Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => All In A Day's Work => Topic started by: Alli8098 on March 10, 2014, 04:21:07 PM

Title: Friend applying for the same position you are?
Post by: Alli8098 on March 10, 2014, 04:21:07 PM
Ok, I'm going to start off by saying this is just and etiquette question and in no way am I upset with the person or the story I'm about to relate.  I'm just curious about the etiquette involved in such a situation and what e-hell thinks.  Seriously, I'm not looking for or needing advice.

So I left my awfully bad job suddenly in November and then experienced some health issue culminating into gallbladder surgery at the end of January.  So now that I'm starting to feel better I've been job hunting again.  I have a close friend who is employed but has been searching for something with higher pay.  I honestly don't know what he's making now but I know he had to get his bachelors to get the position.

Anyway when I've mentioned to him any phone interviews, screenings, and that I now have an on-site interview set up this week he starts asking certain questions.  He asks the company name, position, pay, where I found the listing, and so on.  To me it sounds like he's thinking of applying for the position too.  Now this is an assumption since he hasn't stated he intends to do so, just a possibility due to the types of questions he's asking

So my question e-hellions what is the etiquette for something like this.  Is it polite for someone you know who's also job hunting to grill you about what you've applied for with the intent to apply as well?  Again, not complaining or looking for advice with my friend.  Just curious to know if something like that is against any kind of etiquette.
Title: Re: Friend applying for the same position you are?
Post by: TurtleDove on March 10, 2014, 04:25:53 PM
I don't think it's generally polite to grill someone about any topic, but I don't think there are etiquette problems with applying for the same jobs. Isn't that the entire concept behind LinkedIn (to share information about jobs)?
Title: Re: Friend applying for the same position you are?
Post by: TootsNYC on March 10, 2014, 04:27:49 PM
I think it's bad form to directly ask the competing candidate for any of the information you'd use to find the job.

Some people ask those kinds of questions because they're building background info that will help them do their own search for their own job later.

Some ask for this kind of detail because they're just "information dense" people who want to know as much as possible before they give their friends "rah-rah, go, You!" support.

(Congrats on leaving that job, btw--and best of luck in the hunt.)
Title: Re: Friend applying for the same position you are?
Post by: Arila on March 10, 2014, 04:29:02 PM
I don't know, the questions don't necessarily lead me to believe that he's trying to get the job out from under you, just seem kind of like he's trying to make sure he's covering all of his bases if you're getting calls and interviews and he isn't...

I might liken it to a couple of fishermen comparing a stretch of stream, the bait/lure used and the size of the fish caught on any given day.
Title: Re: Friend applying for the same position you are?
Post by: peaches on March 10, 2014, 04:35:14 PM
Is it polite for someone you know who's also job hunting to grill you about what you've applied for with the intent to apply as well? 

No.

But it's fine to ask friends if they have any job leads for you. In that way, you are being upfront about your motives. And the friends can decide whether to offer information or not. 


Title: Re: Friend applying for the same position you are?
Post by: LazyDaisy on March 10, 2014, 04:35:45 PM
I agree with Turtledove, I don't think it's polite to grill someone about anything, whether they intend to apply for the same job or not. You are well within your rights to only answer what you feel comfortable even if it's just a general, "I'm looking for work and I've applied to several places recently. Now, how about that sports team!"

That said, I don't think there is anything wrong with a friend applying for the same position. It's a part of life that sometimes we (generally) have to compete for limited resources (jobs, housing, products and services for sale, etc.) No one has any more right to compete than anyone else.
Title: Re: Friend applying for the same position you are?
Post by: PastryGoddess on March 10, 2014, 04:37:09 PM
When you start to feel uncomfortable, you may just want to say "Why do you ask?"  This give you some time to formulate an answer and maybe he'll be honest about why he's asking so many questions.

Also just because he asks a question doesn't mean you have to answer.  I wouldn't answer any questions about pay at all.  Rather than give specific answers to questions about the position or company you can be vague.  Say that it's a marketing, or admin, or whatever type job.  Give the field that the company is in rather than the actual name of the company. 
Title: Re: Friend applying for the same position you are?
Post by: tinkytinky on March 10, 2014, 04:49:17 PM
I don't know. If acompany is hiring in several positions, he might want to throw his hat into the ring. But if there is only one position open and he applies, knowing that you are interested/have interviewed/etc., that borders on rude.

