03/12/2014 by Carney Sandoe Staff |
Call Me, Maybe?
If you’ve attended any of our conferences, you know that the interviews you’ll have there are simultaneously exactly like a “regular” interview with a school and nothing like a “regular” interview. When else would you sit among hundreds of people in a speed-dating type setting and concentrate your attention amid the buzz of dozens of other interviews for 30 minutes?
When you emerge from a draining “regular” interview, whether it takes place on the phone, on Skype, or on a school’s campus, you have a pretty good idea of what you should do next. Before you conclude the interview, you know to ask about next steps: What does the school’s hiring timeline look like? When should you expect to hear from the interviewer? Is there anything else he or she needs from you?
In a jam-packed 30 minutes, though, you might not quite get to asking about next steps, despite your best-laid plans. And when you leave a conference interview, you might be left a little confused. Was this a “normal” interview? Is the ball in your court, or the school’s? Should you send a thank you note? Should you send a message using the online conference module?
Don’t be left hoping a school will get in touch with you. Seize the reins—let the contact know that you are still interested in the position. S/he might not be sure if you are; you might have met with half a dozen other schools at the event and had a better connection with another institution.
First thing’s first: send thank yous. While our online conference message center is awesome and helpful—and you should definitely use it prior to and during the conference—you will want to move your follow-up messages to your personal email account. The module does close eventually and it would be a shame for a school to miss or lose your message.
Send an email to each contact with whom you met—it will likely only be one or two after a conference interview. Start by re-introducing yourself, e.g., “Hi Mr. Smith, I’m Stephanie from the Carney, Sandoe & Associates FORUM/NYC. We met yesterday afternoon regarding your open Physics teaching position.” Keep your message brief, but make sure you reference your conversation specifically—you don’t want to appear as if you’re sending form letters to every school contact. Reiterate your interest in the position and include specific details from your conversation or from the research you’ve done on the school. Conclude by indicating that you hope to hear from the contact soon.
If you don’t hear back right away, don’t worry. In the wake of full days of interviews scheduled back-to-back-to-back, schools might take a few days to assess the outcomes of the conference and tie up loose ends. If you haven’t heard back within a week, send another brief email expressing your continued interest and your desire to follow up.
A conference interview isn’t all that different from an interview over the phone or at a school. But if you don’t have time to delineate next steps, assume the ball is in your court. Reach out, say thank you, and indicate your interest. Being proactive could help you get hired.