Author Topic: Would I be crazy to turn down this job interview?  (Read 4097 times)

Shandi76

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Would I be crazy to turn down this job interview?
« on: March 10, 2012, 10:54:10 AM »
My partner has accepted a job 500 miles away, which starts next month. I work in education, and was planning to see out this academic year before joining him. That means moving without a job, which scares me somewhat since I am not FI. I recently applied for a position at an institution just under 20 miles from the property we are going to be renting, and was surprised to be selected for interview. The post is one step up from what I currently do, and is also in a different department. There is some subject overlap, but not so much that I expected to make the interview shortlist.

The problem is that I have only been given a week's notice of the interview, and it is a long way to travel when my partner has not moved there yet. My educational job has great holidays, but the downside is that I can't get any holidays except at the set times: so I can't take time off to attend the interview. I have never pulled a 'sickie' in my life, and my guess is also that I am not the preferred candidate for the job. In my cover letter I clearly indicated the fortnight I would be available for interview, but they have scheduled them for a couple of weeks before those dates. I would also be setting myself up for a horrible commute if I was offered and accepted the job.

I already have the offer of work at my partner's new employer, but that is very part-time and would pay about 25% of my current salary. We think we can survive just on his salary, but while I love the idea of being able to cover my share of the expenses with a 200 hours/ year job (really about 500 hours - the 200 hours is class contact time over 20 weeks a year) giving me plenty of time to work on projects, have a bit of a sabbatical and explore my options, the other part of me is paranoid about burning bridges with one of the few local employers that could provide work for me, and I like the idea of being able to save most of my salary rather than treading water investment-wise or even worse dipping into savings slightly.

The other complication is that given the short timescale they are probably keen to get someone in post before the end of the session. This would be problematic for me as a) I would hate to leave my students before the final hurdle and b) my current employer will be offering enhanced voluntary severance packages soon which could be worthwhile financially, but one of the conditions would be to stay until the end of the current session, and they also withdraw offers if you get another job before they pay out.

Does anyone have any advice as to my best course of action, or what they would do in a similar situation?

sol

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Re: Would I be crazy to turn down this job interview?
« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2012, 11:42:15 AM »
If you are a valuable candidate, the company should pay your travel expenses so that you can interview.  In my industry, I wouldn't travel to any interview that wasn't 100% covered by the prospective employer.  Yours may be different.

If you can't get time off from your current job, I would not feel bad about calling in sick.  If your sick leave time is payable upon your departure anyway, then you're only taking time that would have come back to you anyway.  If it's not payable upon departure, then I would totally take a sick day or two because they're ripping you off, budgeting their payroll based on your expected sick time and then pocketing the profit when you don't take it.

And in the worst case scenario, what are they going to do?  Fire you from the job you're about to quit?

shedinator

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Re: Would I be crazy to turn down this job interview?
« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2012, 12:03:00 PM »
If you are a valuable candidate, the company should pay your travel expenses so that you can interview.  In my industry, I wouldn't travel to any interview that wasn't 100% covered by the prospective employer.  Yours may be different.

If you can't get time off from your current job, I would not feel bad about calling in sick.  If your sick leave time is payable upon your departure anyway, then you're only taking time that would have come back to you anyway.  If it's not payable upon departure, then I would totally take a sick day or two because they're ripping you off, budgeting their payroll based on your expected sick time and then pocketing the profit when you don't take it.

And in the worst case scenario, what are they going to do?  Fire you from the job you're about to quit?

+1

catalana

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Re: Would I be crazy to turn down this job interview?
« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2012, 12:06:54 PM »
I would reply and state that you are unable to attend on the interview date that they proposed.  Give them the dates you can make again, and see what they come back with.

If they decline to change the date, then I would suspect you were correct in your surprise and probably had an outside chance of getting the job anyway.

If they change the date, then brilliant!  :D

onehappypanda

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Re: Would I be crazy to turn down this job interview?
« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2012, 12:30:47 PM »
If you are a valuable candidate, the company should pay your travel expenses so that you can interview.  In my industry, I wouldn't travel to any interview that wasn't 100% covered by the prospective employer.  Yours may be different.

If you can't get time off from your current job, I would not feel bad about calling in sick.  If your sick leave time is payable upon your departure anyway, then you're only taking time that would have come back to you anyway.  If it's not payable upon departure, then I would totally take a sick day or two because they're ripping you off, budgeting their payroll based on your expected sick time and then pocketing the profit when you don't take it.

And in the worst case scenario, what are they going to do?  Fire you from the job you're about to quit?

