Question on Job Interview Etiquette

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Originally Posted by MNgopher
Giving a Candidate less than 48 hours notice of an interview, particularly when you know they are not in town, is not common courtesy. Yes, there are times that a panel is being used, and it takes time to setup and get things in place. If that was the case, and was explained to you that would be one thing. At the end of the day, the company is only hurting themselves by taking that timeframe. I work at an employer that sometimes does this and wonders why their pool of candidates shrinks so fast...
+1 You did the right thing. They did not act ethically, especially considering the distance you would need to travel. It's not like you live down the street and you are currently unemployed. In fact as a manager, your current dedication to the job would be more appealing because it shows your own work ethic and character.
 
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Originally Posted by jeepman3071
You did the right thing. They did not act ethically, especially considering the distance you would need to travel. It's not like you live down the street and you are currently unemployed. In fact as a manager, your current dedication to the job would be more appealing because it shows your own work ethic and character.
This.
 
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Years ago, I was looking to move back closer to my hometown after taking my first job out of college about 1000 miles away. I learned a lot and had fun at my first position, but my dad was already a pretty old man when I was born and I wanted to be sure to spend some quality time with him as an adult before the inevitable happened. A headhunter contacted me about a really interesting job about 300 miles from where I grew up, a pretty good hike but doable for weekend visits. A big added bonus was that a really good friend of mine lived in the city I would be moving to. The position was with a great company and I was able to do a local screen at another one of their other sites before I flew out for an onsite interview...I was really jazzed about the position and thought that it was just too good to be true. The guy I would be working for interviewed me first and the alarm bells started going off.....he was the only guy in the office who had any brains, he did all the work while everybody else tried to thrown up roadblocks and make him look bad, etc. Unfortunately, I was too inexperienced to realize that this guy would be a nightmare and figured that I would just learn how to deal with him. The company offered me a huge increase in pay over what I had been making and I went for it. My god, it was just a horrible experience. I was supposed to be sent overseas to be trained in the use of the company's software and my boss said we didn't have time for that, I would just have to figure it out myself (he actually didn't know how to use it, either). Development cycles in my industry are often a year or more and this guy was telling me after a week that I should have been done with the first turn already and that HE could have just done it in his spare time and not hired me. And things spiraled down from that point...to put it bluntly, my boss was an egomaniac and a sadist. I was talking to one of the gals in the sales department and she hissed that she hated my boss after he walked by and that she was shocked that the company had (just) made him a manager. I realized that she wasn't familiar with the engineering group and told her that I worked for the guy...I thought she might cry as she leaned over and whispered, "I am SO sorry for you." I felt like crying, too! I suffered through a year of work misery and then was lucky enough to find a job in my hometown. That position was with a fantastic group and I felt grateful every day I went into work, even though 12+ hour workdays were quite common. If the OPer has other options and the guy he would be working for gives off a bad vibe right away...probably best to STAY away.
 
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Companies, universities, etc are very busy around the holidays. Trying to squeeze out the last bit of work and manage commitments. So, unfortunately if you are eager you need to work around their schedule.
 
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Originally Posted by Davejam
Companies, universities, etc are very busy around the holidays. Trying to squeeze out the last bit of work and manage commitments. So, unfortunately if you are eager you need to work around their schedule.
There is a difference between being eager and being unrealistic. If management is so busy they couldn't give him at least an alternate time of a few hours later, they likely will be "too busy" to invest in their employees. Trust me, if an intelligent company/organization wants a candidate as valuable as they claimed him to be in the interview, they will make arrangements to get him.
 
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Things happen, life tends to get in the way of plans. I am imagining that they already had a candidate in mind and had a small window to fit another candidate. The window closed, they hired who they had in mind and moved on. You did nothing to affect their decision. It was just bad luck. I normally get back to the candidates I interview with the bad news but others don't.
 
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Originally Posted by aquariuscsm
Originally Posted by jeepman3071
You did the right thing. They did not act ethically, especially considering the distance you would need to travel. It's not like you live down the street and you are currently unemployed. In fact as a manager, your current dedication to the job would be more appealing because it shows your own work ethic and character.
This.
Yep. Plus you'll find other jobs. No job is perfect...
 
