A reader writes:
I applied for a job at a large insurance company and was contacted to set up a phone interview. When I called the HR representative back to set up a date and time, she requested that I call her at the appointed time. I agreed. After hanging up, I realized that this is a long distance phone call and I will be paying the cost for the 30-45 minute interview. If I’d realized it before hanging up, I would have said no to her request.
Is this normal business practice? This is a large company making billions of dollars a year. Do I call her back and request she call me? I’m not inclined to do that, as it seems silly. But it is very frustrating for an out-of-work person seeking employment. And this is the third company in 6 months that has requested that I call them for the phone interview. A new trend?
This sucks. And it stems from employers just not thinking about the fact that there might be a cost to you, especially now that so many people have cell phones that don’t charge extra for long-distance calls.
I suppose you could simply be straightforward and say, “Since this is a long-distance call, would you mind calling me?” But now you’ve maybe introduced a slight awkwardness, and maybe you have to deal with some judgy person rudely wondering why you can’t afford $4 or whatever it’s going to cost, and you shouldn’t have to worry about any of that.
I suppose you could just say, “Actually, could you call me? I’ll be at (number)” and just not even get into the cost aspect of things, but this is going to make you worry that you’ll be judged for messing with their system, or whatever.
It sucks and is unfair. I don’t have a good answer.