17

I had an interview last week in one of the big (multi-billion dollar corporation) finance companies and I have been offered a software developer position immediately this week. I had only one call of less than 30 min with the director of the IT where he asked all questions regarding my resume and their stack and technologies only. There were no coding relating question or any behavioral question yet I was offered the position with almost 1.5x time my current pay and good benefits as well. There was no onsite interview or video call interview, just one phone interview with the director.

I have only 3+ years of experience and I am from average college with average GPA. I don't have a very good profile either. Everything about me is average still the I was offered the position with salary which most people with at least 3+ years of experience, having a good profile, and has to go under 2-4 round of interview including either hours of on-site or video call which includes all rounds like technical questions, coding questions, system design etc.

What I am concerned about is, is there something wrong with the company or the team? Is it that the company culture is not so good that everyone in the team left and they are basically hiring whoever is available first. What steps can I take to cross-verify everything? I have already read most reviews on glassdoor and they are average, not so bad but not very good either. They have a rating in the range of 2.2-2.7 out of 5. The position is in the opposite part of the country so I will have to leave everything here and move there (I don’t have any issues in relocating) but if the company is bad then moving back and getting a new job is going to be a hassle. The hiring manager and the director did contact me with their official company email address only.

The pay is good, benefits are good, what I will be working on is based on what I have done previously plus few addition technologies so it is no big issue for me yet I am concerned about the fact that I was offered a position based on just 30 min phone call. This is a full-time, direct-hire permanent position. Never have I heard anything like this before nor has any of my friends and relatives.

EDIT:- The job is located in United States and I have already contacted the hiring manager to get the contact details of the team members.

  • @davidgo I have already asked the hiring manager for the contact details of the team members and he is going to send them soon. – Dotalover Oct 28 at 5:12
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    Have you checked if the living costs are not way higher in your new location than in your current place ? That would explain the difference in salary. You might end up saving less despite being paid way much more. – Maxime Oct 28 at 13:18
  • @Maxime cost of living is lower than where I am currently, so in short, I am getting higher salary. – Dotalover Oct 29 at 4:25
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    Looks like a spam to me! Wait for the contract / offer letter to float in. – srini Oct 29 at 10:02
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    why should we assume that you have to prove yourself through a coding interview every time you change jobs? I'm starting to get annoyed by this. – user1 Oct 29 at 14:26
51

Check that the "multi billion dollar finance company" is actually your formal employer

I am not sure where you are located, but here in Canada, there are a variety of companies pitching jobs at with "billion dollar companies" like "Morgan Stanley" or "RBC" or "Citigroup" which are not genuinely jobs at those companies, but rather contract positions. I got absolutely spammed with these during my final year of university.

An important thing to note about these jobs. Contractors often don't get to put the big name brand on their resume. So even if you worked at a major bank for your entire contract, you don't get to say you worked there.

The other reasons why they are problematic will vary. FDM tries to bill you for lost training if you leave too early and the few weeks of training is half the price of a degree.

Others will "offer" you one salary, have you quit your job and train, and then say that they didn't find you that high priced a placement and offer you something different. Given that you will have moved, leased a place for a year, etc. you will be inclined to take their offer.

Others have been known to hire you for one role, have that role "no longer be available" and then funnel you into another role. A friend of a friend was hired to be a software developer and then was pushed to be a QA analyst, aka, manual software tester.

The resume, single phone call, and the sales pitch all in under a week sound exactly like how these companies work.

This is a full-time, direct-hire permanent position.

Diligently check that that is true.

In the end, it may still be worth taking. But figure out what it actually is first.

  • If the interviewer actually said "I am from MegaCorp" in the interview, and they aren't, that is fraud. – DJClayworth Oct 28 at 16:03
  • can you elaborate on "Contractors often don't get to put the big name brand on their resume", are you referring to a specific clause in the contract that might exist? – Velimir Tchatchevsky Oct 28 at 17:00
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    @VelimirTchatchevsky yes. The employment agreement might prohibit disclosing the names of specific clients. – Matthew Gaiser Oct 28 at 17:19
  • @MatthewGaiser You have made a very important point and I will keep that in mind. – Dotalover Oct 29 at 4:26
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    I strongly disagree that such a clause would be enforceable (see this related question), but, let's let the experts tell us – Mawg says reinstate Monica Oct 29 at 7:07
24

I have done this for a few decades now, especially when changing countries, which is the norm for me (companies are reluctant to pay expenses for me to fly for interview, often intercontinental). Normally, the team lead spends 29 minutes explaining the project and then comes the interview - "do you think that you can help us?".

Two points to note:

  • I have *cough* decades of experience and a strong resume.
  • I only do contract work.

So, yes, this does happen, and often, but my circumstances are different from yours.

I do think that some concern is healthy reaction, and agree with you and the others in that.

However, you say

The hiring manager and the director did contact me with their official company email address only.

which is promising (do you know how to detect a forged email header?). The real clincher will be the formal contract when it arrives, as that will show you whom you will really be working for.

Obviously, with a move across country, you have concerns about relocation, and that gives your chance to confirm before renting a place in another state. Find out the 'phone number of their HR department, tell them you have a job offer and ask for advice/help in seeking accommodation & other relocation issues (maybe a letter would be better?).

If they are above board, they will be doing that anyway (eventually), but by approaching them at a number/mailing address published on their web site, you are giving them a chance to say that they have never heard of you, or that they are aware of you but you will be working through a third-party.

