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quietmedic

Prospective employer scheduled (without asking my preference) a "marathon" interview in restaurant...red flag?

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I recently got a call from a recruiter for an urgent care job in a large multispecialy clinic. After some preliminary questions and seeing that it might be a good fit, she told me I will hear from them soon. About a week later, I get an email from somebody else at that company, with no other communications in between, sending me an itinerary for my scheduled interview. It's going to be a marathon interview with three or four doctors and management types from the place, in succession, taking place at least partially in some restaurant near the practice, for the entire morning from 8:30-12.

Now, I was never asked my preference for interview days, and, as they have this scheduled this for an early morning  about 2 weeks from now, it's a bit late to ask for a day off from my current job, so I would have to lie and call in sick.  Furthermore, I won't be able to eat anything at that restaurant, due to dietary restrictions.

I've experienced something similar once or twice before..the last time, it was obviously an extremely expensive restaurant, and the main interviewer was obviously trying to sell the lifestyle...he and every doctor who interviewed me were dressed for a high society cocktail gala, they were trying the usual "nearby fishing, skiing, outdoor lovers dream, great place to raise a family" line, really in an incredibly drippy way...as a down-to-earth, non-fancy, city boy, I felt very, very uncomfortable with the whole hard sell and cash flashing. But anyway, back to today's offer...

Crucially, I was never asked for a day preference whatsoever and it seems incredibly presumptuous, for this new place to "schedule me" for an early morning marathon interview, running for 3+ hours, complete with itinerary, in a restaurant I can't eat in, without even asking me for any preferences regarding days.

I was wondering if this sort of thing is industry-standard, and if I'm being oversensitive/old fashioned, or is this a bit unprofessional, pretentious, presumptuous about my availability and diet, and an inappropriate way to start a relationship with a potential employee?

Edited by quietmedic
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Sounds squirrely and disrespectful of you. These very busy important people are scheduling your time off before you have even interviewed. How will they treat you once they have you under contract?

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Rather than hating all these people you’ve never met,why not just get back to them as follows:

 

I would love to meet with you but that date doesn’t work for me

I would like an opportunity to see the practice (assuming that it’s not in the same town as the meeting)

And I’m gluten-intolerant or whatever

 

See how flexibly they react (or not) and take that into account. A great experiment for you to learn how they think on their feet.

 

You’re not in the Army; you are an employed professional with your own set of constraints and maybe their “suggested date” doesn’t work for you.

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

 

 

 

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I agree that it was kinda inconsiderate of them to schedule an interview without asking your availability or preference.

In regards to having it at a restaurant, I personally wouldn't look too much into that. I had interviews at restaurants in the past and the docs and PAs really just wanted to get to know me on a personal level since we were going to be working closely together in an outpatient setting. Also the office was very cramped and there wasn't an ample area to conduct the interview comfortably. Yes, the restaurant that I had my interview at was also at a pretty pricey place, but the interviewers would like to make a good impression on you as much as you want to impress them. 

I agree with above, see if they would be willing to accommodate a date that actually works for you. Sometimes these are only "suggested" dates and a compromise can be made. 

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agree with Pacjd and Ugo above. I have had many interviews at restaurants over the years. give them a chance to reschedule before you assume malice on their part.

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Yea...the restaurant thing? No biggie. It is an easy place to come and go and have some refreshments or food if it is a long interview. I have been on both ends of interviews in restaurants.

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I’ve done the restaurant interview once before, but I already knew the doc from ED days.  As far as picking the date, my employer does that because of scheduling conflicts for five or six attendees, including two physicians.   If there is interest, then set aside time to go and look at the clinic in operation.

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one of my best interviews was in a local restaurant

right up till when my current employer walked in....

 

nope don't like them

 

As for not asking a day or time - I would simply politely explain you are unable to do that day as you are scheduled for work and it would be a hardship on your current employer/patients to do such a last minute change.

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18 hours ago, ventana said:

one of my best interviews was in a local restaurant

right up till when my current employer walked in...

LOL that was prob so awkward haha...

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I had an ALL DAY interview once, which included a fancy dinner. It was itinterized and I met with at least 10 people. 

They did, however, coordinate the day and time with me first.

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I don't think I'd want any job enough to interview for 3.5 hours 


Bet you might have when you applied to PA school...


