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I'm a student studying Computer Science. My university has an online job website where faculty and professors post job interviews for full time students to apply to (work-study positions). A bunch of jobs are shown, students upload resumes and apply with cover letters. I applied to a bunch on the deadline (two days ago), with just my resume. I did a brief reading of the job postings and applied to whatever I found was interesting (didn't have to be CS related).

I got an email today with the title "My first name last name - Invitation for an Interview". The body of the email mentioned that he would like to invite me for an interview (today or tomorrow), if I'm still interested, if yes, then to come to the address mentioned below and to ask for him or another lady. I was also told I can call him directly at the number below. He mentioned that he will be at the office 8:30am - 6pm. The email ends with his signature which includes the office location, his number and a couple other numbers (client care number, customer feedback number etc.).

I should've posted this earlier but I replied saying "thanks for the quick reply, I applied to multiple jobs through my universities career website and they took down the job postings recently. Is it possible if you can send me the job description for the job we are talking about? It will be greatly appreciated. Thanks."

My friend said this is making me look bad (as if I applied to random jobs without reading them).

  1. What should I have done in this position?

  2. What should I do now? I got the email 2pm, responded 2:50pm, and no response yet (5pm). I read his email again and I'm starting to think he isn't expecting an email response, let alone one which asks him to look up the job posting again (he only mentioned to come to the location below if I'm interested and to ask for him, or to call him directly).

I failed to save the information which has been taken off of the university career network website and have no way of determining what this job posting is. I saved the first 50 I applied to but I then saw a "my applications" section in the website which had all the job postings I applied to, so I thought they would be there after the deadline. Turns out they aren't. My mistake for sure, and I doubt the hiring manager knows the website 'either. Also, the company is the university (all jobs are for the university), just the department, professors, job postings are all different.

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    @JoeStrazzere Is he though? It's an understandable mistake given the context but a simple "what job was this for again?" will look bad to a hiring manager. It would be better to change the phrasing to something like "I wanted to prepare for the interview by going through the job description again but that's been taken offline, could you share it?" to avoid making it clear you have no real clue what position you applied for. – Lilienthal Sep 26 '17 at 23:33
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    You can try to ask the question in a different way, making you look keen rather than lost, e.g. "Thank you for the invitation to interview. Are there any further details on the position or is there other information that would help me to prepare ahead of the interview?" – JonathanS Sep 27 '17 at 9:58
  • "The email ends with his signature which includes ... his number" - You should call this individual, explain the situation, don't email the person. – Donald Sep 27 '17 at 18:13
  • @JonathanS that could backfire. What if the answer is "no, it's all in the job description."? Best to be more direct. – CodeSeeker Sep 28 '17 at 17:46
  • True @CodeSeeker, but the outcome in that case is that you are no worse off than you were to being with, rather than having given a bad impression :-) – JonathanS Sep 28 '17 at 19:27
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I think you're overreacting, though it's kind of an awkward situation.

What should I have done in this position?

What you should have done was save the job descriptions to the jobs you apply to somewhere so you have access to them. Be aware that sometimes this will happen in the future, too, with fulltime jobs, where a job posting is taken down publicly after interviews are scheduled.

Or, if you applied to so many that you literally cannot keep track, either apply to less or make a system to keep track of which you have applied to.

What should I do now? I got the email 2pm, responded 2:50pm, and no response yet (5pm). I read his email again and I'm starting to think he isn't expecting an email response, let alone one which asks him to look up the job posting again (he only mentioned to come to the location below if I'm interested and to ask for him, or to call him directly).

First, make sure you look the interviewer up online to get a feel for what department they likely work within so you can figure out a rough area. This might help you remember.

Second, you can just call the person who emailed you sometime tomorrow before showing up. It sounds like the email basically said to do that so I'd just do so.

Assuming you can't get any of this, I would go regardless. A few reasons:

  • When you are in university, it's beneficial to get practice interviewing anyways
  • The interview process is probably way less formalized than you are expecting
  • Not showing up to the interview if you end up wanting it is far worse than any alternate situation

My guess is that as clunky as the site is for you to use it's even worse for anyone trying to hire on it, you might even be able to build some rapport over this, too!

A lot of people (academics too) end up swamped in email. You might end up with a response late at night, never get one, get one in two weeks... you just never know.

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As a student (assuming you are not returning after 30 years) you get some leeway. You were up front about the situation. And since this is an internal university site, I'm guessing you aren't the first in they've seen in this situation - you guys are learning. Also, consider the formality of the situation - he said to drop by during an 11 hour window. It's a two way street - will he even know who you are, or did he tell 30 people to "drop by".

@enderland has good advice. I would add that when you do your research, look at all of the postings for the department. The one you saw may be gone, but a similar one might be there. It could remind you what the original one looked like.

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