Author Topic: Would you want to know/should she have told me?  (Read 2063 times)

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Nebulous

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Would you want to know/should she have told me?
« on: September 21, 2013, 03:25:13 AM »
A little while ago I had a job interview at a company where my good friend works (although friend works in an entirely different department in a different building).  At the interview, I felt things were going well and that I had a good rapport with my interviewers.  The interviewers said they would be making a decision soon and would contact me to let me know either way. 

I actually didn't hear anything for a while.  I had a suspicion that they might be hiring internally and just fulfilling recruitment obligations, plus the position would actually be a small step back for me in terms of pay/benefits.  Due to these reasons, I didn't bother contacting company.

Eventually, one of the interviewers called and told me they had gone with another candidate but that they were very impressed with my resume/interview.  They mentioned that there could be another potential opening and they would definitely keep me in mind.

Recently my friend and I had lunch and she made a comment, “Oh, I probably shouldn't tell you.”  So, I get really curious, but part me of me was thinking “it's never a good idea – don't tell me!”  I didn't actually say anything,  just gave a non-committal shrug.  She proceeded to tell me that she heard through the office grapevine that the department did hire internally for the position I interviewed for.  But they did have another opening a little while later – and they were going to call and offer me the position, but ultimately, the higher-ups in the company decided to change the job requirements for the vacant position, and those changes made me ineligible.

So here are my questions:
1. Should friend have even told me all that information?
2. Should I have asked her not to say anything if she wasn't sure about telling me in the first place?
3. Would you feel better or worse knowing about the second vacancy/almost job?

jmarvellous

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Re: Would you want to know/should she have told me?
« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2013, 09:15:04 AM »
1. Should friend have even told me all that information?
I don't see why not. It's not confidential or privileged information, and if I were told the same in your position, it would sate my curiosity about why I'd never been called back.

2. Should I have asked her not to say anything if she wasn't sure about telling me in the first place?

No, again, it wasn't anything that would give you an unfair advantage or disadvantage, or hurt her position in her company. I don't see why you're worried about it, particularly now.

3. Would you feel better or worse knowing about the second vacancy/almost job?
It would not change anything for me. You didn't get hired for a job you weren't qualified for once they changed the requirements. It in no way reflects on you, your  friend, or the company.

Jocelyn

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Re: Would you want to know/should she have told me?
« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2013, 03:27:03 PM »
I would have been glad to hear the info- it would confirm for me that I HAD been right when I thought I was doing well during the interview. While I would be sorry they'd changed the job so that I wasn't eligible, I would be pleased to know that they hadn't just been blowing smoke at me when they said they'd consider me for another position. And if I were still interested in working there, I'd contact the interviewer and let her know that. If they kept you in mind once, why not a second time? And showing your ongoing interest in working there might make someone think that you'd be a satisfied and loyal employee.

veronaz

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Re: Would you want to know/should she have told me?
« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2013, 09:26:28 PM »
I have a different take.

When someone tells me “I probably shouldn’t tell you this” I sometimes hold up a hand and gently say “Then please, don’t.  I’ll trust your judgment” or “Are you sure it’s something I need or even want to know?”

I’d also think long and hard about whether I want to work for a company with such a loose office grapevine…….so loose that a friend feels compelled to tell me details of hiring decisions while we’re eating lunch.



TootsNYC

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Re: Would you want to know/should she have told me?
« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2013, 10:40:57 PM »
I don't think that's a particularly loose office grapevine. Given that the friend knows the OP, she may have been given that info precisely to pass it to the OP. Maybe she knew it because it was pat of her job to know it.

Were I the OP's friend, if I knew that she had come SO close to getting an offer, and if I knew why she didn't get it, and that reason was either (a) nothing to do with her; or (b) something she could successfully tweak; I'd absolutely tell her everything I knew.

And I think that Nebulous was perfectly fine--in Etiquette and in Integrity--to ask her friend to continue with the story.

But Nebulous, I think this is GOOD to know. Now you know they like your skills, etc. That's great feedback. Your ego should be stoked.

OK, OK, you didn't get the job. But you had a really serious shot at TWO of them. You may have been the top candidate for both. One job went to an insider, and the other disappeared.  But wow--you're hot stuff! And these people think so.

Jocelyn is right--if you're at all interested, now's the time to drop them a note. And do so every few months or so, in a "cold call" to say, "I'm still very interested in working for your company, and I wanted you to know in case any organizational decisions create an opening for someone with my skill."

If you like the idea of "promotion from within," this company has a pretty good track record.

To me, nobody looks bad here. Not any of the people hiring, not the OP, not the friend with the insider scoop. Things work out this way. And the OP is a great job candidate!!

veronaz

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Re: Would you want to know/should she have told me?
« Reply #5 on: September 21, 2013, 11:02:08 PM »
Yes, OP sounds like a good candidate and I hope she explores other opportunities.

However, I chose to respond based on the information actually provided, as opposed to speculation and maybes.  I'm not necessarily saying anyone did anything horrible, but I'd still be leary of that grapevine.

Nebulous

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Re: Would you want to know/should she have told me?
« Reply #6 on: September 22, 2013, 01:47:52 AM »
A little more background:

I have been attempting to get into this other career path for the past three years, but have so far been unsuccessful - mostly due to the poor economy and limited job opportunities.  I think I tend to worry a bit about it because my degree is in a slightly different field and am often up against other candidates who have a more appropriate degree. I've interviewed for similar positions a few times over the past few years and been unsuccessful, and Friend knows how disappointed I've been. There are some financial/other issues in my life that Friend is aware of, and she knows that my getting into this field would help relieve the stress of worrying over those.

Friend actually knew most of the information due to her position in the company, but the environment in the office is very gossipy and has a lot of Office Politics, which is a slight turn-off for me.  She actually knew when they were going to offer me the other position, but did not tell me, although she said she really wanted to.  The reason Friend was hesitant to tell me any of this is because she knows all my background and was worried I would feel bad - another job that I didn't get/lost opportunity.

My personal opinion on the matter - I am very thankful to have such a wonderful friend who is so supportive. Ultimately, she knew I would want to know and told me - although I don't think the lead in of "Oh, I probably shouldn't tell you..." was necessarily appropriate.  It wasn't depressing at all, and it was really wonderful to know that I made such a strong impression on them and gives me hope that I can get a position in this field even thought it may take a little longer.

I wanted to see if anyone would have thought it was a bad idea, but it seems most people had the same opinion that I did.  Thank you all for your comments :)  I actually deal with some of the people at this company through my current job, so I'll make sure they don't forget about me.