When job searching, time is not your friend

I had a great job interview two weeks ago for a position I think I’m really qualified to perform. I sent the interviewer a thank you email and left a phone message with the Human Resources person that set up the interview. What should I do next or have I already lost the job?

First of all, thank you for your question and I hope my answer is of value to you and others who are reading my reply. As the title of this column alludes, when looking for a job, time is not on your side. The more time that goes by between your interview and job offer, the more time there is to stop your offer from becoming a reality. These things include:

• A company-wide hiring freeze • The job opening being closed for any one of various reasons • The hiring manager changing jobs, thus putting the interview process on hold until a new manager is in place • A current company employee coming forward and showing interest in and getting the position • A company/department reorganization that changes the required job skills • The interviewing of additional candidates that may be more qualified, better known, better fit, or just more recently interviewed

With all that said, there are a number of reasons why you may not have yet received a call from the company, some of them are neutral and some of them are troublesome.

The neutral reasons are:

• The hiring manager and/or Human Resources person may be on vacation or simply distracted by a higher priority issue • The manager thinks you’re great and wants to hire you but is required to advertise the position within the company for thirty days before hiring an external candidate • They want to bring you in for a second interview but they are having trouble scheduling the best time • The company just moves slowly because there is a big difference between company time (how fast a company moves) and candidate time (how fast the candidate wants the company to move) • The general phenomenon that because companies are not hiring as many people due to the economy, there is a lesser feeling of urgency to hire people quickly • Because companies are currently hiring less people, they are less organized regarding the hiring process than one may hope

The troublesome reasons you may not be getting a call are:

• You are the company’s second choice and they are keeping you on the string in case the person they really want decides not to take the position • They have either hired someone or closed the job opening and didn’t have the courtesy to call and tell you • The company likes you, but has decided that they want to interview more candidates before making a decision

My suggestions to you are twofold:

First, continue to pursue the job. If you think you did a good job in the interview you may be correct. That said, continue to try to respectfully and occasionally reach out to both the hiring manager and the Human Resources. Also, rather than simply sending out a “remember me” type email, send a thoughtful email related to the job. As an example, if you come across (or find via research) a great blog or column that is both informative and relevant/related to the discussion you had with the hiring manager, send it to him/her as a point of interest. This type of approach lets you reach out to the hiring manager, regarding him/her, not just about you.

Second, hope for the best (that you are still in contention for the job), but assume the worst (that the job is out of your reach) and continue to aggressively pursue additional potential opportunities.

In closing, good luck and best wishes in your job search.

If you have any questions about your career in IT, please email me at eric@ManagerMechanics.com or find me on Twitter at @EricPBloom.

Until next time, work hard, work smart, and continue to grow.

Read more of Eric Bloom's Your IT Career blog and follow the latest IT news at ITworld. Follow Eric on Twitter at @EricPBloom. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.

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