is this job interviewer stringing me along?

A reader writes:

Almost two months ago, I applied and interviewed for a position with a company I have a real interest in working with. I did not get that job as they said they needed someone with more experience for that niche role, but they instead considered my application for another position that opened up that they thought I might be a better fit for, and I agreed too. So I interviewed for that position, only to find out that they ended up taking someone with “more experience.” They are now asking me to interview this time for a third position that is available.

I appreciate the fact they think I might fit into their company culture, but I am starting to feel like I am getting the run-around. I don’t want to be ungrateful or picky and I am still interested in the company, but this will be the fifth time in two months that I am going in for an interview and for the third role. It’s also a role that I am not as excited about as the other two that I didn’t get. I’m a little tired of being told I would be a “great fit” and then getting passed around from each department.

Given that it’s a role that I am less thrilled about and that they keep bringing me in but not hiring me, do you think this is a reflection on the company? Or on me? It’s a very niche industry that I have worked in a long time already, and yes, I know it’s a competitive market overall out there, but twice now I’ve been declined and passed over. If the third time’s a charm and I get this position, should I take it at this point and hope the position works out? And if I don’t get it, should I just cut my losses and forget about them in case they come knocking a fourth time? They have been prompt in getting back to me all these times, which I have been impressed with, but is this unusual to be passed on like this over and over? I have been out of work for two months and don’t know if by the way the company is running things, if I should keep looking when and if they do hire me, or take it since I need a job ASAP.

I answer this question over at Inc. today, where I’m revisiting letters that have been buried in the archives here from years ago. You can read it here.

{ 61 comments… read them below }

  1. Sans*

    I think they are doing the opposite of stringing you along. If they had no interest in you, they would stop contacting you, stop inviting you for interviews. I get the frustration of not being picked, but for them to keep coming back to you, they must really think you’re a good candidate.

    1. AJNW*

      Agree with this, especially if they’re putting you in front of differently stakeholders and hiring managers each time – not just the same recruiters/HR.

    2. Engineer Girl*

      Here’s the thing. According to OP, this is a great company. That means it’s going to attract great candidates. It’s quite possible that the people beating the OP out would be stars. That’s especially true for a stretch position, where OP doesn’t have strong qualifications in some areas. There’s going to be more qualified candidates.
      This means that OP will have a chance to work with some great people if you do get hired.
      Evaluate each position on its own merit. But it sounds like the company likes you and wants to find a good fit. Does this new position have the opportunity to grow into something bigger in a year or so? I’d take it, especially if you are less experienced.

      1. SG*

        Exactly – as a recruiter I ALWAYS worry someone will have this reaction. If we ask you to apply for another role, it really is because we want you to been seen for other roles. But I can also say as an in-house recruiter at a very well known company, I can’t control who else applies for the roles. I 100% would not recommend someone to another role if I 1) didn’t feel like they really would be great here 2) didn’t think they had a fighting chance.

  2. CatCat*

    Are these interviews substantively different or with different people?

    I had a similar experience (but I did not need a job ASAP) and I declined to come in again when the interview was going to be with the same people the other two interviews had been (and in those two interviews, they asked pretty much the same types of questions). It seemed to me like they did not have their stuff together at that point.

    1. AnonyMouse*

      Agreed, if it’s shaping up like you’ll be coming in for a third interview that has been virtually the same as the previous two I’d be more skeptical. Most places don’t reach out to candidates to encourage them to apply for positions like this though, so it probably means that they really want you to work there and are just trying to figure out the best position for them to bring you in under.

    2. CmdrShepard4ever*

      Were they calling you in for a third interview for the same position or was it for a third different position?
      I think if it was a third interview for the same position I would have declined as well. But if it was a third interview for a third different position it is reasonable to ask you to come in and interview again. Like Alison said for each position you are always competing against other candidates if you were an A++ candidate and would undoubtedly do great in the position there might be a person who is an A+++ candidate and has the potential to do even better. If the people doing interviews know how to select and interview candidates well you hopefully end up who 2/3 finalists who you think would ALL do well but you are trying to find who would do the BEST.

