How to handle this situation professionally?
November 9, 2012 10:19 AM   Subscribe

I'm job hunting in a particular industry and doing a lot of informational interviews. I managed to arrange one with the Principal at a firm whose work intrigues me for the 21st of November. Yesterday I noticed that this same firm has a position that I'm qualified for, and I'd like to submit my resume and cover letter today. If I make it past the initial screening, will it appear that I scheduled the informational interview under false pretenses when I was really trying to score a job interview? How would I handle the question of my application in the interview, which I arranged weeks ago? Please give me your advice on how to handle this professionally.

This is a small enough firm that my guess is that candidates would likely be interviewed by the Principal in a second round interview, but large enough that their resumes are unlikely to be reviewed by him when they come in. I corresponded with the principal directly when I first contacted him, but all scheduling back-and-forth has been done by his assistant, and he probably won't remember me contacting him until I show up in his office.

Grateful for any and all advice!
posted by foxy_hedgehog to Work & Money (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I've been on the other side of this, and here is how it went down for me...

A grad student contacted me and set up an informational interview. After he had contacted me, we posted a job. Before he came in for the informational interview, he emailed me to let me know he was interested in the position, and would totally understand if I wanted to cancel the interview now that I knew he was applying for a job. After checking his resume (which he had sent in the beginning to set up the informational interview), it was clear that he would make it in for an interview and so I did cancel the informational interview and put him in touch with the person who managed the interview process.

I appreciated his candor and respect for my time. We did end up hiring him. This, of course, all hinges on the fact that we posted the job AFTER he had set up the informational interview.

Good luck!
posted by Nickel Pickle at 10:33 AM on November 9, 2012 [6 favorites]

I 100% agree with Nickel Pickel.

Apply for the opening and then call your contact.

It's the classy move.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 11:09 AM on November 9, 2012

I think you don't want to narrow this contact down to just being about this job - if you're not a good fit and/or they hire someone else, you want to keep it open to him being a good contact in other ways.

I would respond to the most recent thread with the assistant and cc him back in, and say,


I'm looking forward to getting the chance to connect with you on the 21st.

I noticed that your firm recently posted the open [Job Title] position, which sounds like a great opportunity and a good fit for my skills and experience. I wanted to give you a heads up that I'm planning on applying. I hope that in our scheduled chat we can still have a more general conversation about the broader industry and your career path - I'd love your advice on my overall job search, and of course want to hear about what your firm is looking for in this role as well.


posted by amaire at 12:24 PM on November 9, 2012

and of course want to hear about what your firm is looking for in this role as well.

No no no. If you push to keep the informational interview, you should not try to get a leg up on this job or bring it up again after the heads up. That is not what informational interviews are for and would irritate me no end if I were the contact. If the contact brings it up, sure, take advantage, but don't do it yourself.
posted by vegartanipla at 1:21 PM on November 9, 2012 [2 favorites]

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