Does the Hiring Manager Have Unreasonable Expectations?

is travelling for the interview unreasonable

You’re excited, you have been told the hiring manager wants to set you up for a face to face interview. But it turns out that the interview comes at a financial cost to you. Do you meet the demands of the interviewer or do you walk away? Here are a few interview expectations that are more common than you may realize.

Travel far for the interview
You probably did not understand you were going to have to take a road trip for the interview! Managers with larger territories may only be spending a few days in a region interviewing many candidates and, as a result may ask candidates to travel an hour or two to a central location for the interview. It can get tricky when a company wants you to take a 4-hour car ride which means you will have to plan on taking the day off from your current job. Unfortunately, this is more and more common. Some managers are actually testing you to see how flexible you are and just how badly you want the position. However, we feel anything over 5 hours is excessive. After 5 hours it is worth asking if you can book a flight. That brings us to our next point.

Pay for your own flights and hotel
What if the interview location is over a 5-hour car ride and you are going to need to take a flight and stay overnight in a hotel, but the company asked you to put it on your credit card? You’re wondering if this is typical. Many companies do not have corporate travel departments so it is normal for a hiring manager to ask you to book your own flight and hotel with the expectation you will be reimbursed even if you do not get the job. If the company is not willing to pay for a ticket it may be a red flag that the company is having financial problems and it is not the company for you. Some expenses you should plan on paying for are the cost of interviewing including parking, tolls and lunch or dinner.

Do a presentation
It is common for hiring managers to want to see a presentation, in fact we have done articles on how important 90 day sales plans are for people preparing for a sales position. It is also often expected at higher level jobs to present a business plan. This is not a bad thing, its an opportunity to shine. A presentation is great for candidates for a few reasons, it gives you insight to the company you are interviewing for, you learn who the competition is, and through your preparation you should discover any negatives to the role and company. So sharpen those pencils and get that presentation completed.

Bring corporate materials or competitor information
Candidates interviewing for a position should always do their homework and come prepared knowing the competitors’ products and services. However, what if the hiring manager asks you for a list of contacts and other corporate information from your current company? This is where it may be crossing the line. Candidates should always be loyal first to their current company who is paying their salary. It is not right to give proprietary information or competitors’ lists on an interview.

Very early morning, very late or weekend interview
With a hiring manager’s busy schedule job seekers may be asked to interview early in the morning, late in the evening and even weekends. Is this typical or something to be wary of? The answer is it depends. Hard workers should be up and about and often commute to work as early at 6:30, so it seems it could be a time to interview, if it is the only slot available. The same is true for late evening and weekend interviews. Agreeing to interview during off work hours shows you are flexible, hardworking and really want the job.

When you are actively searching for a job many tasks may be asked of you. Your willingness to comply often determines your interest in the position in the eyes of the hiring manager. So be flexible. If the hiring manager is expecting something of you that does not feel right about you need to weigh your options on how much you want the position vs what the interviewer is requesting. Maybe you don’t want to be with a company that makes you uncomfortable right from the start.

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