    3. Skavoovie*

      I think this is a really good point to consider. My take on it had been that there were multiple people being involved in this: the recruiter thinks this person is a good candidate and is working to find them a position that works, and they have interviewed with multiple distinct hiring panels that have ended up not accepting them. If that is the case, then I think that Alison is correct and this is a positive indicator for the letter writer.

      If they’re having the same experience as CatCat, where you’re rehashing the same questions with the same people, it does make sense to consider whether you’re willing to put the time in on this. Maybe in that case you could email and ask if there would be anything substantially different from the previous interviews, to see what it is they’re still looking to learn from you? Seems like this approach has risks of annoying the hiring panel and having them decline to keep pursuing you, but if you’re thinking of dropping them anyways then the loss is not that big.

      1. Skavoovie*

        One other point – in the hiring panels I have participated in, the recruiter was there at the end for the final re-cap of each candidate. If the whole panel rejected a candidate for reasons that the whole company would not want this person, they wouldn’t reach back out with other opportunities. If the candidate performed well, but there was just a better option in the end, that’s when we’d be reaching out again either for the same position or for a different one.

        In my own experience, I once applied for a mid level position with one company and ended up getting rejected. Applied again for a slightly lower level position, rejected again. Applied a third time when the mid level position came back up later, and finally made it in. I was able to meet both of the people who I lost previously, and found that they both had specific experience that was very relevant to the role they came into, which got them the job over me. Sometimes it’s just a matter of being in the pool at the right time.

        Also, even though I didn’t have the experience that made the others stand out in the interview, I still ended up being a high performer on the team. Be confident that you’re awesome even when you’ve been rejected before. Everyone is hiring on imperfect information and hoping things come out for the best.

  3. LQ*

    I get the emotional position on this, but I think it’s one that misses what the other side is like. For the employer there is no benefit to calling you back in for another interview for another position unless they really do think you’d be a good fit. If they are inviting you to apply for other jobs they really do want you around. They aren’t getting anything out of you interviewing other than a potential great employee, which is the thing they want. That someone else edges you out twice doesn’t mean you aren’t spectacular. It just means that someone else was super spectacular.

    If you’re not feeling this job then, yeah, don’t throw your hat in the ring. But an employer who keeps inviting you back actually wants you. (This is a place where job hunting and dating diverge. In dating this would be poor form, but in job hunting, this is really a good thing.)

    1. Ro*

      Thank you! This is a great and very helpful explanation. (Speaking as someone who once bungled one of these situations years ago. I got caught up in the “if they’re really interested, they’d just hire me already” mindset and I may have misinterpreted it as disorganization on their part. I declined their 3rd interview but now I think that was a mistake.)

      1. LQ*

        It is a really easy mindset to fall into but having been on both sides of the coin, it’s not true. It makes me think back to the question of people saying they got every job they interviewed for. It just doesn’t make sense to me from a numbers perspective. Interview 4 people, really interested in 3 of them, can only hire 1.

    2. Lily Rowan*

      Yeah, this exactly.

      One other thing is, and this may not be relevant for the OP, but at my job, we’re way more likely to promote the internal applicant if they are at all competitive vs. the external.

  4. Aspiring Chicken Lady*

    I have had job seeker customers who interviewed for 3-5 positions before finally finding their spot at a company. They want YOU, but they can’t quite find the right sized slot to fit you in yet. Be patient, and keep nurturing your relationship with them. Once you’re there, you and your skill set can reshape your particular role(s).

    (Unless, like CatCat’s experience, it sounds like more of the same, which from your letter sounds like it’s not.)

    1. MtnLaurel*

      Exactly. I”ve been on hiring committees where we’ve had that kind of discussion: “this person is terrific, but we want to make sure we put her in the right place within the orgnization.” And from the outside, it’s really hard to see where that might be. I’d love to hear an update on this one!!

