A reader writes:
I had an interesting experience with a company a few weeks ago that I felt handled the job interviewing process a bit sloppily, something a lot friends who are also unemployed and interviewing are noticing these days.
The interview with the hiring manager went well. In fact, the following day I got a voicemail from HR recruiter asking for references. I knew that that the manager wanted to make a decision quickly (recruiter told me), but I was kind of surprised that there were no additional rounds of interviews, since the team consisted of 10+ people.
This is kind of a red flag for me since I’d like to know more about my future peers and the company culture. Also on their end, is the hiring decision based on one person only?
In addition, based on a couple of incidences, I knew the HR person was either lazy or extremely busy. But she emailed me the job offer later that week. No phone call that one was even being extended to me! It was a day or two before I realized it was sitting in my inbox. I should note that email was our main way of communicating prior to this.
Is this the norm for companies these days -- just email the job offer? I believe a verbal conversation or voice mail that one is coming is still a MUST. As a candidate, you want to hear the enthusiasm and sales pitch of a job offer.
What are your thoughts on my scenario? Should I hold this against the company?
An emailed job offer is a bad idea for a lot of reasons -- you have no way of knowing the email was received, for one thing. And you want to hear the candidate's reaction and get a sense of where they're at with it. And you want to take that opportunity to express your enthusiasm for them. It's an odd choice.
But is it a red flag? I'm not sure; it could just indicate an inexperienced or lazy HR rep, or an incredibly email-centric company. What do others think?
On the issue of there not being additional rounds of interviews and the decision being made just by one person: No, that's not strange (assuming your one lone interview wasn't just 15 minutes or something). Lots of employers do it that way. But if you feel you don't have enough information to make a decision on the offer, now's the time to ask your questions. Ask about the culture and anything else you're wondering about. And if you really want to, you can certainly ask if you can meet or talk with some of the others you'd be working with. If the company balks at that, that's the red flag.
Oh, and by the way -- call the hiring manager to talk over the offer, not the HR rep. You're clearly not getting a great feeling from the HR rep, and the hiring manager's the one you're going to be working with anyway. Good luck!