Back in August, I posed the question: How late is too late for a job candidate to arrive for an interview? It generated interesting comments from interviewers on how much lateness they'll tolerate and why, and from job seekers with thoughts of their own.
Yesterday, a reader named bawigga contributed this comment:
To flip the tables a bit, as we speak I'm waiting for my third round interview call with a company. Every call I've had with this company is late. The first was a no call/no message. The HR rep said they got busy and rescheduled for the next day. That time they called on time. The second round was half an hour late calling due to timezone differences. Now I'm on the third round call and they are exactly 1 hour past call time. The HR rep is in EST, interviewers are in MST and I'm in CST. This is a very reputable company in my industry, but this is starting to throw up some red flags for me.
Part of me wants to think that these are busy people who have to take time out of their busy schedules to interview potential candidates, but at the same time, this could be a reflection of how meetings and punctuality is all the time at this place.
I'm a big believer that the way you're treated during the interview process tells you something about how you'll be treated as an employee. Maybe this isn't intentional rudeness, but then it's incompetence/disorganization. It doesn't bode well.
On the other hand, it's possible the problems are confined to HR and wouldn't impact you much working in some other department if you got the job. But I'm pretty skeptical that a great culture would produce this.
So what do you do in this situation (assuming you have some options and aren't desperate, which is going to have to become my standard disclaimer in this market)? Part of me thinks the answer is to go through the process with them, patiently putting up with this, and if you get the offer, you can address it then as you think about whether to accept or not. Why not say, in a conversation about the offer, something like: "I always think you can learn a lot about a company's culture by their hiring process. I noticed that scheduled calls with me during this process were nearly always significantly late, and sometimes didn't come at all. Mistakes happen, of course, but how common is this kind of thing in your culture?"
It'd require a certain ballsiness and a willingness to irk them, but I'd love to see the results ... especially if a lot of candidates starting calling employers on behavior like this, once they got to the offer stage.