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Let me first share some background: I applied at a major US tech company for a software development job coming from a different continent. The initial stage was very rough and required intervention from an employee referring me for the job.

Finally I was able to talk to a hiring manager in a phone call which went very well and he wrote an email afterwards that he would ask HR to facilitate an on-site interview. I was naturally very happy with the outcome, however now I was contacted by a recruiter who wanted to setup another skype interview (or rather multiple ones in one session).

After asking the manager whether this was intended (it might have been a quirk in the process) he confirmed saying that it would make things so much easier and quicker for me. There would be multiple rounds (4-5h total) with one round with a senior manager in the end who would drive then also the hiring process.

Now my questions:

  1. Is it common in the US to only conduct phone/skype interviews in the entire hiring process?
  2. Does this course of action indicate that there is no serious genuine interest?
  3. What can be said about the chances of getting an offer when accepting such a process?

Personal remark: I feel that I should get to know potential coworkers and the working location before discussing an offer and that being limited to skype severly diminishes my chances of getting hired.

Clarifications: I am coming form a different continent than the US and the time zone difference is 9h.

  • Are you in the local area? It sounds like you might not even be in the USA but it's not totally clear. – Dan Apr 5 '18 at 12:51
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I would think that if they are willing to invest in several multi-hour interviews, even if just over Skype, that they have more than a casual interest in hiring you (they probably have more important things to do than spend hours of their day interviewing somebody they have no intention of hiring). I can't say how common this is, but I've got to imagine that it is becoming more common when interviewing candidates that do not live near the office.

If they are having difficulty filling the position with a local candidate, then they should be willing to agree to a visit, though they will likely want to wait until they are sure about offering you the position before they spend the money. They would probably also want to know that you are reasonably confident you would accept the position, assuming the visit goes well.

If you have no intention of accepting an offer without a visit, then you might want to tell them before any additional interviews that you are interested in the job, but if they make an offer, you would need to visit the office before making a decision. This would avoid wasting time with interviews if they won't bring you in to visit.

If you would probably accept the offer even if they won't let you visit before making the decision, then you should probably wait to bring it up once you have an offer letter or they make it clear that an offer is imminent. If they refuse, then you would just need to decide if the offer is worth the risk. By this time you will probably have met a decent number of people you will be working with, so will have some idea of the culture of the company.

During the interviews, don't be afraid to ask them about the work environment, nearby conveniences (restaurants, shops, etc), or whatever else is important to you. Interviews are a two-way street; they are trying to determine if they want to hire you and you are trying to determine if you want to work for them.

  • Thanks for your response! I think I cannot really make such an important decision without having met (some of) the people I'd be working with. There are also a few practical concerns that might be relevant for my third question. The time difference between where I live and where the job is located is 9 hours. If conducted in one day it would last maybe from 7pm to 0am (my time) and would happen after a full day. Regarding asking them about the work environment: For me asking that or a similar question never really produced much useful information. I think I need a first hand impression. – user12388 Apr 5 '18 at 7:44
  • Good luck. I hope things work out for you. – Brian Apr 5 '18 at 16:03

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