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January 31, 2013 8:41 PM   Subscribe

I had an interview for an okay-fit position. I learned a position with a better fit for my skills recently opened up in the same company, under a different manager. Should the thank you note indicate my intention to apply for the other position as well? Odds of interviewer 1 finding out I applied for job 2 are basically 100%.

While I don't think the job I interviewed for is a perfect fit (and I think the interviewer would agree), I do think that there are elements of it that I would be interested in taking on in addition to the core duties of job 2, and would like to mention as much to the interviewer I've already met.

Good idea? Bad idea? Presumptuous? All advice welcomed!
posted by OompaLoompa to Work & Money (12 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
It's only a problem if you get an offer for job 1. That could get awkward. In the meantime, applying for two positions shows you really want to work there, and that's all your thank you note need say.
posted by Monsieur Caution at 8:47 PM on January 31, 2013

I may be alone here, but as a hiring manager I will tell you that the presence or absence of a thank you note for an interview has never, ever made a lick of difference in my decision to hire someone or not. They are just one more thing that I have to perfunctorily read and then figure out what to do with-do I keep this in the file and send it to HR when I really just want to recycle it? So there's that.
posted by purenitrous at 9:32 PM on January 31, 2013 [1 favorite]

Is there an HR person you're in touch with at that company? I'd approach them with interest about the other position. They might agree with you and probably already have a way of handling situations like this.

ETA: Uh, hit the button accidentally before adding that you don't need to mention it on the card, just to HR.
posted by zerbinetta at 9:37 PM on January 31, 2013 [2 favorites]

I feel like there is an expectation that a job seeker will be applying to multiple jobs.
posted by Lady Li at 9:47 PM on January 31, 2013 [6 favorites]

There is no reason for you to tell your interviewer you are applying for another job within their organization, unless you know that the same person is going to be interviewing you again, and even then I'm not sure. This is something I'd address with HR/hiring manager, if anyone, because there are often multiple similar job postings so they probably expect some cross-application.

Also, you didn't exactly ask this, but thank you notes (or their absence) have never really made a difference in my hiring (or being hired) decision unless they were REALLY BAD (like poor grammar or my name was completely wrong) but some of my colleagues really dig them as an expression of interest post-interview. But I'm pretty sure we would all really not be terribly pleased if you said "thanks, but I think I'd be a better fit for job X," if for no other reason that while you may think so, we may not agree.
posted by sm1tten at 9:51 PM on January 31, 2013 [3 favorites]

Tell the HR rep about the situation and leave it at that.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 10:35 PM on January 31, 2013

I do think that there are elements of it that I would be interested in taking on in addition to the core duties of job 2, and would like to mention as much to the interviewer I've already met.

It's a great idea to say you're interested in either job but not a great idea at all to say I'd like to do A,B,C from job one and X,Y,Z from job two.
posted by headnsouth at 4:53 AM on February 1, 2013 [4 favorites]

You don't have to say anything to anyone about wanting a different job in the organization. The fact that you interviewed for position 1 is not relevant to whether or not you are a good candidate for position 2, and, more to the point of your question, the fact that you intend to apply for position 2 is not relevant to the hiring manager's decision to offer you position 1[*]. It is expected you will be applying to more than one position, the only novel feature of this experience is that both positions get paid from the same checkbook.

[*] : Which, by the way, if your initial read on the situation is correct -- that both you and the interviewer found you to be a poor fit for position 1 -- then all the more reason to just roll on to applying for position 2 and not mention it to anyone.
posted by pmed at 6:25 AM on February 1, 2013 [1 favorite]

The only real risk is that the hiring manager for position 1 really wants you and the environment may be political and he or she may obstruct your path to interviewing for position 2. If people are generally cool and there aren't fiefdoms then there is little to worry about. Most sensible hiring managers want long term to hire people who are happy and fulfilled in their roles and know it is better for you to explore position 2 if you are feeling so inclined.
posted by dgran at 7:33 AM on February 1, 2013

I wouldn't mention it in the thank-you note but it's totally okay to apply. However in your cover letter it's probably a good idea to mention that you've applied to Job 1 but think that Job 2 is an even better fit because of x, y, and z.

In regards to what sm1tten said, I would counter with two things. 1) Your thank-you note can be sent by email, and probably should. 2) A thank-you note is a mis-nomer, it should be a "follow-up" note.
posted by radioamy at 8:55 AM on February 1, 2013

Thanks for the suggestions. I went with reiterating my interest and thanking them for their time without mentioning the other position. Today I got a call from HR saying the original interviewer thought I'd be a better fit for the other position so I interview for it soon. :)
posted by OompaLoompa at 6:52 PM on February 1, 2013 [2 favorites]

Just realized I didn't close this. I have one month on the job and it's the best job ever. Woo! Thanks for you advice, MeFites!
posted by OompaLoompa at 10:04 PM on April 1, 2013 [1 favorite]

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