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DawnM

Is this the new way to set up interviews?

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In the late Spring and during the Summer I had two interviews.  They called and said, "We would like to see you at X time on X day"  I didn't think much of it, since I was able to accommodate both requests.

However, I have applied to three jobs this week and two have called to offer me interviews.  The first one called and said, "We would like to interview you at 12:30pm on Tuesday."  I explained that I would not be able to come Tuesday but would be available Wednesday.  They responded with, "Sorry, that is the only day we are interviewing."

So today I got another call and they said they want to interview me at 2pm on Thursday.  They even prefaced it with, "We are holding interviews on Thursday, we would like you to come at 2pm."    I asked if they could do it later and they said no.  I am going to take off early and go to the interview.

Is this the new thing?  I have just never encountered this before.  

A friend said her husband recently ran into the same thing.

 

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my dh was asked to come in for an interview and directed to a website to pick a time for the interview.  That would have been fine had they actually had variety in their choices.  But the only choices were on a specific Thursday between a few hours. Thursday is his busiest work day and basically the only day he can't duck out for a few hours without like two weeks notice.  He could have called and asked if another day would work better but instead kinda ticked off his current boss to not inconvenience the person he is interviewing with.   

I can understand a company wanting to have specific interview slots, because the people doing the interviewing have many other tasks in their work day.  But to not have a range of options on days seems inconsiderate and unrealistic.

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In my organisation, it's set date and time. Everyone has to be interviewed by the same three people, so we need to block out time. We give more notice though, usually two weeks.

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1 minute ago, Laura Corin said:

In my organisation, it's set date and time. Everyone has to be interviewed by the same three people, so we need to block out time. We give more notice though, usually two weeks.

 

With proper notice this makes perfect sense. 

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When I was interviewing recently, it was pretty common to be offered a narrow range of options for date and time. Sometimes, I would get a call or email with the invitation and have a choice of two or three time slots on a given day. Sometimes, I would be instructed to select my preferred time/date from a list, only to be notified that the selection I had made was no/no longer available (presumably because another candidate got there first).

As Laura said, this is often true for panel-style interviews or situations in which candidates will be expected to speak with more than one person in sequence. It makes sense to consolidate all interviews into certain chunks of time when all of the required people are available.

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Ds is interviewing for jobs now. He pretty much runs into this as well. He did have one video interview, which felt odd to him. It made me think of that commercial where the guy is doing a video interview in a suit and tie. When the interview is over, he shuts off his laptop and stands up to reveal that only his top half is dressed up. The bottom half of him has on a pair of polka dot boxers or something. Funny.

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My husband’s past few interviews were from 8am to 5:30pm and lunch with the potential team is included. So he gets a few dates to pick from but it is a whole day affair. 

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That's how dh conducts interviews. He has a panel of 2-3 for most of them. He sets aside a day & has his admin. assistant set all of the top contenders for that day. By that time, they've already had two phone interviews (one with the admin. asst, confirming certain things; the other with one of the others on the panel). If they got past those two, then they're a contender. Usually, there are only 3-5, so if you want to stay in the running, you need to be available on the given day. Actually, if it's more than 3, then they'll be two days very close together. If you're among the first calls, you'll have a choice. You are told during the phone interview what the day will be, should you be selected, which is typically 2 weeks, maybe 3 later. You'll be invited 7-10 days prior. 

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Oh, and we state the interview date in the job advert, so people know when they apply.

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1 minute ago, Laura Corin said:

Oh, and we state the interview date in the job advert, so people know when they apply.

 

This is really smart.  Dh has applied for a few jobs recently and more will come if he doesn't get the job he's interviewing for later this week.  Just being able to have an idea of when a potential interview could be would go a long way.  I mean he isn't going to not apply for a job if the interview time is inconvenient because he's looking for a career switch but being able to know before he gets asked to come in if it will be difficult timing because of the job he has is really helpful.

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it probably depends upon the job, and how they do interviews.  if they have a panel- they would want to do as many as possible when the panel can be there.

 

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When I was interviewing for Educational Assistant jobs in the school district 18 months ago, the three I interviewed for were all like this. I think it was even an on-line scheduling system--I had to log in and select one of 3 available times within a 2-hour window (20 min interview I think). The interviews were all with a team of about 3 people, all of whom had a script, each had their own questions they were supposed to ask. I was subbing at the time, but only 3.5 hours a day, and I think I was able to fit them all in without missing my sub assignment.

