I've been in the recruiting and selection process for a company (mobile telco) since the end of August, for a position we shall call A, in a newly formed department within that company.

First, there was some testing, then an interview with the department manager and HR person, then a week later more testing (a work-sample test), then 4 weeks later a technical interview with the same department manager and a person doing the same thing as position A in a different department. I aced everything, and at that last interview, I was told the choice was between me and another candidate, and that we will be informed in the next few days.

Well, 2 weeks passed since then, and I sent an e-mail to the manager asking what was going, and he told me they were still deciding and will let me know in the next few days (that was last week). My guess is that they first offered the position to the other candidate, and are negotiating with them, before they inform me. But that's not the gist of my question.

Yesterday, I was called from the same company (same office building, I'm from a small country), to interview for position B (rather similar to position A), in a different department, tomorrow. It's a job ad the company placed during my "marathon" interviewing for position A.

So, the question is - what do I answer if they ask me something like: which position of these 2 would you prefer, why are you applying for this position when you will most probably be offered a job at position A, etc etc. (I fully expect they will know I'm interviewing for both positions.)

  • Well, this is an old question by now, my immediate response would be that this is a golden opportunity - not to play them against each other but just communicate so they see you're wanted for not one, but two positions with them, it really establishes you as attractive for them - over many other applicants. Commented Mar 2, 2019 at 23:59

3 Answers 3


If I was willing to accept either position then I would not indicate a preference. I would say something to the effect of, "I would prefer to work in the position where I can provide the most benefit to the company. I think you and The_Other_Manager are in a better place to decide which position that is."

If there is a definite preference then I would indicate that. But also realize that by indicating your preference chances are you are effectively closing the door to an offer for the position you do not choose.

I would also interpret a question like this as less than friendly from the interviewer. If the interviewer wanted you to choose them they would try to sell that position rather than put you into a corner and say pick a hypothetical winner.


what do I answer if they ask me something like: which position of these 2 would you prefer?

You tell them which of the two you would prefer.

Then you make sure they know that you would still be very happy with either position (assuming that is actually the case).


If at the end of the day you are open to both, I would not tell them which you would prefer, even if there is a strong preference.

Instead, I would state that you were impressed by both hiring managers (maybe give a very short example of why for each). Then, I would state that you feel that you could make a positive contribution to each team, but as to which you would be able to make a greater impact with, that would be a question that the company itself would be better positioned to answer. I would then add that you are looking for a position that is an excellent fit on both ends, in which you can learn and grow and make a positive contribution, and each of the positions fits that mold.

I'm just adding my take for anyone else who has since googled the same question and is looking for an answer. Let us know how things turned out for you!

  • Why would you choose to not tell them which you prefer? Commented Feb 10, 2014 at 21:28

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