Why Can't Interviewers Call on Time?

I have had 3 phone interviews this past week: 1 with a bulge bracket, 1 with a boutique, and 1 with a hedge fund/prop trading firm. The bulge bracket was 35 minutes late, the boutique was 20 minutes late, and the prop trading firm was 15 minutes late. Every single time I have received no email telling me I should expect a call late. Is this normal? Going forward, should I plan for interviews to run late?

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Best Response
Aug 14, 2017

This doesn't always happen, but you should always give yourself a buffer after the call in case this does happen, or even in case an on-time interview runs late.

Typically happens when banker is busy, someone else bails and they look for a replacement, or they just forget and then finally see your email. HR is usually more on time.

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Aug 14, 2017
Presto732:

This doesn't always happen, but you should always give yourself a buffer after the call in case this does happen, or even in case an on-time interview runs late.

This is solid advice.

That being said, 35 minutes is absurdly late and extremely unprofessional. I would not sweat it, though. Things happen and being able to roll with the punches is a huge asset to an analyst

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Aug 14, 2017

Yes - agree with that as well.

Also, if you have in-person interviews or informationals, always give yourself some time on the tail end, because if they like you, they may have you meet with other folks as well (could happen on a call too, but much more common in person.

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Aug 14, 2017

would it not be right to email them after 10-15 minutes to ask if this time is still good?

Aug 14, 2017

cause we're f-ing busy!

What is the answer to 99 out of 100 questions?

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Aug 14, 2017

Hey at least they call you. A boutique has ditched me twice in a row

Aug 15, 2017

Been there. I was an analyst at a EB and was looking to lateral to another bank. It took every ounce of composure for me not to say to the guy "So if I was a candidate, and I was 20 minutes late to the call, what would likely happen?"

Aug 16, 2017

Dude I know someone who pulled the ultimate asshole move to one of the white-shoe firms. He already had an offer in hand at a BB and was going through the process at a MS/JPM/LAZ type shop. Despite the fact they selected him to interview they decided to ask ridiculous questions like SAT scores, why he didn't go to an ivy, etc. and he calmly and abruptly said "Would you think higher of me if I went to Yale, motherfucker?" and left the interview. Obviously didn't get an offer but what a 'fuck you' move that must have been.

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Aug 15, 2017

Lol. I had a Citi S&T interview 2 hours late. Thought the guy would've been more relaxed given how late he was but instead was a ivy hardo.

Aug 16, 2017

Different circumstances, but similar experience:

In high school, I had an admissions interview for an Ivy scheduled at the interviewer's house (she lived ~45 minutes from me). Drove to the house on the scheduled Sunday, knocked on the door. No answer. Try calling her. No answer. Double check all of my notes to be sure I have correct day. I do. Wait in my car for about an hour and a half. Nothing. Call again and leave a voicemail saying I was at her house for the [time] o'clock interview and that I was sorry I missed her. She called me back the next morning. She had gone out of town for the weekend to visit friends and literally just forgot that she had an interview scheduled. We set up an interview for the following Sunday, same time.

I drive the ~45 mins to her house again. She's there this time. Expecting her to be a little apologetic and perhaps more relaxed/laid back since she flaked on me. Nope. She spends most of the interview telling me about her experience at boarding school and asking why I attended my public school (went to a shitty, country-ass public high school in the middle of nowhere) instead of prep school ("ah, because that's where I live?"). She asks if I've ever traveled internationally ("I've never been out of the country, but I did go to Boston one time"). Leave the interview feeling like the pleb pile-of-shit from the boondocks that I am. Good times.

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Aug 15, 2017

Gotta realize work can be more important than the call. Also I've known people who do it as a strategy, both in person and on the phone, as a test to see how you react. Ridiculous tactic i know, but ive definitely heard worse. One took a phone call on her cell phone during an interview, very awkward. Just Always just keep your composure!

Oct 22, 2018

I know its not a nice thing to do, but this is the main reason I will call someone 15 minutes late. I only do it to people I need to trust 100%.If I call after 15 minutes and they are answer full with enthusiasm and pretend it never happened, I know they really want the job. That being said, I apologize right after the interview is over, I just need to know they care.

Aug 15, 2017

It's because you aren't important. Trust me, if you were a client or their respective bosses, they would all have been early to the call.

Aug 15, 2017

1) When you work in the real world, business and work isn't necessarily predictable. Especially when you're a junior guy, you're responding to the workflow that is handed to you whenever someone else higher up the chain/on the client side decides to do something or ask for something. They scheduled the call for when they thought they would have a minute, but then they might've gotten pulled away at the last minute.

2) You're the least important thing in their work life, and that's the way it should be. When their MD asks them to correct a deck last minute are they supposed to say to the MD: "No, tell the client to go fuck himself, I have to interview some kid for a job he likely won't get."

3) If you get too bothered by that then you're not going to like working in the real world.

Aug 15, 2017

Exactly. To be honest, I was pretty amused by the fact that OP was upset that these people were not respecting his time. Does not bode well for the future when he will be sitting around until 2am waiting for changes from his MD, VP, or associate with no ETA in sight.

Aug 15, 2017

you guys try way too hard to be bankers hahaha. kind of understand your position but to overanalyze and stretch a young eager kids frustration into a criticism about his entire professional careers is ridiculous.

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Aug 16, 2017

This is still not an excuse for ignoring the fact that you have an interview obligation.

This happened a few times to me during my interview process and it reeked of unprofessionalism.

Now that I am on the other side I know for a fact that at the very least -- in the midst of updating a book -- I would take two seconds to email the candidate and notify them that the call would be delayed for an undesignated amount of time.

Aug 16, 2017

a VP from a middle-market bank called me almost one hour earlier. I was not ready at all, but when he asked me ''is it a good time to talk'' I said yes. This is really frustrating.

Aug 16, 2017

I usually forget that I have to do an interview until I get the 15 minute notification on outlook.

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Aug 18, 2017

.

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Aug 16, 2017

I've run into the opposite twice now. Interviewers keep calling me early. One MD called me 25 minutes early while I was watching a soccer game and it rattled me a little bit to say the least. Also had a more junior person call me 26 minutes early while I was driving home. With the BB MD I wasn't gonna tell him he was early so I had to run up to my desk and get ready but I simply couldn't start the other interview while driving so I had to have them call me back.

Aug 17, 2017

Happened to me all the time when I was recruiting, too. My worst experiences were with PE MF...one time I was supposed to have 3 phone interviews in a row and after waiting for an hour I emailed HR and she said "ah yeah sorry, they are very busy at the moment and they are very sorry. can you talk to our head of the group at 4pm and then fly out here next monday?" wtf?

Aug 17, 2017

I obviously am no expert with this, but doesn't this seem like they decided to skip the phone call for you and go straight to the superday? That's pretty sweet honestly

Aug 18, 2017

Not really, I then had to talk to the same guys I was supposed to have a call with, just in their offices...

Sep 11, 2017
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Sep 11, 2017