from your profile and I think that would affect my answer, but mostly I would say that I wouldn't do this. I feel like it is unlikely to help you, and has a reasonable chance of being jarring enough to hurt you.
posted by lwb at 2:49 PM on April 16, 2013 [1 favorite]

posted by kmennie at 2:49 PM on April 16, 2013 [4 favorites]

Noooooo do not mention the marathon!

Also if they said you'd hear back sometime this week, you should not start following up on their timeline until next week. It is currently Tuesday, so don't get antsy until Friday. Or next Monday, really.

You already sent your thank you email, and that was your chance to re-iterate that you are interested. Now it is out of your hands.
posted by adiabat at 2:50 PM on April 16, 2013 [10 favorites]

Also, I would add that if you ARE considering doing this to help your chances rather than genuinely expressing the sentiment, I think that's poor taste and that too may come through.
posted by lwb at 2:50 PM on April 16, 2013 [3 favorites]

Do you think there is a chance he could have been affected by the recent events? Is it Boston?

I don't want to sound cruel, what happened in Boston is terrible, but just because he's a runner himself doesn't necessarily entail condolences.

In fact, it could just seem odd in the type of professional correspondence this is.
(Unless you can find a way to word it "colloquially professionally", like how you would talk with friends "Wow what happened is horrible huh"... But ugh that sounds terrible, both for what happened and for your application).

No really just dont do it.
posted by ahtlast93 at 2:51 PM on April 16, 2013

i would not do this at all. i agree that it's a little bit creepy.
posted by koroshiya at 2:51 PM on April 16, 2013

Totally inappropriate.

When you follow up after the prescribed time (e.g. this Friday at 4pm, if they said they'd get back to you this week), you thank them for interviewing you, reaffirm your interest for the position, and say that you'd appreciate an update on their timeline if they have one to offer.

That's it. Leave personal out of it. Yikes.
posted by juniperesque at 2:51 PM on April 16, 2013

Ok, good to know, I won't. He had mentioned he had run Boston in the past, which is why I was wondering. I wasn't going to add that in to try and get the position.
posted by obviousresistance at 2:53 PM on April 16, 2013

I can't think of a situation in which "my condolences if..." is ever appropriate. If you don't even know if condolences are required, you aren't in a position to extend them.
posted by payoto at 3:03 PM on April 16, 2013 [16 favorites]

You may have talked about a non-work topic but the context of your relationship with this person is only job seeking until the interview/hiring period is over. If you do or do not get the position and end up befriending the person later, then you can talk about whatever you want. There are a lot of times to establish a friendship, but during the course of an interview cycle is probably not it.
posted by mikeh at 3:28 PM on April 16, 2013

Just a small thing to add since others have addressed the main matter - You mention using the words "I wanted to know if the position has been filled." When the time is right to follow up, I'd use something a bit stronger, more positive, "Thank you again for your time... I'd be grateful for any updates as I'm very excited about the position." A subtle difference, but I think an important one. Good luck!
posted by Uncle Glendinning at 3:33 PM on April 16, 2013

If the guy lives in Boston or mentioned that he, personally, was running the Boston Marathon this year, maybe?

I know plenty of people who run marathons and who weren't there, don't know anyone who was there, and are no more involved than I am as a non-runner.

Maybe if you have a previous personal connection? Even then, I would avoid mentioning it unless you have reason to know it's a really big deal.

And if you MUST mention it, I would do it more informally and in a more conversational tone than "I wanted to extend my condolences if you or anyone else were affect by the events..." That's a really odd way to phrase something that (again, unless he himself mentioned to you that he was running the Boston Marathon and usually runs a 4:10 pace) needs to be pretty specific if it's to have any meaning at all.
posted by Sara C. at 3:45 PM on April 16, 2013

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