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8 hours ago, Ali in OR said:

When I was interviewing for Educational Assistant jobs in the school district 18 months ago, the three I interviewed for were all like this. I think it was even an on-line scheduling system--I had to log in and select one of 3 available times within a 2-hour window (20 min interview I think). The interviews were all with a team of about 3 people, all of whom had a script, each had their own questions they were supposed to ask. I was subbing at the time, but only 3.5 hours a day, and I think I was able to fit them all in without missing my sub assignment.

Yes, the reason for the panel and the script is probably to make the interview as fair as possible.  If there's no script, people who naturally find it easier to chat with the panel (due to background or whatever) might end up having an easier conversation, without the pauses that would lead to a new 'real' question.  We are taught to ask a scripted question, follow up with something appropriate to what has been answered (to probe deeper if necessary), then pass over to the next member of the panel.  The whole panel has to be there for each applicant, so that the scoring is fair across the applicants.  I was trained and put on a panel for the first time recently; I think it was an effective system that brought out the best in the candidates and allowed for good comparison.

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It makes sense from the employer’s side, especially (as others have pointed out) when you’re trying to coordinate several schedules. But to assume applicants will drop everything (including—hello?!—work obligations) without any real notice is so shortsighted. It smells of “We’re so awesome and you’re lucky to have this opportunity. If you don’t want it, someone else will.”  Which may be true in a way, but they have no idea who they’re passing over by not better considering the applicant experience. 

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My husband just interviewed for a job yesterday. It was with a panel of three and they gave him a choice of last Wednesday or this Tuesday, both at a certain time. 

ETA-he was informed of the choices one week before the first time slot, so there was a 1-2 week notice. 

Edited by Kathryn

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Yes. The potential employer sets the terms of the interview in the same way that they set the terms of the job. 

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I think this can vary widely by organization.  And by how many qualified candidates they have lined up.  If they have 20 candidates and 12 interview slots, it's probably easy enough to pass on a couple that can't make it on a certain day.  When I was interviewing, I had situations like this.  But I also had other potential employers bending over backwards to accommodate me.  

I can see why it makes sense for some organizations.  If they have to have a certain group of people blocked open and available they have to start somewhere.  I do think 2 weeks notice minimum would be nice if they are going to do it that way.  

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1 minute ago, FuzzyCatz said:

I think this can vary widely by organization.  And by how many qualified candidates they have lined up.  If they have 20 candidates and 12 interview slots, it's probably easy enough to pass on a couple that can't make it on a certain day.  When I was interviewing, I had situations like this.  But I also had other potential employers bending over backwards to accommodate me.  

I can see why it makes sense for some organizations.  If they have to have a certain group of people blocked open and available they have to start somewhere.  I do think 2 weeks notice minimum would be nice if they are going to do it that way.  

 

I'm very thankful for my current job I didn't have to wait two weeks to interview. We scheduled a interview the next day (Thursday). They called back that night to hire me and I did the drug test/paperwork on Friday and I started work on Monday.

I needed that job today not two weeks+ from now. And given the owner of the company was staying at work until 10p at night doing this job and his own, he needed someone in this position faster than that as well.

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3 hours ago, Hyacinth said:

It makes sense from the employer’s side, especially (as others have pointed out) when you’re trying to coordinate several schedules. But to assume applicants will drop everything (including—hello?!—work obligations) without any real notice is so shortsighted. It smells of “We’re so awesome and you’re lucky to have this opportunity. If you don’t want it, someone else will.”  Which may be true in a way, but they have no idea who they’re passing over by not better considering the applicant experience. 

 

Welcome to job hunting in 2019. Employers are awful to potential employees. They have the upper hand, and they know it.

 

 

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5 minutes ago, OH_Homeschooler said:

 

Welcome to job hunting in 2019. Employers are awful to potential employees. They have the upper hand, and they know it.

Yes and no. We try to give good notice, but the reason for fixed times for interviews is to equalise the interview experience as far as possible. They see the same interview panel on the same day, are asked the same questions and are scored on the criteria made clear in the job ad. We have very good retention of staff.