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Originally Posted by jeepman3071
Originally Posted by Davejam
Companies, universities, etc are very busy around the holidays. Trying to squeeze out the last bit of work and manage commitments. So, unfortunately if you are eager you need to work around their schedule.
There is a difference between being eager and being unrealistic. If management is so busy they couldn't give him at least an alternate time of a few hours later, they likely will be "too busy" to invest in their employees. Trust me, if an intelligent company/organization wants a candidate as valuable as they claimed him to be in the interview, they will make arrangements to get him.
+1 If a company really wants to hire you, they will accommodate any reasonable request. I could see this being different if the applicant has no current employment, that's a different story. OP, you did nothing wrong and may actually have dodged a bullet on this one. No reason overthinking it. Just move on.
 
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There are a lot of chemists around. Most likely, they considered the OP an excellent candidate, but they had other excellent candidates. It would have been slightly better for them to have one more excellent candidate, but not really that important.
 

NO2

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Recruiters are notorious for not responding. Keep politely following up, sometimes (especially in academics) things get postponed for a long time.
 
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Don't write them off just yet, but like others have said, I suspect they already had someone in mind and were going through the motions to satisfy whomever is watching the process. You probably dodged a bad situation by their doing this. Good luck with your search.
 

bunnspecial

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Thanks everyone for the responses. To follow up, I guess this one really is a wrap. I received a formal rejection today-or rather I received two. One was the generic "after reviewing all applicants, we are not moving forward with you in the hiring process-thank you for your time" one from HR. The other was a bit more personalized and came from the department chair. I was advised that my credentials were "impressive" and that they hoped someone else as qualified as me would apply for the still-open position. The email went on to say that they would have loved to speak with me in person, but that my inflexibility in scheduling the interview did not bode well for what was expected of their employees, and that they didn't feel they could trust me to do what was needed for the job had I been hired. I have to agree with the wise suggestions that I think I definitely dodged a bullet on this one. One would hope that what they call "inflexibility" would be recognized for what it actually was-dedication to my current employer(i.e. the one putting money in my bank account every month) and honoring a commitment that had been in place for months rather than dismissing or shrugging off that commitment to run off and chase a possibility. I have not responded, and will not respond with what I want to say. I am debating between not responding at all, and just responding with a simple acknowledgement and thanking them for their time in considering my application. I am leaning toward the latter, although either option seems appropriate.
 
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The latter has class. Always take the high road, never burn a bridge. Always stick with class even when they don't. I think they already had a person in mind, but needed to post the position and interview someone else to be EOE compliant.
 
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Thank them for their time. I have hired people whom I thought did not fit in one position but we're a good fit somewhere else.
 
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Be the bigger adult and thank them for their time. You we're not the focus, so either they already had somebody , either they can't think/plan ahead. Being inflexible, is not a good start. If I'm not mistaken, this is your second run with similar results, so for now push on until you find what you need + like. YOLO. Believe it nor not, Strange things happening in college hiring is kind of universal... My experience is from 5k miles away....
 

bunnspecial

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Thanks again everyone. I did send a simple "Thank you for your time and the opportunity to speak with you about the position" last night and left it at that. I'll keep looking!
 
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Originally Posted by bunnspecial
I have to agree with the wise suggestions that I think I definitely dodged a bullet on this one.
Yep, you dodged a bullet. You did everything right. IMO this would have been a nightmare job, it is a good thing that you found out what they were like BEFORE you went to work for them, consider yourself lucky! You don't owe them anything, ignore them and move on.
 

bunnspecial

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Alright, bullet REALLY dodged. I just received a rather long response to my simple "Thank you for your time and the opportunity" chastising me for wasting their time. The email then went on to advise me that all the "young job seekers" like me need to realize that it's disrespectful to apply for a position and then not be willing to accommodate an interview "whenever it is convenient for the interviewer." The entire email honestly was a bit of a rant aimed squarely at me for my perceived "lack of dedication" to prospective employers and also claimed that they're having trouble hiring anyone for the position because no one "under 40" is willing to "do what is asked of them." I had to read the email 3 times to make sure I was reading it right! So this has definitely been a learning experience, and also a sure confirmation that I would have likely been miserable working there. Needles to say, the most recent email won't be getting a response.
 
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