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#81 Posted : Thursday, April 19, 2018 5:39:16 PM(UTC)

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Originally Posted by: satrel Go to Quoted Post
Well, this was entertaining... a government job is not a house, you don't get a tour before deciding to go with it or not, interview is your only chance to peak behind the curtain. If you get lucky and get escorted by someone other than the interviewer, you can get a question or two in the elevator.
That being said, even getting to look around might be deceiving. I actually did ask questions about the agency and after the interview, one of the panelists stayed to chat some more, and then offered to show me around the floor. Wow, i thought, everyone is so nice. It seemed amazing, sustainable building, open spaces, hoteling, 3-4 days telework, everything electronic, touch pads everywhere, the works. I'm very much into the renewable and sustainable, I was thinking, wow match made in heaven! After i got the offer, the supervisor called me to ask what type of phone I prefer, told me when I can start training, all kinds of awesome things. On paper it was perfect. Three months later I left. It was incredibly dysfunctional and totally mismanaged office and that's nothing I'd ever expect go be able to find out on a tour. So there is that perspective, for what it's worth.

This was an informative post....Thanks
APPL: 11/15/17
TO 1/25/18
E-QIP: 1/31/18
BI INTER 3/13/18
BI COMPLETE 04/03/18
#82 Posted : Monday, April 23, 2018 3:50:09 AM(UTC)

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Originally Posted by: rbr Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: frankgonzalez Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: APufferfish Go to Quoted Post
I don't see anything wrong with wanting to get to know a new agency before committing to it and re-arranging your entire life around it. It's just prudent so you don't make a bad life decision. On the agency's part, it's kind of ridiculous they would expect someone to drop what they're doing and spend over half a grand to fly out to see them before there was even any hint the person has been hired. If the agency was willing to give a small tour before, why not now? Why be so cagey about it? To me that's a red flag. rbr already said s/he doesn't necessarily feel this place is in line with their career objectives so it doesn't hurt to have more information before accepting what might be a terrible job, or at least a bad career choice.

I don't know what to say, I haven't been in this situation, but if it was a local non-govt place I applied to that was acting like this I would just turn them down. They don't seem to want to work with you or accommodate you and that could be a sign of future problems. But again I know nothing of your situation so don't take my advice to heart. I just think if they wanted to show you around before the interview it is suspicious that once you got an offer they suddenly don't want to show you anything. It sounds like your concerns are well placed so unless you are 110% sure of this I personally would not uproot my entire life and move across country, but I'm a very non-risk taker type person. Best of luck whatever you decide to do.
I actually don't think they were planning on showing the OP around but had simply asked the OP to come in for an interview. When it turned out they were not local, and the agency wasn't going to pay for them to come out for said interview, the agency did the interview remotely (phone or Skype). Based on the OP's responses here, I expect the OP read more into the "can you come in for an interview?" than was actually there.

Showing someone around is not something I have seen for lower graded positions unless ALL interviewees were given a tour, OR after the selection and they were already local or in the area doing house hunting (my experience has been the selected person is in the area on the Friday before they are due to start and we made some time on Friday for someone in the office to give them the nickel tour).

Agencies are generally fairly large (with some exceptions like FMCS or the NEA), and you can find out about the agency through the web fairly easily. The office you will be working in may or may not be like the overall agency. Asking for a Sponsor to assist with onboarding (being a POC you can ask questions of...ie where are some good places to live? What food options are nearby or is brownbagging it an option? And so on...) is not out of the question, and is a good practice in general. And they can be the person you ask questions of.

But if you are already hesitant to take the position..decline and move on. Quit wasting the agency's time and potentially hindering another person from being hired before the cert expires. And why apply to the job in the first place if you don't think it aligns with your career goals, etc? I can see after the interview you decide based on that experience you will decline an offer (I've had an interview that made me decline the offer, so I get it). But if you are so indecisive about if you should take the job or not, you are not going to be useful when work decisions are needed.

I say you accept all offers you are willing to start at and then decline the others once you are actually started in a position (hey, things happen!). But if you are not willing to start in the position or hesitant...make your decision, tell the agency so they can move on.

I was no longer going to respond to you, but I will give you credit for this post it's actually beneficial and informative.

At the time I got a call for the interview, it was a Monday. They asked if I could fly to the location (which is across the country) for an interview on that Thursday. After telling me that I would have to pay for it myself, I told them that I couldn't do it on such a short notice and even offered to try and come at the end of the following week....They said no. At that point I actually said "thanks but no thanks" and was about to hang up and THEN they offered the Skype interview. I did the interview because it was offered and to keep my options open given the unpredictability of the government hiring process. As I said in my original post, I got the TO. Between then and now, I got two other offers (pending a third) and now I have to make a choice. Although it may not be the best fit for me, I figured that I at least should fly out there and take a look because I may think differently after seeing the place. The fact that the organization is unwilling to even let me come and speak to a supervisor is pretty sketchy, especially since they offered me a job when I didn't even bother to fly out for the interview. My current view of the agency is that they are desperate for hires...It is a quality job (ladder position) which is why I don't want to deny them based on an unsubstantiated assumption and tried to go see for myself.

*For the record, I've actually flown twice (on my own dime) for initial interviews and didn't get an offer to either job
Did they say "fly out to us for an interview' or was the conversation more like:
Agency rep: We would like to schedule you to come in for an interview on X date.
OP: I'd love to but I'd have to fly as I am across the country from you. Oh, do you pay for me to travel?
Agency rep: Sorry, we don't have funds for that, if you want to come into the office for the interview, that would be on your dime.
OP: Can we do it the end of next week?
Agency rep: Sorry, this is the only week we are doing interviews.
OP: Sorry, I'll have to decline the interview then...thank you for your consideration though.
Agency rep: Oh, can you do a Skype interview?
OP: Absolutely...let me check my calendar and clear the date and time to make certain I am free. Ok, I'll be ready on ....and again thank you for the opportunity to interview.

Based on your description, no office tour was offered, and again..the position is a GS-9 with FPL to GS-12. Even the GS-12 is not likely to get a tour of the place before starting.

Bottom line is you can take the position or not. Just don't sit on it so long that someone else loses the opportunity because you can't make a decision and are wound up about not being able to visit for a couple of hours to help you make your decision.

As been pointed out...even if you get the nickel tour, the actual day to day environment may be something completely different! Oor it could be great and a couple of months in you get a new supervisor, and the the environment goes to heck in a handbasket...(heck: not hell, but really close to it!).

You should have voted Cthulu...the greatest of all Evils
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