The Hiring Process - slightly OT

jockewingJuly 28, 2011

I hope someone can reassure me that I might still have a chance for this job! I have had 2 interviews with a very well respected company for a job that I really really want. I work as an accountant/auditor and had been working for a bank when it was acquired and my job eliminated. I was driving an hour each way through traffic to get to this job. When it became apparent that my job might be coming to an end, I started putting out resumes and filling out applications.

I found the posting for this job and was immediately intrigued. It is for a very well respected company and most importantly, is located only 5 minutes from my house! No more two hours a day in the car! Two months or more passed between the time when I applied and they finally called me for an interview. Honestly I had pretty much given up hope on the job at that point and was quite suprised when they called.

I did well at the interview and spoke with the person that would be my immediate supervisor and another manager. About two weeks later, I was again called for a second interview to meet with the VP of the finance division. The interview went great and I was given the distinct impression that I had the job. It did not seem like they were considering any other candidates, and the VP was talking as if I already had the job, saying things like "when you are here please feel free to come talk to me at any time", "once you are in the position, don't be afraid to express interest in other areas if something looks like a good fit for you", etc. It was totally a "when you are here" instead of "if you are here". She said she needed to meet with her boss to get all the red tape completed and hoped to see him later that day and stated she'd be sure to get back to me by the end of that week.

The interview was on Monday (July 11) and the end of the week came with no news. I finally e-mailed her at the end of the following week, and she responded that her boss had been out on vacation the whole week and he was supposed to return on the Monday (July 25) that just passed. She stated she would be able to "close the loop" then. Well now it is Thursday and still nothing. As of the Monday coming up (August 2), it will be three weeks since the 2nd interview.

Do companies really take this long to make a decision? In my case I got the very distinct impression that they had already chosen me and the paperwork and red tape just needed to be completed. The lady I met in the 2nd interview implied that the only reason I was meeting with her is because her boss wanted to be assured that I was the right choice. It seemed like she was going to hire me based on the recommendation of the people I met in the first interview. It seemed like the 2nd interview was like a "final approval" meeting rather than a true interview. We were having a great discussion and our meeting went well past the alloted hour. But as each day passes I am getting more and more concerned. What is taking so long? This company does alot of contract work for the government and the lady indicated they were in the middle of trying to put together proposals on 5 different contracts. She stated she and her boss have been working 7 days a week the past several months in order to get the proposals completed. Is it possible they are just too busy and I am not the top priority? If they had decided they don't want me, wouldn't they have just told me by now? People keep telling me just to hang in there. A former co-worker of mine has a brother in law that works at this company. She told me that he had inquired about me and was told that they were planning on making me an offer, but that still hasnt happened!

I have the financial means to survive without a job for a while, but I really am getting bored sitting at home and I can't really enjoy my time off because this is hanging over my head. My main concern is the health insurance, and I was hoping to avoid having to pay COBRA premiums. The biggest issue is this is probably the only company close to my house that pays enough. If this doesn't work out, I will be forced to start looking at those jobs that would force me to drive an hour each way again. It seems like this job is just tailor made to fit my life perfectly and it would kill me if it doesn't happen!

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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana

My take on things is that they are just quite busy, especially considering 'her boss' had been out of the office on vacation. I'm guessing that they probably think you should 'know' that you have the job, though they have not gotten the red tape completed, thus they are not concerned with getting back with you right away.

I can certainly understand how you must feel though, waiting, and waiting, and it being the 'perfect' job and location and all.

If you don't hear anything, I think I would contact them either this Mon or Tues. Good Luck! I feel certain that you still have a very good chance of getting the job. Hang in there...good things come to those who wait.


    Bookmark   July 28, 2011 at 4:13PM
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Having been on the hiring end of many many hiring situations, I can tell you that it always takes longer than I think it's going to. It's a combination of juggling lots of other things (it's a higher priority to you than it is to them), waiting for other people to process paperwork or approve, being out of the office, etc. In fact, about a month ago we tested/interviewed several welders for an opening and I told them I'd be deciding the following week. But then a big order that I was anticipating "any day" got pushed out a couple months, so our immediate need for another welder subsided. In my mind, I still have "hired" the guy as soon as the order lands, even though I haven't yet talked to him. And he's probably sitting home bummed that he didn't get the job.

Guess I need to make a phone call. :-)

If I were you, I'd send another note to your future supervisor and say "I just wanted to let you know I am still very interested in the position. XX sounds like a great company (fill in some specifics about what appeals to you about the company) and I'm really excited about (fill in some specifics about the job). I hope to hear from you soon."

