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On the last interview for a position, the interviewers have told me that I have done very good so far, and the other candidate they have been interviewing is a 20 years experienced person, and if I wouldn't get selected I shouldn't be feeling bad for it.

I have been given the coming week as the week that they are going to inform me on a decision.

I was wondering if they were just kind, to tell me that I am the second choice in this way, or this is a negotiation style for a probable offer next week?

update: i have just received the offer and accepted it.

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Typically what this means is that they thought you were a great fit, but given the opportunity, they would rather have the person with more experience. They realize that the person with more experienced has probably interviewed many places and there is no guarantee he/she will accept the offer.

Personally, I would proceed as if you will not get the job and keep interviewing. It was really nice of them to tell you that. A lot of interviewers will not give that type of feedback. This was a win for you. They seem to really like you and you could get a job out of it. The only problem is that job is contingent on someone else saying no.

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    I agree, this was more of an attempt to "let you down softly". That said, an experienced person is a person in demand. You might get picked as the "we didn't land X, so time to go with the runner up". In that case, things might get awkward. That's why when such a thing is presented to you, you probably should reply "well, if that candidate doesn't sign up, I'd like you to consider me." Honestly, an experienced person that didn't say yes is probably fishing for a better job, and will keep them waiting for as long as possible. I'd be surprised if you knew by next week, as X will stall. – Edwin Buck Sep 25 '18 at 14:01
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In your career, you'll run into manipulative people sometimes, and into decent and honest people most of the time.

I would take this at face value. They have one candidate who is more experienced than you and therefore should be better. He might not actually be any better. He might ask for more money than the company wants to pay, or even more money than he is worth. He might have a better offer elsewhere. He might turn out to be a total dick that nobody wants to work with.

So there is a chance that you get the job, even with the more experienced candidate, or maybe not. Of course they tell you to continue looking for jobs elsewhere. If you find something better, take it. If not, keep looking until they make a decision.

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Were they kind? Maybe, but clumsy. How do you feel now, knowing that there will always be someone with 20 years more experience than you, that you can't compete with? Neah, it was not pure kindness.

Did they try to prepare for negotiation? Using arguments like "we have candidates 20 years more experienced than you, so you cannot ask for too much money"? Again, clumsy. You can say this when the offer is on the table, no need to give a warning to the other party in the negotiation 1 week in advance, so he can prepare for such argument..

Most probably you will not get the position and they will not feel bad that they did not choose you, because "he was such a nice guy, but we did not let him be disappointed, since we gave him a good reason that he cannot be guilty about this interview". In other words, they told you so, so that they don't feel guilty about you.

Your take from this? Nice experience, learn something and move on.

If they call next week though, then they probably failed the negotiation with another candidate, so if you like to take a risk, ask for more money than you initially thought to ask, as they may feel weaker in the negotiation for fear of losing you too.

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seems to me to be a position of power. if you're offered the job, it's because the other candidate dropped out.

If that's the case, they probably don't have a great third option, so you can press for more.

If you don't get the offer, well, you know why.

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