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I got a message yesterday from a recruiter on LinkedIn, making an initial pitch for some development positions in my area. They're asking if I'm interested in having a call to chat about it.

I am interested, but I'm going to be on holiday outside the country all of next week, so I simply can't do this at the moment. Should I mention that I will be unable to take any calls for about two weeks, and ask them to send me an email instead?

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    What makes you so uncertain about your course of action that you felt the need to ask for advice? Because this seems like a really straight-forward question / answer. – Erik Sep 20 '17 at 18:04
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    @Erik I have Asperger's - I tend to overthink this sort of thing a lot. – Philip Rowlands Sep 20 '17 at 18:05
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    @PhilipRowlands Also, feel free to head into the chat room for quick questions. Some of us hang out there all day and one of our regulars actually has Asperger's as well. – Chris E Sep 20 '17 at 18:06
  • For the record, it drives me a bit crazy that recruiters insist on a phone call. Most engineers would prefer not to talk to people. – Pete B. Sep 21 '17 at 14:07
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Should I mention that I will be unable to take any calls for about two weeks, and ask them to send me an email instead?

Yes you should

I am interested, but I'm going to be on holiday outside the country all of next week, so I simply can't do this at the moment.

That's what you should put in your email. They'll be glad to have actually gotten a response and unless the window for the position closes, they'll be hapy to wait.

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    Good answer. I'll probably accept this, but I'm going to leave it for 24 hours to see if any others come up. – Philip Rowlands Sep 20 '17 at 18:08
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Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.*

Let's think through this question logically from start to finish. Basically, you have three options:

  1. Tell them you're not interested / unable to take the job
  2. Tell them you are interested and not mention that you'll be unavailable
  3. Tell them you are interested but will be unavailable.

If you go for option one, the best-case scenario is you don't get the job. The worst-case scenario is... you don't get the job. Simply put: Go with option 1, and you don't get the job.

If you go for option two, the best-case scenario is that either that they don't try to get hold of you until after your vacation, or that they keep trying to get hold of you and finally do after your vacation. Being unavailable without notice, however, still isn't a nice start to an interview. The worst-case scenario is that you are viewed as undependable and the job is given to someone else.

If you go for option three, the best-case scenario is that they're fine with that and call you back after your vacation. The worst-case scenario is that they tell you they need to be able to contact applicants within the next week or two, and you lose the job.

Notice that there is no disadvantage of going with option 3 over option 2. If they are unable to take applicants who are unavailable in the following week or two, you will lose it either way.


My recommendation: Let them know that you are interested, but that you will be unavailable for a week or two. Give them a specific date that you will be available from: it makes it easier for them to put it on their schedules.

1. https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/t/thomasjeff101007.html

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