    Bookmark   July 28, 2011 at 5:18PM
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Don't put a hold on your job search. I have had several of this type of interviews. At one company, where a friend worked, I went through the hoops for months only to be finally told by my friend that the postion was filled shortly after the first interview. The company later offered a job at a much lower salary but the same title.

I hope this is not happening to you.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2011 at 5:56PM
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The work involved to put together a proposal for government contract is incredible. Communications among customers, sub contractors, suppliers are constantly updated. Estimates from contract, legal, engineering, R & D, manufacturing, suppliers management, quality, IT, marketing, sales, data management, publications… etc. are provided, reviewed and revised.

There are many moving parts that are changing all the time, usually one change impacts other associated areas and cause more changes. Every detail of the entire proposal needs to examine, revise, verify and confirm; it has to be fully traceable and error free. Finance people are frequently asked to re-run the numbers.

99% of the time, supporting proposal is work on top of regular duty. Proposal comes with extremely tight schedule and high pressure, everyone on the team is tired and tense.

We just had a very simple proposal, the finance person had to work weekends and nights. For large size proposal, such as above 50 millions, working 7 days for weeks are not uncommon. If they are working on five proposals, they are beyond busy.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2011 at 8:40AM
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This is the EXACT same scenario for my husband. Right down to the drive times. Makes me think it might be the same company!

He's had 1 face to face and 3 phone interviews so far. They would now like him to go in for another face to face early next week. It's been 3 weeks since the first phone interview. The stress of not knowing is unbelievable.

jockewing, I think you will be hired shortly. May I ask what state you are in?

    Bookmark   July 29, 2011 at 10:01AM
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I am in Louisiana. It's midday Friday and still nothing! I am really getting annoyed!

    Bookmark   July 29, 2011 at 12:43PM
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I had 2 rounds of interviews that went very well. On Wed at 2pm, 10 days ago, the HR person told me via phone that I would be getting a job offer the following day. At 8:05 am the next morning, the HR person called and told me that an internal candidate had surfaced late the prior day and they were going to interview this person.

This candidate got the job.

Don't quit looking. Until you have an offer in hand, you don't have the job. In the meantime, contact them again and offer to answer any further questions, provide info they are missing, etc.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2011 at 10:19PM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana

Any word yet, or have you called? I'd love to hear and know that you got it.

In the event you don't happen to get it, I'm sure it just wasn't meant to be and that things have a way of working themselves out.


    Bookmark   August 1, 2011 at 6:48PM
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It is not unusual for companies to take a month or so to get the final paperwork and approvals, especially if people are traveling and on vacation. they have stacks of stuff to go through when they get back.

And in the meantime, keep looking ...

    Bookmark   August 2, 2011 at 1:43PM
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Well, I still haven't heard anything! I would think by this time if they were going to use someone else they would have told me. As far as I know there are no other candidates. From what I understand, they originally filled this position months ago with an internal candidate and it didn't work out, so I don't think they would go that route again, so who knows.

I am going to send an email to the HR person again tonight and see what they say.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2011 at 8:27PM
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The other thing I noticed is during one of your interviews you spent a bit too much time chit-chatting. this might count against you. Keep the interview short, brief and friendly, but not too much. Maybe, just maybe the person doing the interviewing feels this is the way you would be if they hired you, but maybe has not discussed it with their boss. I would start looking for another position, but make a phone call stating that you are still available and will keep in contact--or something to that effect.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2011 at 9:43PM
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I disagree.

I can always tell if I am going to get an offer or not.

Whenever the interview was short, I know it's not going to happen.

The last one was over an hour. We talked about all kinds of stuff including both our hobbies, families etc. That was a Friday afternoon, and Monday morning I got an email letting me know a formal offer was coming, which came on Wednesday.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2011 at 8:20AM
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"The other thing I noticed is during one of your interviews you spent a bit too much time chit-chatting. this might count against you."

Not really, especially if the chit-chatting was initiated by the interviewer.

It is always a good idea to continue the job searching; you may get more than one offer that would give you more choices, and help you in negotiating the compensation package.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2011 at 9:28AM
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Well most of the chatting in the meeting was initiated by the interviewer, and the bulk of it was her explaining in detail the types of products built by the company and how things worked at the company--the type of stuff you would spend the time telling someone who would be working there. If she wasn't interested, I don't think she'd waste her time going into detail on how the accounting process works at the company.

I sent an email to the HR person I have been communicating with last night and have heard nothing today. I am getting so frustrated.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2011 at 4:49PM
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Stay patient. It's been 21 years since I was in your situation, but I have been in on the hiring process in our firm and these things take time. It might be that the government work is causing some concern regarding whether it will be affected by this fiscal morass. Long interviews are good and chit chat plays a role. Most companies or firms want to be sure you are a good fit with their own corporate culture.

