I respond to someone’s fly in interview gone terribly wrong.

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I received a message today from someone that posed a scenario and asked for an opinion. He's done a phone interview, and is told that it's a technicality for the client wanting to meet him. So the recruiter tells him that he needs to pay the airfare and travel, and, if he gets offered the job, he'll get paid back for the trip.

Now, let's read between the lines. Between the lines is you lay out the money, if you get the job, I'll pay you back. if you don't get the job, nadda. So, he asked whenI ask about what happens if they don't select me, the recruiter says, "This is for sure and stop talking negative." Like I said, he's gonna pay him back, if he gets the job, if he doesn't get the job, he's out of luck.

So everything sounds fine and he books a flight from one city to Atlanta and rents a car. The night before, he goes to a friend's wedding and he's on a 3am flight the next morning. So, let's get practical. He knows the guy for a long time; it's a good decision to go to the wedding . . . but he's on a 3am flight. So let's say he's at the airport at 1:30. tight. It's a tight time. He's sleep deprived when he lands. He's gotten the interview going and, the long and the short of it is he doesn't get the job. His body just wants to get the sleep and he didn't perform on the interview.

He tells the recruiter what happened. He says, "I want to explain it to the client." He says, "I don't even care about the expenses," and the client doesn't want to talk to him. The recruiter has no interest. The company doesn't want to talk to him. At the end of the day, he asked this question, "is it a good deal to go on these fly outs prepaid? Does it come across stronger to say that I want half the money up front? Is it worth taking the risk of the client will not pay up front?" He's looking for a way to protect himself.

So here's my thinking. Number one, if you had a wedding the night before, it isn't like the wedding wasn't on your schedule when the interview showed up, right? You knew about that beforehand and you miscalculated. As a result, you wound up going out sleep deprived. That has nothing to do with whether or not you're going to get paid back; that has to do with you making a mistake.

Number two is the way you handle this in the future is you don't put yourself in the position where you're going to be sleep deprived and, thus, unable to perform. This has nothing to do with the money. This has to do with you. You didn't deliver the goods on the view and who would want to pay for you to have an excursion to stink up the joint.

At the end of the day, what you could have done is say, "I can't do Monday. I can do Tuesday. No problem. I have plans on Sunday that can't change. Tuesday, I will be there, again, on an early morning flight."

And you know what you can also have done? You could have gone out the night. You could go out Monday afternoon for a Tuesday interview, gotten a good night's sleep in the hotel, and then walked in for fresh.

Instead you made a mistake. People make mistakes. And you asked for my advice. I give no BS advice. In the future, don't put it back the back on yourself like this. You've already demonstrated you can't deliver under these circumstances. Don't do it again. Okay?

Transcribed by https://otter.ai


Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a career and leadership coach who worked as a recruiter for more than 40 years. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 1400 episodes and his newest show, “No BS Coaching Advice.” He is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council. “No BS JobSearch Advice Radio” was recently named a Top 10 podcast for job search. JobSearchTV.com was also recently named a Top 10 YouTube channel for job search.

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