It’s five answers to five questions. Here we go…
1. Will I be rejected for not uploading a video interview?
I tried to apply to a position this afternoon, and part of the online application is a “video interview.” I couldn’t complete it because I’m using an old PC which doesn’t have a camera. I also tried on my iPhone, but it requires Flash which is unsupported. So am I automatically disqualified from the position because I don’t own the technology for the interview? Is it worth it to track down a webcam to do this thing? I never experienced this before. The position, which I am highly qualified for, is photography teacher.
Ugh, ridiculous. Employers have no business requiring this type of effort from candidates before they’ve even made it past a first cut. After all, in a typical hiring process, tons (usually 100+) candidates are going to be rejected without further screening, and it’s so horribly inconsiderate to ask people to jump through this sort of hoop when so many won’t even be spoken with further.
In any case, I’d include a note in your cover letter explaining that your computer wouldn’t allow you to complete the video portion of the application, but that if you move along in the process, you’d be glad to make arrangements to do it at a later stage. On the other hand, if you’re truly lusting after this job and would be devastated if you were rejected over this, then yeah, I’d suck it up and borrow a webcam.
2. Can my wife and I apply to do a job jointly?
My wife and I want to apply together to the same job (as co-applicants). It’s for a house manager position. It’s advertised for one candidate. We both have different qualifications but together it would be perfect. I would be the one to be there for the day to day and she would be on a part-time basis (at least that’s what we are thinking). The position is mostly managing a household of a staff of 3, which I have great experience in and there are some financing and expense responsibilities as well. Our thoughts are they would get two for one basically. (It’s actually a well-paying job for one person. It’s more then enough for both of us. It can pay for two full-timers in a sense.)
Is this unheard of or is it a great thought? Not only for how we are thinking, but for the homeowners as well.
For any other job, I’d say absolutely not, but something like a house manager, it might be fine. There are some disadvantages to be aware of — for instance, having staff report to two people rather than one has the potential to be inefficient and confusing (so you’d probably want them only reporting to one). Also, what if they’re dissatisfied with one person’s performance but not both of you? Overall, though, I don’t think it’s out of the question for a position like this — and it’s certainly not patently ridiculous on its face. I’d go ahead and propose it and see what they think.
3. When should I ask employers about subsidized transit and working from home?
I am currently looking for jobs in my city and a neighboring one. I’d prefer a job in my city because it’s about a 3-hour total daily commute (via train) to the next city. However, I would take a job in the other city if the company subsidized public transportation passes and especially if they allowed me to work from home 1-2 days per week. Should I even bring this up at all and if so, how and when?
The problem with asking about those things before you have an offer is that it makes you look unduly focused on things that most hiring managers don’t want you to be unduly focused on. Asking about subsidized transit passes is a little too nitty-gritty before the offer stage; it’s like asking about nuanced details of the 401K plan before you have an offer. And asking about working from home 1-2 days is a week before there’s been an offer signals to many hiring managers (rightly or wrongly) that you’re more focused on avoiding the office than being in it. Neither of these is helpful when a company is still assessing you.
So I’d wait until you have an offer — when they’ve already decided they want you and now you’re negotiating the details — and ask about it then.
4. “Thanks for coming in”
Is the phrase “thanks for coming in” at the end of an interview always the kiss of death? Thanks for any insight you can provide.
What? No. It means, quite literally, “thank you for coming in,” no more and no less.
5. Asking about full-time work at the end of a contract
I’ve been a contractor at my work since May and my bosses have mentioned to me several times that they want to bring me on as a full-time employee. Before the holiday season, my boss told me it will most likely happen at the beginning of the new year. Well, it’s getting close to the end of my contact and I really want to work for this company, but how do I bring this up with my boss in a professional manner?
“We’re approaching the end of my contract, so I wanted to follow up with you about the possibility of bringing me on full-time. I’d love to stay, but otherwise I’ll need to start lining up other work soon.”