Even if you don't get it now, thank each interviewee and let them know that you are impressed by the company. Then ask them to let you know when the have another opening that would be a good fit for you. My daughter did that a couple of years ago. When she didn't get the first job she applied for, she thanked all involved and asked them to keep her in mind. Three weeks later she got the call and eventually got another job in a different area but at the same level. However this job was a better fit for her training and experience. Now the serendipity -- six months into her new job her immediate boss resigned and because this job was such a good fit for her she ended up with his job and more than doubled her salary. That wouldn't have happened had she gotten the first job.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2011 at 9:12PM
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Guess what, I got an email from the head of HR today asking if I was still interested as I should be getting a call next week with an offer! It took long enough, but I'm not complaining!

    Bookmark   August 5, 2011 at 7:36PM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana


    Bookmark   August 5, 2011 at 10:02PM
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Congratulations! I hope the offer is what you wanted.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2011 at 7:19PM
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Well I got the call and an e-mail this morning with the offer, including the salary. The salary is about $6,000 a year more than I was making, and considering the gas I'll be saving, it's more like $12,000 more than I was making. It could have been better, but I'm happy with it. Of course it said it was contingent on background check, drug test, etc.

One thing it included was a "post-offer physical". Why would I need to have a physical for an office job as an accountant? I have never had anything like that for any job I've ever had. What is that all about? I hate doctors and don't want to have to do that.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2011 at 12:47PM
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I know how stressful not knowing can be. Good luck in your new position.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2011 at 12:49PM
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Post offer is being used to weed out people with long term health problems by some companies. Other companies it is a polite way to say give us a urine sample.

Hopefully you are in excellent health because some companies have policies that healthy people pay less for health insurance.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2011 at 6:59PM
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Well I was reading about the post-offer stuff and from what I saw it was more about making sure you are physically able to perform the physical requirements of the job (sitting in a desk?), and that some companies make all applicants do it. I really think that is discrimination and an invasion of privacy that you now have to be totally healthy, no bad credit, no past record, etc. to get a job. Good god one mistake in this country and you are screwed with all the computer records!

    Bookmark   August 9, 2011 at 7:42PM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana

One thing it included was a "post-offer physical". Why would I need to have a physical for an office job as an accountant?
The first thing I thought of was that they maybe would not want to hire someone with chronic back problems, who could not sit for long periods of time. I'm sure they don't want to fill the position with someone who will be missing work due to back problems, or who might end up on disability with a bad back, and it being work related.

Other companies it is a polite way to say give us a urine sample.
I agree.

I really think that is discrimination and an invasion of privacy that you now have to be totally healthy, no bad credit, no past record, etc. to get a job. Good god one mistake in this country and you are screwed with all the computer records!
I imagine that a good percentage of people have something on their records that might not look the best to an employer. All other things being equal though, I imagine someone who is a cancer survivor would be a better choice than someone who maybe fails a urine test, or who suffers from severe migraines or something like that. Know what I mean?

    Bookmark   August 10, 2011 at 10:04AM
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Well I asked for some clarification about what the physical entailed and she stated it was mostly a vision/hearing test and filling out paperwork. That sounds a little better. I don't have any huge health problems excpet maybe being overweight and having high blood pressure, so I guess I shouldn't worry. I just HATE going to the doctor!

This company offers 12 days of vacation the first 5 years and 15 days thereafter. I am not an entry level employee anymore and in both of my previous jobs I was on the verge of hitting the 5 year mark. I would like to ask to start with 3 weeks or to maybe reduce the time served requirement from 5 years to 1 year. I am really only asking for 3 more days. How should I go about this? Just straight out ask?

    Bookmark   August 10, 2011 at 2:04PM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana

I am really only asking for 3 more days. How should I go about this? Just straight out ask?
I, for one, would not even consider mentioning it.

Do you really need the whole 15 days, ie you go away on vacation for 3 whole weeks either together, or at different times. In this day, I'd just consider myself very lucky to be hired, and have a nice wage and that much vacation time. I would not rock the cradle or push it, as you could come across as wanting and expecting too much of them right from the start.

Possibly after you have been there a good while, and they have come to love you and the work you do, you 'might' then think about approaching the appropriate person.

I 'could be wrong' though, since they made you an offer, and all. for thought.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2011 at 4:31PM
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If you're going to ask, I think you need to ask before you accept the offer and start work. I'd phrase it as a "Would it be possible to get the 15 days because of all my prior experience" (rather than making any kind of demand). Then if they say no or hesitate, I like your idea of your only having to wait a year to get the 15 days - it's a nice compromise.

