Take this interview and....
April 25, 2006 9:14 AM   Subscribe

I'm up for a promotion at work, but my boss has already told me that I probably won't get it. She still wants me to go through the interview process because it'll be 'good experience'. Should I?

She'll be one of three people interviewing me, the others are the director of HR for our parent company and our CEO. (Hey, we're a small company, he's very hands-on.)

There are two-four other people who have applied and there's already a couple of front runners who have a little more experience than I do.

Should I go through the interviews, even though my boss has said that my chances are very slim?
posted by aristan to Work & Money (23 answers total)
1. Would you want this promotion at this point in your career?
2. Can you think of any reasonable scenario where going through the process now would hurt your future prospects with this company?

If the answers are 1. yes and 2. no, go for it.
posted by ferociouskitty at 9:17 AM on April 25, 2006

Yes, even if you're not going to get it. If you're boss is suggesting you do it anyway, perhaps that will be a plus on your next performance review.

Also, perhaps there is a slim chance you will shock and impress the ones besides your boss (who seems to have already made up her mind)

Do you have anything to lose by doing it?
posted by poppo at 9:17 AM on April 25, 2006

What are your reasons for not just doing the interview?
posted by teleskiving at 9:17 AM on April 25, 2006

Yes: visibility, practice for "real" interviews, and an opportunity for HR and/or the CEO to say "While aristan wasn't what we wanted for promotion X they would be perfect for promotion Y" at some time in the future.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 9:18 AM on April 25, 2006

Absolutely. Slim is better than none and it gives you the chance to tell the HR director and CEO why you feel you're the right person for the job i.e. sell yourself.

What do you have to lose?
posted by gfrobe at 9:19 AM on April 25, 2006

Yes. She's right. It is good experience. It also signals to everyone — your boss, her boss, my boss — that you're interested in advancement. It's good for your career.
posted by cribcage at 9:20 AM on April 25, 2006

Definitely. Do you know the HR and CEO who will be there? If not, also think of this as a great opportunity to let them know who you are and market yourself for future positions. If you play your cards right, you could very well be the front-runner for the next promotion of you make a good impression.
posted by jmd82 at 9:26 AM on April 25, 2006

Absolutely. This sounds like a company that wants you to succeed and move ahead. Apart from anything else, not accepting sends a signal that could mean either "I'm happy where I am" or "I'm not interested in promotion within your company", neither of which is terribly good.

(Example of a company not interested in wanting you to succeed and move ahead: one that gives you ten minutes' notice of a meeting and, when you get there, tells you that this is the job interview for the position you applied for a month ago. Real example from personal experience.)
posted by Hogshead at 9:33 AM on April 25, 2006

You must apply and do the interview, if you're serious about your career. And if they are being honest about the recruitment process, they surely can't tell you that you 'won't' get the job - in theory at least, everyone who gets an interview has a shot at it.

Unless the company has a history of messing you/people around, in which case you should be leaving anyway
posted by ascullion at 9:53 AM on April 25, 2006

Sorta on-topic -- I'm reminded of this quote from Dumb and Dumber:

Lloyd: What are the chances of a guy like you and a girl like me... ending up together?
Mary: Well, that's pretty difficult to say.
Lloyd: Hit me with it! I've come a long way to see you, Mary. The least you can do is level with me. What are my chances?
Mary: Not good.
Lloyd: You mean, not good like one out of a hundred?
Mary: I'd say more like one out of a million.
Lloyd: So you're telling me there's a chance.

My point -- go for it; like the others above, you never know. Plus, seize the opportunity to speak with some higher ups, maybe ask a few questions -- "What's coming up in the company? Any other new opportunities? Anything else going on" type stuff.
posted by inigo2 at 10:02 AM on April 25, 2006

It is hard to hear, but just go through the interview. The fact that she asked you means that she is still considering you on some level. You never know when someone else is going to bomb.

This situation happened to me recently and unfortunatly my boss told everyone in the building but me that he was interviewing me as a formality but didn't want to try to fill both my job and the job I was applying for. At least, your boss is being honest. I would take that as a good sign and do what she asks.
posted by stormygrey at 10:05 AM on April 25, 2006

If your boss suggests you do something, it means they want and expect you to do it. Just do it. And good luck!
posted by tastybrains at 10:08 AM on April 25, 2006

Just because she has said you probably won't get it, do the interview anyway. She might not be telling you the truth or she just might underestimate your ability to sell yourself.

