Last Sunday I saw a job announcement on a recruitment website and emailed a cover letter together with my CV directly to the prospective employer. The employer is a private school in the city I currently live in, and the job is a well-paid teaching position.

At noon on the next day, Monday, an HR officer of the school sent me a one-line email saying that they were interested, and asking me as to when it was convenient for me to come for an interview.

I saw her email a few hours after it was sent, and got puzzled as to why she couldn't just call my mobile phone number, which I had provided both in my cover letter and the CV. Furthermore, her email did not contain any phone number I could reach her by. She only provided her name and position, HR manager. I then checked the school website, but was unable to find there her phone number or any phone number of HR.

So I sent her a one-line response by email, saying that this week I could come at any time starting from Wednesday and that I could not come earlier.

Some hours later, Monday late evening, I checked my email box again and found her response, which had been sent to me a couple of hours after my response. Again, her email was just one line. She said she could offer me Thursday this week 11am and 3pm. And, again, there was no phone number.

Seeing that response, I instantly sent her one line, "Great, let's make it on Thursday at 3pm then, okay?"

Receiving no response to this, I sent her a short follow-up email on Wednesday at 3pm, asking her whether she could confirm Thursday 3pm.

Now it is Wednesday evening, and I still have not heard anything from her. And yes, I have checked the spam folder.

What is going on and how should I handle this? Is there anything I did wrong? Are people nowadays supposed to be always online and instantly answer emails? I check my email box 2-3 times a day and am often away from my computer.

  • @JoeStrazzere I am afraid something went wrong, as otherwise the HR officer would have confirmed the interview. I asked her to confirm, by typing "okay?", with a question mark. And I sent her a follow-up email asking her to confirm. – Samurai17 Jan 22 at 18:50
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    For what it's worth, the "HR officer" of a private school probably has all sorts of other duties. She may also be a dean, a teacher, or some other kind of administrator. Don't worry about flawless communications. – O. Jones Jan 23 at 12:07

I don’t see anything wrong on your end. It’s not your job to be online and available at all times. An HR manager on the other hand, especially one with recruitment duties, should be more informative, flexible and accommodating; none of which seem to apply in the case of the person who handles your case.

If you want the job and you don’t have any better offers, I think you could still attend the job interview. Worst case scenario, you were speaking to the wrong person all along and she was just pulling your leg. Best case, you were just dealing with someone who isn’t doing their best, or is just having an ‘off’ week, and the interview is indeed arranged as you requested.

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Different employers have different levels of formality around contact with the outside world, and while brief emails without detailed signature blocks might be a little outside the norm, it's not inherently a problem. And perhaps your replies are getting caught in her spam folder, even though you've checked yours.

Although you've said you couldn't find this person's direct phone number, the school's website will surely have a phone number - at the least, for the school's office or some other central contact number. You could call that number and ask to be transferred to HR, or even directly to the person you were emailing with - then, you could verify the interview:

Hi, it's Samurai17, we'd been emailing about the teaching position. I may have missed your reply, but I wanted to verify that we were all set for the interview tomorrow at 3 PM?

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    +1 It's fairly standard social engineering to grab a number, and then try to guess others in the company. – Old_Lamplighter Jan 22 at 17:19
  • The fact that they haven't provided their phone number suggests that perhaps they don't want to be called. – Acccumulation Jan 22 at 17:30
  • I suppose, but I would find it highly unusual for the very department that's intended to be a point of contact for outside people interested in jobs to literally not want to be called by an outside person interested in a job. – dwizum Jan 22 at 17:37
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    The school website provides only the phone number of the office of the head of the school. I think I will dial that number on Thursday morning and ask to be transferred to the HR officer I was emailing with. If they can't transfer me to her, I will briefly explain the situation and ask them as to what I should do. – Samurai17 Jan 22 at 18:44
  • @Samurai17 Note that the head of school will be involved in any interview you get, so if you call the office of the head of school they would know about the interview if it is going to happen. If they don't know anything, explain the situation to them and ask how to proceed. Either way, whoever answers the phone for the head of school office should already be able to help you, no need to transfer to HR. – quarague Jan 23 at 7:54

Making a job interview appointment with HR is going weird. What should I do?

You have already confirmed a time for the interview so you should show up at the time that you agreed to. Remember that this is also your opportunity to interview this company, so take into consideration things like communication when evaluating whether or not this company is a good fit for you.

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