Interview and Practices

Jordan, MN

#1 Apr 7, 2013
I applied for an education job in Nov. 2012. It is a great administrative positive, but it has taken the school district until March 2013 to select a group of applicants to interview. I received an invitation to interview (after waiting anxiously for four months); however, there were two things that I believe are unfair. 1. The email indicated that interviews were the NEXT day;
2. I live 1200 miles away and could not make it the next day.

I called the same day and spoke to the assistant who was scheduling interviews. She said that she would pass the message on. I did not hear back within three days, so I emailed the assistant. She said that she would pass the message on, and if the committee was still interested that they would contact me. It has been over a week, and I have not received any communication.

Here is my question, can this employer decide not to interview me because I could not make their initial interview? This position is a HUGE promotion and opportunity. My experience and skills match what the employer advertised, plus I have additional skills that would make me more marketable.

Something does not seem quite right that I was not provided an interview after being selected. I offered webcam and telephone options AND my address was listed on my resume, cover letter, and application, so they are well aware that traveling 1200 miles within 20 hours would be difficult (I think flights were $1400 round trip). Thoughts?

Talisay, Philippines

#2 Apr 7, 2013
Maybe the employer has a first-come first-served procedure? In my opinion, sometimes because there is a high volume of applicants the HR team would not be able to accommodate you or get back to you quickly. In these situations it is always best to have a back up plan or other list of employers you can submit your application to while waiting.

Yorkville, NY

#3 Apr 16, 2013
I suspect the issue was more the 1,200 miles... they may have had a sufficient pool of local candidates. I agree that the short-notice was not a professional approach - I suspect that someone dropped the ball on notifications (probably the same assistant you spoke to)but, in answer to your question, can they change their minds? Yes... until you confirm your appointment in some fashion, they can withdraw the interview. Is it fair, not necessarily, but they have no legal obligation to interview you just because they made an offer to.

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La Verne, CA

#4 May 1, 2013
I am currently a student in an HR class and this posting thread caught my attention. I believe HRJohn is correct in saying that they have no legal obligation to give you the interview and that they may have had candidates who were more accessible in terms of distance while someone dropped the ball on notifying applicants. The best actions one can take as a job seeker (whether employed or not) is to have several options open. To rely on a single option or even a single inflexible strategy is not realistic if you are trying to achieve a goal.

As an individual who has seen some hiring processes and partially involved, distance may or may not have been a primary issue. Their main idea behind interviewing is simple: the candidates that are chosen for the interview are qualified enough and with a large pool of applicants it doesn't necessarily matter if they lose a few candidates as long as the pool of people at the first interview is large enough to pick from, especially if there are favored individuals who show up.

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