Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Scheduling is the First Part of the Interview

On September 2nd, I applied for a job that I could do perfectly while asleep. It is working for a great company with more earning potential than my last job. At the time, I was thinking about moving to California and this seemed like a reasonable alternative.

They reached out to me by email on Monday to schedule an interview for this week. I gave several large blocks of time that would work for me. They set something up for a time next Monday when I was not free.  I rescheduled so I could be available for them.

This afternoon, they asked me to come in tomorrow during a time that I am also busy. I replied with a request to discuss rescheduling by phone and have not heard back. Why, 6 weeks after ignoring my application, is this urgent? I have already rearranged my schedule to accommodate them once.  If HR called me on Monday instead of emailing to ask about tomorrow afternoon, I could have rescheduled but I will not reschedule at this point. I have written about this sort of this before but I'm surprised so many potential employers start off on the wrong foot.

On the other hand, the place that I interviewed with a few times in the past few weeks (and have another interview with later this week) has felt more respectful of my time. When I made it through the first round, the second round person was not expecting me but agreed to see me anyway. The most important interview so far was with someone who was expecting me on a Thursday, not a Tuesday but we met for over an hour anyway. My next interview is with an executive so I need to take a train for this meeting. Since it was scheduled far in advance, it was easy to say yes.

Is it possible that my decision to not let this other HR person's disorganization spill over into my life before I've even gotten the job will prevent me from being considered? Yes. Yes it is. But if it was you, would you rethink your application if the process looked like the list below before you even got in the door?

Sept 2: apply online, tell friend at company who emails relevant parties
Sept 8: friend emails relevant parties again to confirm receipt of my application
Sept 21: I email relevant parties restating my interest
Sept 28: friend emails me to see if I heard back after Sept 21 (no)
Oct 4: friend emails relevant parties asking if position is still open
Oct 11: HR asks when I am free this week, I respond with 3 large blocks of time this week
Oct 12: HR picked a time on Monday when I am not free, I reschedule my plans, and respond yes
Oct 13: HR asks me to come in tomorrow afternoon (I am not free)
Oct 13: I ask them to call me to see if we can work something out


  1. Hmmm... I agree with you - this company does not give a good impression to you as a potential new employee.

    Just one thought though: Is it management (i.e. the people who you'd be working for/with) or "just" HR that seem to be slacking off? I remember being frustrated about the non-approachable admissions officer at a Business School that I was really interested in a few years ago. A friend confirmed that I was right in what I was saying - but he also warned me not to judge the entire school based on the behavior of that one Admissions person, even if she was the only representative of the school to me at the time. Always think about that story when dealing with recruiters, HR departments etc these days... Has helped me to overcome certain frustrating situations and realize opportunities that I may have denied myself otherwise.

    Might or might not apply to your relationship with this company too?

  2. The phrase 'those that can't, teach' in my opinion should be changed to 'those that can't, work in HR'

  3. The funniest part of the interview was that it was for a position I applied for on February 1, not September 2. The position from February has a lot in common with my last job with some key upgrades. The person from HR said that I should have been called in for an interview in February and they will call me for the next round because they want me on their team. It was gratifying to hear but we're not taking the Veuve Clicquot out of the fridge yet.