BLUF:  Should I interview for an opening that I am already told I will not get?

There is an opening with my current employer that represents the next logical progression for my career.  I really want the promotion, feel that I am ready, and have the results to back it up.   However, my boss has made it clear to me that I can interview for the role, but will not get the role.   It was made clear that it would be good to go through the process, but I don't stand a chance at winning the assignment.   Several of my peers are also going for this role and my instinct is telling me one of them already has a substiantial inside track to it.

My reaction is to still interview, if anything I am more motivated than ever by being counted out before I interview.   I really can not think of a downside to this, but wanted to get some MT community advice.  

Can anyone think of a downside to interviewing for this opening, even if I don't win it?

Solitaire's picture

You should definitely interview for the role in my opinion.

You'll get a chance to summarise all of the reasons you'd be great for the role and give concrete examples, things your boss may have forgotten, or not considered in conjunction with each other. Even if it is a done deal this time, then hopefully you will have raised your profile for next time there is an opportunity.

It's also great to get experience at interviewing so that you can learn from how you perform.

Good luck!

BariTony's picture

You need to move on. I'm shocked that your boss would tell you that you don't have a chance, assuming that you are being honest with yourself and you really do have a shot at the position. I'd go through the interview process anyways. This would give you the opportunity to brush up your resume and practice your interviewing skills. Also, follow MT guidance on treating this like a real interview. Wear a suit to the interview, practice your answers, have a hard copy of your resume on one page in the MT format.

Your boss might have selfish reasons for keeping you where you are. Or he might have the inside track and know that someone's a shoe-in. However, from your email, it sounds like he's not the key decision maker, or even necessarily a stakeholder in this decision. The bottom line is that he may not know as much as he thinks he does about what the hiring manager is thinking. I've seen instances of people interviewing for roles where it was treated like a formality and the lost out because they didn't show enthusiasm during the actual interview. That opened up the possibility for someone else to come in and treat it seriously, and the hiring manager was more impressed with the candidate who showed up on time, prepared for the interview, was enthusiastic, and showed they really wanted the job.

If, after all of that, you honestly feel like you were qualified but didn't get the position because of internal politics, it's time to consider moving on. This isn't unreasonable. You think you can do more for the company, and they've told you that you won't be given the opportunity to prove it. But someone else might, and in that case, you'll already be prepared for the interview.

Good Luck!