I was Assistant Tech for 3 months when the Senior Tech decided to take another job. He had spent 3 years as Assistant before moving up. My boss and his boss were surprised to find out I had decided to apply. They made sure I knew that they weren't going to give me any breaks just because I was an internal candidate. I got the job. If things had turned out differently I believe I still would have been happy with my decision. You know, experience and all that jazz.
posted by J-Garr at 10:12 AM on April 25, 2006

It also gives you an idea about how they conduct the interviews for that position. What kind of questions, the formality, etc. So next time it comes around you'll be that much better prepared.
posted by edgeways at 10:20 AM on April 25, 2006

This isn't even close. Do the interview, and try your hardest to nail it.

There's a lot of good that can come from the experience.
posted by I Love Tacos at 10:27 AM on April 25, 2006

As everyone has said, go for it. You can't get the job you don't apply for. What if the other canidates bom b the interview or their references dont' check out or they decline it? You will set yourself up for future success if you show them that you're determined and ambitious.

What possible reason could you have to not do it?
posted by raedyn at 11:14 AM on April 25, 2006

Any hey, you get to go in for an interview with the CEO of the company totally loose and relaxed. You're not emotionally attached to the position, so the pressure's off. You'll probably be less nervous, and better rested than the front runners. So prepare well, make a good impression, and you'll be in a good place for the next promotion.
posted by thenormshow at 11:56 AM on April 25, 2006

I'm not sure how solid your current position is but I had a good friend of mine go through a similar situation and it turned out that he was actually being interviewed for his current position, and not the one he thought he was going for.

Turns out that one of the other candidates impressed them more than he did and he was out of a job.

Not saying that this will happen in this situation but bone-up on your interview etiquette and give it hell. As others have said, if it doesn't get you the new position, it will at least make the higher-ups take notice and the next time an opportunity comes up you could end up on the top of the list.
posted by purephase at 11:57 AM on April 25, 2006

Maybe your boss wants to give you the job, but the higher ups already made it clear that you won't get it. This could be her way of showing you off and trying to change their minds without gettiing your hopes up.
posted by blue_beetle at 12:01 PM on April 25, 2006

Your question made me think of a reason you might consider declining to go through the process: if you thought you were being used just for the sake of process. Some companies have rules and policies for searching and hiring such that good-faith applicants end up serving as 'warm bodies' -- there's a particular person who's going to be hired or promoted, but the employer can't skip the steps required before that can happen.

I once was invited to interview for a teaching job. I asked if anyone inside that school system was being considered, because I knew that would mean I had no chance. When the personnel director assured me that it was a bona fide search and they had no inside candidates, I agreed to go. When the director's assistant called to tell me that someone already teaching in that town had been hired, I was furious.

A few weeks later, they called to actually offer me a job that had just opened -- because of some loophole, the earlier search was being considered adequate for the new situation. I'd found employment in the meantime so I declined.

Was my interview a waste of my time? Maybe. But in a similar situation, I'd definitely go for the interview without hesitation.
posted by wryly at 12:01 PM on April 25, 2006

I was in this situation once. I went through the interview process and impressed my boss' boss. She ended up modifying the job (and the salary, sadly) and hiring me. She moved the other duties to a new position and hired another person. She ended up with two good people for the price of one. And the new position really opened things up for me.
posted by acoutu at 1:28 PM on April 25, 2006

"Probably won't" isn't "absolutely won't," so maybe your goal could be to at least make her really think about it.

If you hope to go places in the company this is your chance to impress several important people at once - an interview is a singular opportunity to unabashadly sound your own horn - how often do you get the chance to trot out your kudos and best statistics to the CEO even of a small company without having to feel like you're kissing ass or looking like an ambitious toady? Update your resume, make it really sharp, that'll give your boss something to think about as well... I'll tell you this: the most serious promotions I've gained have been opportunities that were created for me. Visible ambition is a good thing in the career world.
posted by nanojath at 2:20 PM on April 25, 2006

Interviewing for jobs is such good practice for future job interviews. I applied for two previous jobs at my current employer before I was hired on. I was a wreck the first time, moderately improved the second time, and I really rocked the interview that got me hired. To them, it probably looked like I was maturing. The truth was, I was just gradually getting better at interviewing and learning that rejection didn't kill me.
posted by croutonsupafreak at 4:41 PM on April 25, 2006

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