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I've applied to a software development company for a programming position. I'm communicating directly with an employee, specifically a project manager, not a recruiter.

I made it through a phone interview and was given a take-home project to work on. I completed the project and submitted it, via email, to the person who I have been communicating with. It has been a week since I submitted it and have not heard back from the person.

Now, assuming he's not intentionally ignoring me, I think he's just busy / forgetting to respond to me. I've been communicating with him for quite a while, and this is not the first time that he has just been too busy to respond. I'm pretty far in the interview process and I really want to work for this company, so I don't want to just give up and let this opportunity pass by.

How can I politely email him and ask if he had the chance to review my take-home project? I put a lot of hours into it, and even more months of initial preparation for the position before applying. I'd really like to hear back even if it's that my project was not strong enough.

Should I just directly ask if he's looked at it? Is there maybe a more indirect way of bringing it up, like submitting a "revised" version? I just don't want to annoy him. but I'd really like to hear back from him.

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2 Answers 2

up vote 11 down vote accepted

In the past I've typically tried something like the following. Let's assume, for this example, that your contact's name is Fonzie, because I always liked Happy Days and this is easier when someone has a name.

Hi Fonzie. I hope you're doing well. I had a great time interviewing with you guys, and an even better time working on the take-home project. Now that I've had some time to reflect on it myself, I'm curious as to what you guys thought of it. If you get a chance, please let me know--I'd appreciate it!

- Ryan

This does what you want--namely, asks him for an update--but with a complementary goal that isn't just a sneaky way to trojan horse your way into asking for that update. You get to give your impression of the interview and the project, which could be helpful for them if they didn't glean that from the interview or the quality of your work. But it also puts you back in his mind and shows that you still care about the position.

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(Brian Warshaw's answer is good too :-) )

It depends upon what they told you during the interview. If they told you a date they'd get back to you, you'll want to wait until then. If they haven't given you a date, just ask for next steps as per the second half of my answer.

If they did give you a review duration, once that time has passed, send something simple and straight forward. Don't try and back them into a corner or point out any missed dates. Assume that they're aware of the schedule they set out.

Hi! I just wanted to check in and see how the programming test went. Do you know when I might expect feedback, and what the next steps might be?


There's a more general question surrounding what you ask, of how to know what's expected next in the interview/hiring process. I've addressed that, below.

Before leaving the individual interview:

Is there anything you heard or didn't hear that concerns you?

This lets them give immediate feedback, gives you better insight into their impression and lets you address any lingering concerns.



Before leaving from interview day - that is, when walking out with the recruiter, or whomever the last person is...

What are the next steps?

and

When should I expect to hear back?





After the interviews have been completed, either same day if you didn't think to ask during the interviews :

Thank you for having me in to interview, the other day. Do you know what the next steps are, and when I should expect to hear back?

Or if things are taking longer than expected (I usually wait until two days after they said they'd get back to me):

Hi! Just wanted to reach out and see how things are going. Is there any updated status?





In all cases, I am attempting to demonstrate a friendly disposition, respect for the company and their time, be clear that i'm interested in moving forward with the process, am implicitly interested in the results of the interview, and that I would like to know what to expect next.

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