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I have a company who looks very interesting and who I really wanted to meet and if all was well go work for.

They have told the recruiter, that they love my CV and really want to talk to me. However the manager of the company has not had time to interview me in over 4 weeks.

Whilst I would be happy if they are not as keen on me as the recruiter says. I am worried that getting good people is not a priority for them, or that the place is poorly managed.

I am still planning to interview ASAP, but should the questions in the interview be designed to find out about why things took so long and how they hire staff/manage the place, or should I not mention it?

jhack's picture

Their schedule is not your schedule.

For example, August is Budget Season at most companies - they may be waiting to finalize the budgets before they interview.

So relax, stay in touch, be cool, and trust them.

John

tomw's picture

Absolutely do not ask what took so long.

Most managers really do have better things to do than interview new candidates. It has nothing to do with whether getting good people is a prioirity. You're imposing your view, probably stemming from your own impatience, on someone else here. As good as you think you are, the company has other candidates who think they are just as good; I'd bet their interviews are being delayed as well.

The manager might be traveling for work, might be overloaded with meetings, might have huge deadlines looming. Maybe the project they want to hire you for got delayed and they can't afford to have you sitting around until it starts up again. Maybe they have other positions they need to fill before they fill yours. Any of these is going to delay your interview.

Being presumptuous enough to ask about why they delayed your interview is a pretty sure-fire way to lose the opportunity.

stephenbooth_uk's picture

[quote="jhack"]For example, August is Budget Season at most companies - they may be waiting to finalize the budgets before they interview. [/quote]

It's also when a lot of people take their main holiday (especially if they have kids in school) which could be causing delays.

Stephen

fab5freddy's picture

Whilst I agree that the guy could just be busy.

IMO #1 thing that a business needs is the right people, though you may say that I may not be a right person surely it's worth 1 hour of this person's time to find this out.

I won't ask about it in the interview, and am still pyched about working for these people, and hey I could help out by giving this person the time to interview more people. ENERGY ENERGY ENERGY

stephenbooth_uk's picture

[quote="fab5freddy"]IMO #1 thing that a business needs is the right people, though you may say that I may not be a right person surely it's worth 1 hour of this person's time to find this out.[/quote]

As John said, their schedule is not your schedule. They could be busy, they could be waiting on the budget to be agreed so they know if they'll have the money to pay for the post they were considering you for or it could be one of a myriad of other reasons.

If you bother them now and generally make yourself a pain in the proverbial, trying to drive them to your schedule not theirs, then this may give them a negative impression of you. A negative impression of you is not what you want them to have if you're hoping to work for them.

You've said that there's a recruiter involved. Talk to the recruiter, find out how much knowledge they have of this company, what their normal time scales are, what their budget cycle for staffing budget is like &c. If the recruiter feels it's appropriate they can contact the company and ask what the situation is. The recruiter probably already has a relationship with them so is likely to know how best to couch the question without giving offence plus if the recruiter asks and annoys them, better they be annoyed with the recruiter than with you.

Stephen

AManagerTool's picture

It took them 4 months from the first time they contacted me for an interview to the time I signed the acceptance letter and then another 4 weeks to start. I had finished another control system startup that wasn't even on my resume when they first interviewed me.

I had the job, they didn't have the paperwork.

Had I pestered them or been annoying in any way during that 4 months, I would have snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.

HMac's picture

Two Laws of The Job Search:

Hiring Managers do things for [b]THEIR [/b]reasons, not yours.

Hiring Managers work according to [b]THEIR [/b]timetables, not yours.

Next question? :)

-Hugh

tomw's picture

[quote="fab5freddy"]IMO #1 thing that a business needs is the right people, though you may say that I may not be a right person surely it's worth 1 hour of this person's time to find this out.[/quote]

Finding the right person is not a 1-hour task. Even an hour interview is not a one-hour task. You have to prepare and follow up on each interview.

Have you ever been on the interviewing side?

[quote]... I could help out by giving this person the time to interview more people. [/quote]

You don't know that.

The first interview might be with HR and have nothing to do with your potential new boss. As many others pointed out, it may even be an organizational reason that the interview is not happening sooner. It might have nothing to do with the manager's schedule. The recruiter may tell you the manager "does not have time", but the recruiter probably doesn't get the full story.

Why is it so important for you to have the interview sooner? What will you do if they interview you tomorrow, then wait 8 weeks to make an offer?

Stick with what you can control: Be prepared. Have your resume worked through and checked over perfectly. Research the company like crazy, Practice your questions to behavioral interview questions. Be ready to close if you like the company and say "no thanks" if you don't.

fab5freddy's picture

Thanks for the advise.

Good to know that they taking their time is not a negative against them. I'll apply the "until you got something you got nothing" rule and make any judgments about the company after the interview

HMac's picture

By the way freddy -

Your observations about what they need and how you can help are probably right. :wink:

[b]But [/b]they aren't relevant - NOBODY at the company wants to hear your opinion about how their hiring process isn't optimal.

That's just a fact of life.

