A Prospect Must Gauge How Hard to Push for a Return Call

Q: Yesterday, I was at work when I received a phone call from a news director requesting a phone interview. I politely requested that we reschedule for tomorrow being that I was at work. (I don’t feel comfortable doing a phone interview while in the newsroom.)

We set the time for late morning. Around 11:30 a.m., I gave a call to his office and left a message. It is now an hour later and I have yet to hear from him. Should I call the office again? I don’t have his e-mail address. I’ve never been in this situation before. I’m not sure what to do.

This is my dream job — a producer position in a small market — so I don’t want to scare him away. Or do you think the news director might have already lost interest, and that it is a lost cause?

Janine

A: First, you did the right thing by asking to reschedule. You shouldn’t interview on the phone with one news organization while you are working at another, and you need time to compose yourself and collect your thoughts.

Impromptu, pop interviews are rarely a good idea for the candidate. Fortunately, they are rare.

Calling a news director twice in an hour about a scheduled appointment strikes me as reasonable. In fact, it strikes me as exactly the thing a producer might have to do. It demonstrated persistence.

It is impossible to say whether the news director found someone else in the meantime, but it seems unlikely because of the limited window and because you had already graduated to the next tier of candidates. I’d stay on him.

For cases in which candidates are trying to get an answer to a call they initiated, I would not push as hard.

Career questions? E-mail Joe for an answer.

Coming Friday: How to approach a neglected contact.

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