They might be willing to do it or not, but once you're already working there I think it's too late to ask. If they change the rules for an existing employee, every other employee will want additional days. When you're not on the payroll yet, they may have more flexibility to make it part of your offer.


    Bookmark   August 10, 2011 at 8:19PM
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I don't think I would rock the boat. I'd be happy I was getting the job I wanted and be grateful for the 12 days.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2011 at 5:37AM
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I hate to say it, but you're already questioning their policies on the physical, and now you want extra vacation time?

Were I hiring, I would seriously be questioning my decision about now. You're in danger of coming off as too high maintenance to be worth the trouble.

There are plenty of other people out of work...

    Bookmark   August 11, 2011 at 2:33PM
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Your words: "It seems like this job is just tailor made to fit my life perfectly and it would kill me if it doesn't happen!"

Since the job is contingent on the physical, you do NOT have the job yet. I would suggest waiting until you pass the physical and have an official job offer, then contact them to ask (the way silvercomet said) before you officially accept the job offer. Right now, all you have is a tentative offer. Too soon to be rocking the boat.

The way you keep saying you hate doctors, it makes me wonder if your health is good enough to pass the physical. That may be something you want to work on. Companies these days can afford to be "fussy."

Good luck!

    Bookmark   August 14, 2011 at 3:48PM
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No, I am not a high maintenance person.

People negotiate for more salary and vacation time all the time. My old boss practically insisted I do it! I pretty much thought that was the norm for all professional type jobs. Anyway, I was only asking for a total of 3 additional days of vacation. I did ask but they said no. I said well it was worth a try at least!

Anyway I did pass all the background, drug, physical, etc. and got the final offer letter and will start on Monday. I have never had a job where I was required to have a physical, especially in a professional office job. I could understand if I was going to be lifting things, etc. I just feel like it's an invasion of privacy for them to be inquiring about my physical health. I really feel sorry for the people that actually DO have health issues. How are they supposed to get jobs if these companies are now going to weed them out because having diabetes or something is "too high maintenance"!!

I didn't necessarily agree with everything in the Obamacare thing, but I DO agree with not punishing people for having pre-existing conditions.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2011 at 7:14PM
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The current job market is not at all like the previous job market when negotiating was common. So don't fall intot he trap of thinking that things don't change.... they do, and there are a lot more well-qualified applicants for every position, in fact many applicants are over-qualified.

The world has changed, and you must keep up with what's happening.

That said, I'm so glad to hear that you got the job. Congratulations.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2011 at 11:47PM
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Actually, requiring a physical exam, especially for upper mgmt positions, is becoming more common. It isn't unknown for people to hide potentially life-threatening physical disabilities from employers.

Especially as insurers push employers to move to segregated employee healthcare groups, where high-risk employees will pay more for services than low-risk employees, this will become the norm....unless Americans begin to understand that the current patchwork of US healthcare services is actually very inefficient and full of hidden costs.

Eventually an insurer is going to step up to the line and insist upon DNA testing. That way they can identify hidden genetic illnesses or predispositions for such, for which you'll be rated unless you score extremely high on a 'lifestyle' test.

Insurers are in business to make a profit. The smaller the pool of policies, the harder it is to make money because high-risk costs are shared by fewer people. Make the pool larger, and the actuarial risks improve to allow lower premiums because the risk is shared with many more consumers.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2011 at 12:58PM
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Well then how are people with "bad" DNA ever going to get a job?

Are the people with physical disabilities just supposed to wither up and die? They need jobs more than anyone!

    Bookmark   August 27, 2011 at 11:59PM
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Another reason that employers perform pre-employment physicals is to establish a baseline of health/medical conditions that can then be used later if an employee claims a work-related illness or injury (hearing loss is one such that my former employer used to measure). And to find out about conditions that exist so they can make sure that the work environment will not exacerbate those conditions.

It's not always about sinister, big-brother stuff.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2011 at 9:59PM
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I heard you say that you preferred a 5-minute drive to an hour in the car, didn't I?

And that if this potential employer didn't work out, that there was a good possibility/high probability that the hour's worth of cooling your heels in a car would become the norm, once again, no?

Some are figuring that tougher economic times may well be in the works, rather than the "green shoots" that they've been talking about ... were talking about, a few months ago.

If they were working on five government contracts a couple of months ago ... possibly one or more of them may be on hold, by now?

Quite a few folks are chewing their fingernails, these days, wondering whether their positions are somewhat secure, aren't they?

ole joyful

    Bookmark   September 9, 2011 at 12:03AM
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