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Here's the situation: Several weeks ago I applied for an advertised position with a major US distributor. Within a few days I received an e-mail from a recruiter (who was employed with the company) asking when I would be available for a phone interview.

I promptly responded via e-mail that I could be available on Wednesday and Thursday between the hours of 8 am and 4 pm, and Friday between the hours of 3 pm and 5 pm and to please let me know what day and time would be convenient for her. (This was on a Tuesday.)

Friday morning came and I hadn't heard anything so I sent a follow up e-mail confirming my interest and said that I was still available between 3 and 5 pm. She responded right away, apologized for the delay and asked if I would be available on the following Monday. I responded that I would be.

While she didn't set a fixed time, reasonably early Monday morning she called. We had a lengthy discussion about the position and my experience. It was a pleasant conversation and I felt that things went really well. She ended the call saying that I was very well qualified and she thought I would be a great fit for this role. She said she would get my information over to the hiring manager and get right back to me with a day and time for an interview with them.

Well, a week passed with no contact from the recruiter. I sent a follow up e-mail again confirming my interest and saying that I was still waiting to hear back from her regarding an interview with the hiring manager.

Another week passed and still no contact. I sent one last follow up e-mail. Now it's been two more weeks and I've heard nothing.

I thought about calling her as I had her number in both the e-mails from her and on my cell phone. But, after thinking about it, I realized that she may no longer be with the company(?) or, if she were to be working remotely, it may well be her personal number. Not knowing the circumstances made that feel awkward.

As I had no contact information for anyone else (not even a name), I thought about contacting the company. But, I didn't want to be seen as complaining or trying to create a problem for someone, especially someone who worked there.

This was a position that I was genuinely interested in. It would have been a rewarding job with a good salary, and with a company that has a very good reputation.

While I've chalked this up to a lost cause, it begged the question: When you find yourself in this type of situation, is there any appropriate or acceptable way to follow up? Or do you just let it go and move on?

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It sounds like you've taken the appropriate actions so far with the follow up emails. However, since she did give you her number, you shouldn't feel awkward giving them a call.

But if she doesn't answer

It's been a few weeks, I think it's time to let it go and look elsewhere before you end up waiting and waiting and wasting too much time.

(I waited too long and ended up almost missing a semester of college because I couldn't get an internship in time)

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imo There's nothing wrong with contacting the hiring manager and asking 'Just checking in... What's the status of your hiring for the X position?', and then say nothing and let that person talk. If you don't have that person's phone number or email address then look them up on LinkedIn.

As you are experiencing, there could be a hundred reasons why the recruiters have not contacted you, and may of them can be because the recruiter is not working closely with the hiring manager.

In 20+ years I've experienced lots of recruiter behavior similar to your situation.

Good luck.

  • Hi Jim. I didn't have the hiring manager's name. I will edit the question to reflect that. – Cindy Apr 24 at 13:44
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    Ok. So if you only talked to the recruiter and not the hiring manager, then that would imply that the recruiter is playing gatekeeper and intentionally not telling you. Could be hundreds of reasons: They've already ruled you out, they have 200+ resumes they are sifting through, they have a pending job offer and are waiting for things to play out, who knows. In this scenario though I would continue interviewing and not solely depend on one company that is intentionally not getting back to you. Again good luck. – Jim Horn Apr 24 at 13:46

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