Hoping someone here can share some advice regarding my situation.

I applied to company X a couple weeks ago. I found out after I sent my application that I had been introduced to the team's supervisor a year ago over email when I was an undergraduate student. At the time, I had asked her if there were any internships available and she (very nicely and apologetically) said no. I never had a phone call with her or met her in person.

Naturally, after I found out she was the team lead for this vacancy, I sent her an email to reconnect, saying I had now graduated and applied for this opening on her team. She sent me a simple "I'll keep an eye out for your application!"

A couple weeks pass, and I had an interview with HR that went very well. The HR rep just told me that it's down to me and an internal candidate, and that the team lead AKA "my weak connection" is going to have the final say as to whether I am brought in for an in-person meeting. The HR rep said I am a perfect fit for the role, but I have to be aware that internal candidates are given priority.

Should I reach out to my weak connection? After all, the fate of my application rests in her hands. I'm very conflicted because I have already let her know I applied for the position and she may not want to be bothered a second time. She also might not appreciate the intel that the HR rep shared with me regarding the internal candidate too. But, I'm also worried that she's thinking, "Well he knows me by name and email, why hasn't he reached out? If he's not making the extra effort, maybe I should stick with the internal hire."

Still, she's barely a connection as we've never even spoken over the phone. I might still be another stranger to her.

I know I'm over-analyzing this. I appreciate any advice that someone can offer! This is absolutely my dream job, and I don't want to blow my chances.


4 Answers 4


I would just stick to the official process. If HR has not sent an email to you with your 'weak connection' in copy, then do not contact her at this point. As far as she is concerned, she does not know that you know she is the hiring manager. You could think some one else is hiring for that role and not your connection. I do not think your prospective boss will be offended by the fact that your did not reach out to her again.

You did everything right so far in maintaining a weak connection and you made it to the final stage of hiring pretty much on your own. Just wait and see how it turns out.

When you are officially introduced via email or personal meeting, then you can remind her you are the same person who had contacted her some time back.


Should I get in touch?

I am not sure your weak connection can barely be counted as a connection at all, so I would not recommend reaching out at this point. Internal candidates are very hard to beat out. If they were qualified, then the internal candidate probably won out over you, and should win out over you as an external candidate.

Sit tight, if they want to hire you they won't forget about you and will contact you. ( And continue your job search )


Your weak connection already knows that you are the other candidate, right? (he/she said: "I'll keep an eye out for your application!" a couple of weeks ago, right?). Then I'd say that there is not much more that you can do. If it was me, I would just wait for an official answer.

Still, you can try to reach her out again, if you wish - and you have something new supporting your application. But I would definitely not disclose the information that the HR person told you about the other candidate. That could be very risky.

  • 1
    True. I think I'm just going to play it safe and hope things work out in my favor. Thanks for sharing your insight! Jul 15, 2017 at 6:49

Personally, I would reach out and ask her if she has been tracking your application to fill in the vacant position. If you've done some homework on what kind of role this would be, and tell her how you are excited about this opportunity, and how much you would love to do x, y and z in that role.

I'm sure there can be downsides to this. Perhaps this can backfire, and the lead figures out what your intentions are (to try to beat out the other candidate) and is not into that sort of thing. But in my own experience, it's usually the one who goes actively after the position that has the better odds.

Also, considering that the decision has come down to the two of you, and HR thinks you are a great candidate for the position, it means the other candidate clearly has not impressed enough to seal the deal. In addition, if you feel the weak connection is truly weak, and her short response was lip service, you can make the reasonable assumption that she isn't really interested to begin with, and if that is the case, perhaps you can get some interest by reaching out.

At the end of the day, it's really up to you to decide whether to give it a short or let others determine the course. I just personally favor going after it. Good luck!

  • Thank you for this! This is a really thoughtful response and it's given me much to think about. I think I may make a movie if I don't hear back by mid-week. Jul 17, 2017 at 4:39

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