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When you put a lot of effort into a job interview..

81 replies

GirlOnATrainToShite · 17/07/2017 18:30

And you get there and totally feel like there is an internal candidate who has been primed and lined up for it?

Went for public sector job today and there were 6 candidates, including myself, one of them the leaving persons deputy.

Very cagey about being "internal" to the point they pretended they didn't know their way round on the tour of the building and when approached by a staff member ushered them away.

We were asked to give a presentation which she would have had a massive advantage in knowing what they were looking for (I emailed in advance and got as much info as possible and it's a job I am already doing).

One of the interview panel gave us a speech at the beginning of the day saying if you are offering this this and this then this is not the right job for you - which internal candidate would have known!

Clearly I was not successful and neither were two others (one told she was too inexperienced- so why did they interview her?!) so this could be sour grapes but AIBU to think this is unfair and a bloody waste of my time and energy and new bloody dress

And bets on that she got it.

Is this ok?

Over 60 applicants.

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amusedbush · 17/07/2017 18:33

I've interviewed a few times recently and every time I've been told I've been shortlisted or come second. The last one gave fantastic feedback and said I was second in line for the post. They shared my application with another internal team hiring for a similar role, who were very keen and asked me to interview. I did, and didn't get that either.

I'm at the end of my rope with it!

amusedbush · 17/07/2017 18:35

Sorry, I just ignored the question and ranted there Blush

Sadly that happens all the time, especially in my sector. It's crap and no, I don't think it's okay but I see it a lot.

Pengweng · 17/07/2017 18:39

I had an interview two weeks ago and out of 4 people being interviewed for the job I was the only non internal applicant there. I knew as soon as I spoke to one of them, that they already had the job. Weirdly it made me less nervous and I just used it as interview practice. Strangely they rang the following week to tell me I hadn't got it but that they really liked me and would keep me in mind for anything else that cam up.

I hope you find something too.

Blondielongie · 17/07/2017 18:39

This happened to me OP. I found out very quickly I didn't get the job. Within hours of the interview. And immediately emailed for feedback which took a week to come. Although as soon as I hit send I twigged that they were going to hire the candidates they had personally known for years. (Met them in the interview room)

Why waste my time if they knew they were going to hire their friends? Or in this case ex-clients.

GirlOnATrainToShite · 17/07/2017 18:39

Also - we were shown around and introduced to about 10/15 staff members and told we could ask them anything we wanted to as they weren't part of the process. During coffee break in the staff room they huddled together with one of the panel and one of them even put a file over her face so it couldn't be seen what was being said - the

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frieda909 · 17/07/2017 18:40

I sympathise, I really do! I've been both the external and internal candidate in these scenarios, so I know that it's just how it works sometimes, but they could at least make an effort not to make it so bloody obvious!

I was once waiting for an interview, and due to some kind of communication breakdown the person escorting out the previous candidate didn't realise I was sitting right there when they came out. So, right in front of me he said to her 'It's so lovely to see you again! And I'm sure we'll see you soon Wink'. Then disappeared and came back a few minutes later all 'oh, are you Frieda? I didn't realise you'd be waiting here...'

Needless to say, she got the job!

GirlOnATrainToShite · 17/07/2017 18:41

I got a phone call less than an hour after the last interview.

The internal candidate was first as she had training this afternoon.

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LuxCoDespondent · 17/07/2017 18:43

It's pretty common I'm afraid. A big(ish) company has to have a recruitment policy that, on the face of things, ensures external candidates are not disadvantaged. But the individual managers want to recruit from within - the people are a known quantity, which is what a manager wants. And why would they, the manager, want to take a risk and recruit someone new when there is a perfectly acceptable candidate in-house, desperate for the job?

The irony of this situation is that the recruitment policy demands the job is advertised externally, and that suitable candidates must be shortlisted and interviewed fairly. But the manager already knows who they want, so carefully structures the interviews in order to get the result they want.

The result? Wasted time for all concerned. The HR people have wasted their time, the manager has wasted their time, the internal candidate has wasted their time, and the suckers external candidates who applied in good faith have wasted their time.

Who wins? The company can tick a few boxes, "prove" they were fair, and get the candidate they originally intended.

Shit, yes, unfair yes, that's business. It's progress from the days when women could be asked if they were thinking of getting pregnant, but it's still an unfair system. They're just better at masking it.

Groupie123 · 17/07/2017 18:45

You say that but if you absolutely spank the internal candidate in all of the interview processes you can get the job. I got my current role after beating two internal candidates.

GirlOnATrainToShite · 17/07/2017 18:49

You cannot spank the candidate if they gave insider knowledge of exactly what the employer is looking for.

I would rather they (it was allowed) just recruited that person without advertising- it then does not waste my time or energy or raise my hopes.

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GirlOnATrainToShite · 17/07/2017 18:49


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frieda909 · 17/07/2017 18:52

I agree with LuxCo, but I'm not sure what companies can do differently as they can't just stop advertising those jobs externally. That said, there are definitely ways of wasting slightly less of everyone's time!

