/ Asked by Laura
I got an email from a lady in HR asking if I was available for a telephone interview that same day. I wasn't, but gave a day when I would be available. Her email response just said 'Do you not get a lunch break?' I found this rude. How should I respond?
Answered by Stephanie, Hiring Expert at AT&T Inc., on Monday, July 18, 2016
Hi there!  In reading your question, I've opted to look at it from a couple of different perspectives.  First off, how great that you have someone interested in talking to your further.  It's a key first step to getting in the door to impress with your interview skills.  Second, give people the benefit of the doubt, a lunch break is often the time that initial phone screens take place as they are typically a shorter time commitment than the full interview.  Chances are good no rudeness was intended, and if this is a company you are really excited about, perhaps your best option is to gracefully overlook the perceived slight and reiterate your next available time.

The HR professional you spoke with is the gatekeeper here, so this is probably not the time to give your two cents on how you'd prefer to be spoken to.  If you want this job, then use all your resources to get past this pretty minor speed bump and on to the main event interview.  Good luck!
Answered by Amanda, Hiring Expert at Daikin Applied, on Tuesday, July 19, 2016
Hello!
I would agree with Stephanie, I don't believe there was ill intent.  I see my teams trying to get candidates in for screens last minute so they can be included in the interview process.   If some candidates elect to wait, they can be passed up in the selection processes. 

Remember, this person in the gatekeeper to that company so I would be neutral in your response.   I would recommend something like:  due to my availability and already planned meetings, I'm not available today.  Here are a few other options....

Best wishes!
 
Answered by Lori, Hiring Expert at Cigna, on Thursday, July 21, 2016

Congrats on getting a call for an interview! That is what stuck out the most to me in your statement. Depending on the size of an organization and how many recruiters are on the team, coupled with how many openings each recruiter is handling, he/she may be very eager to connect with someone who they see as a good fit for a role. The woman who contacted you may have been excited to interview you and was looking for a time that would be conducive for you both to connect. The intent behind an email can easily be misconstrued, so keep that in mind too. She may have been trying to find flexibility in your schedule, and not being rude at all. I would recommend responding honestly. If you aren't able to do an interview over lunch, let her know that you aren't available because it would raise a red flag, or whatever the reason may be. Otherwise, see if you can find a discreet place to take the call so that you can move the interview process along. Even if you aren't sure of the original intent of the HR woman, keep in mind that you are making an impression on her and you want it to be a positive one. Good luck!
Answered by Courtney, Hiring Expert at ADP, on Friday, August 5, 2016
Great question!  I understand you might be discouraged by the recruiter's response, but I would not read too deep into it considering it was over email.  She was likely trying to communicate that she would not need too much of your time so a lunch break would be suitable.  I would reply and either find a short amount of time or suggest another time the very next day to stay at the top of his/her radar as a interested candidate in the role.  It is a competitive market, so I would make yourself available at the earliest time possible to land the interview.  Good luck!
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