3

I live in Canada but am in the process of moving to NY, USA. My rent in Canada ends in a month, and that's when I will be moving to NY. I recently got a phone interview followed by a Skype interview at a company in NY, which went well. I was then called in for an in-person interview. Because I was so far into the hiring process, I decided to go all the way to NY and rent a hotel there for two days simply to do the interview.

I didn't end up getting that job. I'm back in Canada now, and I just got another in-person interview request from a different NY company.

Will it significantly hurt my chances if I tell them:

"I'm currently in Canada and will be back in US in a month. Is it okay if the first round of interviews is a phone or Skype interview? If we get further into the hiring process, I will have no problem coming in for an in-person interview."

Note: The company is looking for local candidates, so them paying for travel expenses is unfortunately not an option here. On my resume, I put down the NY address which I will be moving to next month.

I want to make it clear that I have no issue renting a hotel and coming for an in-person interview if they are a bit more serious about hiring me (if I get past the first round / technical interview).

With that said, will it significantly hurt my chances of getting the job if I say what I mentioned above?

6

Will it significantly hurt my chances if I tell them:

"I'm currently in Canada and will be back in US in a month. Is it okay if the first round of interviews is a phone or Skype interview? If we get further into the hiring process, I will have no problem coming in for an in-person interview."

Note: The company is looking for local candidates, so them paying for travel expenses is unfortunately not an option here. On my resume, I put down the NY address which I will be moving to next month.

There's no way to know for sure unless you ask.

As a hiring manager, I always conduct the first round over the phone. So it wouldn't be a problem to me from that point of view.

But you indicate that this company is looking only for local candidates, and while you put a local address on your resume, you actually aren't quite local yet. So from that point of view, asking for a phone/Skype interview because you currently live in Canada could easily be a negative. It's possible that they could conclude you are a non-local, or unlikely as it might be they could even suspect you were being deceptive.

If you want to be very safe, and view this job as a significant opportunity, then go to New York and attend the interview in person. And prepare to do the same for subsequent interviews at this company.

If you are willing to risk it, ask for the concession, or ask if you can do the in-person portion of the interview process next month.

  • Right, okay thanks. With regards to your statement "asking for a phone interview because you currently live in Canada could easily be a negative": I actually wasn't planning on telling them I "live" in Canada, I was actually just going to say I am out of town (in Canada) until next month but will definitely get back to NY if I get through to the second round. Do you think that sounds a bit better than saying I currently live in Canada for a month? – user112321123 Sep 24 '15 at 0:41
5

"Will it significantly hurt my chances of getting the job if I say what I mentioned above?"

A job interview is a sales pitch where you sell yourself. If your competition is able to sell themselves in a physical meeting, and you're not, you're adding an unnecessary potential challenge to overcome.

If you sense there are a lot of local candidates (which seems to be the case based on your comments), you have an opportunity to demonstrate how much you want the position by being the only candidate to fly in for the interview.

Also, even though this may not apply in your particular case, if other candidates are flying in to interview, you will appear to not want the job as much as they do if you don't fly in.

In the end, the biggest risk is not getting a job you really want. I think it's worth the investment of time and money if you seriously want to work with this firm for a while.

If I were earnest to make a sale, I'd be anxious to physically get in front of the decision maker as soon as possible.

  • If you fly in as soon as possible, will you fly in for the second (and third?) round as well? – hkBst Jul 13 '16 at 6:07
  • That depends on how badly you want the job, and how badly they want you. If they're only looking for local candidates, and they don't want to pay to fly you, it's starting to look like a bad match to me, and maybe you should consider other options. – Aaron Hall Jul 13 '16 at 13:16
  • Wouldn't it make more sense to only fly in for the final interview? – hkBst Jul 13 '16 at 15:14
  • One might hope that the in-person interview is the final interview. If you offer to show up before they are ready for in-person interviews, I would expect them to tell you so. If they are doing multiple rounds of in-person interviews, I wouldn't expect to get past the first in-person round if I were not able to join. If the position is so important that they are doing multiple rounds of in-person interviews, then restricting their expected candidates to locals and not flying in candidates seems foolish. Or maybe the interviewers have too much time on their hands. – Aaron Hall Jul 13 '16 at 15:29
3

You set yourself up by putting the NY address. Potential employers are already assuming you are in NY and hence don't need to pay to have you come in for an interview, nor pay relocation.

So at this point you are on your own to pay for travel expenses to travel for the interview unfortunately. You can ask, and I don't think it will hurt to ask for reimbursement for travel to and from the interview, but when you do be sure to offer that you have no problem paying your own way.

  • Right, agreed. Keep in mind that my issue here isn't about travel expenses though. I am sure they won't pay, and I don't expect them to either (they are looking for local candidates and I put down my NY address because I will be local in a month, and I definitely will to go to NY if I get passed the first round of interviews). My question here is, will it significantly hurt my chances of getting the job if I request that the first round of the interview is on phone or Skype rather than in-person (and if I explain to them my reasoning as to why)? – user112321123 Sep 23 '15 at 21:16
1

Well, first off, at most places I've worked it's been on the company doing the interview to foot the bill for travel expenses.

Beyond that, I think it depends. I've certainly been on teams where we hired people without ever meeting face-to-face (only phone/skype interviews). On the hiring side, it's really something you want to avoid: day-to-day, you will generally be interacting with co-workers in person, so it's much easier to get a sense of what the working interaction will be like in person. I can imagine for some positions this is not the case though - they will want an in-person interview.

From your perspective though, there are benefits in meeting people in person. Mannerisms and non-verbal communication are different in person, you can get a better sense of what the work environment is like (are people relatively calm? does it sound like people are talking about interesting problems? or is there screaming and confusion outside the interview room?). The interview process is a two-way evaluation.

  • 3
    One caveat to this is many positions do not have funds for a relocation. Since the OP listed a NY address it's assumed he/she is in NY. – Bill Leeper Sep 23 '15 at 21:01
  • @JamesKingsbery in addition to BillLeeper, the company I have an interview with is looking for local candidates. Since I will be in NY at the end of the month, I decided to put my NY address, so I don't think they will pay for travel expenses (I don't expect them to either). I'm currently just concerned about whether or not it will significantly hurt my chances of getting the job if I request that the first round of the interview is on phone or Skype rather than in-person (and if I explain to them my reasoning as to why). – user112321123 Sep 23 '15 at 21:10
  • "Well, first off, at most places I've worked it's been on the company doing the interview to foot the bill for travel expenses." in my experience that's extremely unusual. The few times it was supposed to happen, when it came time for the company to pay, they didn't. – jwenting Sep 29 '15 at 7:58
0

Will it significantly hurt my chances if I tell them:

"I'm currently in Canada and will be back in US in a month. Is it okay if the first round of interviews is a phone or Skype interview? If we get further into the hiring process, I will have no problem coming in for an in-person interview."

If I were the hiring manager, it would not be an issue to conduct the first round of interviews via phone or video call. Nevertheless, none of us posting here know the exact circumstances, which means there remains a risk of their saying "no". Ask yourself whether you would prefer to take the financial hit of flying in multiple times for interview or prefer to risk the company backing out at this stage, then make your decision accordingly.

In future, I would suggest you briefly mention your situation on your cover letter and reiterate the fact you would be happy to fly in as required. As other commenters have mentioned, it could be viewed as dishonest that you are putting an NY address on your resume whilst living abroad. Stating the facts upfront spares you the need to explain anything subsequently.

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.