While searching for advice on post interviewing tips from a search engine, I came across your website. I read through all the posts from recent job interviewees, and I find that I’m sharing similar experiences with most of them. I’m glad I found your site as it now acts as a “support group” for me.
I’m currently going through what most interviewees are going through… the excruciating, long period of waiting on a “call back” or “hear back” from a company I interviewed with. About 3 weeks ago, I interviewed with a mid size regional bank (approx. 86 branches throughout the state) for a position in their marketing department. I went through the phone interviewing process, the first round of interviews set up by HR, and made it to the second round to see the Senior VP of corporate marketing. I prepared long and hard for this second interview, because this position (event marketing) is what I have been dreaming to work for, and the company’s philosophy and values make it an outstanding environment for any employees seeking job opportunities in this field.
Well, my dilemma is… I have doubts about my answers to the Senior VP’s interview questions. After the interview, I realized that I could have answered the questions more appropriately this way…and that way…and why I shouldn’t have responded to certain questions this way… etc…etc… (I felt like I haven’t showed my full potential of proving that I am the right candidate for this job…)
The interview lasted approx. 40 mins. The first 30 mins or so was structured by asking questions like what I had done at my previous company, what I was involved in, to… What I see myself doing in 3-5 years… then I asked him what the day to day duties are for the job, and he explained in full detail about the job duties, showed me what the previous person had done (i.e. projects she had worked on before she left the company), and he even went into great detail on the structure of his group. (what everyone’s position is, and their duties…)
He explained that most people have worked there for at least 5 years, and the person who left this position I was interviewing for, had to leave because her husband is relocating to another city… then he moved on to ask more personal questions like my hobbies… what I like to do on my spare time, what my interest is in… and how I keep myself busy in the mean time (I’ve been out of a job since this Jan). That was the last 10 mins of the interview… I couldn’t “feel” if he was impressed with me or not, because I couldn’t see any signs of whether he likes me or not…
The interview came to an end when he said he would make a decision within 2 weeks time. He said by then, he would narrow down to 1 to 2 final candidates to see the President of the company and the marketing group, so the group can choose the candidate for the position. Then he handed me his business card and let me know if there are any questions in the mean time, to contact him. I asked whether it was ok to follow up with him a week after the interview, he said that’s ok, or someone would contact me.
Then we proceeded to walk me out of his office. We passed by other offices, and he introduced me to all the people in his group. I shook hands with all of them, and greeted them warmly. Then he accompanied me to the door and we said good bye.
That was last Tuesday. Today is Wednesday. One week and a day had passed. I am pulling my hair out… I hate waiting. Should I write an email to him asking where it is in his decision-making process, or should I write to the original recruiter (the HR whom I was first contacted, and who conducted the phone interview, and the first in-person interview with me)? Or… should I wait till next Tuesday before doing any follow ups (next Tues is exactly two weeks that the VP indicated on the time frame)..?
I have to mention that I did email him right after the interview (4 hrs after the interview) thanking him for taking time out of his busy schedule to meet with me, and emphasized on some strengths and thoughts I didn’t or forgot to mention during the interview.
I appreciate any candid advice from you. I apologize for the lengthy email… If you have any questions, please feel free to ask by emailing back. I might have some thoughts I left out from above.
Thank you so much!!! I’m anxious to hear back from you soon.
First of all…from what you tell me, it sounds like you had an excellent interview and made all the right moves. Congratulations on that. And I like that you gave him a next step, in this case asking him if it was ok to follow up with him. And he said yes (or someone would contact you).
So, since you were gutsy enough to say that, I think your best bet is to go ahead and e-mail him. There’s no downside under the circumstances. All you have to say is something like “As promised, I’m following up on our interview (this shows you have follow-through). I just want to let you know I’m still very interested and hope to be one of the finalists for this exciting position.” Use your own words of course; I just threw those together. But you get the idea. Keep it short and polite. At the very least, he knows you’re a woman of your word and not afraid to pursue your dreams.
FYI: Right out of grad school, I interviewed with an SVP of a major bank and got the offer. He called me “pleasantly aggressive”. I’ve never forgotten that.
As for worrying about how you answered the questions… Were my answers right? Could I have been better? Should I go back and beg him to let me answer again??? 🙂 Please let all that go now. He wouldn’t have talked to you as long as he did and introduced you around if he weren’t at least pretty interested. I’m sure you did fine. The secret from the interviewer’s side is most of us don’t really care exactly what you’re saying…we just want to get to know you and see how you think and connect with people. Especially for a marketing events person in banking, your personality, follow through, and attention to detail are more important than your exact answers.
So, if you think it’s the right thing to do…send him that e-mail. And then wait. (I know. Easy for me to say. 🙂 ) Everything seems to be on track. And don’t worry about an SVP’s promise to get back to you in a week. While you remember every word that passed between you, they are extremely busy and he may have forgotten those words. (It’s kind of like dating.) But that doesn’t mean you are out of the running. And now, when he gets your e-mail, he will at least remember who you are!
After that, try your best to relax. Believe in yourself. Know that you did your best. And wait until they get back to you. (Unless it’s been two more weeks. Then you might want to contact the HR person.)
These things really do take more time than we wish. What seems so long to you is just a blink of an eye to them.
Good luck, CK! I truly hope you’re one of the finalists. Please let us know how it goes.
About the author…
Ronnie Ann, founder of Work Coach Cafe, bases her real-world advice on her many years as an organizational consultant where she helped interview and hire people, added to a certificate from NYU in Career Planning & Development and her own adventures as a serial job seeker. She can also be found on her new blog, Career Nook and on Google+.