Hello All.

What are the dangers of taking a job for which you were not the "optimal" candidate?

For those who want it, here is the background story:

Six months ago, I applied for a position in one of my company's sister companies (owned by the same parent). I had a telephone interview and then a live interview around 6 months ago. Both interviews were with an HR person. I felt the interviews went fairly well, but weren't fantastic. I did all of the follow-up and didn't hear anything, so I assumed that I wasn't going to get the job.

A person in my network, let's call him Bill, made me aware of the position and recommended me for it. The recommendation was made to the president of the parent company, the hiring manager's boss. This all happened almost immediately after the position was vacated.

I was speaking to Bill about another matter a few weeks ago and he asked me about what happened with the position. I told him that I must not have been the right person for the job because I never heard back from the company. Bill said that was odd because he thought I was the exact person they were looking for and the position still wasn't filled.

Two nights ago, the HR person who interviewed me called and apologized for not getting back to me sooner and asked if I was still interested in the position. I said I was and she said she wanted me to interview with the hiring manager ASAP.

I know I don't have anything yet because I don't have an offer; however, I want to make sure that I take everything into consideration if an offer is extended.

Thank you for any advice you can offer!


juliahhavener's picture
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It sounds like an issue that has little to do with you and more to do with the internal hiring practices.

Prepare for the interview. Take your best game. Get the offer that hasn't been made yet!

One of my employees recently applied for a transfer position (lateral move to another location). I helped him prepare for the transfer including all the paperwork and resume. We had several discussions on preparation for the interview and mock interviews. We discussed phone interview ettiquette. He received a call that they wanted to hire him and were waiting on the start dates to send the offer letter. He followed up every two weeks...only to find that the person handling his transfer was no longer with the company and his position had been filled, would he be interested in another? I have a feeling something similar happened around your interview.

asteriskrntt1's picture

Nice response Julia

I was just at a staff meeting for a marketing course I am teaching, which is all about designing the marketing plan. One of the last steps is the "Activity Sheet", or who does what by when. I insisted that all the instructors add a Repercussions column to show students how if a certain activity is missed, it can domino through the entire project.


WillDuke's picture
Training Badge

I'm with Julia on this. You don't know what happened. Don't psych yourself out about it.

Even if you were number 2, so what? How many of us have hired candidate number two and had our expectations exceeded? How many of us have hired candidate number one and been disappointed? Hiring is not a perfect practice.

If you want the job, interview for it. Knock their socks off. Get the offer. By then you'll know them a little better, and you can make a more informed decision about whether to accept the offer.

On the other hand if you have information that leads you to believe you don't want the job, let it go. But I don't think "maybe" being second choice is enough to turn the job down. That's just ego talking. :)

leigh_k's picture

I don't see any reason why you should assume you were candidate #2. We've been going through the recruiting process ourselves and guess what - it just takes time.

In larger organizations, filling positions during the summer months takes longer as people take vacations and that gets in the way of the process. It's difficult to get all of the decision makers together at the same time to, well, decide.

cb_bob's picture

These are all very helpful responses, thank you all!

I will just keep moving forward like this is a "normal" interview process and see what happens.

I'll let you all know if I learn anything new.


WillDuke's picture
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Not LIKE it's a normal process. It IS a normal process. You're good. They like you and want to consider putting you on their team. It's a compliment.

jhack's picture

Will's right. In a 'normal' process (whatever that is) you don't know if are their ideal or not.

What matters is what happens when they hire you. Do a great job, and it will not matter if you were their first choice, or if ten others turned them down.

Remember: Michael Jordan was draft pick #3 (after Hakeem Olajuwon and Sam Bowie).


MattJBeckwith's picture
Licensee BadgeTraining Badge

Remember: Michael Jordan was draft pick #3 (after Hakeem Olajuwon and Sam Bowie). [/quote]

Wow, I did not know that! That is great!

suedavis's picture
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[quote="jhack"]Remember: Michael Jordan was draft pick #3[/quote]

...and Mike Piazza was a courtesy pick in the 61st round of the draft.

Mark's picture
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I apologize that this has taken so long.

I hope the interview went well. It's just another interview: prepare as if it's the most important one ever...which is the way to approach ANY interview.