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I had an interview from the recruiter agency last week which I think went fairly well and even proceeded to sending my CV to her client. Then the recruiter sent me an e-mail yesterday saying that their client would like to invite me to have a Skype interview tomorrow morning. The next step might be the employer will meet me.

By the way I'm currently not employed.

My problem is:

  • On the questionnaire, I answered "immediately" to the "Period of joining" question. However, a family emergency happened to my mom over weekend concerning to her health (more on the spine area, which needs treatment immediately) and we need to fly back home this week for around 2-3 weeks to our home country to seek treatment and fly back again here. She's having difficulty in walking so I have to accompany her.

My question:

  • I know I'm still only in the early part of hiring process; but how should I properly break the news that I'll be flying home for around 2 weeks? Should I mention it right away to the recruiter before the interview for her client? Or mention it to the employer right away? Or just wait for the job offer first and mention my availability of first day of work?
  • Are you applying for a type of job where people are typically hired immediately? And I take it you are currently not employed if you would have been immediately available (i.e. without a notice period)? – Lilienthal Feb 13 '17 at 9:47
  • Thanks for asking - yes I'm currently not employed and would have been immediately available. Well, the situation in that company is I have to replace the existing employee; however, I haven't asked when will be the last day. – user62618 Feb 13 '17 at 10:17
  • The reason I asked is that it's uncommon in most jobs for the interview process to be done in a matter of days and even concluding it in weeks is rare. With most applications you could send in an application and a 2 week gap between contacts (i.e. interviews) wouldn't be much of a problem. The fact that they have a recruiter indicates a longer process. The exception is if it's time-sensitive, which they normally tell you. So did you get the sense that they want to hire ASAP? – Lilienthal Feb 13 '17 at 10:46
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    Well as far as I can remember, the recruiter told me that they need the candidate to be hired as soon as possible. – user62618 Feb 13 '17 at 11:19
  • Mentioning it will surely mean your elimination from the process, right? – Strawberry Feb 13 '17 at 17:56
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I know I'm still only in the early part of hiring process; but how should I properly break the news that I'll be flying home for around 2 weeks? Should I mention it right away to the recruiter before the interview for her client? Or mention it to the employer right away? Or just wait for the job offer first and mention my availability of first day of work?

Both, but to the recruiter first. It's entirely possible that the recruiter will drop you from consideration for the position(s) upon hearing this, however.

Ideally, they'd both be understanding and willing to wait a little for you. If that actually happens depends on how valueable your skills are, and if the company can wait.

If it's a low level position or one that isn't overly in demand, don't be surprised if they just drop you and go with another candidate instead.

  • This will be an Account Manager position. So it's more ethical to break the news to the recruiter first before interviewing with her client instead of waiting for the actual job offer? – user62618 Feb 13 '17 at 11:13
  • @user62618 Depends on whose priorities you see. If you break it to the recruiter first, they might go with another candidate for that position and get another for you. If you don't say, the new company might rescind the offer and the recruiter will be annoyed you wasted so much of their time for now no comission. – Magisch Feb 13 '17 at 11:38
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The professional way would be to inform both recruiter and employer as early as possible. In a way it might be your chance to show yourself as a responsible person. Smart people understand that emergency happen but the way how you handle it can actually show something about yourself. Of course there is always a risk, but if you just ignore them or tell at the very last moment it's almost a sure failure, IMHO.

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