Author Topic: "...interviewing locals only..."?!  (Read 2873 times)

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Norah Jane Scheinman

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"...interviewing locals only..."?!
« on: Sep 08, 2014, 02:53 pm »
Hi All,

I recently applied for a season-long gig with a ballet company on the West Coast and worked really hard on the application. I knew this company would get a lot of applications, as I had applied last year, so I made sure to send my materials on the same day they posted the job.

I just heard back that due to the number of applicants, they are only interviewing locals. :(  What's most upsetting about this to me is that they did not include this little detail in the job posting. I did make sure to include in my cover letter that I'd be willing to relocate to their town ASAP and that I had sufficient resources to do so.

Has anyone else had this happen to them? How did you respond? Unfortunately, I was trying to use this job as an opportunity to gain experience in ballet, so I can't exactly send them an exhaustive list of how well-suited I am to the job due to prior experience.

Would love some advice if anyone has some to spare.
~Norah
"Service is a willingness to serve something larger than yourself" - Barack Obama

loebtmc

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Re: "...interviewing locals only..."?!
« Reply #1 on: Sep 08, 2014, 03:14 pm »
Hate to say it, but welcome to the real world. For example, the largest theaters in San Diego hire only those within 50 miles (eg commuters who don't need housing) ... or from their casting call in NYC (with rare but occasional exception). Many LA-area actors, directors, producers and stage managers complain regularly about having to move to NY in order to get theater work in LA. On the flip side, there was a recent complaint by NYC TV writers that the folks only hired Hollywood-based folks for their scripts. "Locals only" happens way too often, and all the time.

On the one hand, it is a good thing for local AEA members to have a leg up on out-of-towners. It is their town, after all, and their intent is to make a living doing what they love where they are. But it also means folks from out of town (well, other than NYC) feel like there is no chance for them. It's a very challenging balancing act.

Norah Jane Scheinman

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Re: "...interviewing locals only..."?!
« Reply #2 on: Sep 08, 2014, 04:13 pm »
Thanks. I suppose I knew all that, but had hoped that we had managed as an industry to overcome that old exclusivity.
"Service is a willingness to serve something larger than yourself" - Barack Obama

Maribeth

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Re: "...interviewing locals only..."?!
« Reply #3 on: Sep 08, 2014, 05:30 pm »
It's unfortunate, but you can hardly blame them- it's cheaper and logistically easier to hire locally, especially if they receive a lot of applicants. I've been hired "as local" for a position before, meaning that I was responsible for my own housing and travel.

Similarly, I've had people call me for an interview before, and find out that in the interview that the posted job dates were incorrectly listed (and I was not available for the actual dates.) It happens sometimes. :/

It sounds like they may have made the decision based on the number of applicants though, so it's unlikely that they would have known that when they posted the position. I think the only way you can respond is graciously, and if they are a company that you want to work with, keep in touch with them and show that you're interested.

ejsmith3130

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Re: "...interviewing locals only..."?!
« Reply #4 on: Sep 09, 2014, 12:19 pm »
After college I wanted to work in Philly, a notoriously "locals" town, that rarely provides housing. I did the same as you and stated that I was planning on relocating, etc. I did get one interview, but I didn't end up with the job for various other reasons (but it was one that does hire people from out of town on a regular basis for the apprenticeship).

I had to end up taking the plunge, moved, got a day job, and was then able to apply as a local. What do you know, but in less than a month I had a job. Sometimes it is all about the address on your resume.

If you really want to work in that town, move there. If you have the resources, what is stopping you? Yes it is really scary moving to a place where you don't know anyone and don't have a job you love- yet. It is a gamble you have to take if you really have your heart set on one place.

MatthewShiner

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Re: "...interviewing locals only..."?!
« Reply #5 on: Sep 09, 2014, 11:45 pm »
Here's the thing - in this day and age, no one knows where you live really.

If you think are going into a situation where the housing is an issue - just leave off your address.

If they call you for an interview and you are out of town, you could always say "I am currently out of town on another job"

It's tricky, because location, is not a protected job category as far as discrimination, but still feels lousy.
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Anything posted here as in my own personal opinion, and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of my employer - whomever they be at a given moment in time.

