How Much Interview Follow-Up is Too Much?

You can keep yourself in the recruiter's mind in other ways.

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Alison Green
A reader writes:

Just before Thanksgiving, I had an initial phone interview with a company. It went well and in the first two weeks of December I was called back for a second and then third interview, as I was up for two different slots in this company. Since then, I was told I was one of the final two for one of the slots. Also since then, the holidays have happened, a [reorganization], and now someone gave notice in the group I was one of the final two for. I've been touching base weekly with my recruiter just to see if there was any news. In my last E-mail with her, she told me she would let me know when something changes.

Should I still keep touching base every week or so, or am I becoming an annoyance?

[See the best careers for 2010.]

Opinions differ on this, but I think that when you've been told that you'll be notified when something changes, checking in weekly is too much. "I'll let you know when something changes" can be a polite way of saying, "Please back off a little bit."

That said, you can continue to follow up less frequently (every two to three weeks would be my recommendation), and you can keep yourself in the recruiter's mind in other ways. For example, rather than using each contact as a status check, send her an article she might be interested in. Push yourself into her consciousness that way.

[See what to do when your interviewer doesn't ask questions.[

Also, keep moving forward with your job search. If this job comes through, that's great, but you don't want to rely on it. Keep job searching just as vigorously as you would be if this weren't out there. Good luck!

Alison Green is the author of Managing to Change the World: The Nonprofit Leader's Guide to Getting Results . She is chief of staff for the Marijuana Policy Project, a nonprofit lobbying organization, where she oversees day-to-day management of the staff as well as hiring, firing, and staff development. Her writings have been published in the Washington Post, the New York Times, Maxim, and dozens of other newspapers. She blogs at Ask a Manager.