I had this happen to me once. I was trying to go to a full time job from a part time job due to needing to pay off some medical bills. I asked a lady I'd known a for a long time if she minded if I put her as a personal reference. She asked where I was applying, so (knowing that she had been at her job for years and loved it) I told her. I was called for an interview, then a second interview. When I came out of the second interview, she was in the lobby waiting. After some small talk and her giving me a thin excuse of why she was there, I left. I got the job, but after I started, my coworkers told me they were suprised to see me when they had been introduced to the other lady and were told she was going to be the new employee.......I really don't talk with this lady anymore.
Title: Re: Friend applying for the same position you are?
Post by: CrazyDaffodilLady on March 10, 2014, 05:25:38 PM
tinkytinky, I'd be very angry if someone who agreed to be a reference for me applied for the same position behind my back.  You know they're not going to give you a great recommendation. 
Title: Re: Friend applying for the same position you are?
Post by: katycoo on March 10, 2014, 07:21:28 PM
I think I would just stop telling this person about upcoming interviews.
Title: Re: Friend applying for the same position you are?
Post by: cicero on March 11, 2014, 02:49:29 AM
I don't think there is anything rude about applying for the same job that you know someone else is applying for, whether you got the info from that person or from the internet or a search firm. if the job is out there, then anyone can apply for it. If you(in general, job seekers) don't want to mess up your chances of getting a job, then don't talk about it with anyone. it is certainly not rude to say "Oh i don't want to jinx it so i'm not going to say anything", or "sorry, there is a confidentially issue, can't give out more information", or whatever suits your situation.

I don't think "grilling you" is ever polite (unless you're a police officer investigating a crime), but if your friend was asking questions and you were giving info that you didn't want to give - that's really on you. when you are out there job hunting - you need to be careful about what information you give out to people, especially at a time when jobs are hard to come by.

Tinky - your situation is a bit different, because you had to tell her what company /posiiton you were applying for if you wanted to use her as a reference.
Title: Re: Friend applying for the same position you are?
Post by: bopper on March 11, 2014, 09:20:22 AM
"Why do you ask? Are you looking for a new job?  Tell me what you are looking for and if I see anything that would match I will let you know."
Title: Re: Friend applying for the same position you are?
Post by: Alli8098 on March 11, 2014, 11:21:48 AM
To be clear as I stated in the original post, I'm not upset or anything or looking for advice.  If I didn't want to share the info with him I wouldn't.  I was just curious what if any etiquette issues there are between friends and applying for jobs.
Title: Re: Friend applying for the same position you are?
Post by: SamiHami on March 11, 2014, 11:39:37 AM
I do think it's rude. It's one thing if he happens to coincidentally apply for the same job you are going for, but it's entirely different situation if he's trying to get the info out of you directly. While you don't have "dibs" on a given position, he can do his own legwork and find positions to apply for on his own. How awkward it would be to interview for a job that you think you'd be perfect for, only to have "friend" get it instead after grilling you for info.

Title: Re: Friend applying for the same position you are?
Post by: Alli8098 on March 11, 2014, 05:20:49 PM
I was talking to friend today and he did apply for at least one job that I applied for.  I know because he told me he was rejected for even an interview.  I'm still waiting to see if I get an interview or not.  I honestly don't care if he applies or not, I personally think with his bachelors he may be overqualified for what I've been applying for.  It's just funny to know that my inkling was correct.  ;)
Title: Re: Friend applying for the same position you are?
Post by: Ginger G on March 12, 2014, 12:38:34 PM
Years ago, the company I worked for was moving the corporate office where I worked to another state, so my coworker friends and I were all in the job market.  Since jobs in our field are fairly limited, we frequently found ourselves appyling for the same jobs.  We mutually agreed not to discuss our job searches until one of us had actually received an offer.  Eventually I did accept an offer, and of course it turned out that one of my friends had interviewed as well.  Fortunately, she was perfectly understanding and happy for me.  She was actually the lucky one though, that job quickly turned out to be a nightmare and I only lasted there 3 months. 
Title: Re: Friend applying for the same position you are?
Post by: earthgirl on March 14, 2014, 09:31:02 AM
A few years ago, a position became available within our organization.  At the time, I worked very closely with 3 other people, and I did consider them friends (albeit, work friends) -- they were at my wedding, etc.  My coworkers and I all met the job requirements, and it was a significant promotion.  After a little bit of encouragement from my supervisor and DH, I applied, and was pretty open about the fact that I was doing so.  A few days later, one of my co-workers came up to me with a kind of sheepish look on his face and told me that he, too, had thrown his hat in the ring.  It was clear that he felt awkward about it ((I think his words were, "I think I might have done something that you won't like."), and I assured him that I didn't expect everybody else to step back just because I wanted the position.  We went through the process together, we took the "exam" sitting next to each other (silently), and wished each other luck when we crossed paths in the parking lot as I was leaving my interview and he was entering.  I didn'thelp him study for the exam or prep for the interview because we were competing for the same position, and of course I'd prefer to get the job over him, but I certainly didn't harbor any ill will toward him for wanting the same thing I did.