KMC

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Re: "...interviewing locals only..."?!
« Reply #6 on: Sep 10, 2014, 08:39 am »
To add on to Matthew's post in  - if you feel it's a "locals only" situation, in addition to omitting your address you can always get a free phone number from Google Voice of the local area code in the city you're trying to work.  This tactic could be seen as a bit underhanded by some employers, but it wouldn't be difficult to put a positive spin on it and sell it as a demonstration of just how serious you are about relocating.
Get action. Do things; be sane; donít fritter away your time; create, act, take a place wherever you are and be somebody; get action. -T. Roosevelt

Norah Jane Scheinman

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Re: "...interviewing locals only..."?!
« Reply #7 on: Sep 10, 2014, 02:54 pm »
Thank you all for the advice! I ended up writing a very gracious thank you note, and next time I'll consider incorporating some of your clever tactics. I am also on the hunt for a new home to relocate to (Houston? Seattle? Denver?), while making the best use of my network to find work thats more local and accessible.
"Service is a willingness to serve something larger than yourself" - Barack Obama

BayAreaSM

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Re: "...interviewing locals only..."?!
« Reply #8 on: Sep 10, 2014, 03:32 pm »
To add on to Matthew's post in  - if you feel it's a "locals only" situation, in addition to omitting your address you can always get a free phone number from Google Voice of the local area code in the city you're trying to work.  This tactic could be seen as a bit underhanded by some employers, but it wouldn't be difficult to put a positive spin on it and sell it as a demonstration of just how serious you are about relocating.

Though what if that employer asked you to come in for an in-person interview? What would you say?

KMC

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Re: "...interviewing locals only..."?!
« Reply #9 on: Sep 10, 2014, 09:42 pm »
To add on to Matthew's post in  - if you feel it's a "locals only" situation, in addition to omitting your address you can always get a free phone number from Google Voice of the local area code in the city you're trying to work.  This tactic could be seen as a bit underhanded by some employers, but it wouldn't be difficult to put a positive spin on it and sell it as a demonstration of just how serious you are about relocating.

Though what if that employer asked you to come in for an in-person interview? What would you say?

"Let me start by saying thank you for the interest; being considered for the position at your company is extremely flattering.  Now that we're able to have a discussion outside the confines of my resume I should clarify that I'm in the process of relocating to X from Y.  I'm several steps into the process and expecting to be settled by Z date.  In addition to A, B and C a fourth step I've taken for the move is acquiring a local phone number, though please pardon any confusion on my current location.  Until I'm settled I'm available immediately for a phone or skype interview, however if an in person interview is preferred I will make myself available in person.  Thanks again for your interest and I'm looking forward to the opportunity to interview with your company."

Now - for that to work you've actually got to be seriously willing to relocate pretty quickly, and willing to get to an in person interview if they ask for it.  It's a little bit underhanded, sure, but it's not a lie (so long as you never say you actually ARE local).  The job market is competitive, take any [ethical] edge you can get.
Get action. Do things; be sane; donít fritter away your time; create, act, take a place wherever you are and be somebody; get action. -T. Roosevelt

MatthewShiner

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Re: "...interviewing locals only..."?!
« Reply #10 on: Sep 10, 2014, 11:55 pm »
What would you do if they asked you for an in person interview for a local job and you were out of town for a job?

Visiting a friend?

I live n NYC and have interviewed for jobs in NYC while I was in China, in a hospital in NJ, Boston, Chicago, etc, etc . . .

Sorry, I can do a phone/skype interview, I am currently out of town.  If they press for an in person meeting - well, then - then they have called your bluff and you should fly out there and meet with them (for seasonal work, I would be reluctant to hire ANYONE without spending some time in the room with them).

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loebtmc

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Re: "...interviewing locals only..."?!
« Reply #11 on: Sep 11, 2014, 01:10 pm »
Matthew's point is well-taken. I lost an out-of-town job that required an in-person interview because I was working in a different state (and, in fact, in the only casting day of a show I was directing on the same day they wanted to schedule the interview). Despite offers to Skype, phone in or reschedule, they were adamant.

 

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