From today’s Monday Mailbag:
Q: After my successful lunch meeting, I haven’t heard anything else…. The partner I met with did explain that it can take a while to hear back and if it is longer than I anticipated I should contact her or the other person I met with. What are your thoughts on this? Any way to approach it? I assume this isn’t good news but then again if they didn’t like me why not just say it?
Answer: They likely have not made a decision yet because work got in the way. You should probably follow up since it has been longer than you anticipated, whatever that means. Did you ask when you can expect to hear back? You have a couple of options.
You can follow up (either by phone, email, or formal letter, depends on how you last communicated with them) with an update for your file that would improve your candidacy like recommendation letter, new grades (As), accomplishment at work, etc. The other alternative is to explain that there are two other firms interested in you (which is true if I remember correctly) and one of them (say firm one) requires your response by next Friday (hate to mislead but otherwise what is this firm’s rush to get back to you). You are interested in firm one but this firm remains your top choice and the one in which you believe is the best fit based on the firm culture and your background and experience. Thus, before you can decide whether to join those firms (notice you are not saying there is an offer outstanding), it would be helpful to understand where this firm is in the process. (note be sensitive and wording matters here because you do not want to demand a response by x date if they are not ready but were planning on extending you an offer). Would it be possible to have this information so that you can make an informed decision? You understand it is a busy time for the partner and the firm and you appreciate their continued consideration.