is it tacky to tell an employer I’m traveling to their town and they could meet me in person?

A reader writes:

I’m doing an out of town job search and the recruiter from one of my target companies finally called me to schedule an interview. I am paying for my own plane ticket to get to the interview. This is a large hospital so they have applicant tracking software that allows you to see what your status is. (not qualified, under review, referred to hiring manager, etc).

I have several positions that have been “referred to hiring manager” but no interviews have been scheduled. Would it be bad form to ask the recruiter to inquire with said managers as to whether or not they might be interested in interviewing me while I am in town? Is this tacky?

I don’t want to screw this up, but it would be nice if I could meet with more than one department while I am there.

You absolutely should let them know you’ll be in town if they’d like to talk with you! Just be prepared for them to say no — I’ve had to say no to candidates in that situation who I’m interested in, simply because their timeline clashed with mine in some way: I wasn’t going to be ready to conduct final interviews by then, or one of the people who would need to interview them would be out of town then, or whatever. So you should definitely give it a try, but be prepared that it might not come together — and don’t read anything into if it doesn’t. Good luck!

{ 9 comments… read them below }

  1. Anonymous*

    Be aware that in these application software systems, "referred to hiring manager" means only "application has been forwarded to hiring manager," not necessarily "hiring manager is going to schedule an interview with you." Many applications die at the "referred to hiring manager" stage.

    (I used to live in a place where pretty much every large local and regional employer used the same application software package — a couple years ago I was looking for a job and on my status page for some of these employers there were jobs I'd applied for in 2004 still listed as "referred to hiring manager")

  2. Anonymous*

    We were going to be traveling close to an employer where my partner had a phone interview for non-job-search related reasons. At the end of the phone interview they said they would be calling back about whether they wanted to schedule an in-person interview. Figuring he had nothing to lose and it would cost them nothing more than a bit more time to talk with him, he said he'd be in their area and would be happy to just drop in. They accepted, and a job offer came out of it!

    So yes, go for it! And best of luck with the job hunt. :)

  3. Anonymous*

    Just another example of the employer's economy – they're making OP pay for _her own_ ticket to interview. What's next, they make the candidates pay for lunch at an all-day interview? That's outrageous.

  4. Ask a Manager*

    Anonymous, it could be legit — it's possible they told the candidate they were focusing on local candidates and hadn't budgeted to bring in long-distance candidates, and she offered to get herself there. It's not unheard of when you're doing long-distance job-searching, especially if you're in a crowded field.

  5. Anonymous*

    Well, I think it's weird that you sent your question to both Evil HR Lady and Ask A Manager…

  6. Anonymous*

    Why is it weird to send your question to both places? If you've got a tight timeline on it, I would think you'd want to increase the chances of someone answering your question in time for it to be useful. Also, it's nice to get a second opinion anyway.

  7. Anonymous*

    Wellllll, maybe because AAM and EHRL only answer a small number of the questions they receive and it's not nice to take up two slots.

  8. Evil HR Lady*

    I admit I was a bit annoyed that I did an answer to this question and THEN checked my google reader and found out that AAM had answered it as well. I understand the desire to get the question answered, though.

    Still slightly bugs me.

    On another note, I'm glad we gave the same answer.

  9. Anonymous*

    I asked the question. To respond to whoever made the comment about why did I ask both blogs, when you submit a question you get an auto-response that says all questions might not get an answer. It was my first time posting a question and since there was a tight time-frame on the response I asked in both places because I wasn't sure that either blog would respond or that they would respond in time. I didn't think it would be a big deal or "annoying" as I never expected both blogs to respond….

    To the person who questioned why I'm paying to get to the interview..the airfare is cheap, I have other business in the area & it's worth it to me for a chance to work at the company.

    If anyone cares, the strategy did work in my favor because I now have 2 interviews scheduled, as well as, another interview with a different company.

    I like the idea that Anonymous 2 gave about dropping by one of the departments. I just might try that method the next time I'm in town.

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