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All day interview? Gives me flashbacks to my PA school interview. Is this more of an excuse for the docs to go out to a fancy meal on the company dime? I agree it would have been nice to have them confirm a date with you prior to tossing an itinerary to you. 

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15 hours ago, SoCal_PA said:

I don't think I'd want any job enough to interview for 3.5 hours 

I just had an interview 3 days ago and depending on how you interpret - it was a good 6 hour ordeal.  Started with a tour of the hospital, meeting with the director of specialty medicine, meeting with the director of primary care, meeting with the family practice doc I'd be working with, meeting with the hospital board of directors (small hospital/medical group in midwest) and then finished with a term sheet (precursor to a contract).  Overall face-to-face time was probably 3-4 hours total between all of the meetings, but I was ferried from place to place by the head of recruiting, which of course you still have to be on your game as any inappropriate behavior would be reported back.

But, the way I approach interviews is that they should be a conversation.  If I feel like I am being grilled, I am uncomfortable, etc. then the opportunity likely isn't for me.  So, it was actually nice to have some quality conversations with several individuals as I was able to ascertain a more thorough feeling about the employer.

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On 9/26/2018 at 3:12 PM, SoCal_PA said:

I don't think I'd want any job enough to interview for 3.5 hours 

My last interview was a 6 hour or so ordeal. Started formally with the regional medical director and DON head. Then he asked if I wanted to grab lunch with him. Then went and toured the prisons. All in all I got a long well with the Physician, and both of us are prior enlisted military so we had plenty to talk about.

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I interviewed a couple of weeks ago, with a local specialty group practice.  Just me and the practice manager.  She made sure to emphasize that I would be working very hard, Friday nights would be taken up by providing coverage at high school sports games, family life would take a back seat to work, and when I asked her about what keeps her there, she spent about twenty minutes bragging about how she built this practice up.

I made sure to feign the smallest amount of interest possible, to ensure I wouldn’t get called back for a second interview. 

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On 9/28/2018 at 11:58 AM, ral said:

I interviewed a couple of weeks ago, with a local specialty group practice.  Just me and the practice manager.  She made sure to emphasize that I would be working very hard, Friday nights would be taken up by providing coverage at high school sports games, family life would take a back seat to work, and when I asked her about what keeps her there, she spent about twenty minutes bragging about how she built this practice up.

I made sure to feign the smallest amount of interest possible, to ensure I wouldn’t get called back for a second interview. 

Yuk

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I am not sure the question was about the grandiosity of the locale, it was the "you be here, at this time" mindset.  I've had multi day visits, which involved fancy restaurants, tours around town, overnight in fancy hotels, with a fancy breakfast, but none TOLD me when to do it; they all coordinated with me to arrange a time.  The fancier the better; I don't like the job, I just talk with my mouth full. 

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My practice does all-day interviews with all prospective providers that we don't already know.  Doctors, PA's, NP, etc.  We usually do lunch at a nice place, and finish with dinner at a nice place, spouses/partners included.  But our recruiter will bend over backwards to accommodate the person being interviewed for dates and dietary needs.  I agree with what others have said.  Email them back with your needs, and see how they respond.

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I dunno if I really see the big deal here.

They should have offered you several dates and let you choose the one that worked best in  your schedule. That's about the only thing I see "wrong" here, and I bet if you just called them back and said their date didn't work they would figure out a better one with you. Long interview days are super common, as I'm sure you've seen from the varied responses above. Where I work we do whole interview days that include a full morning of shadowing followed by lunch with members of the department, a formal interview, and meetings with various department figures. They want a good fit and for prospective employees to have interactions with as many staff as possible. For out of town interviewees, the department also hosts a dinner out at a local restaurant.

Is it a long day? Yes. It's hard to be "on" for that length of time, but it helps both sides figure out if it's really a good match or not. Probably reduces staff turnover, although I don't have data to back that up.

As for the restaurant, unless you have anaphylactic level allergies to basic food ingredients, I would say suck it up. 

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Takes two seconds to call and ask when would be a good time. Their attitude at the interview likely carries over into day to day operations.  Dont be surprised when they unilaterally change the scheduling grid, number of patients, or how much flair is on your vest, because you are an employee.

 

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