posted Fri, 29 Sep 2006
I had a phone interview this week for a position that exists. A job that this company (let’s call them Aardvark Co) is trying to fill. This wasn’t an informational interview. I have already spoken to the internal recruiter and he likes me. The interview was with the hiring manager for the job.
After we’d spoken for thirty minutes (we started at the ridiculous hour of 9:00 a.m., which meant I had to go to 6:45 boot camp, which meant getting up at 6:00 a.m. – ugh – I have descended into sloth since becoming unemployed and now usually sleep until 7:00), Aardvark Hiring Manager said he would like to talk to me some more and have me meet some of the management team. When would I be in, oh, let’s call it Boise, again, he asked. (You guys know it’s not really Boise, but just in case he stumbles on this blog, the odds of which are horribly low but you never know.)
As long as they don’t speak French to me, I’ll be able to hold out.
I was confused. If he wants a face to face interview, isn’t Aardvark supposed to fly me to Boise?
I sent emails to my former boss, a seasoned marketer who has changed jobs several times, and my friend Lenore, who has a master’s degree in industrial relations and used to be an HR director at Kraft where she did labor negotiations. If I couldn’t get help from those two experts, there was none to be had.
They both advised me that Aardvark should pay to bring me to Boise. You know – if they are serious about me.
Great. Aardvark is actually a profitable, growing company. Of all the prospects where I have interviews, this is probably the best place to work. (Except I don’t want to live in Boise, of course.) But from the perspective of working for a company that has a niche product, has good R&D, makes money – all that stuff you look for when you invest in stocks – this is the only one that has these qualities. Maybe they make money because they don’t spend any cash on recruiting. Hmm.
So now I am in a quandary. I might be in Boise at the end of next month. But I don’t think I should tell Aardvark that. If they don’t value me enough to fly me up for additional interviews, then maybe I’m not interested. I am going to have to play hard to get. Unfortunately, I have never been very good at that game.