BLUF: I'm going to start phone screens for a position in my department, and one of the candidates wants to call me in the evening.

This particular candidate looks like an "overqualified", but I'm not put off by that after listening to the recent podcasts on the subject. I'm also sympathetic, having done some job searches while I was employed elsewhere, to the fact that candidates may not be able to call during regular business hours. What's rubbing me the wrong way is when I asked this candidate for dates and times to set up a phone interview, they said it would be better if they called me sometime after 7 PM. They then asked that I give them dates and times that would work with their schedule, and a phone number they could reach me at.

One thing Mark and Mike did point out was to watch for signs of arrogance from overqualifieds. My feeling is that's what's happening here. The candidate wants to take control of the process by forcing me to wait by the phone in the evening, either staying late at the office, or by giving him my personal phone number so I can take their call at home. The last just seems like a bad idea and a tad bit unprofessional.

I'm leaning towards passing on this candidate and telling them that we've decided to go in a different direction. Am I over-reacting?

mfculbert's picture

I would let the candidate know that you do not have the flexibility in the evenings to accommodate their request. I would be happy to set a time that would work. If they refuse then you are done.

BariTony's picture

It looks like the candidate answered this question with their behavior.

I gave them my phone # and some times that I was available that I could take their call, and the sent an email saying that they "tentatively" accepted.


Don't they realize that this is a business meeting and if they want the job, they need to committ to a time for a phone interview?


DRD282's picture
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I have always insisted in first interviews that I call the person I am interviewing, rather than the other way around. I don't know them, and I don't know their views on punctuality. I don't want to end up sitting around for an 11:00 interview, getting a call at 11:20 from someone saying "sorry ,sorry, can we just do it now?" when I have something scheduled at 11:35.

It's never actually happened, but I would simply not interview anyone that refused to give me a way to contact him/her. Unless this is one of those "there are literally 20 people on earth that can fill this role and I can't afford to lose one of them" but those jobs are very specific and very rare.

duplicate_account_MarkAus's picture

Go with your gut feeling.   This behaviour is indicitive of his approach to things.   You'd hate to think this was happening with one of your clients or bosses once you hired him!

My approach would have mirrored yours - here's are 3 times I'm available.  Pick one and give me your number so I can call you.

i hope you've since declined the "tentative" acceptance.   You now have enough data to say "no".  He's clearly not what you're looking for.