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When Things Get Stuck in Interviewland

You had a great interview. The chemistry was there. You looked each other in the eye and agreed to move forward, but since then things have gone silent.

Thanksgiving is next week and the December holidays are right around the corner. There’s a push to spend the last 2014 dollars, plus the burden of 2015 planning.

What to do. You’re concerned that things might slip thru the cracks or be pushed off until January.

Here’s our best advice on how to handle delays and stay top-of-mind:

  1. Follow up immediately after your interview. Send a thank you email expressing your interest and 1-2 meaningful ways you can contribute. If you offered to send a work sample or referenced an article during your meeting, make this part of your note. If they outlined steps to return to meet more team members, suggest some dates. In other words, make it easy for them to act. Thank and share information with everyone involved, (including recruiters!)
  2. Evaluate the need and urgency for this hire. Do you know why and how quickly the company needs to hire? Are there any contingencies that may derail hiring? Did you speak about a specific role or broadly about upcoming opportunities? As recruiters, we’re always asking these questions to determine where we spend our time. We can help you recognize the signs. We prioritize searches where there’s budget commitment to hire and all the decision-makers are invested in meeting candidates and providing feedback.
  3. Keep tabs on company news. There are obvious events like M&A activity, business wins and losses, and leadership changes that shape hiring decisions. Then there’s thought leadership in the form  blog posts, speaking engagements and press releases that all provide opportunities to get in front of prospective employers. A well-timed response to a news event demonstrates your interest and attention in a more meaningful way than a meek “Just checking in” type email.
  4. Propose a quick phone update. If they want to retain your interest, they’ll agree to a phone call and be forthcoming about delays. A non-answer can signal that priorities have shifted or a less confrontational “Thanks, but no thanks.” Don’t trust the Inbox. Email, then call at times you’re likely to get their attention.

Bottom line, you’re looking to establish an ongoing dialogue so you’re kept in the loop about their hiring decisions and timeline. This involves more effort than merely “staying on the radar” but will give you a quicker read on whether you should invest time further.

More about holiday job hunts, here.

And why things are taking so friggin’ long!

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