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This is a case where a software developer is interviewing for a position requiring relocation to a city a couple of thousand miles from home. The host company is planning off-hours entertainment. Imagine for example a harbor cruise, and a city tour on the weekend before a Monday interview. These activities are outsourced, meaning no company employees would be there to get to know the candidate better in the context of the activities.

If the interviewee is an introvert, or just enjoys exploring on their own and does not want to participate, does this give the impression that they are not really interested in getting to know their potential home city?

Would declining put a potential offer in jeopardy? Not looking for research here, just anecdotal evidence either way.

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  • Just one individual. Nov 15 '13 at 17:26
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    In my situation I would decline, for exactly what you're describing - I like to explore on my own. 'Package' tourism sucks. If it puts the offer in jeopardy, I'd be concerned about the agenda of the employer. If they objected, I'd avoid the trip entirely. Nov 15 '13 at 21:06
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    The brutal answer is yes, yes it could. Anything could, from hair colour to accent to shoelace preference. Realistically all you can do it be polite and hope for the best
    – Móż
    Nov 16 '13 at 8:26
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Probably not, but It depends on the circumstances and on how it is handled. The company may be interested in how the candidate handles herself in such situations and may ask the provider to take notes and report back. On the other hand, they may not care at all and just trying to be nice and express serious interest in the candidate.

If the candidate does not want to participate, it's perfectly okay to decline, but it should be done in advance and carefully. "Thanks for inviting me to that harbor tour. It sound like great fun but I unfortunately I have to decline since I'll be only coming in early this morning after a long flight and I want to try and get some rest to get over the jet lag and be ready for the interview on Monday". or "I've already made other arrangement to meet with local friends and family" etc.

Just not showing up or cancelling at the last minute would be bad form (and potentially wasting time and money for the employer).

More important may be looking at the big picture here: If the company culture has a very active party and social component, than it may not be such a great fit for an introvert candidate.

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    I would check with the company before declining. But otherwise a good answer. Nov 15 '13 at 18:38
  • Just to clarify, it's not for me, I'm asking on behalf of someone else. I would take a company up on any and all offers of entertainment unless it was an offer to dine at Hooters. Nov 15 '13 at 20:45
  • @LindaBrammer Hooters?! Lol! Hooters food is awful, I agree. I've only been there once, at work, actually, when we were on a consulting project out of town, and it was the only place open. This is the part of the question that I don't understand: Why are you certain that this activity is ONLY for the candidate, and not for company employees? It doesn't make sense, that there will be a bunch of outsourced strangers and they invited the candidate. Nov 16 '13 at 9:48
  • They said they provide entertainment amenities to all candidates who would have to relocate to take the position. It's a chance to see the city and get a feel for it before agreeing to uproot. I'm not certain that there would be no colleagues on the outing. It was not presented as an opportunity to socialize. It was presented as a chance to see Bedford Falls (let's say) and imagine living there. Nov 16 '13 at 20:51
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It is fairly rare for most organizations to do this. If they are as invested as getting you city tours on their dime, on a weekend before interview, it might as well be a peek into what could be coming. May be the organization does this regularly with other team members and wants you to get a feel of how it will be once you are on board.

If you are introvert and want to explore the city on your own, how will you deal with such invitations from within the team in the future ?

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I would be more concerned with taking a job and moving to a location that may not be a good fit.

Most people are put off to a certain extent when offerings are declined. Some people and cultures more than others (Going to my grandmother's house and not eating; well, I never saw anyone turn her down.). Hopefully, you're doing your homework before going on this interview and taking this position.

Unless you're being offered food that you may be allergic to or is against your religion and you're such an introvert that you're going to have a panic-attack, I would accept this offering.

Are you comfortable enough with your "introvertness" that you openly use it as a reason to not socialize? If so, stay true to yourself. At some point, if the company has a problem with this, you may not want to relocate for this job.

I realize this is just a question post, but I'm not feeling your pain on this one. You're considering a very far location. If every new experience is going to make you uncomfortable, this may not be for you.

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Would declining put a potential offer in jeopardy?

Perhaps.

Your comments indicate that they are setting all this up specifically for you.

Better to call ahead and see if they have already booked the entertainment.

If they have already spent significant money, and you waste it by turning down the entertainment - that wouldn't be good. But, if you talk with them, they may be perfectly happy to have you go it on your own.

As often happens, clear communication with both sides is the key to success here.

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    My colleague plans on declining before any $ is spent. I was just curious about the hospitality angle. They're trying, it's my thought any candidate should accept. Nov 15 '13 at 20:47
  • @LindaBrammer I think that you are correct. Nov 16 '13 at 9:50

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