Phone interview on vacation...sounds good but please read.
July 20, 2012 1:55 PM   Subscribe

First of all, let me say I am thankful for getting a phone interview on and apologies for the ramble and poor writing style here. Please bear with me here for a bit. I had a job interview in a city I had hoped to move back to two weeks ago, and didn't get it. Like most others applicants, I prepared very well and studied, talked to myself, etc. so, it is what it is. I desire to get back to this place where my wife's family and my friends are and where I have lived for 15 years (Indianapolis). I've been extremely stressed out, have anxiety problems but have meds to help.

SO, my vacation started today (10 days) and I will be camping for most of them -- my loving wife's intervention in getting me to calm the hell down. I just got an email from another place in Denver wanting a phone interview 3 days into camp (next Wednesday). The problem: I get so utterly ratcheted and consumed in preparing that I wear myself down badly, get emotionally and physically sick, even....yet I seem to give a good interview as I have always been okay when under the gun. The camp does not get phone reception so I will be driving to a parking lot somewhere and doing the interview in my car, hypothetically. THE QUESTION: What would you do? Would you take a pass on this given my information (I know I am not giving you a lot to go on)? The pay is not any better (when adjusted for cost of living) but the city is. The wife's family is closer to me in Indy but my family is in Denver though I have trouble spending long times with them. The vacation is desperately needed as I have not been the best at work...burnt out..angry, irritable, anxious, and depressed though my reviews are good. Plus, I have just gone off a psych med that I have been on for several years and am having sleeping problems exacerbating the emotional issues. Please note** I am so thankful for the opportunity but am not sure how to do a cost/benefit analysis because I think way too much and not clearly....mental chatter. Will I be better off skipping this though will continue looking for a better job when I get back from vacation? Will I have regrets? I know you cannot answer for me, but I guess I need someone else's perspective or how they would attack this question given the information above. Again, I am thankful for this offer especially in this economy...the job is in a nice place but we would be starting over (+ or - , depending). This question may be as clear as mud so am sorry about that. Not sure how to think or go zen on this.
posted by snap_dragon to Work & Money (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I don't get what your question is.

It's almost never a bad idea to do a phone interview. If you don't have time to adequately prepare for it, or if you don't have the inclination to adequately prepare for it, then don't. The worst that happens is you don't get the job. You might find you are more interested in the job after the interview. You might find you have no interest whatsoever. You can't make that determination until you talk to the company. You will not offend the company by a bad phone interview. You will not be punished for a bad phone interview. Nothing bad can come out of a phone interview.
posted by saeculorum at 2:01 PM on July 20, 2012 [1 favorite]

If you don't have time to adequately prepare for it, or if you don't have the inclination to adequately prepare for it, then don't.

This should read "then don't worry."
posted by saeculorum at 2:02 PM on July 20, 2012

You should always interview for any job you're interested in. Is driving from your campground to a place where you have phone reception what concerns you? Is it that you're worried you won't enjoy the vacation because of the interview and the stress of preparing for it? Is it that you think you might not do the best job of preparing for the interview because you'll be on vacation?
posted by Sidhedevil at 2:06 PM on July 20, 2012

Best answer: Approach a phone interview as an opportunity to learn about the job and about the company, not as an audition. Sure, you want to put your best foot forward, but it's also a way for you to better understand the position, and to see how your skills and talents would be used.

Studying a bunch of random facts as though you were taking an exam is just adding layers and layers of unneeded stress to an already stressful situation.

I would not do a phone interview for a job in location I'm not interested in while on vacation. Call them back and say, "I'm out for vacation and I'll be in a remote area, can we schedule for a different day?" Unless this job is your hope of heaven, either they say yes or no, and you go from there. Do you really care if they say no?

Employers want the right employee as badly as the employee wants the right job. If they're intrigued by your resume, they'll be happy to wait a couple of days until you come back from your break.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 2:12 PM on July 20, 2012 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Please tell my if I am parsing this correctly: You want to move back to Indy. You have been offered a phone interview for Denver. Taking this interview would mean interrupting a much-needed vacation, and you would likely spend a portion of this vacation over-preparing.

Is that right?

If it is, I would suggest an entirely new tactic: do the interview and don't over-prepare, just as an experiment. In fact, do a bit of research before you go, cheerfully camp for 3 day, and take the call. Since you don't actually want to work in Denver, which is not in Indianapolis, this is a low-stakes interview for you and you should use it to learn how it goes when you don't obsessively over-prepare.
posted by DarlingBri at 2:14 PM on July 20, 2012 [3 favorites]

Response by poster: Thanks, everyone. This is all I need. To others above, sorry for the muddled posting. You all got a gist and that was enough for me. Very very thankful for your answers. I wish I could send you my vintage 1940 Superman comic...if only I could find it.
posted by snap_dragon at 2:19 PM on July 20, 2012

Best answer: The problem: I get so utterly ratcheted and consumed in preparing that I wear myself down badly, get emotionally and physically sick, even.

I would tell them that you're on vacation and not available. You need to relax, enjoy your vacation, and not ruin it by stressing. Ruthless Bunny is right: if they're interested in you, they'll be happy to wait.
posted by Specklet at 2:21 PM on July 20, 2012 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Is it that you're worried you won't enjoy the vacation because of the interview and the stress of preparing for it?...Yes!! Exactly...and that I will come back from vacation much worse than I started, which was not good to begin with. (A little catastrophizing going on here, I am realizing. I need to find my cognitive therapy book.)
posted by snap_dragon at 2:21 PM on July 20, 2012

Best answer: I think you should put off the interview and try to spend the vacation relaxing -- you will be a much better candidate when you are rested and have a bit of decompression, anyway. (As an aside, have you spoken to your doctor about your sleep problems? Are you on a different medication?)

When you return, adjust the way that you prepare for the interview -- you don't need to prepare for a phone interview, at least usually, the way you would for an on-site. I don't know how you usually prepare so can't advise you on where to cut back, but I think DarlingBri has the right idea --- you should approach this as a way to try preparing without overdoing it, as the stakes are much lower than a job in the city you want that you're actually excited about. Every interview is an opportunity, even if you don't ultimately get or want the job, for some type of growth.
posted by sm1tten at 4:13 PM on July 20, 2012

Before you even began to say anything about your question, you started with a list of pre-emptive apologies. Don't be like that in the phone interview.
Apologize when appropriate, else it sounds like low self esteem or a belief that you're not up to par - and because you're the expert on you, the stranger on the other end of the phone would be foolish not to believe you when you tell them you think you're not up to par.
posted by -harlequin- at 6:21 PM on July 20, 2012

I did a phone interview while on vacation and I still regret it. I was stressed leading up to it and stressed after it. I was in Anguilla! And I basically missed the trip. I would suggest rescheduling.
posted by orsonet at 6:29 PM on July 20, 2012

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