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I was introduced through email to the CTO of a small company through someone I formerly worked for, who is a good friend with this CTO. He offered to do a twenty minute call with me, framed in informal terms, which sounded like a regular phone interview. He mentioned that he thought he would have some free time the following day to call. I sent an email back with my phone number and available hours for a call--8 hours that mostly overlap with regular business hours--for the following two business days, and I didn't receive a call. I feel I may have communicated poorly, as I didn't try to schedule a particular time, but I also know this person is incredibly busy all the time. What is appropriate in include in an email to try to get the call scheduled?

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What is appropriate in include in an email to try to get the call scheduled?

I would say something along the lines of "really enjoyed our conversation" and "when is the best time for you to have a follow up conversation". Not much else or you may come across as either desperate or a pest.

Notice I said when is the best time for you (you being the exec in this case) to talk. Let the busy executive tell you what works for them, and you make the time work for you both.

  • Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think OP is asking about how to follow-up on an initial conversation that never happened, not how to schedule a second one. Or did I read that wrong? – PoloHoleSet Dec 19 '17 at 19:22
  • But then how does "I enjoyed our (non) conversation" and "when is the best time to have a (non) follow-up conversation" fit with that? When I read that it all sounds like what you'd say if the conversation had actually happened. – PoloHoleSet Dec 19 '17 at 19:34
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    "introduced through email...." I don't read that as a conversation. "Bill said to contact you, want to speak?" "Sure, I'll call" - not really a conversation, per se, to me, but we don't have to agree. You've explained your reason, and I'm no longer confused about it. – PoloHoleSet Dec 19 '17 at 19:37
  • @PoloHoleSet Now I am a bit confused. Who do you think he meant by "He" in this sentence? "He mentioned that he thought he would have some free time the following day to call" – Mister Positive Dec 19 '17 at 19:39
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    I think it referred to the CTO, but completely in exchanging functional emails for the logistics of setting up an initial conversation. "We should talk, there's my number, I'll be free at these times" "Thanks, I should be able to call tomorrow or the day after." - so not really something I'd say "I enjoyed our conversation" over, but it's speculation on both of our parts and we're envisioning a different depth of exchange, probably. – PoloHoleSet Dec 19 '17 at 20:22
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Giving available hours is perfectly appropriate, but that leaves you with the (possibly unlikely) problem that they might not confirm a specific time, and you might then be expected to be available the entire period, or ask them to tell you when they'd call.

Proposing a specific time is not ideal if they might not be available at that time (if they say "I am available any time between X and Y", then it's reasonable to assume proposing any time during that period would be fine).

A good middle ground might be to do both:

I'm available from 8 AM to 4 PM. Shall we schedule it for 2 PM?

This allows them to pick another time if that time doesn't suit them, but does give a strong preference towards having an actual time scheduled.

Saying "what time works for you?" instead of proposing a specific time can achieve the same goal.

Although I wouldn't worry too much about potentially "doing scheduling wrong" - if they really want to talk to you, less than optimal scheduling techniques is unlikely to change or get in the way of that.

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    At least me, when I give my available hours, I expect the other side to reply proposing a specific time to call. Nobody expects you to be 100% of your available time near your phone and in an appropriate place to do an interview. – Adam Smith Dec 19 '17 at 18:17
  • @AdamSmith I've had enough potential employers just tell me they'll call me "some time" during some day. I don't think any of them would've taken / took offence if / when I missed their call, and that was mostly for initial chats as opposed to formal interviews, but the point remains. – Dukeling Dec 19 '17 at 18:20

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