3

I had an interview recently for a job that will start in a little more than 2 months. The interview went well, and I think the interviewer is interested, as she's been in touch with me regarding the company and the company's new projects since the interview.

Earlier, when I was checking the contract for my current job, I realized that I must hand in my resignation letter 2 months in advance. That means, if the new job was not offered to me soon enough (assuming if the company were to offer me the job), I probably wouldn't be able to start on time given the 2 month notice period.

I would like to let the interviewer know. However, I don't want to sound presumptuous -- that is, I don't want to sound like I think the job will definitely be offered to me. So how can I let the interviewer know about this information without sounding presumptuous?

By the way, I am currently in Europe, hence the longer notice period. But the company I interviewed with is in the US.

  • You said the interview went well. Did the interviewer know you're in Europe now and planning to make a transition to the U.S.? – Brandin Apr 4 '15 at 11:57
  • @Brandin: Yes, the interviewer knew that I am planning to make a transition back to the US (I am a US citizen). – Tuzki Apr 4 '15 at 12:16
  • 2
    If they're interested in hiring, then the question of when exactly you can start will be raised at some point. Since you're in another continent it should not be a surprise that you need some time before you can start. Personally I wouldn't make a big deal of it, but when the question comes just tell them how much notice you need. There's probably no reason to tell them too many details of why - your current job contract is just one thing. What about living and travel arrangements, etc. Moving arrangements etc etc. – Brandin Apr 4 '15 at 13:08
  • @Brandin: The question of when I can start was already raised during the interview. I told her that I could start in mid-June because that is the time when my current project will end. During the interview, I did not even think of the notice period. Frankly speaking, I didn't even remember reading about it in the contract because it was sort of buried in a huge chunk of paragraph in the contract. – Tuzki Apr 4 '15 at 13:59
  • 1
    @Tuzki For future reference, when asked "when can you join?" always explicitly mention the notice period. I know it is "fair" to expect the interviewer to figure out that June is 2 months from April, but sometimes the interviewers are not the brightest bulbs in the company, so it is better to be clear upfront. – Masked Man Apr 4 '15 at 17:31
3

Since a US employer doesn't expect that you have two months notice, you should tell them as soon as possible. Every reasonable employer expects that you want a signed contract, then you give your notice, and you start your new job after serving your notice. European employers would expect this to take two months. US employers wouldn't expect this.

  • 1
    My problem right now is that I don't know how to phrase my email properly without sounding like I think the job is mine to have. – Tuzki Apr 4 '15 at 13:54
  • Tuzki, the notice period is a technical detail, usually it is kept separate from the hiring decision. You can anytime send a note to let them know that in case they decide to work with you, they should expect a 2 months notice. They hire for the long term, especially if you have to move. Often it is more complicated, some people need visas and stuff that takes long months. It is usual practice to handle such situations. – Mark Apr 5 '15 at 10:06
3

If you're just looking for how to phrase it, try this...

I realize you are still in the process of deciding on the right candidate for the XYZ position. I felt the interview has gone well, and wanted to let you know that if you should decide that I am the right person to fill that role in your company, I have a contractual obligation to provide my current employer two months notice before resigning. I don't want to sound presumptuous, but I felt like I should let you know in case you do decide to offer me the position, I will need to fulfill my obligation here in Europe before I can return to the U.S.

Yes, there's a risk that the hiring company might feel you're trying to force their hand. If it comes down to you and another equally qualified (and desirable) candidate, who can start sooner, you will be at a disadvantage because of this.

If they really want you, they'll respond by asking for clarification and to see if there's any way around the 2-month thing. This way, you can have a dialog with them about it and answer any further questions they have, and sell yourself a little more, and make them glad to hire you.

If they don't call you back to discuss it, you can probably assume that you have not made the final cut.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.