How to follow up on an opportunity
One of my friends recently went for an interview. She disclosed, after the grueling session that she felt she suitably impressed the panelists. After three weeks of not hearing from the HR, she was going stir crazy. But she did not want to seem desperate or annoying, so she did not inquire about the outcome.
I am sure most people have been in this situation. It applies to job interviews, project opportunities and even collaboration prospects. Sometimes we do not follow up because we are afraid of coming across as annoying or dumb, sometimes we just don’t know what the acceptable rules for this kind of encounter are. But not reaching out to someone with who you can work could cost you a great opportunity.
Ask about time-lines
Before you leave the meeting or interview, the last question you should ask, if it has not been addressed is ‘within how long should I expect to hear from the team’. If the response is two weeks and you’re in the middle of the third week with no response, it is in perfectly good standing to send an email. Pleasantly ask about the response with regards to the time-lines that had been communicated. Communicate that you are eager to hear from the team and ask if there is any additional information that they would like you to provide.
Make an impact
Sometimes we have to get out of our comfort zone to get results. One of the greatest networkers of our time, Bill Clinton, talks about sending people hand-written notes as a successful way of connecting on a non-superficial level. Similarly, no matter how uncomfortable it may feel, get into the habit of writing a thank you note to people who you feel you could partner with on projects. The same goes for each member of the interview panel that you met. A simple note thanking them for their time and hoping to hear from them soon is sufficient but creates an impact.
Even if you do not get the job or the partnership does not pan out, check in every month or so. Avoid pestering them for a job or an interview, instead send them items of interest such as articles or congratulatory notes if they or their company have been recognized for a milestone.