I'm job hunting and there's this company (in the states, if that matters) that wants to interview me and for a while we haven't been able to communicate because my cellphone isn't working and they aren't willing to schedule anything via email.

I'm gonna just use a mate's phone next monday but I was wondering how should I've handled that better in order to not waste so much time, and why so many employers are reluctant to just use email.


You provided this method of communication. You gave him your phone number. You are responsible for this method of communication. If your phone is broken, it's your fault. Nobody else can change that.

That said, phone calls are not a good way to communicate asynchronous messages. You cannot send a document by phone call and calls are mostly inconvenient. The chances of actually calling when the other one has nothing better to do are slim. So preferring email is normal. But it is your responsibility to make that clear. Don't provide a broken line of communication in the first place.

A personal note: I'm working in IT. When a candidate has a broken phone and does not give me a replacement number, that would be a big red flag. How is he to handle the tasks I assign, if he cannot find a way to fix his own phone? Even if it means sending it in for service. But just leaving it broken would have me thinking about his ability to do the job.

So next time, state clearly that you want email communication. If you need a phone number, provide one that works. You are under no obligation to pick it up whenever someone calls, you are not a call-center. But it should be working. Preferably with a way to leave a message should you not pick up, so you can return the call.

  • Right. If the candidate can't get themselves a working phone number while job hunting, that makes me doubt their competence at the basics of normal adult living, which makes me think they probably won't be much use in any job more tricky than burger-flipping. – A E Jan 17 '16 at 15:47
  • @AE I don't get what someone so hateful is doing in here, but I got a really important interview coming up soon so thank you for reminding me just how judgemental you guys are, I needed this. – markus Jan 17 '16 at 20:36
  • @markus, I'm a hiring manager (interviewing 4 people tomorrow), and that's my genuine opinion. I'm not saying it to be nasty. I genuinely wouldn't hire someone for IT work who seemed unable to navigate the adult world, which includes such necessities as having a working telephone when job-hunting. Sorry that's hard feedback for you to hear, but you did ask the question. Sorry you find it hateful, but employers do form judgements about candidates. – A E Jan 18 '16 at 17:26
  • @AE I actually didn't mind. I did an interview today assuming that my interviewer thinks just like you and trying extra hard, and always will from now on. I personally think that it's naive to think about "the adult world" as some sort of challenge, but that's part of the game I guess. Good luck with your interviews and go easy on them. – markus Jan 18 '16 at 17:49

I'm not a fan of phone calls for several reasons, so I just insist they people contact me via email. So even if I had picked up the phone, I would have said I was in the middle of something and for them to email me.

It's too late to kick yourself about what happened. Make sure you have a working phone and ring them back when you get a chance. It's not a huge problem and you have valid reasons however inconvenient they were.

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