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5 minutes ago, Laura Corin said:

Yes and no. We try to give good notice, but the reason for fixed times for interviews is to equalise the interview experience as far as possible. They see the same interview panel on the same day, are asked the same questions and are scored on the criteria made clear in the job ad. We have very good retention of staff.

 

Of course there are plenty of good organizations trying to make the experience reasonable for candidates. But so many never respond to your application, or worse, leave you hanging for months after an interview. Of course you probably know that you didn't get the job at some point, but it's horrible not to have that closure when you've taken time off work, spent your time preparing, made it to the interview, etc. Even if it's a one-line email, that's better than nothing. 

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37 minutes ago, vonfirmath said:

 

I'm very thankful for my current job I didn't have to wait two weeks to interview. We scheduled a interview the next day (Thursday). They called back that night to hire me and I did the drug test/paperwork on Friday and I started work on Monday.

I needed that job today not two weeks+ from now. And given the owner of the company was staying at work until 10p at night doing this job and his own, he needed someone in this position faster than that as well.

Oh I know companies who hire like that too.  I'm sure they needed someone immediately and it was win-win.   Retail/customer service type jobs around here are often this way. 

My husband has a friend interviewing for a major corporate leadership role right now.  It's been a 2 month process so far and they want to bring him back in for another interview with someone who needs to fly in.  Yikes.  For corporate jobs I've interviewed for, a 4-8 week process is not unusual and sometimes require more than a single interview.   I think our school system can be fast for some roles if they have immediate need.  But for new teachers for next school year?  That can take forever.  

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19 hours ago, Indigo Blue said:

Ds is interviewing for jobs now. He pretty much runs into this as well. He did have one video interview, which felt odd to him. It made me think of that commercial where the guy is doing a video interview in a suit and tie. When the interview is over, he shuts off his laptop and stands up to reveal that only his top half is dressed up. The bottom half of him has on a pair of polka dot boxers or something. Funny.

 

In the past couple of months I've had a couple of video interviews. One was with real people on the other end. It was awful, I feel like I need to be in the room with everyone to gauge responses and get that informal conversational feedback, like if I'm on the right track, should I expand on this answer, etc.?

The other was with people who recorded questions, and I recorded my answers. Each answer was limited to something like 3 minutes and when I submitted it, the next recorded question came up.  I could log on anytime to complete the interview, so that was nice. I could also delete my response and start over if I didn't like it the first time. In that sense I liked it better than the real-time video interview. 

I did not get either job, LOL. Interviewing is hard enough for me, but add in the stress of making sure the technical stuff is working and not getting the human connection, and video interviewing is just not my thing.

 

 

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Seems to be the new normal, even in low-level jobs. My DS worked at a place and they were VERY short-staffed. The manager had a pile of applications. Emailed each one telling them the day/time to come for an interview. If they requested a different day/time, he ghosted them. 
 

Needless to say, they didn’t fill the positions needed. It was ridiculous. He set interviews with high school students during school hours, etc. What’d he expect them to do? 

I understand it more for higher level professional positions where there is an interviewing committee, but I surely hope they give reasonable advance notice!

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18 hours ago, gardenmom5 said:

it probably depends upon the job, and how they do interviews.  if they have a panel- they would want to do as many as possible when the panel can be there.

 

 

Well, I am applying for the same job I have always had and it has never been set up like this before.  So, it is a new idea to me.

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1 hour ago, vonfirmath said:

 

I'm very thankful for my current job I didn't have to wait two weeks to interview. We scheduled a interview the next day (Thursday). They called back that night to hire me and I did the drug test/paperwork on Friday and I started work on Monday.

I needed that job today not two weeks+ from now. And given the owner of the company was staying at work until 10p at night doing this job and his own, he needed someone in this position faster than that as well.

 

That is where I am going to be in trouble.  This district has a 30 day advance (min) resignation policy.  I can't leave for 6 weeks.

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5 minutes ago, DawnM said:

 

That is where I am going to be in trouble.  This district has a 30 day advance (min) resignation policy.  I can't leave for 6 weeks.

When I left my Post Office job, which had a three month notice period, I had to subcontract my PO  job to my husband in order to start my new job. This was legal but not convenient.

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10 minutes ago, Laura Corin said:

When I left my Post Office job, which had a three month notice period, I had to subcontract my PO  job to my husband in order to start my new job. This was legal but not convenient.

 

Yeah, that won't work,  However, I THINK that if they find someone before the time is up, they will release me.  