    2. TexanInExile*

      It took eight months from my first interview with my current job until I started for those exact reasons: my boss really liked me but I didn’t fit the job description so he wrote a new job description and had to get it approved. And then he had to have the new VP interview me as well. And then we had to discuss terms.

      It all worked out and it was worth it. I really like my job and really really like my boss.

  5. MissDisplaced*

    They’re keeping you in mind for other openings, not stringing along.
    If you’re not thrilled about the current opening, you’re not under any obligation to interview for it. You could always say you didn’t feel it was an area or interest you wished to pursue. If you’re still interested about this company though, nothing wrong with going in again anyway. But if you’re using PTO to interview, and you know you’re not into that particular opening, I’d call it off politely.

  6. Denkyem*

    Something like this happened to me last year — over the course of 5 months I had 5 interviews for 3 job roles at the same large organization. I was turned down for the first two, and never even got a response for the last one. I’m not sure what happened there, but intriguingly one of the managers interviewing me for that last role forwarded my name to his old boss at a smaller organization he’d recently left that was trying to fill his role urgently and didn’t want to post it publicly. I was contacted out of the blue by this other organization and essentially recruited into an awesome role that’s better than the ones I’d hoped for at the first organization. So just from a networking standpoint, there can be value in getting in front of a bunch of interviewers, impressing them, and being known around an organization in your niche sector as a strong candidate. At minimum I wouldn’t burn those bridges.

  7. Frogsandturtles*

    I agree with Alison and the above comment. I thought the same thing: they would not keep contacting you if they were not interested! And that you are probably taking this too personally.

    You could easily interpret this entire scenario in a positive way instead: They liked you so much that they are really trying to find a good spot for you in the company. It’s GOOD that they keep calling. It’s highly unlikely that any employer would do this just to toy with you — why would they spend time and money on something so petty and time-wasting?

  8. JustAClarifier*

    Maybe I’m paranoid or skeptical, but this sounds to me like your head is giving you some clanging alarms and you’re ignoring those for some reason. I was in a similar situation once with repeated interviews for different positions, and though I wasn’t too interested, I kept going to just “see” what they had in mind. THEN the interviewer asked me to provide my high school math SAT scores (at the time I was an adult, already had my graduate degree, already had a career, and the job was in data analytics), and my alarms started going off like gangbusters and little red flags started swinging down from the ceiling, so I NOPE’d right out of there and have no regrets.

    Listen to your little inner voice, LW. If you’re justifying the interviews and positions…your subconscious might be trying to tell you something.

    1. Kathleen_A*

      Maybe…but I still think the most likely explanation is “They like the OP but she just wasn’t been the best candidate for the earlier two positions.”

      I’m not denying your experience, JustAClarifier – don’t misunderstand me. And that company (or at least that interviewer) sounds like baaaaaad news. But interviewing someone for more than one position simply isn’t, in and of itself, a red flag.

      1. JustAClarifier*

        That’s fair, and it is possible I didn’t phrase my comment correctly. What I think is a red flag, in this instance, is that the LW seems to be talking themselves into going through this set of interviews while they’re not really into the job in the first place and their enthusiasm seems to have waned as time has progressed. My point was to encourage them to listen to their subconscious in this scenario vs trying to talk themselves into something that may not be best for them, after all.

        1. MissDisplaced*

          I took it as the OP wasn’t really into this role she’s being presented with and bummed she was deemed ‘not a great fit’ for the others although she thought she was. Understandable.

          I guess it depends on how great of an interest one has in that company. It may not matter how you got in, only that you’re in. If that’s the case, and you have the time to go, I’d probably still go and give it a shot even if the role wasn’t my preferred choice.