I work in an industry where we're all on short contracts, and where applying and interviewing internally happens a LOT. Sometimes it feels justified but sometimes it's just a case of putting someone through a massive amount of stress, when they're already reaching the end of their contract, and where they're pretty sure they're a shoe-in for the job but have to go through all that stress anyway and there's always the slight chance that the bosses might decide they like someone else better. So it isn't fun no matter which side you're on.

Also, internal interviews are their own special kind of horrible, especially when all your colleagues know beforehand and you have to put up with them asking 'How did it go? Any news??' every five minutes afterwards, and then awkwardly bumping into your interviewers in the canteen the next day when you still haven't heard anything...

Groupie123 · 17/07/2017 18:52

Do you not use your linkedin contacts to find a recruiter for the company? I've done this every time I've applied for a job and in some cases beforehand too. Recruiters will often tell you if you're wasting their time and can get insider info too.

gamerwidow · 17/07/2017 18:53

What Lux said it's one of the biggest frustrations of public sector recruiting. You have to advertise even if you have someone internal you want to give the role to. Normally we try to get round it by advertising the job for one day and hopefully closing it before anyone notices it's there. It's a stupid waste of time for all involved.

BoysofMelody · 17/07/2017 18:55

It has happened to me countless times, it is common in academia for early career jobs. They have to advertise, but they've got a candidate who has just finished their PhD with the person they're replacing whilst they go on research leave. There's a logic to it, they are well placed as they'll have worked on something similar already or if it is a teaching job, they may well have taught on the courses whilst undertaking their PhD, other times it is blatant favouritism and the internal has been the least experienced candidate and has got the job.

It is demoralising and awkward for you and the internal candidate, as everyone knows the score. They have to advertise, you're there to make it look like a competitive process, but short of the internal candidate exposing themselves or saying something overtly racist, the job is theirs.

That said it isn't always the case, sometimes the internal is given an interview as experience to stand them in good stead further down the line, I beat an internal candidate to my current job, where I suspect this was the case.

frieda909 · 17/07/2017 18:59

Groupie I would never in a million years do that but I suppose every industry is different.

Girl, insider knowledge can be helpful of course, but it only gets you so far. And sometimes it works against you as they've already formed their opinion of you before you walk in the door.

gamerwidow · 17/07/2017 18:59

Thinking about it though internal candidate is not always a shoo in. Last post I recruited to had 3 internal applicants 2 of which I'd worked with but I gave the job to an external applicant because they were the best candidate. Being an internal candidate actually worked against them in this case because I knew their cv didn't actually reflect their ability.

Palegreenstars · 17/07/2017 19:00

This happens in the third sector all the time and is so pointless. Agree with treating it like practice.

I also think it's rude when companies don't even have the decency to send a rejection email. 'We have a policy of only contacting candidates that have achieved an interview' when you've spent hours on the application. I don't even mind if they don't feedback - just a rejection would be helpful

BeyondThePage · 17/07/2017 19:04

There is also the other side of the coin (public sector). DH was temporary promoted into his role - had 6 months successful probation so now has the honour of applying for his current job - which has to be advertised externally because of "the rules".

It is a nightmare for both sides.

GirlOnATrainToShite · 17/07/2017 19:05

It's not always a shoo in no - but this clearly was and other candidates commented on it.

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GirlOnATrainToShite · 17/07/2017 19:07

I am just feeling sorry for myself as I hate my current job (new manager, new structure which will almost mean I can complain of constructive dismissal) and this was perfect for me - but it did not feel like a level playing field.

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gamerwidow · 17/07/2017 19:10

I think you're allowed to feel sorry for yourself a bit. It is disappointingFlowers

frieda909 · 17/07/2017 19:10

The part about them openly gossiping with the other staff members in front of you is pretty shocking. That's really unprofessional!

Although, that said, you should never believe them when they say someone isn't part of the process. I've been that 'someone' a few times and although you're not officially involved in the decision making, you're usually asked afterwards if you formed any strong opinions about that person.

I know of one person (an otherwise strong candidate) who was rude to the guy who greeted her at reception to escort her to the interview, and she spent the whole time going on about how the job was really beneath her and she could do it with her eyes closed. After the day of interviews he was asked if he had any thoughts on the candidates and of course he immediately said 'not her!'

Decaffstilltastesweird · 17/07/2017 19:11

I've never had this, but I'm annoyed for you op. If you had to give a presentation, had time to chat to other staff members and the day was long enough to require a coffee break, then it must have been a long day for you. I know they have to advertise roles they want to recruit for internally, but they could easily have made the process far easier on candidates. Especially since they never had any intention of hiring any of you. It is a load of bollocks. What is the point in these dog and pony shows if they know employers find ways of hiring exactly who they like internally anyway?

GirlOnATrainToShite · 17/07/2017 19:11

I was charming to the gossipers and asked lots of questions Grin

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