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I’ve been offered a senior management position. This is an internal move within my current company (a large financial services organization). The interviewer was well known to me beforehand and given the nature of the work I suspect the other applicants will also be familiar faces.

Now that the position is officially mine, is it appropriate for me to know who I was up against? Does this change if I am going to be managing one or more of the other candidates?

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    Ethical, maybe, but why would you be concerned about that? Are you worried about resentment? – Wesley Long Mar 6 '18 at 19:08
  • Now that the job is mine, is it ethical for me to know who I was up against? For what purpose? You might not want to know... – Mister Positive Mar 6 '18 at 19:49
  • Why is this important? There might be some laws governing how much you can say about candidates to other candidates. I never talked about other candidates nor do they ask me. Devil's advocate you might have been the last choice, because everyone else refused the salary. You never really know why you were hired over others. – jcmack Mar 6 '18 at 23:52
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    Other than satisfying your curiosity, what do you want to gain from this? – Masked Man Mar 7 '18 at 0:49
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I dont think is a good idea.

Imagine if you are looking for a job in other place. Would you do the same? The company would probably deny your request and add lack of respect for others persons privacy to your profile or maybe rescind the offer.

Now imagine if you didn't get the job. How you feel if they pass that information to the winner? What would you think about the company for doing that?

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Think about how it benefits the company if you know. If it's just some other random person, there is no benefit, so it's just curiosity on your side.

However, it could be useful to know if it is someone you will be managing or working closely with. Even then, it would only be useful if a problem develops.

So probably the only way to approach it is to ask your hiring manager a more generic question:

Since this is an internal hire, and there were probably other internal candidates, is there anything I need to know about the other candidates that would make me more effective at my job? If I am now managing or working closely with someone who didn't get this job, do you foresee any problems, and do you have suggestions for how to avoid those problems to begin with?

You don't need names, and if you are professional and didn't get the job, you wouldn't want your name given.

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The answer to your question differs depending on the purpose of it.

Now that the position is officially mine, is it appropriate for me to know who I was up against?

It is very important to respect others privacy. Asking for their names is definitelty inappropriate, just as trying to figure out who the other applicants were. Does this mean that you have to let this go?

If you are just curious: Yes, if you want to use the information to handle your new position with success: No.

The interviewer was well known to me beforehand and given the nature of the work I suspect the other applicants will also be familiar faces.

You can ask the interviewer what made them choose you to find out what they liked about you. Also try to ask him/her what they liked about the other applications compared to you. This way you show some self-reflection and you can work on this.

Does this change if I am going to be managing one or more of the other candidates?

I think it's rather important how you act as their manager instead of if you will become their manager. It is very demotivating if you try to be 'the manager'. Give them respect. None of you are better than the other, you just have different positions with different responsibilities and tasks. Accept them for their talents, not their 'failures' (even though it's not good to see shortcomings as failures).

It's your responsibility that everything runs smooth now. The future might tell you if you are managing one of the other applicants. Maybe they tell you that they applied for the position. If so... try to help them achieve a position like it. It's always good to help your fellow colleagues, you'll earn their respect and you give them hope.

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I'd say leave this alone. There is literally nothing good you can do with that kind of information and plenty bad can come of them giving you said information (think workplace dramas etc, reputational loss for the company if it comes out they provide that kind of information).

You don't need to know.

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I don't think you should. At a minimum, you could ask if there is anything you should be concerned about from other potential candidates without getting too specific. An obvious example would be if someone claimed they are the best candidate for the job and specifically mentioned you as being incompetent.

Hopefully, if there were any indications of a serious problem, someone else would be looking into it. If they have no intentions of coming up with a remedy for the problem, I doubt they would share anything with you of any value.

Start from a clean slate and give everyone a chance to prove themselves and hopefully they'll do the same for you.

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