  9. mark132*

    I’m not saying this is the case here, but some employers have quotas for how many people have to be interviewed for an open position. At one of my former employers they were required to interview at least 4 people. So sometimes people would be interviewed that they almost certainly were not going to hire. Maybe they see you as someone who might be hirable and also fill their quota.

    If these are “serious interviews” it may be worth continuing, I know at some point I would get frustrated with it. At some point depending on how desperate I am, I would probably call it quits.

      1. Engineer Girl*

        All the more reason to keep pursuing it in my book. I say this as the first female in my group. I kept pushing it to the point where it became embarrassing for them. (Especially since some of the other candidates were definitely less skilled). Others started to notice and they finally had to admit defeat.
        It wasn’t easy but it did lead the way for other women to come on board.

    1. LQ*

      It’s much easier to just pick 4 from the list though. Just if you assume the employer is lazy, you go they follow their rules, unless they aren’t even getting 4 people to apply (which isn’t all that likely), the effort of “I have to go out and tell this person to apply for this job” is effort that you don’t have to put into pick the top 4 names on the list.

  10. Bend & Snap*

    This happened to me with my current job. It took 9 months and 32 interviews but I got hired into a net-new role after interviewing for vacancies, and it’s perfect for me.

    I found out after that they really wanted me on the team but couldn’t figure out where to put me.

      1. Bend & Snap*

        I had targeted this particular company as the place I wanted to work and used my network to connected to the right people. So it was a little different than the typical process. But still long and uncertain.

    1. Nines*

      Holy moly! 32 interviews?!? I am starting a fed job next week that had an 8 month hiring process but that’s because it’s the government. And I only had two interviews. 32 is just mind boggling!
      But good for you for sticking with it and getting a custom job out of it. =)

    2. The Man, Becky Lynch*

      Oh goodness! I’m fascinated by the folks who have dream companies and that much dedication. I don’t have the patience or dedication for that.

  11. Akcipitrokulo*

    They like you.

    If they didn’t like you, they wouldn’t bring you in again. Things happen… sometimes it doesn’t quite work out, or they see someone else that’s just a hair better, or whatever…

    But they like you.

  12. Matthew*

    I don’t often disagree with AAM but … I mean I agree they’re not stringing the LW along *deliberately*. But after being rejected for 2 jobs, I would assume their chances of being accepted for a 3rd or 4th seem remote, even if the interviewers themselves don’t think that’s likely.

    Even if they are being scrupulously fair and context-free between interviewing for different positions, you’d have to be a rock for your own interview performance not to suffer. After all you’re going back to the same people over and over and expecting a rejection.

    After interviewing you *twice* I’d say it’s on the company to properly review their notes on your last two interviews, and (if someone really sees your potential in another role), streamline an interview process just for you – if they really see you in another position.

    (none of this applies if it’s a huge company and almost totally different people are interviewing each time… but still you’re surely going to struggle to give 100% at a 4th interview)

    1. beth*

      I don’t think there’s reason to assume that OP’s chances of getting this job are remote. To me, this reads as the company thinking OP is actually a great candidate that they want on board–but they happened to have some real rockstars for the first few positions OP applied for, and couldn’t hire both for the same position. They wouldn’t keep inviting OP to interview if they thought it was a waste of their time.

      My only concern here, OP, would be if all the interviews you’ve done have been with the same person/people and have covered the same points with little variation. If that’s the case, then the repetitive interviewing could be a sign that they’re poorly organized and not really paying attention to the hiring process. But if there are different interviewers, or if at least some different questions have come up in each interview? That would make me think that yeah, the process is a pain, and yeah, there’s always a chance that it won’t pan out, but everyone involved is genuinely doing their best to figure out a good fit.

    2. SheLooksFamiliar*

      ‘After interviewing you *twice* I’d say it’s on the company to properly review their notes on your last two interviews, and (if someone really sees your potential in another role), streamline an interview process just for you – if they really see you in another position.’