On the other hand, one of my other co-workers said absolutely nothing about the job opening.  She didn't come to work on the day of the exam, and left the office at lunchtime without a word, the day after my interview.  I found out later that she had applied for the job as well (though I had suspected).

I felt very different about my two co-workers after that situation -- while of course the second co-worker had every right to apply for that job, and she probably had her reasons for not wanting to disclose that information to me, it still just didn't sit quite right with me. 

So, long story short --  while I don't think it's rude for your friend to ask you about the details of your job application, OP, I *do* believe it's a little rude if he's not being honest (even if just by omission) about why he wants those details.  I like the suggestion from a PP who said that you should say, "Why do you ask?" which just kind of forces his hand.
Title: Re: Friend applying for the same position you are?
Post by: DavidH on March 18, 2014, 01:55:29 PM
"... when I've mentioned to him any phone interviews, screenings, and that I now have an on-site interview set up this week he starts asking certain questions.  He asks the company name, position, pay, where I found the listing, and so on.  To me it sounds like he's thinking of applying for the position too.  Now this is an assumption since he hasn't stated he intends to do so, just a possibility due to the types of questions he's asking."

With the exception of pay, those are the questions anyone might ask if they are interested in your life and what is happening.  It seems to me a reasonable response to someone telling you that they have a job interview on Tuesday is asking where, what job, that kind of thing.  Asking where you found the listing could be a mix of general conversation and seeking information about good places to look for job postings, but either way I don't think it's rude.  I find asking about salary someone intrusive.  It depends a bit on whether you are in the same field and his is asking for general information or whether it is intended to ask how much you earn, which is definitely rude. 

Asking those questions so that your friend can apply for the job, particularly without telling you they intend to apply is rude, but simply asking is not.
Title: Re: Friend applying for the same position you are?
Post by: Kiwichick on March 19, 2014, 05:31:06 PM
A few years ago, a position became available within our organization.  At the time, I worked very closely with 3 other people, and I did consider them friends (albeit, work friends) -- they were at my wedding, etc.  My coworkers and I all met the job requirements, and it was a significant promotion.  After a little bit of encouragement from my supervisor and DH, I applied, and was pretty open about the fact that I was doing so.  A few days later, one of my co-workers came up to me with a kind of sheepish look on his face and told me that he, too, had thrown his hat in the ring.  It was clear that he felt awkward about it ((I think his words were, "I think I might have done something that you won't like."), and I assured him that I didn't expect everybody else to step back just because I wanted the position.  We went through the process together, we took the "exam" sitting next to each other (silently), and wished each other luck when we crossed paths in the parking lot as I was leaving my interview and he was entering.  I didn'thelp him study for the exam or prep for the interview because we were competing for the same position, and of course I'd prefer to get the job over him, but I certainly didn't harbor any ill will toward him for wanting the same thing I did.

On the other hand, one of my other co-workers said absolutely nothing about the job opening.  She didn't come to work on the day of the exam, and left the office at lunchtime without a word, the day after my interview.  I found out later that she had applied for the job as well (though I had suspected).

I felt very different about my two co-workers after that situation -- while of course the second co-worker had every right to apply for that job, and she probably had her reasons for not wanting to disclose that information to me, it still just didn't sit quite right with me. 

So, long story short --  while I don't think it's rude for your friend to ask you about the details of your job application, OP, I *do* believe it's a little rude if he's not being honest (even if just by omission) about why he wants those details.  I like the suggestion from a PP who said that you should say, "Why do you ask?" which just kind of forces his hand.

But your situation was entirely different.  The other two didn't apply for a job you found and told them about, which I think is unethical as well as rude.

You openly told others you were applying, she chose not to, neither position is rude or wrong.  It sounds a little like you believe she should share information simply because you chose to.  Also you don't know that you were the only one your supervisor encouraged to apply, he may well have encouraged both of them too. 
Title: Re: Friend applying for the same position you are?
Post by: Alli8098 on April 05, 2014, 11:53:31 AM
So I did manage to get a job offer and I took the job and started this last Monday; it's been wonderful!  Friend is still looking for a new job (his is currently employed but looking for better pay), so far he has not had luck.  But I have confirmed he has applied for some of the same positions I have.  Whether it is rude or not I'm not angry with him.  The position I was hired for is below his salary requirements so I don't think he would have taken it if it had been offered. 

I feel lucky I thought maybe I was applying for a position for a large team that had a lot of openings.  But nope, it was one opening so I feel very lucky to have gotten it.
Title: Re: Friend applying for the same position you are?
Post by: cicero on April 05, 2014, 09:52:14 PM
Excellent! Good luck on your new job