12

I have been hired based on a 30-minute telephonic interview. I was referred to the position, so they were confident about the skills I possess. So, it's not an entirely impossible scenario.

But, it is in your best interest to request a visit to the office and talking with your future manager or team before making a decision. It is not unreasonable and they will likely grant without any problems. You can volunteer to pay for your own transportation if they are hesitant.

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    Definitely. Even if the company felt that a 30-minute phone call was a good enough interview for them, it is not a good enough interview for the candidate. Interviews are bidirectional. – Lightness Races with Monica Oct 28 at 13:56
  • I've gotten a couple of jobs with no phone or in-person interview at all, but it was likewise based on referrals, plus MS thesis and publications. So if this is a plain-vanillia developer job, I'd be wary. – jamesqf Oct 28 at 16:06
10

You are right to be careful. If you were screened that way, it also means the others on your team were screened the same way. That is definitely a red flag.

However, some companies don't screen their candidates very carefully. What they do is assess their skills on the job and if the new employee doesn't work out, they fire him/her within the probationary period (of if the contract is at will).

Wait for the written offer. A verbal offer doesn't count. Like someone else has already suggested, visit the company in person (even if you have to pay for it yourself). There is really no substitute.

Also, don't take the entire risk of moving to the location on yourself. In other words, ask for moving expenses, a temporary AirBnB at their cost, and/or for a signing bonus.

7

You asked,

What I am concerned about is, is there something wrong with the company or the team?

It's hard for us to answer that, because what counts as "wrong" will vary. Which brings us to the heart of the matter here. Interviews are meant to be two-way streets. The company evaluates your fitness for the position, and you should be evaluating the company, as well. Many candidates don't really even think about this, much less take active steps to make it happen. Thus, in many cases, employees end up unhappy in a new job, for reasons that may have been avoidable.

So - instead of trying to decipher cryptic "red flags" about how the hiring process felt, you should take the following steps:

  • Determine what's important to you in a job, in order to feel happy and successful. For some people, this may be something obvious like salary. But for other people, it may be something less tangible - some people may want to feel like they're in control of choosing work assignments, or they like to be able to switch tools without having to fight some bureaucracy that supports some other tool. Or people may feel like they don't like maintenance work, or they only like to be on larger teams. The point is, this is personal - you have to decide for yourself.
  • Formulate your list of "ideal job characteristics" based on your brainstorming. Basically, you want to write your ideal job description - do the same thing the employer is doing when they write a description of their ideal candidate!
  • Come up with a list of questions that helps you determine if an employer meets the job description you just wrote
  • Ask those questions! Ideally, in the interview itself. Most hiring managers will pause near the end of the interview and ask if you have any questions - speaking as a hiring manager, it's shocking how many candidates aren't prepared with any questions. If you're past the interview (sounds like you are) - it's totally fine to reach out via email or phone, and ask if you can set up some time to give them a few questions.

We can't tell you if this employer is "wrong." None of us know if the team is in a hiring crisis. Even if we did know that, none of us know what that actually means - teams in crisis may be in crisis because the manager is terrible. Or because they're growing really fast due to their success. Or because there was just a merger, or there was some scandal involving staff on the team, or there was something else unrelated to how you would feel once you were hired by the company. The interviewer may have just had a good feeling about you. One of my most important job offers came after a 10 minute conversation during a 58 Special concert. Similarly, many times, in interviews, I just know I want to hire a candidate after 15 or 20 minutes, and my instinct has turned out correct. A "short" hiring process may seem risky, but it may also just be reflective of the interviewer trusting their gut - which isn't inherently good or bad.

So - stop trying to guess what the hiring process means. Decide what's important to you. Get a list of questions together, and ask those questions.

1

Job interviewing is a two-way street. This company has decided they want you. They have a very fast (too fast?) process for making that decision.

But you don't have much information to decide you want to work at this company. You may, without causing the slightest offense, ask for a conversation with your supervisor-to-be. The same goes for your co-workers-to-be.

Why have these conversations?

  • To get a sense for the way things work in your team-to-be.
  • To ask "what does it take to be successful?"
  • To give you, and this company, a little more time to get to know each other before you make a commitment.

Now, if this company were totally "woke," they'd say something like "we need good people; you seem to be good; we want you; what does it take for you to say yes?" In other words, they would encourage you to have the conversations I suggest, and they would work to convince you.

But most companies aren't totally "woke" in this way. Don't hold it against them. But, if they won't let you have those conversations, you should ask why not. It could be a danger sign.

0

Assuming that the job offer is real then I see these problems.

From a pragmatic standpoint, this concerns me:

I have been offered a software developer position immediately this week.

Well it's good to hear that they need you, but is this the only option for you to secure this job? If it is then it sounds they don't care about you; they just need a butt in a seat.

Are they aware that you live across the country? Can they at least allow you to give 2-weeks notice with your current employer? Will they assist you with at least finding housing? If you are moving to an expensive city then a 50% pay increase could prove insufficient especially since you would have no local/family support for unexpected things.

-1

There is a simple check. If it is a scam they will ask you for money at some point under some pretext. And vice versa, if someone claiming to want to hire you asks you to pay money then it is a scam.

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    There can be many things wrong with the job, even if it's not an outright scam. – lambshaanxy Oct 28 at 9:51
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    It's still something to check, and not present in the other answers. – toolforger Oct 28 at 15:02

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