Crazy state of Hawaii


Well-known member
Oct 6, 2010
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Honolulu, HI, USA
I applied for a job working with the State, a programming job with a pay range from a bit less than I'm making now, to quite a bit more.

They mailed me a notification that I met the qualifications and to call a certain number to schedule and interview. I was excited!

Then the phone call. :p

They tell me, that they don't do phone screens, or interview via skype. I can only interview in person, and I have to show up either this Thursday or next Thursday. So that would be like $1500+ just to walk in the door.

*Plus* they tell me that despite the salary range listed, they only hire at the bottom of the range, so I'd be making less money than I do now, except in Honolulu, where the cost of living is 1.8x the national average.

I declined, sadly. As much as I'd love to make that move, that's just a bit too many issues.

Who the heck doesn't do phone screens? (grumbles)
I'm not saying that this is true of your situation, but I think in places like Hawaii, which are considered by many to be "plum" places to get jobs, potential employers will use the "you have to come out here for an initial interview" tactic to separate (they believe) those who are serious about the job itself from those who are looking for work because what really matters to them is moving to Hawaii (or whatever other destination). I used to see a similar sort of thing years ago, when I was in law school and law students would try to interview for summer associate positions at firms they had no interest in just to live in that firm's exotic city for the summer, although that was before there was technology like skype.
My wife had a similar experience, but with a job in Alaska. Like said before I think it comes down to the (apparent) seriousness of the job seeker to actually work in the location.

I on the other hand did have a phone interview with the state of Alaska.

As for the pay range, I think it is pretty typical of government agencies to hire at the lowest wage they can. If experience is there though you can typically start at a higher grade, and pay.
I don't think it's just Hawaii....If you are from outta state, I sure every employer would love to see their applicants in person....that's
the way it see not only your qualifications, but your personality and demeanor that so employer would
be crazy to hire you on your credentials alone...would you...
My wife was allowed to phone interview for the job she has now, working for the Commonwealth of Kentucky. She would have only had to drive 2 hours for a face to face interview. Less than an hour after she was interviewed, she was called back with a job offer. That was in 2001.
yeah, this is really what I meant to be ranting about. I don't mind an in-person visit as a second interview. Just seems kinda silly to require it for the first step, when ten minutes on the phone could save both me and them the time and expense.
It took me about five years to land a job in Hawaii. I was a frequent visitor and would try to set up interviews for when I would be in town. I flew in for one of them (because I really wanted the job, and wanted them to know I was serious) and I did not get offered the job, as it was a government job (county of Kauai) and they did not get the necessary gov't funding to fill the position. Oh well, I was out $500 but imagine how I would have felt had not taken the chance?
I have been driven by two thoughts:

1. Make your own luck
2. You miss 100% of the shots you never take

So I kept applying, I kept talking to people, and I kept knocking on doors while I was visiting. I went to the Job Fair at the Blaisdell Center and handed out resumes.
I learned that they pay less, a lot less, in Hawaii. I also learned that employers want to know that you are serious, in it for the long haul, and preferably have ties to Hawaii, like family that live here or knowledge of what it is really like to live here. Turnover can be high once people get disillusioned with what LIVING here is like as opposed to visiting when you are on vacation.

I finally got a call back for an opportunity, we talked on the phone, and then had a Skype interview that went well. I heard nothing for two weeks. I called them back and asked if I was still being considered or do I need to keep looking. They called me back and asked for another Skype interview, which also went well. An hour after that second Skype interview I was offered the job I currently hold. So the two in-person interviews did not pan out but I kept trying!

So now my wife and I live in Hawaii! My wife has some family here, and we miss everyone in California, and I do have to live with less pay and higher expenses. But guess what? Every weekend I am in Hawaii, and that makes up for all of it. We love it here. If you really want it, you can do it, I am living proof.
Hey Pueo

glad you got a job fit right in..what people don't get is Hawaii very old school in almost everyway..the people think and treat people so different in a good way..and that from living in Northern Calif for over 30 years

Btw Northern Calif cost of living a little higher than care here 50% less then in Northern Calif.just an example.. so are the uke lessons Lol

for some reason health plans in SoCal the same as here..but totally different in N.Calif?

so I gots to call you a local bruddah already
take care
If only I had my green card or US citizenship! Your fate is what you make of it, hats off to you Pueo! I guess some folks don't want to take the pay cut to live in paradise. When I was younger, I wanted to go where the money was and stress etc didn't bother me. Now that I'm getting older my priorities have changed and I realize that money isn't always the most important thing anymore, it's what makes you happy today.
Don't know how you can be surprised by this. It's a little important for the applicant to be currently residing in the location of the job. Shoot, I live on O‘ahu and applied for jobs on the Big Island and was told I had to be there to be considered.
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