Q. I received an email from a company I applied to requesting some dates and times from me that I would be available for a phone interview. It has been almost two weeks now without any other communication. The job is still posted on their website as being available. Is that normal? Should I send an inquiry email or just continue to look out for an email from them about the phone interview?
A. Receiving any communication from a company inviting you to have a conversation is good news. What is important to remember is that the company didn't contact you, a person did and that is the person you want to try to connect with. When you are asked by a company representative to provide information about your availability for a call, or meeting, make sure to offer blocks of times, or full days. Also offer a cell phone and home number. Feel free to offer evening hours and even weekend with a comments about being available at their convenience. Your goal is to make any request made by a company representative easy for them to do what you want them to do. If you want them to schedule times for a phone meeting, give them many large blocks of time as options over at least 3 weeks.
People find it hard to believe that emails don’t get delivered, but many times this can be the situation, or a message gets caught in a spam filter. Your message may not have been received, or perhaps their response never made it to you. Never wait too long when you don’t get a response you are expecting - or at least hoping for. Two or three days for a follow up is reasonable when you are asked for information. Asking a question at the end of your response can also be helpful. It is not too late for you to contact the person requesting the times and dates from you. Express your appreciation for the opportunity, and provide more time and date alternatives.
Delays are very normal in the job search. Companies change priorities. People are out sick or on vacation. Business direction can change, or stall. Try not to take these delays personally, and instead consider it a normal part of the recruiting process. All that behavior is acceptable from the company, but not from you as the candidate. Your part in the process is to follow up until they tell you not too. Thank them for the opportunity. Ask when you can follow up and if there is any thing you can provide.
In the job search, when you are concerned about whether to call or not, make the call. In every communication you have, ask when you can expect to hear about next steps. Thank the recruiter for that information, and ask if it is ok to follow up if you don’t hear by that time. Showing persistence and interest is a good sign in an applicant.
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Patricia Hunt Sinacole is president of First Beacon Group LLC, a human resources consulting firm in Hopkinton. She works with clients across many industries including technology, biotech and medical devices, financial services, and healthcare, and has over 20 years of human resources experience.
Elaine Varelas is managing partner at Keystone Partners, a career management firm in Boston and serves on the board of Career Partners International.
Cindy Atoji Keene is a freelance journalist with more than 25 years experience. E-mail her directly here.
Peter Post is the author of "The Etiquette Advantage in Business." Email questions about business etiquette to him directly here.
Stu Coleman, a partner and general manager at WinterWyman, manages the firm's Financial Contracting division, and provides strategic staffing services to Boston-area organizations needing Accounting and Finance workforce solutions and contract talent.
Tracy Cashman is Senior Vice President and Partner of the Information Technology search division at WinterWyman. She has 20 years of experience partnering with clients in the Boston area to conduct technology searches in a wide variety of industries and technology.
Paul Hellman is the founder of Express Potential, which specializes in executive communication skills. He consults and speaks internationally on how to capture attention & influence others. Email him directly here.