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About 10 days ago, I ran into a team leader at a big tech company by chance, and by the end of the conversation he had offered me an interview for a position as a software engineer.

I'm a huge fan of the company and I've worked on projects with them and their software before, and while I'd like to work on some interviewing skills before I start interviewing to make myself a better candidate, I've considered applying to work for them, and likely on that team or a similar one.

Basically, I was offered a potential position from the hiring team manager of a team I'd really like to work for at some point, but I got nervous about putting together the perfect reply and now 10 days have passed since I received his email.

Considering I was hoping to try to basically defer to give myself time to improve on interviewing skills anyway, should I just not reply now that so much time has passed and hope he forgets about me, or should I reply with an apology and risk making it worse by reminding him about an email he might have forgotten about himself? Will it hurt my chances at this company in the future?

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    Did you meet him 10 days ago or did you get an email from him 10 days ago, or both? Did you forget to email him back, or were you simply getting your ducks in a row prior to emailing him back? – user1666620 Jul 2 '18 at 14:10
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    @user1666620 I met him and received the email from him the same day, before and after the above mentioned conversation – TheEnvironmentalist Jul 2 '18 at 17:09
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It''s only been 10 days. Acknowledge the delay in the response and say something like "sorry for the delay in getting back to you, I was focused on prepping over theast few days and wanted to make sure all my ducks were in a row before continuing with this".

For the future I would recommend looking at the cause for your delay in responding to an email. Was it a form of analysis paralysis?

  • I strongly agree that OP should self-analyze when OP behaved this way. Great point. – Fattie Jul 2 '18 at 16:18
  • As mentioned in my answer, I personally feel "Don't draw any attention to the gaffe". Just immediately email. – Fattie Jul 2 '18 at 16:18
  • Definitely analysis paralysis, but I'm not sure how to fix that – TheEnvironmentalist Jul 2 '18 at 17:10
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    I agree with saying sorry for the delay, but against giving a reason unless it's extremely important going forward. Saying sorry can show you can normally be expected to return emails promptly (or at least are aware when you don't), giving a reason can sound like you're shirking responsibility and trying to excuse yourself. No different than turning up late in person, saying sorry is needed, but an excuse can cast a bad image. – Bilkokuya Jul 3 '18 at 8:32
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Send the email now - immediately.

DON'T especially acknowledge the delay.

Don't mention it.

Just start writing like this ..

Mr Jones,

You'll recall we met at the XYZ party on Friday. You'll also remember how incredibly excited I am about your "dream team" and the "dream company" and the "dream job"!

Is there a chance you'd like me to come by the office to continue our talk, as I surely mentioned I am 1000% rearing to go with a "dream job" on the "dream team!" Please let me know what I can do for you in any way.

John, 255 505 1234

(It is ALWAYS OK to "pile it on thick" - enthusiasm never hurt anyone.)

Regarding the fact that you've waited ten days. We make mistakes in life (I know I do) - just don't make the mistake again!

  • Over enthusiasm definitely has the chance of putting me off a person. Especially if it comes off as fake and sucking up. – Thomas Bowen Jul 3 '18 at 7:13
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Will it hurt my chances at this company in the future?

Not contacting the company now gives you zero chance in the future. So, IMHO, if you drop him an email apologising for the delay - the worst he can say is no, in which case you'll be no worse off than you are right now.

Drop him a short email to make contact, apologise for the delay (no explanation needed, or if you want to, just provide a woolly, non-specific reason), and ask if the opportunity is still there. Don't worry about the reply being perfect, he wouldn't have offered you a potential position if he didn't think you were a good fit. Remember - keep it short.

If you don't make contact now, you'll wish you had later - but don't delay any longer.

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He can't forget about an email that you reply to, he'll see the context underneath.

If you take no action, nothing will happen. You've got nothing to lose by replying to his email. If anything it'd be worse to completely ignore his email, indicating that you're not interested at all and he'll be less likely to remember you in the future.

10 days is basically 1 work week, it's not really a long time to respond, especially considering that people take vacations and sometimes don't respond to emails for weeks during that period. I doubt he'll think about this time as a long time and if you're not sure you can simply thank him for his email and apologize for not getting to reply to it sooner.

Nothing happens in life if you don't act upon it, and it's always better to act late than not act at all because not acting at all means that nothing at all is ever going to happen.

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