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Good news - a company I'm interviewing with wants to move forward to the last round of interviews and asked for my availabilities for next week. (Potential) bad news - I'm going to be out of the country for a little bit (10 days) in a couple of days.

They asked about any vacation plans that are upcoming during the initial stage, so I revealed it pretty early in the process. I told them I'd be more than happy to take an unpaid leave or push back the start date if I were to receive an offer before I leave. Obviously that hasn't happened and now it seems like I'll have to interview when I get back.

Is it safe to assume that the company will continue to interview others and possibly extend an offer to one of the candidates before I come back? The interviews went well and the company seems to be understanding that I have "prior obligations". I will add that the conversation between me and the company has been mainly positive.

I obviously don't want to be mulling over this issue while on vacation but I know it'll eat away at me at least one of the days. Has anyone gone through this issue at all and what was the end result?

  • They may well continue to interview and as for the result - got a coin handy? If you were them, what would you do? – Solar Mike Apr 29 at 5:16
  • @SolarMike, yea.. I mean, it does sound like a rhetorical question, doesn't it? I guess I'm here for other people's experiences re: this issue. I know the job was posted for a long time and I was one of the candidates to check off almost all (if not all) the boxes. So we'll see. – cuckoocukoo Apr 29 at 5:21
  • This is hard to give a concrete answer for because there are so many variables. As a hiring manager, when a candidate has been unavailable for an extended time like this, I've usually continued interviewing (and then interviewed the candidate when they were available). Although I can't think of any times where I've extended someone else an offer in the meantime, I would not hesitate to do so if another candidate was highly desirable. 10 days doesn't seem unreasonable. – dwizum Apr 29 at 13:12
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    About your only risks, IMHO, are 1) is this a commoditized role, that is can almost anyone fill it competently and 2) if there is another candidate that already had an edge over you and they do well in their interview. Overall, 1 probably isn't a worry given the number of rounds of interviewing. 2 is a bit of a risk, but not much. If they've narrowed to a final round there is something about you that they want to explore. It's unlikely they'll rush to fill a few days sooner knowing a very solid option is in the running. – John Spiegel Apr 29 at 14:05
  • @dwizum, thank you for your insight. I would like to believe I have an edge over others - and hopefully that confidence gets me far! – cuckoocukoo Apr 29 at 17:46
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(Potential) bad news - I'm going to be out of the country for a little bit (10 days) in a couple of days.

It's not a "news" if you had mentioned it earlier, it's an information that the company already have.

It should not matter much if you've already communicated about your unavailability. It's business as usual.

Is it safe to assume that the company will continue to interview others and possibly extend an offer to one of the candidates before I come back?

Even if you weren't going to be unavailable, it's silly to assume you're the only one being interviewed. There would have been other candidates and other interviews anyways. Focus on your interview process and don't bother much about what other interviews are going on.

Given you situation, I don't think your availability (or lack thereof) for 10 days is going to be a problem for the interview process.

  • Thank you! Yea, it would be silly of me to assume that at any given point in the interview process. I just don't know much about what happens behind the curtains during the final stages. – cuckoocukoo Apr 29 at 5:23
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    @cuckoocukoo - If you are really interested in the job, make yourself available through an alternative means during those 10 days, otherwise, don't sweat what you cannot control. – Ramhound Apr 29 at 21:03
  • @Ramhound - I've thought about that. However, given that I'll be halfway across the globe and I'll be traveling in a group, I don't think being available like that will do me any good. Thanks for the suggestion though! – cuckoocukoo Apr 30 at 1:32
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They asked about any vacation plans that are upcoming during the initial stage, so I revealed it pretty early in the process.

That's great. Communication is key and be sure you tell everyone that needs to know. Don't assume the HR recruiter would tell the manager of this. He/She may forget or assume otherwise.

Is it safe to assume that the company will continue to interview others and possibly extend an offer to one of the candidates before I come back? The interviews went well and the company seems to be understanding that I have "prior obligations". I will add that the conversation between me and the company has been mainly positive.

This is a grey area that I don't think anyone would know. You said interviews went well, so that's a huge plus. However, since you never signed a contract or got an offer/employment, you'll have to assume it's possible they may go with someone better.

My advice is while overseas, maybe 3-4 days prior to returning, send an email to them. Explain you are arriving back in the country in X days, and you're still very interested in the role. You're only go for 1.5 weeks so it's not like they're going to hire someone right away. If they do interview someone, most likely that 3-4 days prior to returning will be critical to remind them that you are in fact interested.

  • I'll have to make sure to let the hiring manger know.. If the communication between me and her have been minimal up to this stage other than speaking face to face, how would you suggest I bring this up with her in an email? She just came back from a vacation herself. I'll make sure to email the hiring manger/hr manager and check in once or twice during my time out of the country. Thanks! – cuckoocukoo Apr 29 at 17:49
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    I would just be blunt. "Sally, thank you for interviewing me. I told X of Y about my trip out of the country earlier but I wanted to let you know as well. I will be out of the country and will return on X. I am looking forward to continuing the interview process." – Dan Apr 29 at 18:03
  • Thank you! I've sent a quick note to the hiring manger. Hopefully she appreciates what I sent to her! – cuckoocukoo Apr 30 at 1:30
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If you are the better candidate, the company isn’t going to worry about you being unavailable to interview for 10 days — they’ll wait for your return.

On the other hand, it’s the company’s prerogative to hire someone whenever they want, possibly telling you (or not) that they did so.

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    I'm hoping I'm the candidate that fits the bill. The job posting had been up for more than 4 months now if I recall correctly and I was told that I was the first one to be interviewed onsite. Hopefully this increases my chances a little bit, and at least other candidates who followed suit (if there are any) would be interviewing while I'm gone, and I can come back to interview. – cuckoocukoo Apr 30 at 1:30

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