Interviewing at employer's house/home office?

<%= @topic_view.topic.title %>
<%= @topic_view.topic.average_rating %> <%= @topic_view.topic.posts.count { |p| !!p.custom_fields['rating'] } %>

I just received a request to schedule an in-person interview this morning: there was no phone screen, and I was not told the location of the interview (a home office next to a garage) until the employer responded to my interview confirmation.

The company seems to be a genuine one, Tzivos Hashem, which is a youth outreach group that educates jewish boys and girls under the bar/bat mitzvah age about jewish identity and culture. I applied through an indeed job posting and it is a part-time web development job.

Has anyone had a similar experience? Is this very unprofessional and strange? Should I be worried about my safety and decline the interview?
I currently have no idea whether other people also work there, or I will be alone with this person.
I also have no idea if this home office will be the permanent work location if I do pass the interview.

Thank you.

Personal opinion: It does seems a bit unprofessional; you’re not foolish to consider your safety.

Often non-profits are very small operations, I have spent some time in managers homes over the years on business , but always after some establishment at the organization.

50/50 toss up on this situation, it isn’t typical everyday business to interview at a person’s home for a job that doesn’t involve you working in their home… their time may be very tight also.

Best of luck, if you decide to go to the home for an interview and no matter who you are sex, age, physique- make the smart call to check in with a friend before and after with address info and a contact number, just in case.
Edit: a word.

1 Like

For me it does not seem unusual to not have a location on a job listing, but to be interviewed at a home; that’s a different matter. I would expect it be interviewed at the official address as on their website: 792 Eastern Pkwy. Brooklyn, NY 11213. Look it up on a streetview map.

It looks like it has a location in London, England as well.

Give the main office a call and ask to speak to the person contacting you. That may verify the person actually exists. When you get through, state that you would prefer to be interviewed at the official address.
Perhaps the home office is closer to you or more convenient for the interviewer.

If you do go to the home location, take someone with you to the building.

good luck and try not to get kidnapped lol

1 Like

I’ve been interviewed in a coffee shop, but not someone’s home.

Those are all things that you can, and should, ask the person who will be interviewing you.

I’d further suggest bringing a friend with you to the interview location and have them wait outside, and that if you don’t come back out by a certain time, that they should call the police.

Or if a friend can’t come and wait outside, you should at least let someone know when & where you’re going in for the interview and that if you don’t call them back by a certain time, that they should call the police.

Because in this day and age, it doesn’t hurt to be safe! :wink:

Thank you for all the helpful responses. I actually don’t have the employer’s name, we’ve been communicating through the anonymous indeed email and this person never introduced him/herself. Do you think it would be fine to email this person through indeed and ask how many other people are there and why this person works at a home office/wants to interview there?

I am planning on calling the main office in Brooklyn to ask if this home office exists.

You should at least get the person’s name and then do what I already suggested.

If you get no name, politely decline the offer.
EDIT: DO NOT call any numbers given on any email.
Out of interest, what kind of e-mail address is the person using? Their website has an [email protected] e-mail address, so I would be suspicious of any e-mails not from @tzivoshashem.org.

Yes, thank you that was really useful advice.

Check my edit above.

I don’t know how much you know about indeed applications, but on indeed, if a company is interested in an applicant, they can send an email through some indeed email instead of a company one.

For example, the one I received from Tzivos Hashem is [email protected]

I think this is safe because I had one other interview through indeed where the employer and I communicated through the indeedemail.com and I did go through an in-person meeting through that email.

Never heard of Indeed. Still, it seems strange that a potential employer would choose to be anonymous. I’d expect the first thing a person to do in official communications is state their name and position.

So I called the number at Tzivos Hashem, explained my situation but the response I got what that it is a different department and this person doesn’t know too much about it. He suggested that I just go and check out the address on my own. The main office doesn’t seem to know much about web development at all, because when I reached out, I was initially sent to a rabbi at the Jewish Children’s Museum in New York.

I was also told that there really isn’t anyone at that 718 467 6630 number on the Tzivos Hashem site that could answer my questions. So everything seems disconnected, and the only contact I have with this person is the indeedemail.

And yes, it is very strange that this person didn’t identify him/herself at all.

Just play it safe and professional.

If you know the address and it is a residential address, look up a coffee / sandwich shop nearby with a casual and public meeting space. Reply and suggest it as a meeting place for your first interview / contact. You shouldn’t even have to mention anything about it being at their house or you feeling unsafe. Just a simply requesting an alternate meeting space nearby should be enough.

Its 100% respectable to suggest an alternate meeting space for the sake of comfort and safety. The goal of the interview process is for two complete strangers to get to know each other and having a feeling of safety is an essential part of that equation. I always want my interviewees to be comfortable and focused on my questions so I can get a clear gauge on the quality of their responses.

If they decline, then this job isn’t something you would be interested in working at anyways. If they aren’t being considerate of your comfort and well-being now, they definitely won’t be when you are employed for them.

Best of luck and please be safe!

PS: One last note after re-reading everything. Sometimes small businesses lease houses, instead of office buildings. It’s strange but sometimes it turns out cheaper, but if the company is growing fast it’ll be short lived. Either the local community works to push them out of residential territory, or they simply outgrow the confines of what a small residence can offer for a business.

2 Likes

So many things go through my mind… yes, it’s a flag that it’s not the office but a home, another flag is that the person didn’t identify him/her self. Agree with suggesting a different close-by location and if you are not feeling comfortable, ditch the interview and don’t worry, you’ll get to work somewhere safe.

That said, I wonder several explanations as to why they would proceed that way:

  • they will fire the person currently doing the job and don’t want to tip him/her off
  • the “house” is actually an office in a residential area, as the last poster said, it’s cheaper
  • the interviewer has some disability and can’t leave home AND is not technologically savvy enough to skype?

So, whatever you decide, please be safe and let us know how it goes. Best of luck!

Why not ask the employer if this could be conducted at a coffee shop?

1 Like

Since you were struggling to find an individual who knew the web dev person/team it may lead down the right path to ask for a member of the marketing team. Marketing would typically have direct contact with the person/team developing the website due to approving language used and overall voice of the company.

Haha, true about the businesses leasing houses! You reminded me that my first job out of uni had HQ in someone’s house (well, it was a separate building in someone’s back yard, rented by the company), and then occupied a full villa (it was actually pretty awesome, very cozy :slight_smile: ). But it’s different with a house rented as business premises (with more people there) vs an interview in somebody’s actual home.

You are right to be cautious, especially with so many red flags.
I have had a couple of bad spam experiences through Indeed “employers”.
At the same time, I do work from home and have had interviews (and classes) held in my living room.

I agree with @shadowfox476 and @tjrankin572 - suggest meeting at a local coffee shop - and bring a friend to sit a few tables away…

Have the friend learn kung-fu