      Well, no. It doesn’t work this way in corporate staffing. Reviewing our notes isn’t all that needs to happen, we also have to get input and approval from the appropriate stakeholders – and they will not simply read our previous notes and be done with it, they’re going to want to go through their regular interview process. And they should, if only to avoid any appearance of impropriety. This is especially relevant for companies under the auspices of the OFCCP.

      The company seems very interested in finding the right role for the OP, and that’s a high compliment to him/her. I get that it’s frustrating to go through multiple interview cycles, but in this case it definitely seems like there’s good faith behind it.

      1. Cascadia*

        Yup to this. At my job we have a completely different search committee for every position – so even if you had interviewed multiple times, and I’ve seen people do that, you’re interviewing with different people each time. AND since they are different roles they might be asking you different kinds of questions. If I was hiring for a role and my company told me, we have someone who is perfect for you, but you don’t get to meet them because they’ve already come in twice for other interviews, I would be pissed.

  13. cheese please*

    Interviewing may feel like dating at times, but it is not. It may feel like that person you likes who kept you around as a “backup” while they dated other more attractive/successful people, but a company is not like this.

  14. Still_searching*

    I had the same thing happen, called in three times to interview for three different roles – the third time was a charm for me and I got the role. It ends up I loved the role better than the other two opportunities – even though at the start the other roles seemed better on paper. I ended up changing my plans at the last minute (of relocating overseas) and took the role. HR must really like you, and can see you would be an asset to the company, just finding the right fit. It never hurts to get in front of people.

  15. Mr. Bob Dobalina*

    OP, if the job is something that you *might* want, then YES, do the interview. If nothing else, the interview will give you a chance to better assess the job and ask questions to address your misgivings about the job (since you said you are “less thrilled” about it). This employer clearly likes something about you, since they keep asking you back. Since you are unemployed, I assume doing multiple interviews is not a scheduling issue, so why not go? You can also look at it as interview practice.

  16. Jenny*

    I once participated in what was a guy’s fifth interview with my company. We always liked him but he was always the runner up for someone who was a better fit. The time I participated, we finally hired him. We did genuinely like him, he just wasn’t as quite a fit until then he was. I am glad he kept trying.

  17. The New Wanderer*

    I would say the difference between being invited to interview for multiple positions and being strung along is that the first situation is trying to find the right fit for you specifically. Being strung along is more like having multiple interviews for the same position that seem like they’re covering the same ground and there’s always another person they want you to interview with. Even then, it’s not malicious (like being strung along in the dating sense) so much as incompetent.

    It’s frustrating, for sure, but ultimately is more positive than negative. It’s still your call on whether you want to keep trying but it’s not any kind of bad reflection on you or them really, they want to find the best fit and just haven’t yet.

  18. Dragonfly*

    So one thing is crystal clear, at any rate: there is absolutely nothing in the LW’s resume that somehow tarnishes her professional mien in the eyes of these hirers. On the question of quota, even if these people are offering a chance of an interview to LW in order to have complied with some internal protocol, there’s still a fair chance LW will prove to be the most suitable applicant.

  19. agnes*

    This is actually kind of good of them. In my company, you could be absolutely perfect for another position, but you would have to reapply specifically for that job and no one would call you to let you know about the other position.

    I’m told it is in the name of equity of access and not giving any one person a leg up over another person, , but I honestly do not understand why we would not call someone with excellent skills for another job in the company and at least ask them if they would like to be considered.

  20. Me*

    As someone who is currently sitting on an interview panel…

    All of the candidates who made it to this point can technically do the job and have similar backgrounds and have done similar work. Just had two, where candidate 1 held a on paper higher level position and had been in the field double the length of time of candidate 2, but 2 really wowed with her interview. What is different, and vastly so, is how the interviewees are answering our questions and telling us about their experiences and how they would fit into the position.

    You’re clearly qualified or they wouldn’t be wasting any time on you (seriously). Perhaps review your past interviews and the questions asked, and see if there’s ways you can showcase even more why you are an the awesome one of a kind employee you are.

