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For a job for which I applied, a telephone interview was arranged because the interviewer had limited availability and was not going to be in the local area any time soon. From the beginning of the interview, it was very difficult for me to hear the interviewer because he was using a cell phone with a bad connection. Adding to the difficulty was lots of background noise; he explained he was calling from a hotel lobby during a break at a conference and other people at the conference were talking. As a result of these issues, I frequently had to ask him to repeat himself, which seemed to annoy him. Obviously, the guy didn't take things well, as I received an email telling me I wasn't suitable for the job almost immediately after the interview.

It crossed my mind when I heard the bad connection and background noise that I might ask to re-schedule the interview. However, I feared the interviewer would not agree with my reasoning and just drop considering me. Would making such a request be considered too rude or might it have shown that I could take charge to improve things or something else?

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    Not fair but probably not much you can do about it. Person is not profession and you are collateral damage. – paparazzo Apr 4 '16 at 22:00
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    Everything about this tells me he had no intention of ever hiring you, so he didn't care, he just went through the motions. – Kilisi Apr 5 '16 at 5:18
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We had a guy like this, even did Skype calls with lots of annoying birds in background. If this was a future colleague, be happy it went this way, all your meetings would probably have gone this way.

And ofc, if you feel more comfortable or it makes sense noise-wise, ask if they want to reschedule, maybe later in the evening from their hotel room or sth.

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    What does ofc mean? – jmoreno Apr 7 '16 at 5:10
  • @jmoreno: Maybe "of course" or "off the cuff"? – GreenMatt Jul 11 '19 at 20:09
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Unless there was a very close deadline, I would not want to conduct an interview during a conference and even less in the hotel lobby, and would encourage/beg the candidate to reschedule. Having a bad phone connection would be a great excuse.

I feel like this person was not interested in hiring you anyway. Not much you can do about that. It's rude to expect someone to maintain a phone conversation with you when they repeatedly tell you they can't hear you. I would get tired of repeating myself.

Sorry, it just doesn't sound like you were given a fair chance unless you are sure you were not qualified.

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  • "I would not want to conduct an interview during a conference and even less in the hotel lobby, and would encourage/beg the candidate to reschedule." The thing is that it was his schedule we were trying to work around, so presumably this was the time he thought best. Weird. That said do you think requesting a reschedule would get me dropped from consideration, have no effect, or improve my chances? – GreenMatt Apr 5 '16 at 1:47
  • I'm suggesting that at the time of the call the interviewer may have been to optimistic in thinking there would be a quiet place with a great connection, so once he discovered this was not the case, he should be happy to reschedule. You just literally cannot conduct an interview if the two people cannot have a conversation. I don't see having any other choice. Maybe all he needed was a chance to go up to his hotel room or find a better spot? – user8365 Apr 11 '16 at 22:54
  • Perhaps you're right, but the guy made no suggestion himself to re-schedule, which - since he was the interviewer - seems to me the more appropriate action. – GreenMatt Apr 12 '16 at 0:35
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I see two problems here:

1) The interviewer did not have the professionalism and civility to conduct an interview at a reasonable enough time or place that either of you got anything out of it.

he explained he was calling from a hotel lobby during a break at a conference and other people at the conference were talking.

This is not acceptable, and then:

2) You were dropped by the company for the issue stated above, meaning you probably dodged a bullet.

I would feel relieved to have gotten out of that pipeline ASAP, so I could conduct my job search elsewhere.

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