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Submitted by itilimp on


It's been awhile since I had a job interview as I've been in my current post for 3 1/2 years.

A job for an IT manager has come up where I work advertised internally only and although I don't actually want this particular position (my eye is on something else in IT service delivery) I was thinking it may be worth applying for the interview experience.

My concerns are:
- If I apply and tell my peers the reason I am doing so is for the interview experience they may not believe me which may lead to some negative behaviours towards me.
- If I apply the interview panel will feel I am wasting their valuable time (and potentially mine).

Can anyone advise how they would view an internal candidate knowing that they do not actually want to get the job?

Thanks in advance.[/list]

TimBryce's picture

I think you have answered your own question.

All the Best,

BradK's picture

Don't do it - You'll be noticed for your true intentions and it could damage your credibility. If someone did that to me that would be the last interview I would grant them.

cincibuckeyenut's picture

I think they are both right. If you have no intentions, don't do it.

If you are open to the possibility or don't know enough about the job to say for sure, then it is fair game. But there has to be some level of legitimate interest.

itilimp's picture
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What I forgot to mention is my original post is that the Head of Division who will be on the interview panel is the one who put the idea in my head. The conversation went something like this:

Him: "Have you had any interviews recently?"
Me: "No, but I do keep my eye on the job market if that is what you are asking."
Him: "No, but when was the last one you had? Interviews have changed a lot and are tougher now. It is worth just getting some more experience of it. It will be good panel with 4 of us (followed by names of said people)."
Me: "I'm interested in the Service Delivery Manager post."
Him: "That doesn't exist yet, it will be about 18 months down the line."
Me: "Yes, I know."

After more discussion I said I'd interview for the experience. It's when I got home that evening that I started thinking about the impact of doing so which led to my post.

Does everyone still stand by their advice or does this colour things?

It's not that I'm not interested at all. It the post were in another organisation I'd probably go for it. My concern is that my peers would be unable to accept me as a manager as I came up from below them and joined their ranks within 3 months. I've been in my current role for 3 years.


BradK's picture

It's really hard to understand the dynamics of such conversations through this medium but my gut instinct would be to still decline. In fact, given that conversation I would express my appreciation for his consideration but politely explain that since this is not the job you are interested in that you would not want to set up false expectations or waste the time of those participating in the panel interview.

Good luck!

itilimp's picture
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Thanks for the affirmation, I think you're right - I just needed to hear someone else say it.

As I did make it clear to him where my interests lay, and my direct line manager is also aware of this - it makes more sense to hold off.

I think some thing that was concerning me was that if I didn't apply for it they may mistake it for lack of ambition rather than recognise it just isn't quite the role I am after.

I'll ensure that is clear next week if it isn't already.

Thanks again for the advice.

Mark's picture
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Never in a million years would I ever tolerate this. It is duplicitous. I know some people would look the other way, I know that some people think it's okay for all kinds of vaguely tolerable (but ultimately selfish) reasons.

In one way, it's as simple as this: if you assume a professional interview ("why do you want this position?"), you are committing yourself to a lie. END OF STORY.

Managers are professionals. Professionals are ethical. Therefore, managers are ethical. if you behave unethically, you're telling others you're all about the title, and not about the responsibility.

Do I understand the temptation? SURE. And I know it happens. And I know there are worse sins. But this one is on the dark side of where I draw my line.

"Do your duty in all things. You cannot do more; you should not wish to do less." (R.E. Lee)

MattJBeckwith's picture
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I imagine the temptation is presented out there quite a bit so it's good to have the discussion about it here.

What can you do to help prepare for future interviews? Ask your spouse or family member do a mock interview of you. Want to really learn something about yourself??? Video tape yourself in a mock interview and watch it alone... with plenty of paper to take notes.

itilimp's picture
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Yes, it would be unprofessional - I hadn't quite thought of it that way. It's the first promotion opportunity that has been available where I work in 3 years (they don't come around often in our IT section).

Presumably it would be professional to say to my divisional head,

"Thanks for thinking of me but it isn't the role I am after. However, I would welcome the chance to get some interview tips for a more challenging role. Would you or one of your colleagues be able to spare a little time to coach me?"

Mark's picture
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THAT sounds great. And, we continue to work on our interviewing casts...

Sorry to sound so direct, but every once in a while I feel strongly about something. ;-)


itilimp's picture
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Np, I appreciate you all taking the time to respond - it's like having a little conscience on your shoulder.

Incidentally, I really look forward to your casts on interviewing (for both sides of the process).

As an aside, I re-wrote my resume according to your principles and it actually fits on one page, result!

MattJBeckwith's picture
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Yeah Mark, wink wink. Every once in a while you feel strongly about something? Every once in a while our planet orbits the sun, every once in a while I accidently burn toast. You feel strongly about something like I wake up in the morning: every day of the week... which is why your show is so great.

Your tongue in cheek humor certainly made me laugh today.

ctomasi's picture

As one of my directs (and close friends) is fond of saying "I don't have beliefs, just strongly held convictions."