  21. SusanIvanova*

    A former co-worker at my previous job interviewed for my new team. It wasn’t a match, but they told him to interview with another team. On paper it didn’t look like a match, but they had an upcoming project he’d be perfect for that was still under NDA. He was so discouraged that he wasn’t even going to apply, so it took a lot of convincing, given we couldn’t come right out and tell him how it related to his old job.

    Yes, he got the job.

  22. Jennifer*

    I understand the frustration, especially when you’re unemployed. I hope you’re still applying for jobs and not putting all your eggs in this basket. As others have said, they aren’t going to keep calling you if they aren’t interested in you. If you really need a job ASAP, I don’t think it’s a good idea to walk away from this.

  23. DaffyDuck*

    I would keep interviewing with them… but I would definitely be looking other places also! You said you need a job ASAP, so I surely wouldn’t wait on them. Companies know applicants need to keep looking and can’t wait around forever.

  24. Leela*

    Former recruiter here! Interviewing takes a big toll on a team, as they have to step away from their job functions to do it. If they didn’t think there was a point in proceeding with you, it’s really unlikely that they would take the time away to do that (it’s also expensive for the company to have work pushed back to interview. I’ve worked at places where we were instructed to just cut an interview in the middle if we didn’t think we were going to hire them, rather than finishing the full interview block. Very awkward for everyone). I’d most likely take it as a sign that they think you’d be a strong addition to the company, especially since they could think that you’re less likely to accept after jumping through so many hoops. Of course it’s also possible that they’re disorganized, flaky, and are stringing you along, but I think the former is far more likely.

    On an unrelated note, The Inc gets worse every time for me. Now the ads don’t even pop up but instead I have to scroll all over the page trying to track it down, and I still can’t always pause, mute, or close it before it’s finished. I dread seeing “I answer this at The Inc, you can read it here” in the blog post!

  25. Abdi*

    We twice invited the same candidate to interview for three different positions. They didn’t get hired. I felt so guilty, let me tell you (far less guilty when one of them sent a very rude response to the third rejection).

    I’ve also invited unsuccessful candidates to apply for different positions, which they then got. Take it at face value, as Alison says. There’s no knowing how it’ll turn out.

    On a different note, people often complain about HR but can we also take a moment to gripe about hiring managers who make terrible interviewers? The stories I could tell. People who have little idea of the profile they’re looking for, ask ridiculous questions, have terrible people-sense, and whatnot. The worst was when this senior director (SD) got super-affronted that a superb candidate asked him why he (SD) worked at company X. It’s an admittedly clichéd question but that wasn’t SD’s issue; he was furious after the interview that the interviewee had DARED to interview him (SD). He was literally shaking mad. I had taken this recruitment over from my team because it kept failing and being relaunched. I took three days, including a weekend, to longlist out of 2.5K applications, handheld him and his deputy through the entire process and, at the final round, a dream candidate gets disqualified on that basis. I was pissed. For their next recruitment, my team urgently (urgent! dept is falling apart!) sifted through 4K applications (accounting position with a well-known employer) only for them to then decide to promote a temp. My blood pressure is rising just remembering them.

    1. Leela*

      I was talking to a hiring manager about what he needed for a role so I could write the job description and start looking for the candidate.

      Them: Just something that inspires you.

      Me: Uh….I mean…do you want…Linux, and Mac, and Windows experience for this IT role? Because we have all three being used here by different departments. How many years of experience? What level? Do you want them to have customer service/management experience at all? Anything else? Are you going to want a degree, or is self-taught fine?

      Them: Oh you know, just someone good.

      Who then proceeded to be dissatisfied with every candidate, prompting me to rip my hair out. I can’t put “something that inspires Leela” into a job search engine, track that down on LinkedIn, or anything like that. It was an entry level role but we’d recently made a huge change in what we were looking for, which is why I was talking to him about what needed to be on the job description and what I needed to look out for.