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6 hours ago, DawnM said:

 

That is where I am going to be in trouble.  This district has a 30 day advance (min) resignation policy.  I can't leave for 6 weeks.

 

Did you sign a contract stating that you'd give 30 days notice? If not, they can't hold you to that. 

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7 hours ago, OH_Homeschooler said:

 

In the past couple of months I've had a couple of video interviews. One was with real people on the other end. It was awful, I feel like I need to be in the room with everyone to gauge responses and get that informal conversational feedback, like if I'm on the right track, should I expand on this answer, etc.?

The other was with people who recorded questions, and I recorded my answers. Each answer was limited to something like 3 minutes and when I submitted it, the next recorded question came up.  I could log on anytime to complete the interview, so that was nice. I could also delete my response and start over if I didn't like it the first time. In that sense I liked it better than the real-time video interview. 

I did not get either job, LOL. Interviewing is hard enough for me, but add in the stress of making sure the technical stuff is working and not getting the human connection, and video interviewing is just not my thing.

 

 

video interviews or Skype interviews should be more accessible for jobs aiming for foreign applications.

 2 of my sons went through the application for remote area firefighters for Canada - it would be ideal for them that is what they do here. they are highly qualified in that field and have both a few years of experience.  One of my sons whole team all did the application . the firefighting jobs in Canada is in the off season here in Australia. .. they went straight to the interview stage - even emailed to ask if they would like to be smoke jumpers. Then were told that the interview would be in 5 days in Canada.. It was right in the bushfire season in Australia, when there were big fires raging there was no way that any of them could take a week off to fly to Canada and back for a 1 hour job interview. their management even put in a request that there could be some sort of video conference for all the applicants job interviews in Melbourne  but no exceptions were allowed. 

petty silly really 

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16 minutes ago, QueenCat said:

 

Did you sign a contract stating that you'd give 30 days notice? If not, they can't hold you to that. 


it is part of the entire contract you sign to get the job.

Apparently the new district has the same contract and people are telling me not to worry about it, it happens a lot, so we will see.

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14 hours ago, Laura Corin said:

Yes and no. We try to give good notice, but the reason for fixed times for interviews is to equalise the interview experience as far as possible. They see the same interview panel on the same day, are asked the same questions and are scored on the criteria made clear in the job ad. We have very good retention of staff.

My employer has always done the same thing, for exactly the reasons Laura has explained, and I was hired fifteen years ago. And at least they respond to every single applicant. No one is left wondering if their application was even received.

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6 hours ago, Melissa in Australia said:

video interviews or Skype interviews should be more accessible for jobs aiming for foreign applications.

 2 of my sons went through the application for remote area firefighters for Canada - it would be ideal for them that is what they do here. they are highly qualified in that field and have both a few years of experience.  One of my sons whole team all did the application . the firefighting jobs in Canada is in the off season here in Australia. .. they went straight to the interview stage - even emailed to ask if they would like to be smoke jumpers. Then were told that the interview would be in 5 days in Canada.. It was right in the bushfire season in Australia, when there were big fires raging there was no way that any of them could take a week off to fly to Canada and back for a 1 hour job interview. their management even put in a request that there could be some sort of video conference for all the applicants job interviews in Melbourne  but no exceptions were allowed. 

petty silly really 

My employer regularly uses phone or Skype interviews for out of state applicants. One of the last two people hired in my unit was on a long term vacation out of the country when he interviewed and was hired.

Your sons’ experience sounds ridiculous. We’re they going to pay for them to fly to Canada to interview? My employer can’t do that, so that’s why they offer the option of phone or video interviews. Sometimes, if they have lots of applicants, they even do all first round interviews by phone to save everyone time and to make things completely equal. Even internal applicants will do phone interviews in those cases.

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12 minutes ago, Melissa in Australia said:

no they were not going to have the flights payed for . it was ridiculous 

It sounds as if the advertisers had no idea they might attract overseas applications, and weren't set up for it.

Edited by Laura Corin

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3 minutes ago, Laura Corin said:

It sounds as if the advertiser's had no idea they might attract overseas applications, and weren't set up for it.

well Canadian and US wildfire fighters come to Australia every year for their off season. You would think the opposite would be expected. all the prerequisites  including fitness tests and training are very similar. 

Edited by Melissa in Australia
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