MFin Career Question of the Week: I’ve been in contact with a company and there’s been a delay in communication. What do I do?

I’ve been in contact with a company and there’s been a delay in communication. What do I do?

Come talk to us! There may be a variety of reasons that an employer’s follow up is delayed, and we can coach you through your specific situation.  Many students assume that a delay in communication has something to do with them, that maybe they aren’t a good fit, or aren’t qualified for a role there.  However, delays in communication are often a result of the company’s internal processes or delays, having nothing to do with you as a candidate.  Here are a few of the more common reasons you may see a delay in communication:  

During the interview phase 

  • The person you are trying to contact is on vacation or out unexpectedly, and they don’t have a backup to answer emails/address daily inquiries. 
  • Scheduling of interviews with other candidates has been tricky, and the process has been delayed.  This is often not communicated to other candidates (i.e., you) because HR/the recruiter/the hiring manager doesn’t have time to reach out to all candidates with daily updates.   
  • The hiring team is waiting for interview feedback from employees who may be out of the office, on vacation, etc. and can’t move forward in the process until all key stakeholders have weighed in. 

During the scheduling of a networking call/informational conversation 

  • The professional you are trying to connect with is likely extremely busy with tight deadlines.  They are happy to talk to you, but when they have last-minute requests, unexpected issues with a project, or added work, they will need to prioritize and you may not get a timely response.   
  • Similarly, the professional you are trying to connect with may go on vacation or have an unexpected leave.  They have good intentions, but may forget to follow up with you before they are out of the office.  
  • If your request to have a conversation was a little vague (hey, it happens to all of us), the person you are trying to connect with may not know how to help you or what to expect from a conversation with you, and may be delaying their response while they think of what to say.   

There are ways of strategically and professionally following up with an employer or industry professional that both keep the conversation going and don’t seem pushy.  If you are waiting to hear back from someone at a company and are unsure what to do, please schedule a career advising appointment and we can give you tactical guidance to reengage the employer or industry professional.  You’re already making great progress. Let’s troubleshoot the situation and create a plan together to keep the momentum going!   

By MIT Sloan CDO