I'm going through it myself right now. It takes every bit of discipline I can muster to not wind myself up into knots thinking about why they're not calling me back, when they absolutely said they'd want to bring me back in for a third interview. And despite my efforts to keep in touch (at reasonable periods - [i]not [/i]pushy!), they've gone silent. It's like an itch I can't just leave alone! And the only successful way I've found is to be interviewing with OTHER companies - because after all, I've still got [i]nothing[/i].

So I understand your frustration, and can only advise you to make sure it DOESN'T show itself to hiring managers, no matter how well-intended it may be.

Good luck.

-Hugh

AManagerTool's picture

[quote]And the only successful way I've found is to be interviewing with OTHER companies - because after all, I've still got nothing.
[/quote]

This was going to be my point exactly. Keep yourself from going insane, keep interviewing.

jhbchina's picture

Four weeks is nothing in the interviewing process. From start to on board time for a manager could easily be three months.

I have been talking to a MNC in Europe for ONE year now about a position they have open related to expanding into China. I have

1) had over 6 phone interviews/ conversations
2) spent 2 days on site attending a yearly strategy meeting in fall of 07!
3) had interviews with country manager and global business development manager
4) been told " they are preparing my contract", in early July, and "I should have been offered the position" by one of the people I will report to.

Now I was informed that it will be first week of Sept., so that I can meet the CEO when he visits China at the end of the month and attend their international strategy planning meeting in October.

All this and no offer, amazing what we go through for a job. As others said, keep looking, I am. :-)

HMac's picture

[quote="jhbchina"]Four weeks is nothing in the interviewing process. From start to on board time for a manager could easily be three months.

I have been talking to a MNC in Europe for ONE year now about a position they have open related to expanding into China.[/quote]

Great examples of the reality of how long things can take - and a person's job search (whether employed or not) needs to reflect this reality.

[i]"How long will my job search take?"[/i]

Longer than you'd like; longer than you think.

davidleeheyman's picture

During my search for my current position the process took about 6 months from initial contact to starting the job. The process went something like this:

September
1) Friends called and told me that they had spoken to an executive at a company about my job search (I wasn't even looking at the time) and he suggested I call him. From what they said it was totally not in an industry where I had any experience.

2) I called the executive who explained what the company did and I realized it was right in the sweet spot of my skills and experience. He said he was about to go on vacation but to send my CV and if I didn't hear back from in 10 days to contact him again.

October
3) After 10 days I heard nothing so I contacted him again. He said he'd look into it and the next day I had a job description from the hiring manager. It was a dream job for me.

4) The next day we had a phone interview with the hiring manager who was based in Australia. At the end of the phone interview I was asked to go to the HQ later that day to meet with his boss, a regional VP.

5) They disappeared from the face of the planet. No response to thank you emails, no response to phone messages. [I wasn't savvy enough to write handwritten notes at the time but in retrospect they'd have never seen them due to the amount of travel they did.]

November
5) Finally a meeting was scheduled with a technical resource. I arrived at the office but he was stuck in traffic and the meeting was canceled.

6) Meeting is rescheduled and goes off well. Most of the discussion is about NFL football rather than the specifics of the job. Personal chemistry turns out to be a key driver in this company and provides a friendly atmosphere.

7) 15 minute meeting with the COO takes place. Asked to attend a planning meeting in December.

8 ) They disappeared from the face of the planet. No response to thank you emails, no response to phone messages.

December
9) At the start of the month I'm told that I'm definitely the one for the job. However, budget hasn't been approved yet. Hopefully it will be approved by April. Asked if I'd still be interested. Explain that in April I'll know but to keep in touch.

January
10) During the last days of January I'm contacted and told that they have budget from March 1 and asked if I'm still interested. I respond that I am interested in discussing the terms.

11) They disappeared from the face of the planet. No response to emails, no response to phone messages.

February
12) Offer is made for March 1 start and accepted.

March
13) Start working for a wonderful company with lots of great people.

The process was long. Their disappearances were frustrating. But it was according to their timelines. In the end the disappearances were just part of being on the road and not having time to deal with my emails as they were busy closing some big things.

Lucky for me the timing worked out well. I was actually making additional progress at my existing job with promotions and wasn't at all in the market. This job turned out to be just what I would have been looking for and has worked out well.

asteriskrntt1's picture

Great stories and tips everyone.

Hiring is rarely seen as a managed project with deadlines like most other projects. Also, the people doing the hiring often have dozens of people to "get back to".

Just ask Wendii...I think she told me once she had 95 "get back tos" in her Tasks. Sometimes they just pile up.

Add in that some people are just not great communicators/relationship builders. They don't see any value in keeping you updated and throw out comments like "I will give you a call Tuesday" with zero intention of making that call.

I am also wary of people who say "Let's keep in touch. Give me a call." To me, that says I am willing to have a relationship with you as long as YOU do most of the work.

So if you factor in all of these things, plus a few dozen more all going on simultaneously, you get the typical hiring process - a long drawn out process you have zero control over.