46

I have an upcoming second on-site interview. that's scheduled with two executives that I already met with at my first interview. Neither of them are the hiring manager or the hiring manager's boss.

I would like to meet with some other executives instead of these two interviewers but I am conscious of undermining the company's hiring strategy and coming across as rude or cocky.

Is it reasonable to request to be interviewed by other people?

  • 39
    Reminder to all that you should avoid answering questions in the comments, particularly in a non-constructive manner, and that you shouldn't use downvotes to express your disapproval or to use them as punishment for naivety. – Lilienthal Oct 10 '16 at 20:35
  • 3
    I've seen people do this before. It has not ended well any of the times I've observed it. – Brian Knoblauch Oct 11 '16 at 13:19
  • 2
    Seems that may raise a few red flags as someone being potentially problematic once hired. Even hinting at having issues with the people you've only met twice is probably not a good first/second/third impression. Regarding the note about not answering in the comments, I honestly don't know if that would qualify as an answer - it certainly doesn't feel like an answer! – pay Oct 11 '16 at 17:52
  • 4
    If I were the hiring manager and faced with that request, I'd probably request different future employees. – Aaron Hall Oct 11 '16 at 20:50
  • 4
    If you are requesting a different interviewer before you are hired, are you likely to start requesting different co-workers or a different manager after you are hired? Those two possibilities are easy to deal with - by not hiring you. – alephzero Oct 11 '16 at 21:10
126

Unless you have some specific reason to not want to meet with these executives (one of them made an inappropriate remark in your first interview or you're related to them in some way), don't ask a company to change who is going to be conducting your interview. If the company wants these executives to meet with you, they have some reason. Executives are busy people that are not generally in the business of finding excuses to have discussions with job applicants. Perhaps they didn't get a chance to drill very deeply in the first round, perhaps they realized after the interview that they wanted to ask some followup questions of a few candidates in order to narrow down the selection, perhaps they do all interviews for a particular type of position. If you ask to replace them, it's going to be a serious negative mark against you.

If your real concern is that you want to meet more people before you accept an offer, that's a potentially reasonable request to make at the point that there is an offer or that the company is talking about an offer. If at that point you haven't met with someone who you're going to be interacting with and having that meeting is important to your decision about whether to accept the offer, you can certainly make the request at that time. If you find out that you're going to be working closely with the Director of Widget Marketing and you don't meet with that person during the interview process, it's reasonable to ask to have a conversation with her before you accept the job.

  • 34
    Excellent answer btw. I remember when I got a job at a big American firm in the UK, the interview process was torturous. The number of interviews, rounds with the same people, group tasks, individual tasks, it took weeks and weeks. It turned out that there were 80 jobs with thousands of thousands of applicants. If you comment on the process or try to change it, you will be ruled out. In fact, if I was doing the hiring, I would rule you out too. If you want the job, jump the hurdles. – PaulD Oct 10 '16 at 20:24
  • Yep, jump through the hoops – Kilisi Oct 10 '16 at 22:05
  • 35
    I've done the second part of this, asking to meet with the product manager or someone in QA etc, after a successful interview that they arranged. Cast as "I'd like the opportunity to learn more" it works well. – Monica Cellio Oct 10 '16 at 23:07
32

Its not a good idea in general to request another interviewer, unless you have a really good reason.

It will likely make you seem weird or possibly high-maintenance. First impressions are probably disproportionately important in human relationships, and this one could send a signal that you can't handle adversity or situations where you aren't in control. Generally interviewers are looking at multiple applicants and so they like to weed out any candidates with any possible red flags early. A more desperate agency may not care, though.

Even if you have some really good reason to request another interviewer, though, you may run into trouble from the person you're skipping.

4

I think you should draw a distinction between requesting different interviewers and requesting additional interviewers.

You mentioned that your current interviewers are "executives" - are we talking like VP level and C level executives? Because that seems very odd. If it is the case then either your company is very small and they do all the hiring, or someone is going to groom you for a high level management position.

If on the other hand you said executive but really meant HR representative, then that's a little different.

When I'm going for an in person interview, I insist that the hiring manager be there. I insist that the person who will be responsible for my workload, performance review, and day to day management is present during the interview. The one time I deviated from this rule, I hated my entire tenure at the firm and I won't do it again.

However, I would never ask that someone -not- be there. That is definitely rude and also makes it look like you don't play well with others which is not a trait you'd like exposed in the interview process.

So if you would like to request that the hiring manager be present so he can make an evaluation, that is a reasonable request. I've made it (politely) and had it be met with warm reception. It's especially relevant when considering that you are responsible for asking them questions and making a decision too. How can you make an informed decision about whether you want to work there if you can't interact with the person who knows more about what you're going to be doing than anyone else?

Now this is strictly for an in-person interview. If this was another phone screen that wouldn't matter so much. You might get stuck with many rounds of phone interviews before you get to an in person interview and you aren't really in a position to make such a request there.

3

And what reason do you want give out for not wanting to speak with the current interviewers? "They are not the hiring manager or the hiring manager's boss"? Your rationale is not going to fly well with your prospective employer, especially if these two have been delegated the responsibility to represent the company, at least initially.

Companies are not required to disclose why they use junior personnel to interview you. Turn this personnel down at your own risk. Your risk gets greater if these two interviewers turn out to be your prospective colleagues.

  • 5
    I have edited your answer and removed the ambiguous sarcasm, and the final exaggeration (you don't have to 'rub it in' in your answers). Feel free to revert the edit. – user8036 Oct 11 '16 at 7:54
2

They presumably want the second interview to perform specific assessments to help them decide whether to make an offer to you and have chosen to have you meet with the people they think can best make those assessments. If you want to meet with other people in addition, you can certainly ask. But asking to not meet with the people they think can best assess you will make it harder for them to be confident that they want to hire you. I wouldn't suggest it.

If you want to better evaluate them, you can do it after they make an offer.

  • Not to mention how off-putting it could potentially be for the first two interviewers. Hearing that a candidate doesn't want me to interview him a second time would raise an eyebrow at the very least. – Lumberjack Oct 11 '16 at 19:43
1

Consider what you'd think if you were on the receiving end of this request. I can think of two questions that would spring to mind:

  1. Why does this person feel they know how to run our hiring process better than we do?
  2. Why is this person so keen to avoid the interviewers we have appointed?

Neither of these paints you in a very good light. Don't ask for different interviewers.

What you could do is say something like, "I'm keen to meet some other members of the team, too; will there be any opportunity to chat to [specific person or role(s)] at the interview?"

This paints you as someone who is interested, engaged with the process and wants to get to know the company better - at worst they can say "no," at best they can arrange for additional people to be present (or at least for some other communication with them).

-2

I am a bit mystified by some of these answers. I agree that it would be extremely unwise to object to an interviewer unless you had a very good reason.

However if I read the question correctly I would be very concerned to have had two interviews where neither of them included the person who would be my manager (or even their manager). This would seem very odd and would raise legitimate issues.

Hence I agree with the response by Corsika above, but the system would not allowe me to add my support by commenting there.

  • 2
    This doesn't really answer the question - he's asking whether he should ask for other interviewers, not whether he's justified in not being happy with the ones he has. – Ant P Oct 12 '16 at 10:54

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