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I've been offered an interview for a department transfer within my organization - basically to the exact same position, but working for another group on another project.

I'm happy with my current department, and I have no intention to take the position offered - but I've accepted the interview offer anyway, because I think it will be good practice for future interviews, and a good way to network with the other group.

But I am worried that if the interview doesn't go well, or that my lack of interest shows through, that it will sour my relationship with that group (which we regularly have to work with) and while it's not very far, it does take place in another building which I will have to take time off to visit.

My supervisor has already approved this request - but I'm wondering more seriously - was it a good idea to accept this offer? Should I interview with this group, even though I won't likely be accepting any offer they make?

Should I go to an interview I don't intend to accept the job (if offered)? is related, but this question is specifically for an internal position.

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    Whose idea was it to consider you for this transfer? Did you apply for it, or did someone volunteer you? – Dan Pichelman Dec 11 '18 at 20:42
  • @DanPichelman Our organization has a list of internal candidates for this type of position - so my name was pulled from that list - though the person who offered the interview recognized me personally. – Zibbobz Dec 11 '18 at 21:23
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Sounds like you have very little to gain from taking the interview, but potentially something more important to lose.

Why not send an email and say after thinking about it further, your heart and interest really wouldn't be in it if you were on this new team, and you would like to rescind your interest in interview with them? However, you are still excited to work on projects with them as you have done in the past.

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You need to understand why you were selected and how this process works.

In the comments you explained that:

Our organization has a list of internal candidates for this type of position - so my name was pulled from that list - though the person who offered the interview recognized me personally

you mentioned in the question:

My supervisor has already approved this request

If you didn't self-identify as wanting to be considered, then the new department takes a risk that everybody they would want doesn't want to move. Thus your tepid view of the opportunity isn't something that they would hold against you.

The approval of your current manager might be because the corporate culture is that you always give approval. Thus there is no information provided here, in reality the current boss might be positive/negative/neutral about the situation.

There are other possibilities. Your manager knows something. There could be cuts coming soon. You might be in danger of losing your job.

You should talk to your current manager to get an idea about how this typically pays out, also try and understand what they think the near future looks like.

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I think you should be more worried about the interview going well, them offering you the position, and you turning them down. They will be left thinking "this guy just wasted our time" and you will have to continue working with them in the foreseeable future.

You may think this will give you good interview experience, but since you have nothing to lose and know you won't accept their offer you will likely be more relaxed and over-confident. When you go to a real interview you may not have that same state of mind to be able to perform the same.

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