+1

+2. I'd make sure they're covering the travel expenses, and if they are then take a sick day and go for it. The chances that you'll get an employer 500 miles away to schedule you for an interview on your preferred schedule are pretty slim. They have their own timeline to deal with.

I'm curious about your comment about not being a preferred candidate though. Seems to me if they're willing to hire someone 500 miles away, vs. someone local, and (presumably) pay for those travel expenses, then you're probably preferred. Do you actually want this job, or are you trying to talk yourself out of it? It seems a little bit like you're grasping for reasons to not go.
« Last Edit: March 10, 2012, 12:32:50 PM by onehappypanda »

Dee

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Re: Would I be crazy to turn down this job interview?
« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2012, 07:29:40 PM »
Any possibility of doing a teleconference interview instead of in person?

Shandi76

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Re: Would I be crazy to turn down this job interview?
« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2012, 10:57:16 AM »
Thanks for the replies. I'm going to contact them to see if I can get the date shifted or alternatively get a phone or skype interview for the arranged interview slot.

Quote
I'm curious about your comment about not being a preferred candidate though. Seems to me if they're willing to hire someone 500 miles away, vs. someone local, and (presumably) pay for those travel expenses, then you're probably preferred. Do you actually want this job, or are you trying to talk yourself out of it? It seems a little bit like you're grasping for reasons to not go.

It is quite common in the UK for employers to interview people from hundreds miles away when they already have a strongly preferred internal candidate, or someone who is not internal but is known to them or just looks the best on paper. They are going through the process of interviewing everyone who meets the shortlist criteria (to meet legal requirements) but the 6 candidates shortlisted are not necessarily all considered equally suitable - only that they are good enough to make up the numbers for interviewing.

I have previously made an 180 mile round trip to interviews where the interviewers obviously had no interest whatsoever in me or what I had to offer (so much so that they hadn't arranged for anybody to give me the campus tour that was scheduled as part of the selection process - leaving the admin staff to try to find someone to babysit me, and the interview only lasted 20 minutes and they didn't ask half of the questions I expected, and gave poor answers to my questions for them). They did act like they were both disorganized and going through the motions. They also did not pay my travel expenses.

I'm not trying to talk myself out of the interview, just questioning whether a 1000 mile round trip in 36 hours is worth it when it would be much easier to interview once I am actually living there. My partner, who had to make the 1,000 mile round trip in order to interview for his new job, found the trip hugely draining and it took him a few days to recover. He thinks I should try to get a phone interview, and if they won't agree to that I should decline on this occasion. He also suspected his trip had been a huge waste of his time as there was an internal candidate. Thankfully he did get the job over the internal and other candidates, but the internal candidate would have been the default/ safe choice unless someone exceptional (which he is) came along.

Shandi76

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Re: Would I be crazy to turn down this job interview?
« Reply #7 on: March 12, 2012, 06:05:46 AM »
Update:

I sent an email saying it would be difficult to attend the interview, and asking whether it would be possible to reschedule or conduct a skype interview. I did not say I was definitely unable to attend. I got a quick response saying the could not reschedule or do a phone interview but that if they were unable to appoint on the day then they would reschedule my interview.

To me this sounds like they have assumed I am declining the interview, so if I phone to try to rectify this I will still be at an immediate disadvantage at interview due to being awkward/ indecisive? I probably should have phoned but I have a heavy teaching load today and no privacy at my workplace so would have been unable to phone until tomorrow and my partner thought it would be best to contact them asap and also for them to have time to investigate the options before I phoned. Have I really shot myself in the foot with this? Any advice on what to do now?

arebelspy

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Re: Would I be crazy to turn down this job interview?
« Reply #8 on: March 12, 2012, 08:37:43 AM »
Update:

I sent an email saying it would be difficult to attend the interview, and asking whether it would be possible to reschedule or conduct a skype interview. I did not say I was definitely unable to attend. I got a quick response saying the could not reschedule or do a phone interview but that if they were unable to appoint on the day then they would reschedule my interview.

To me this sounds like they have assumed I am declining the interview, so if I phone to try to rectify this I will still be at an immediate disadvantage at interview due to being awkward/ indecisive? I probably should have phoned but I have a heavy teaching load today and no privacy at my workplace so would have been unable to phone until tomorrow and my partner thought it would be best to contact them asap and also for them to have time to investigate the options before I phoned. Have I really shot myself in the foot with this? Any advice on what to do now?

Reply back with an "okay, let me see what I can do to work out attending"

Then email back a day later to let them know you can make it?
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