Fog Creek Software
Discussion Board


I gave an interview at a company 2 weeks back and they were supposed to get back to me end of last week.Should I followup with them next week, or wait some more time?

Saturday, March 8, 2003

There's no good single answer. Maybe you should find and buy a generic book on job searching etiquette and techniques, seriously. It's probably going to depend on the personality of your contact in the company, the company's sense of urgency about filling the job, and the number of other applicants that the company wants to cherry-pick.

You want to appear aggressively interested in the job but not desperate. Contrary to what a lot of job seekers think, begging and crawling for a job can be interpreted as having something the matter with you and drives away some employers' interest. 

One piece of advice that is pretty standard is - when you interview, pin down your interviewers on the next step and when it is expected to happen. IE: are you supposed to call them, or are they expected to call you? And when?

Bored Bystander
Saturday, March 8, 2003

Actually, I just re-read your message and it sounds like the company blew its own commitment. Yeah, call them ASAP and remind them that you were looking for a word from them last week.

Bored Bystander
Saturday, March 8, 2003

I haven't had a lot of experience in this industry compared to most of these guys, but I'll say this:  Every one of my jobs required me following up.  Workplaces can be hectic, to you its a big deal, but unless its a huge company, hiring the "right guy" is just one small part of their job.  They probably have a million things to do.  In my opinion, a friendly check up phone call can go a long way.  As long as you didn't appear desperate in the interview, it says "i'm assertive, responsible, and I want the job".
Good luck.

Vincent Marquez
Saturday, March 8, 2003

Dont call and accuse them of not contacting you, tell them that you are following up on your interview and wondering if any decisions have been made yet.

If they say they've hired sombody and its not you, abuse them and slam the phone down - just joking...

Saturday, March 8, 2003

It really stinks.  Our HR department has delayed as long as 4-6 weeks gettig back to people, with no reason why they would not reply earlier.  Who knows.  Its the most inconsiderate thing I can imagine and inexcuseable.  I have no good advice on the subject, excpet that they live up the Catbert reputation.

The perverse thing I learned in the last 5 years is that people live up to their stereotypes and most of the rumors you hear are true.  Bizarre.

Nat Ersoz
Sunday, March 9, 2003

To get my most recent job, I sent a resume in mid-December.  I called a week or two later, and finally got from HR the number of the department doing the hiring.  Talked to them.  A week later, got a call from the boss to set up an interview...for a week after that.  After the interview, didn't hear from them, and finally ended up calling once a week just to see if they'd made any decision.  Finally got hired no less than THREE MONTHS after I'd originally sent the resume, and two months after the interview.

You have to find a good interval where you can call and look like you're checking up and not begging.  I don't know whether I reached that interval, but I do know that I got the job.  Not a great salary, but mid-level for the salary scale of that position, which is unusual for this place.  So I must not have looked completely desperate.

I also agree with what someone else said, which is that calling and reminding them they were supposed to call you will get you nowhere fast.

Sunday, March 9, 2003

Well, speaking from the other side of the wall, we put out some adverts for software engineers last November. Having waded through hundreds of (mainly either rubbish or unsuitable) resumes, we found a shortlist of people to interview.

About ten candidates were interviewed in late December and early January, from which two were selected. We didn't "um" or "ah" about anybody much, the decision to interview and hire didn't take more than a few minutes. (Also I had worked with one of the successful candidates before which made a _big_ difference).

Having made the choice to hire someone, we then had to settle on salary, the value of which needed approval of the directors. They were difficult to get hold of and pin down, being permanently at meetings, but eventually we managed to get hold of them at the end of January. We then got back to the candidates and made them an offer - nearly three months after the original advert.

What can I conclude from that? Probably "nothing is as simple as it seems" - companies don't just sit around waiting for candidates to turn up and scream "hallelujah" dropping everything to interview them. Also there seem to be a lot more people with an interesting in the hiring process than you'd imagine from the outside.

The company you interviewed for may just have had a lot on its plate that week, and new potential employees might not be at the top of the priority list. Which isn't all bad news - they might have "forgotten" about everybody they interviewed, as well as you.

Better than being unemployed...
Monday, March 10, 2003

Sorry if this sounds a bit snide, since I understand where you're coming from, but the following question comes to mind:

Does your company regularly take three months to get back to customers too?

Monday, March 10, 2003

It's hard to accept, but we (as employees and future employees) are not, in fact, the customers.  Granted, a failure to follow up could mean they suck and aren't worthy of your time, but it could also mean they're incredibly busy.  Especially a small place - if they're hiring new people, it means they have more work than they can possibly do with the people they have, so any little thing that the customer might do could get them put ahead of you in line.  (Customer = urgent and relatively important, new employee = relatively important but not as urgent.)  If it's important to you to find out what was going on / how honest they are, ask after you get the offer.

The important thing to do in order to get the offer / another offer is to put them on a regular schedule, every week like someone mentioned (that's about what I used, too, and sometimes I'd get put off, but it didn't seem anyone found it excessive).  And keep looking, of course.

Monday, March 10, 2003

*  Recent Topics

*  Fog Creek Home