Hedge Fund Job Interviews: When They Don’t Call Back

You think you nailed the interview and walk out feeling great about your chances of landing a hedge fund job. But then the phone call and job offer never comes. What should you do? Email? Call? When does being pushy work against you?

Forbes had an informative piece on just that topic. Career coaches they interviewed say it happens all the time. Candidates go for interview after interview, but still don’t get the job. Sometimes another candidate gets the job. More often, the call never comes due to circumstances beyond your control. What should you do?

The experts say step one is following up without appearing to be desperate. One tactic is sharing the fact that you may have a second, competing job offer, and simply want to know where things stand. “Instead of being aggressive, you should be providing information,” says career coach Roy Cohen. “Say, ‘I want to let you know where things stand for me.’ You have to establish boundaries and make yourself desirable.”

Another approach is to collaborate with the hiring manager, especially if he or she is trying to get higher-ups to agree on a new hire. Something along the lines of, “If it’s helpful, I could strategize about what we should do to move forward,” suggests Cohen.

Of course, it’s not always easy to reach the hiring executive. Another career coach, Anita Attridge, suggests that you never leave a voice mail or message with an assistant. But keep calling back instead, until you reach the manager. “You can tell the assistant, ‘I’m going to be in and out, so I’ll just keep trying,” says Attridge. She adds that if a hiring exec promises to call on Friday and doesn’t, it’s okay to follow up with a phone call on Monday.

If email is the only way to reach the person, don’t send a follow-up email more than once a week, suggests another coach. More than that appears pushy.

Even before you get to the point of waiting for the job offer phone call, there are things you can do to make life easier on yourself. Be sure to ask the interviewer what stage he or she is at in the search process, so you’ll get a better idea of how close they are to making a decision. Ask questions like, “How do I compare to your ideal candidate?” and “How many other candidates are competing for this same position?”

Two more tips worth considering: after each interview, send what is known as an “influence letter” or email. This note talks about what you would like to accomplish in your first six months on the job.

And finally (and this may be more for your own peace of mind than anything else), after even a stellar interview, keep looking for other jobs. Accelerate your job search when you think you’re about to get an offer says career coach Eileen Wolkstein.

What about you? What’s the best advice you’ve ever received for following up on a good hedge fund job interview? Add your comments below.

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