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A friend of mine put in a good word for me at the tech company he works at, after I expressed interest in an internship there, and an internship recruiter for the company reached out to me by email asking when I can meet for an interview. This was a week ago.

Because I'm also a student (which is written on my resume, which the recruiter has) and this is finals time, I said I have very limited availability, and haven't received a response since. I'm worried I scared away the recruiter by implying that the company is low priority to me. To be clear, this is an internship that I'm very enthusiastic about, doing all the things I want to do and expanding my knowledge in all the areas I'd like to pursue. I accidentally implied that the internship isn't important to me, which couldn't be farther from the truth, and now I'm worried I've ruined the opportunity.

Can I fix this, and how?

  • Ok, wow. You brushed off a recruiter by saying you have "limited availability"? "Limited availability" makes it sound like you are a rare item and they shouldn't follow up unless they can make a really good offer. You should've simply said you are "busy" this week due to finals and you will be available after that. – DepressedDaniel Mar 17 '17 at 19:03
  • @DepressedDaniel my exact wording was "I'm free..." and then a list of times, saying at the end that I'd love to find other times if necessary. I also said that my availability generally falls on a certain three days a week, but "not during the next week." I didn't say I have limited availability, I just gave a pretty short list of available times, and asked for an interview a week and a half after the email, forgetting to mention finals – TheEnvironmentalist Mar 17 '17 at 19:06
  • Well that's pretty much an about face from your question text - it sounds you've done everything possible to secure this interview from your end and if you don't hear back they're just not interested in considering you for this internship. – DepressedDaniel Mar 17 '17 at 19:09
  • @DepressedDaniel A few friends who saw the original email thought I might have scared them away – TheEnvironmentalist Mar 17 '17 at 19:10
  • I wouldn't worry about that. It's a numbers game; you shouldn't fixate on one opportunity - try to cast a wide net and see what comes up. – DepressedDaniel Mar 17 '17 at 19:12
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Email them back. Check to see if there has been any progress on their end and reiterate your interest in the company. Did you mention the fact that it's finals week in your previous communication? If not, do so now, instead of leaving things vague about why you're "busy." Then explain that even though you have limited availability (finals are mandatory after all) that the company is a priority and you would like to find the time to go in for an interview. Finish up with a few times and dates you will be free to get the ball rolling on scheduling.

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It rarely hurts to be persistent. Even if you did "offend" them by making them think that they should work on your schedule, another email/phone call surely won't hurt. You aren't going to burn any bridges by being too persistent, especially at the entry level.

Also, employers WANT their employees to take their education seriously, so there is no shame in mentioning your class schedules, just don't act entitled!

If you do want to mention that you are in Finals week, go ahead and do so in the follow up email, but try not to make it seem like an excuse. Don't say something like

I wanted to make it clear that my limited availability mentioned in my last email is due to Finals week.

but rather, just mention it as an aside, rather than an excuse...

I also just wanted to mention that I am currently going through Finals week here at school, so I might not be available at certain times.

Good luck, and don't worry too much about things like this. Your persistence will pay off in the end.

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This isn't how recruiters work. They're not a guy or girl at the bar trying to act half-interested in you so they can ditch you if you flirt with them wrong. They're just trying to fill seats and don't have time to take rejection personally. So if you said no last week just tell them you're interested now and go from there. Make up some excuse like "I'm a student and had finals" or something.

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