To call or not to call...
February 23, 2006 10:32 AM   Subscribe

I haven't heard back from a job I interviewed for and was told I was the Number one candidate. What's the best move?

So I had the final interview with the EVP of Sales on Friday after meeting with the line manager and speaking to the Division President on the phone. At the end of the meeting he told me, I was everyone's number one, going into the final meeting, and I'd done well with him and was still number one, he had to meet 2 more people that after noon, but expect to hear from them next week. Well today's thursday, and I've followed up with a phone call (wed) and an email (this morning) and havn't gotten a response. It's a sales job, so I can't see them faulting me for being proactive, but at the same time, I don't want anyone to feel harrased. I'm thinking of calling the division president, since we had a great conversation and she told me to call her with any questions I might have, but I don't want to alienate the line magager by making him feel like I went over his head.

I think I've lost perspective since, I really, really want this job. Need to hear some voices other than mine.
posted by clubfoote to Work & Money (18 answers total)
Call her. What do you have to lose? You haven't lost perspective, they have different things to worry about than just you. Your job right now is to get the job. You have the division president's number and her invitation to call. What are you waiting for?
posted by evariste at 10:36 AM on February 23, 2006

Put yourself in her shoes. If I had interviewed a candidate and come away very enthusiastic about the person joining my team, and then my underlings were dropping the ball on keeping in touch with the candidate, I would want to know, and I would want to salvage the person.

The possibilities are two:
-they filled the job, or the opening no longer exists for some other reason, and no one wants to be the one who has to tell you. In this case, you have nothing to lose.
-they haven't filled the job, you are still the prime candidate, they're just busy and haven't gotten around to you. Well, in that moment where someone's mind is crystallized and ready to make the decision, do you want the job to go the guy who was hungrier than you and DID call the division president? In this case, you also have nothing to lose.

I think you have lost perspective in one sense: you're too superstitiously afraid of scotching this chance to ask them definitively for the sale.

If you're gonna be a salesman, ask for the sale. They already said they want to buy. They gave you ways to get in touch. Get in touch with someone who will make the decision you want them to make.
posted by evariste at 10:42 AM on February 23, 2006

It's a sales job, so I can't see them faulting me for being proactive

I think you answered your own question. No one wants to hire a salesperson who is afraid to follow up. Call 'em.
posted by weirdoactor at 10:43 AM on February 23, 2006

Response by poster: Alright, now that was the pep talk I needed.
posted by clubfoote at 10:46 AM on February 23, 2006

Let us know what happened!
posted by chef_boyardee at 10:50 AM on February 23, 2006

Response by poster: Voicemail and Email to the Division Pres. Hopefully someone gets back to me soon. I hate waiting.
posted by clubfoote at 10:57 AM on February 23, 2006

I'm pulling for you :-)
posted by evariste at 10:58 AM on February 23, 2006

I disagree, although I'm not sure it matters -- if they really like you, they will hire you.

In general, though, I think leaving both a voicemail AND email is extremely irritating. If you have left a voicemail, they will get it. Why would you waste their time sending an email with the same message?

I would never disqualify a candidate I was hiring for being persistent, but it's definitely annoying. Especially given that they said they needed a week to make the decision - it's only Thursday, and for many, Monday was a holiday. I guess there is some notion that sales guys need to be persistent, but there is something to be said for knowing when to turn it down a notch. I would say this is a case where an email OR voicemail to follow up and say "thanks again, blah, blah" would have been plenty. If it's down to three candidates, and they've already expressed their interest in you, it's not like you need to call them up to remind them.

Going over the EVP's head could also have a downside, especially if the EVP and the Pres have a good relationship. If you genuinely had a question, a voicemail or an email would have been fine, or to thank them, but I think the Pres has trusted the EVP to make a decision and (at least I) would be annoyed if you didn't place that same trust in the EVP.
posted by drobot at 11:23 AM on February 23, 2006



Always be closing.
posted by kirkaracha at 11:49 AM on February 23, 2006

kirkaracha - that quote cracks me up when people actually use it in business. You've seen Glengary Glen Ross, right?
posted by drobot at 11:54 AM on February 23, 2006

Response by poster: just to clarify, I was told, they would contact me next week, not they needed a week to make a decision.

but as was said, not much of this really matters, I've either got the job or I don't, none of this is make or break. I just don't like waiting.
posted by clubfoote at 12:03 PM on February 23, 2006

Response by poster: 2nd place is a set of steak knives!
posted by clubfoote at 12:03 PM on February 23, 2006

I had eight job interviews since November, and for all eight, I came away in a good frame of mind, and every job called and told me I was their "second choice" or "almost our first..."

Don't tell me that!!!
posted by Quartermass at 12:27 PM on February 23, 2006

Heh. I had an interview for a job once, met with recruiters, met with the interviewer, etc. The recruiters said the guy liked me, but they had to wait for the boss to get back from a "ski trip". Week later they (the recruiters) call back and say they don't know what's going on. I guess the project they were going to hire me for never went through.

Anyway, the job would have had an hour long commute, so whatever.
posted by delmoi at 12:40 PM on February 23, 2006

You've seen Glengary Glen Ross, right?

Many times.
posted by kirkaracha at 2:38 PM on February 23, 2006

Something like this happened to me for my current job. They were checking references and couldn't get an important one on the phone, hence the delay. I bit my tongue and didn't call, but had a long and tortured night. Almost exactly a year ago this weekend, oddly enough.

I'm pulling for you.
posted by ontic at 6:36 PM on February 23, 2006

I'd call them back in a couple days. I also think that it's *very* unprofessional of an employer to not have the decency to call people back and tell them that they didn't get the jobs. Instead, they're chicken shits and just leave you hanging.

Sucks even more when they lie to you, and you see the same job posting on Craigslist 2 weeks later.

Recruiters are slime.
posted by drstein at 9:37 PM on February 23, 2006

Did you send a thank you note. I've gotten a job a couple of times just because I sent a thank you note and the other candidate didn't. In fact, I pre-address and stamp the envelope before the interview then write it while I'm still sitting in the car directly after the interview. My first stop on the way home is always at a post office or mail box. (Then usually a bar for the next stop.)
posted by IndigoSkye at 6:46 AM on February 24, 2006

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