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Author: LonghornBoy Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 49426  
Subject: Interesting phone screen situation Date: 9/12/2012 10:56 PM
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I'm looking at a management position with a local company. They've been around for a long time and are relatively small, but are really stable and have strong financials. As a result, people tend to stick around for a long time.

I received a quick follow-up and phone screen in response to my resume; and seemed to do well with the first phone screen.

I'm due to have a second phone screen tomorrow; and it's with a manager who would report to me if I were to take the position.

Here's the issue: The screen was originally scheduled for today, but I never received a call from her. I followed up with the recruiter, who indicated that the interviewer called twice and left a voice mail message.

I double-checked the phone number I gave them and also checked the call logs for my cell phone. If she called, then she dialed the wrong number, as I received other calls today without issue.

In thinking through this interaction, I'm beginning to wonder if perhaps this person has a bias against me or any of the other candidates she has to interview, as this position would be a promotion for her...that is, if they were to promote from within.

Any thoughts on how I should handle the call tomorrow? On one hand, I could ignore what happened today and suggest that it's a non-issue from my perspective if she brings it up. I could also do a bit of probing to better understand her motivations, which might be useful anyway if I were to end up at the company.

What do y'all think?

-LB
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Author: Rael137 Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 48956 of 49426
Subject: Re: Interesting phone screen situation Date: 9/13/2012 12:14 AM
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Any thoughts on how I should handle the call tomorrow?On one hand, I could ignore what happened today and suggest that it's a non-issue from my perspective if she brings it up.

That's probably the best option. I don't think you gain anything by pushing it. Either it will appear you are rubbing her nose in a mistake or (if it was careless/intentional) generating something that could be spun negatively in the interview feedback.

I could also do a bit of probing to better understand her motivations, which might be useful anyway if I were to end up at the company.

Sussing out someone's motivation is a chancy prospect. One thing you could do is try to see what sort of culture of blame they have. Like if this is a place where a small mistake gets stomped on, then you could make a point that you don't work that way (unless you do - then you may fit in).

If you get thru the phone screen then you will have an opportunity to meet more people and perhaps interview with this manager face-to-face. Keep in mind that whether she is an internal candidate or not, the company trusts her to represent them in screening for this position.

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Author: legalwordwarrior Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 48957 of 49426
Subject: Re: Interesting phone screen situation Date: 9/13/2012 2:51 PM
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I double-checked the phone number I gave them and also checked the call logs for my cell phone. If she called, then she dialed the wrong number, as I received other calls today without issue.

It's certianly a possibility that she might have written the number down incorrectly. If that's the case, there's probbaly someone out there wondering who she was and what job interview she was talking about!

Let us know how the interview goes. Good luck!

LWW

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Author: kahunacfa Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 48958 of 49426
Subject: Re: Interesting phone screen situation Date: 9/14/2012 11:34 PM
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...I'm due to have a second phone screen tomorrow; and it's with a manager who would report to me if I were to take the position.

Here's the issue: The screen was originally scheduled for today, but I never received a call from her. I followed up with the recruiter, who indicated that the interviewer called twice and left a voice mail message.

I double-checked the phone number I gave them and also checked the call logs for my cell phone. If she called, then she dialed the wrong number, as I received other calls today without issue.

In thinking through this interaction, I'm beginning to wonder if perhaps this person has a bias against me or any of the other candidates she has to interview, as this position would be a promotion for her...that is, if they were to promote from within. ...
- LonghornBoy | Date: 9/12/2012 10:56:44 PM | Number: 48957


It is totally unacceptable to have a phone screen interview discussion with someone at a company who would be reporting to you if you were to be hired for the position. Make this absolutely clear to the Headhunder who first contacted you.

Also, if the company is unwilling to fund your travel expenses to make a physical visit and interview with the company, then you do not wnat to work for that company -- simple as that!!!

Kahuna, CFA
Investment Professional
1974 - Present

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Author: RHinCT Big red star, 1000 posts Ticker Guide SC1 Red Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 48959 of 49426
Subject: Re: Interesting phone screen situation Date: 9/15/2012 11:26 AM
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While I do find it unusual that a screening interview would be conducted by someone who reports to the position to be filled, I can think of situations where it makes complete sense. For example, if the person already turned down the promotion because they were happy with their current position and did not want everything the next job entailed, the company might value that person's opinion very highly. (On the other hand if it is a cut-throat dog-eat-dog operation that gives points for how many colleagues you trample on the way up the idea really would stink.)

As for the travel issue, of course they will pay for the trip once the candidate gets past the screening interviews. That's what screening interviews are for. In an ideal world the headhunter would only offer candidates worth seeing in person, but even if the recruiter in this case were doing such a superb job that doesn't mean the company has that level of trust with them. And it is not just a matter of travel expense, there is also the time people have to devote to having a candidate on-site that they want to be sure is worth the investment.

