Question on Job Interview Etiquette

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I'm asking this here since I know I'll get a wide cross section of opinions. Here's the short answer-I'm basically looking for a job in a different metro area ~250 miles away from where I'm located now so that I can be close to my fiancée(she and I are getting married in October). I'm currently an academic(non-faculty, but with some teaching responsibilities) chemist, and have a skill set that would allow me to either take an academic or industry job. Consequently, I've been applying for both. I should also stress the fact that I currently have a stable, enjoyable, and decently paying job that, under other circumstances, I would not want to leave. Last Sunday, Dec. 1st, someone sent me a link to a job posting at a large university in the city where I'm looking. The description fit me to a T, and basically IS a carbon copy of the job I have now and have been doing for several years. I submitted my application that night, and received an email the first thing the next morning asking me to schedule a phone interview, preferably for later that day if possible. I shifted things around and carved out a half hour(my would-be lunch break) to speak with them when they wanted, and from my perspective, the phone interview went exceptionally well. They acknowledged the fact that I was essentially a perfect match for the job and that I was exactly what they were looking for, and I also told them my very real and concrete reason why I was looking for that specific job. Later that afternoon-around 5:00PM my time(1 hour time difference) I had an email asking if I could be there for an interview at 9:00AM on the 3rd(no other options offered). I responded that I was unavailable at that time as I was administering an exam, but was completely open the remainder of the week and all of this week. I even offered that if if the 3rd was the only day available, I could make it there later that afternoon(finish giving my exam and hop on the road for a 4 hour drive) but that was the earliest possible. The response I received was a bit cold, basically saying they needed to get interviews done immediately(understandable) but that they would "think about" whether or not they could work me in at a later time. I followed up this past Friday, the 5th, with a simple "I just wanted to touch base" and again reiterated my availability at any time the following week(this week) but have not heard anything else. I'm guessing that I blew that opportunity(although I haven't received a rejection), but I'm kind of beating myself up over how things played out with it. For one thing, I've been to several interviews over the past couple of months, and I've always been given a choice of times. Second of all, I'm bothered that I was basically dismissed for doing what in my mind was the right thing by honoring previously existing commitments. Given that this job would have also involved teaching, and I was speaking to the department chair, I would especially think that they would understand(I wonder how the chair would feel about one of his current employees backing out of giving an exam with that little notice). From the collective BITOG wisdom, is there anything I should have done differently in this?
 
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It sounds like you did the right thing. You were honest, transparent, and you proposed a variety of alternate meeting times. This seems like a professional and straightforward approach.
 
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From the collective BITOG wisdom, is there anything I should have done differently in this?
No. A department chair who doesn't recognize your commitment to your position and/or thinks his schedule more important might not be pleasant to work for. It sounds like your moral compass is working fine.
 
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You never know but some of these jobs are advertised and they already know who they are going to hire they just make sure it appears they are following an acceptable process. Be patient.
 
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I see nothing you should have done different. I interview people on a fairly regular basis. Different market but still, some things still apply. If an applicant is working and can't meet a time, i understand. If I know they call out to do the interview I do have to wonder if they will honor their commitments to me. If they expected you to drop everything to make their interview, they have little respect for prior commitments and you are better off. I should also say, there are a lot of people who don't conduct an interview well, they really don't know how to vet out a candidate.
 
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Its end of the year. People are out. You may have talked to recruiter and the actual hiring manager is out. There are a million reasons why they can be slow to respond. They may wait for 2 weeks (example) and then review resumes and then interview the top few. I found a job that I thought I would be perfect for. I did super on in-person interview and they told me they learned a lot from me and the things I said during the interview. I did not get the job as they concluded they only needed someone to do basic admin for the mainframe security as they wanted to sunset the mainframe in 2 to 3 years. I had too much knowledge and experience. I would not want the job they ended up figuring out they needed. But they started with a different job description.
 
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Where I work when it is time for interviews a panel of 4 to 5 set in to ask questions and rate the applicants. You will have a diverse group comprised of males, females and minorities. Interviews are typically held on the same day with the interview panel scoring the applicants after their interviews. Hiring is a very structured thing which has to be coordinated with the personnel office and the department with the position to be filled. So asking for a day and time which works for you would be viewed as an unreasonable request.
 
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Thanks guys! I agree that if the chair is this...inflexible...during the interview process it might not bode well for a long term future there.
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You never know but some of these jobs are advertised and they already know who they are going to hire they just make sure it appears they are following an acceptable process. Be patient.
I had considered that, especially given that I've been on the beneficial end of that situation before. With that said, there were a couple of things said in the phone interview that made me think I was the first person they'd even spoken with regarding this job, although it also could have been that they had one application and needed a second to even have any sort of review. They also could have easily dismissed me as "overqualified" and not even called me for the phone interview as the position requires a BS and I have an MS and I have about 3x the experience listed in the "preferred qualifications."
 