      1. Abdi*

        And now you’re the incompetent HR lady, for not being able to read his mind or work the recruiting magic they teach you in HR school (which we all know is a a barely 3-month post-high school qualification, which you only joined as a last resort after failing out of cosmetology school). He will gripe about you to his peers over tea break, incompetent HR lady.

        1. Leela*

          Yes. And why can’t I magically get someone making several 10K over what we’re offering to come do it, since they don’t want any entry-level people because it’s a bother to train them? I must just not be selling the opportunity right. Never mind that we were in a tech hub with loads of options, and that we weren’t as cool as the startups nor as high paying as the more established companies. Obviously if I just TALKED to them I could convince them to take an entry level job when they’re 5 years into the career, for way less money, right?

          1. Abdi*

            Make sure, during the interview, to antagonise the interviewees. They need to show their mettle. If she’s a lady, ask her if she’s married; this is reflective of her sense of responsibility.

  26. I Work on a Hellmouth*

    I would definitely keep interviewing, and would likely accept an offer on this third role if it sounded like you could grow/advance into roles that WOULD excite you more. It sounds like maybe the first two positions were stretch roles, and maybe this position would be better suited to your current skill set? If that’s the case, and this new role is one that could get you where you want to go, I don’t really see a reason to reject it out of hand.

  27. Tonya*

    This happened to my husband over the course of a year for three positions with the same company. When they reached out for the fourth time, he was hesitant. The interviewers acknowledged the previous times and said they had kept his resume for a reason. He ended up with a job he loves and had some negotiating power too. Don’t take it as a bad thing, they like you!

  28. Safely Retired*

    Just to offer an alternative, even th0ugh I tend to agree with the majority on this…

    Manager: I know who I want to hire.
    HR: Company policy requires that you interview three to five candidates.
    Manager: I know who I want to hire. I don’t want to do more interviews.
    HR: You only interviewed one person. Company policy requires that you interview at least three candidates, preferably five to seven.
    Manager: I haven’t the time or patience for this. I know who I want to hire. I don’t want to do more interviews.
    HR: Company policy..
    Manager: (outburst) GIVE ME A BREAK!
    Manager: (placating voice) Come on, what can you do for me?
    HR: Everyone always asks for exceptions. When I make exceptions I catch hell.
    Manager: For crying out loud, just..
    HR: Well, we have a few names of people who do a good interview and get out quickly without wasting too much time. I have one in mind whose been here five times. They won’t know if your mind is already made up. If you want I can see if any of them are available. Easier for you and me both, and my boss won’t care as long as we follow policy.

    Nah, that could never happen.

    1. LQ*

      For the manager it would be SO much easier to just say, “Pick the first 4 names, I don’t care.” Otherwise you have to do the work of following up and saying, “Hey come in and interview” and the work of seeming pleasant and engaged. If you really aren’t you can do those other 4 interviews while checking your phone and not giving a lick of care.

      If you want to deal with the company policy you don’t bring in someone who does a GOOD interview, you bring in literally someone off the street. Keeping a rolodex of “easy interviews” would only ever backfire on you if they were ever close to a person you might want to hire.

      Don’t get me wrong the “interview x people” does certainly happen, and absolutely happens when the manager has already picked someone. But bringing the same person back in and doing the emotional work of like, “yay go you but not quite try again” and then having that conversation and then the interview. I mean maybe there’s someone that sadistic, but then you should be thrilled you’re not getting that job. And lots of other people already brought up lots of very plausible and very nonsadistic things.

  29. Granny K*

    I had 5-6 different interviews for 5-6 different positions at a large company; it took over a year before I finally got an offer but in hindsight, despite the frustration, it was well worth it.

  30. Hot Chocolate*

    It could also mean you need to get better at convincing them you’re the one during the interview, which was my problem for a long time because I would use language that undersold my abilities and experience even though I would totally kick butt at the job.

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