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Author: alstroemeria Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Recommended Fools Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 48960 of 49426
Subject: Re: Interesting phone screen situation Date: 9/15/2012 1:02 PM
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It is totally unacceptable to have a phone screen interview discussion with someone at a company who would be reporting to you if you were to be hired for the position. Make this absolutely clear to the Headhunder who first contacted you.

Also, if the company is unwilling to fund your travel expenses to make a physical visit and interview with the company, then you do not wnat to work for that company -- simple as that!!!


Kahuna, you typically had high-end jobs where such may be the norm, but most people don't and it isn't.

I've never been in mgt, but I've almost always interviewed candidates to be my manager, with one exception (when I happened not to be one of the employees selected for this duty--I usually was as I was a very good interviewer, took detailed notes, and could back up my opinion with facts, not just a feeling). I worked in software, a more open, egalitarian environment in general than most. Hiring managers typically did phone screens and brought the finalists in to interview with the rest of us, often including their boss squared (especially in the early days). When unemployment in your field is relatively high, there is little need to fly in/house candidates for worker-bee positions from elsewhere in the country.

Typically in my corner of the software biz (development of products sold to the public/other businesses, not in-house IT departments), 5-10 people did 30-minute interviews with some going longer. For my most important position--as lead editor, I was interviewed by 9 people (in person) in one day: every writer I'd be editing and the two managers I'd be working for. I didn't need to interview with my boss-squared (director of engineering) as she knew me already--we came from the same company, and she recommended me. Anyhow, I crawled into bed when I got home and asked the hubster to bring me comfort food ;-)

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Author: Rael137 Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 48961 of 49426
Subject: Re: Interesting phone screen situation Date: 9/15/2012 3:46 PM
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While I do find it unusual that a screening interview would be conducted by someone who reports to the position to be filled,…

This has become very common in my field. I may be interviewed by a hiring manager, potential direct reports, internal customers (like program managers & new business), and peers. That last one can provide the best view of what it would be like working there.

I've had a variety of people for the phone screens too. One thing that some people (e.g., kahuna) don't realize is that the phone screen is not just for the employer - it's also for the candidate to screen out an undesireable opportunity. As a candidate, I don't want to go all the way for an in-person interview if it's a bad match.

I usually insist on having a phone screen with the hiring manager before committing to travel. This gives both of us a clear idea of expectations. Also if the hiring manager is too busy to do this then I doubt I'd want to work there. One time I didn't follow my own advice and ended up after I was on-site that the job was a bad fit. I was annoyed to have wasted 3 days (2 days travel & 1 interview day) on a bad match. They did offer a position but not one I would take. So the idea of skipping the phone screens can result in a waste of time and $$ for everyone.

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Author: LonghornBoy Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 48962 of 49426
Subject: Re: Interesting phone screen situation Date: 9/15/2012 6:26 PM
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I usually insist on having a phone screen with the hiring manager before committing to travel.

First of all, thanks for all of your comments. I appreciate the different perspectives of everyone who is providing feedback.

In this particular case, the company in question is just a few miles down the road from me, so travel isn't really an issue. I would be one of the CEO's direct reports and HR is working to phone screen and vet candidates before pulling him in for a F2F interview.

As a follow-up to my original post, I received a note from the interviewer just prior to the rescheduled interview, indicating that she would not be able to meet with me this week and that she would work with HR to reschedule. She was apologetic and indicated that she was causing delays in the process.

I haven't yet heard from HR, but am thinking that I'll probably hear something next week. So at this point, the second phone screen has yet to happen. The behavior I'm seeing is a bit odd, but I haven't quite decided if it has anything to do directly with me or not.

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Author: legalwordwarrior Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 48963 of 49426
Subject: Re: Interesting phone screen situation Date: 9/17/2012 3:15 PM
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I haven't yet heard from HR, but am thinking that I'll probably hear something next week. So at this point, the second phone screen has yet to happen. The behavior I'm seeing is a bit odd, but I haven't quite decided if it has anything to do directly with me or not.

I don't know if it helps, but in 2011, we interviewed for a new Director in our office. Because it was a small office and we would be working very closely with one another, my co-case manager and I both were allowed to sit in on the phone interviews and ask some scripted questions. My boss' bos thought it was the best way to ensure that we screened out those who absolutely wouldn't work and only brought to campus those who seemed to have a personality that fir the culture of the office.

LWW

currently sitting through phone interviews this week to hire another case manager.

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Author: legalwordwarrior Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 48964 of 49426
Subject: Re: Interesting phone screen situation Date: 9/17/2012 3:16 PM
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*fit

LWW

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