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Job potentially earmarked for someone doing it, can I ask outright(ish)?

(18 Posts)
KTMorton Wed 04-Oct-17 18:38:15

Seen a job I’d like to apply for, have a phone call scheduled with who the role would be reporting to on Friday to hear more about it before submitting an application.

Some digging online tells me someone has been doing this role for 4 months, so my best guess is they’re temporary and a permanent role has now been created.

Would it be acceptable for me to ask “is there currently someone carrying out this role?” during the call? Just so I can manage my expectations a bit - i fulfil all the criteria in the personal spec however I’ve been on both sides of this in the past, missed out on roles after interview to be told an internal candidate/someone already doing the role from an agency was offered it; but also got permanent roles after doing them on a temp basis where others had to be interviewed too.

Will feel deflated if I managed to get to interview stage, took a days holiday etc to be turned down. Sorry if I sound negative I’m still a bit down from missing out on a role last month - same scenario, it went to an internal candidate after 2 rounds of interviews (and 2 days of annual leave taken).

Thoughts please!

ChicRock Wed 04-Oct-17 18:42:22

You know there's already someone carrying out this role, so I don't see the point in asking that. You already know the answer.

And if you ask outright "is someone earmarked for this role" they're hardly going to say "actually, tbh, yes so don't waste your time".

AhWoof Wed 04-Oct-17 18:50:29

Just be the best you can be in the chat/interview; even if someone is earmarked it doesn't mean you're not in with a chance. I was once earmarked for a role in an old job, pretty much told it was mine and then an external candidate came along and was better than me. Annoying at the time, but looking back I can see why the other person was chosen. Good luck.

WeAllHaveWings Wed 04-Oct-17 18:52:13

If there is already a preferred candidate then you really need to be prepared to go in and convince them you can not only do the role better than the current temp, but you will be an asset to the company longer term.

You never know but the current temp might be average at the role and they are looking for a higher calibre. They won't tell you this. It's a risk it is a waste of a day, but one thing is for sure, if you don't go you won't get it.

Alanna1 Wed 04-Oct-17 18:53:36

The code where I work is to ask if there's a "strong internal candidate".

Becca19962014 Wed 04-Oct-17 19:04:48

Twice I got a job that was earmarked for someone else as it turned out I had a different skill set which it turned out was geared more to where they wanted a role to go or came down to experience.

I know in both cases the people applied but assumed they'd be getting the job. One was an internal lectureship which had been done by a PhD student unofficially and the other was in an NHS trust where the person doing the role wrote the specification so they delibrately met all the essentials but didn't have as many of the non essentials and experience I do.

I've experienced it the other way around as well, where I did a role on a much reduced salary for twelve months for the salary to be doubled and given to someone else. I've also had a memorable interview where I was told someone had to be interviewed externally but I had zero chance and should just leave confused

I swear I could write a book on my wierd and wonderful interviews!

Basically you've no way of knowing what will happen - the job has been advertised. Go through the process the same you would if you knew nothing about the person doing the role. Have a chat about it Friday getting more information about the role and expectations. I know it's hard when you've been disappointed to think it's better not to, but honestly you've no way of knowing for definite they want the person doing it to continue doing the role.

Becca19962014 Wed 04-Oct-17 19:06:50

By assumed they'd get the job, I mean their applications were very poorly done, with less effort than they may have made for another job - I've made that costly mistake myself.

Redcliff Wed 04-Oct-17 22:28:06

Where I work we have plenty of people doing roles for a short time while we try and recruit who for lots of different reasons wouldn't be a long term solution. Sometimes we do have a strong internal candidate - in that circumstance a manager wouldn't waste their time talking to an external candidate. Good luck

blueshoes Wed 04-Oct-17 23:31:13

If there a firm policy that all internal roles have to be advertised? If not, then chances are the current person does not tick all the boxes, hence it has been 'put out to tender'.

Nothing ventured nothing gained. If you don't get it, you can always comfort yourself that you were not a serious contender. All interview practice is good practice. One day will be your turn and you want to be the best that day.

dippyeggsandtoast Thu 05-Oct-17 22:41:19

That’s what I keep telling myself blue. It’s hard to keep the spirits up though.

problembottom Fri 06-Oct-17 00:12:34

I once got a job and when I started the woman training me up was a temp who had been doing the role for a year and would shortly be leaving thanks to me. You can imagine how much fun that was. Good luck!

KTMorton Fri 06-Oct-17 17:05:12

Thanks everyone for your helpful words! The conversation went well I think, I didn’t really get a straight answer when I asked if the ‘team’ looking after this function was being added to/replacing someone currently in post etc, which is fair enough. Nothing venutured, nothing gained is right...i’ll crack on with giving it my best shot.

blueshoes Fri 06-Oct-17 22:06:59

Good luck, OP and dippy!

dippyeggsandtoast Fri 06-Oct-17 23:43:03

Thank you !flowers

KTMorton Thu 26-Oct-17 12:18:06

Hi again everyone,

Good news...I was offered the job! I went into the interview extremely relaxed as I was certain they already had someone in mind – whether they were a strong contender or not i’ll never know (maybe more will become clear after I start if they’re still in post). Thanks for all your positive stories. Good luck to all on the job search at the moment.

KT x

EBearhug Thu 26-Oct-17 16:10:48


Mustang27 Thu 26-Oct-17 17:27:42

I highly doubt they will be honest. I have done interviews knowing full well who the job was going to, upper management decision. It makes me feel uncomfortable but it happens in the workplace all the time or certainly did in the financial sector.

The only thing about doing an interview is when the opportunity arises next time you already have a foot through the door if you interviewed well the first time. It does help.

Mustang27 Thu 26-Oct-17 17:28:33

Oh ffs read whole thread before commenting.

Sorry I’m a moron. Congratulationswinecake

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