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Originally Posted by Kansas_Ron
Where I work when it is time for interviews a panel of 4 to 5 set in to ask questions and rate the applicants. You will have a diverse group comprised of males, females and minorities. Interviews are typically held on the same day with the interview panel scoring the applicants after their interviews. Hiring is a very structured thing which has to be coordinated with the personnel office and the department with the position to be filled. So asking for a day and time which works for you would be viewed as an unreasonable request.
I can understand that, but at the same time what is your typical lead time for scheduling an interview? Would you typically schedule one with less than 48 hours lead time, as happened in this case?
 
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Originally Posted by Donald
Its end of the year. People are out. You may have talked to recruiter and the actual hiring manager is out.
All of my correspondence was with the department chair, who would have been my direct supervisor had I been hired.
 
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Originally Posted by buck91
Seems odd they would dismiss you for that, maybe its better this way.
Words of wisdom. I'm also currently in the same position where I'm applying to several jobs. A few I've been rejected from for whatever reason. The one I'm closing in on, is far better (location, time off, benefits etc ) than any of the others I was overthinking. I can honestly say, sometimes things just work out for the best in ways you couldn't imagine.
 
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You didn't do anything wrong, OP. In fact, nearly the same scenario played out for me the week before Thanksgiving. I applied for a position that mimics my background at a different company at 9pm on a Wednesday. At noon the next day, they called my cell but I couldn't answer due to attending meetings all day. The gentleman left a message saying he wanted to know what I what I was looking to do and to also set up a formal interview. I called back the next morning (Friday) at 10am and left a message indicating I was in the middle of a release the entire day, however I was available all day Monday to talk. No return call on Monday. I called again Tuesday morning and left various times I was available to talk. They never called back. I'm going to try calling a third and final time tomorrow. It's dumbfounding that they called me 15 hours after I applied, but then proceeded to ghost me the very next day.
 
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I agree with the others, you did the right thing being committed to your current position. I actually had an interview today, they asked me Friday if I could make it. I happened to be off work, so I had no issue with it. If I could not have made it, the manager said she had other dates, but wanted to try today.
Originally Posted by Kansas_Ron
Where I work when it is time for interviews a panel of 4 to 5 set in to ask questions and rate the applicants. You will have a diverse group comprised of males, females and minorities. Interviews are typically held on the same day with the interview panel scoring the applicants after their interviews. Hiring is a very structured thing which has to be coordinated with the personnel office and the department with the position to be filled. So asking for a day and time which works for you would be viewed as an unreasonable request.
Yes, but setting up only 1 time on short notice, well, you are not going to get many interviews of qualified (ie already employed) candidates. Application on day 1, phone interview on day 2, and day 3 give only one option to meet in person. Not a reasonable application process, and not a place I would want to work. I know getting panels together is not easy, but that is part of the interview process.
 
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Nothing you did wrong..it is what it is. They have a right to interview on their schedule and you have a right to honour your commitments with your current employer. To me keeping your current employer as a good reference is more important. For all you know you could have ditched your job responsibilities that afternoon, potentially [censored] your current employer off in the process, and never got that new job...then where would you be?
 
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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...
 
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Originally Posted by AZjeff
No. A department chair who doesn't recognize your commitment to your position and/or thinks his schedule more important might not be pleasant to work for. It sounds like your moral compass is working fine.
You did everything perfectly. If I were you, I would do the same. I agree 100% with the comment above. I learned this hard way. The job part is important but my life is too. If the other party is not interested in accommodating my life requirements, I do not want to work with them.
 
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Nothing blown. Move on and expect a call if they were truly interested. Rarely do they want to immediately fill these type of positions and bypass qualified candidates they liked in phone interview. Hiring is an extremely difficult process and getting the wrong person in position is significantly worst then nobody. You also have a job.
 
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Working in the aviation industry, chock-a-block full of leaders with "ego" problems, I'd say you handled that one exactly right. I've learned my lesson on how to handle the irrational and the unreasonable, although a bit too late in my career for it to matter, as retirement is looming. I simply get up and walk out, often without saying a word. While common courtesy would dictate a "thank you", the things they've said in interviews change that metric... I learned from this: 25+ years ago, one guy, we will call him "Pete" for "Peter Pilot" sat me down for a job that seemed ideal, and the very first thing he said was an red-faced-angry: "I'm going to call your boss and find out what kind of an (insert very bad word here) you really are" . I laughed it off, playing it cool and continued with the interview. I should have left immediately. Despite the fact that Pete is long gone, that flight department remains a troublesome place, with high turnover and multiple complete "purges". The clues are there up front for those willing to look.
 
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