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I have worked as a contract worker at company A for 4 months. I was covering someone's leave of absence. I like the people and the work.

Recently the employee whom I was covering for returned to the job but they have kept me there. A Manager in the department I work in told me there is no open permanent position in her department, but encouraged me to apply for an open position in another department. I would like to stay with the company, so I applied for the position in the other department.

I was called for an interview and I thought it went well. I have been keeping this Manager in the loop regarding the interview process. After the interview which was on a Monday, HR told me I would hear back by Friday. I let my Manager know this.

On Thursday, my Manager called me for a meeting and said someone from her department was leaving and they want to know if I am interested in the role. I said yes with speed. She said how she and others in the department want to keep me and I am their number one pick. I was happy and excited. The only thing was the position in her department was not posted yet but would be soon.

I left that conversation confident that I would be chosen for that job. In about a week the job was posted and I applied and I had an interview at the beginning of last week.

At the end of the week the Manager told me that a higher Boss decided to keep the position posted for another week. I am assuming to see if more people will apply.

Did I miss something? I thought I was the number one pick? I don't understand. And what makes matters worse, the other position I applied for asked me for a second interview and I turned it down because I wanted to stay in the original department and I was sure they would hire me.

Am I getting bent out of shape over nothing? Is this normal practice? I just felt the Manager had come on so strong that she wanted to hire me now it seems like they are stalling. I do not understand.

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    The world is not fair, get over it! You may want to have a conversation with the manager who you felt came on strongly and let them know that you are now in a bind. That's about all you can do at this point.
    – jwh20
    Commented Nov 3, 2022 at 0:47
  • This is why people say talk is cheap.
    – DKNguyen
    Commented Nov 3, 2022 at 1:05
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    You are never hired for a position until they have given you an offer letter and you accept it.
    – Seth R
    Commented Nov 3, 2022 at 5:24
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    You were your manager and direct colleagues' first pick. You were apparently not "higher up boss" first pick, and they get to overrule your manager. I don't think you missed anything really, other than some things about how this company works apparently.
    – Erik
    Commented Nov 3, 2022 at 8:07
  • Had the same, i was actually addressed by the company, asking if i wanted to look at a job opening. I did but eventually they took somebody else due to a management decision, it's rather common.
    – A.bakker
    Commented Nov 3, 2022 at 10:10

3 Answers 3

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the other position I applied for asked me for a second interview and I turned it down

Call them back. And never turn down another interview until you have a firm contract signed in hand.

You really shot yourself in the foot by doing that.

Is this normal practice?

Maybe. In some jurisdictions, posting the job publicly and interviewing a few candidates may even be a legal requirement.

And yes. There are often more than one decision-makers, even when you're told otherwise.

Also, the fact that you were interviewing for another position is what probably compelled them to promise you this next job. It's the fear of losing you that may have compelled them.

I don't know if you told them. But if you told them that you turned down the second interview for the other position, that might have removed the urgency for them.

Again, I don't know if you told them. But if the pressure was on them to hire you quickly, do not remove it for them! On the contrary!

In addition to getting your contract more quickly, having other potential job offers in your pipeline usually makes it less likely that they try to low ball you on the salary or benefits.

So get yourself back out there, call back the other department, and also, send your resume out to other employers. Do not stop looking and do not stop interviewing until you've got a signed contract with the starting date and all the other details worked out.

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  • Thank you for your response. The other position was for a job in the same company just in a different department. Yes. I did tell the Manager I turned down the other job. I thought it would show how much I really wanted to stay in that department. Commented Nov 3, 2022 at 1:29
  • @DiligentWorker25, When she spoke to her boss, she could have told them that she was scared of losing you to another department. But you effectively took that argument away from her by telling her you turned it down. Commented Nov 3, 2022 at 5:57
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    I found out that they have interviewed another person and this person used to work for the organization years ago and now wants to come back. Then in a surprise move, my Manager told me how the job I am doing now as a temporary worker will now be a permanent and they will post the job soon. I had my heart set on the first job it's hard to switch gears and change what I want to do. But I guess it will be a good idea to apply for my position in case they don't hire me for the first job which I have a feeling they will not. I feel a little bit manipulated. Commented Nov 6, 2022 at 22:34
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I thought I was the number one pick?

You may be, you may not be. Unless you have a signed offer in your hand you won't know for sure. Until then it's much safer to assume that you are just a candidate like everyone else.

the other position I applied for asked me for a second interview and I turned it down

That was a major mistake. You can never fully know what happens during the hiring process so the prudent thing is to keep all your horses running until someone fully commits (i.e. gives you an offer). Almost all hiring mangers are aware of this and accept and expect it: it would be stupid not to, and no one wants to hire a stupid person.

because I wanted to stay in the original department and I was sure they would hire me.

The inner workings of a company are complicated and you don't have a lot of visibility to what's happening there. Even the best intended plans of a middle manager can be overruled by a higher manager. Don't assume.

Am I getting bent out of shape over nothing?

Yes and No: Yes: that wasn't a nice thing to do to you. No: it's completely normal and commonplace. It's not malicious, it's somewhere between miscommunication and incompetence. In other words "normal". It won't help you to get upset about it. Move on and focus on things you can actually do and impact.

Is this normal practice?

It's not "good" practice but fairly common.

I just felt the Manager had come on so strong that she wanted to hire me now it seems like they are stalling. I do not understand.

You don't need to understand and you will quite likely never find out what's happening behind the scenes. Could be all sorts of things: budget constraints, a major contract falling through, infighting between departments/managers, reorg preparations, etc. Many reasons may have nothing to do with you at all and may be completely outside of the control of your manager.

Not sure if this is fair treatment

That's in irrelevant question. Fairness is very complicated and subjective. Focus on what you want and what you can do to get it. Let go of the emotional baggage and focus on your next step.

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  • Thank you for your insight. Commented Nov 3, 2022 at 2:00
  • "Unless you have a signed offer in your hand you won't know for sure. Until then it's much safer to assume that you are just a candidate like everyone else." - very well put..
    – iLuvLogix
    Commented Nov 4, 2022 at 16:04
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This is something that everyone learns in the Corporate world, eventually.

Nothing that isn't written down is worth anything. Now, it does sound like the Manager you dealt with directly was very keen but was overruled by their Management.

This is an unfortunate side of Business, whether it's for purely selfish reasons (the higher-ups have someone they would prefer for the role) or for legitimate reasons (to guard against the appearance of Nepotism) - you can't fully know.

In terms of your experience, when interviewing - you go to every interview until you have a signed contract with a new company. This may sometimes result in a multi-offer situation and the first time that happens, you might feel uncomfortable - especially if you are a 'My Word is my Bond' type of person.

However - my advise to your actual problem: Follow-up with the hiring Manager. Worst case scenario, you don't get the job and you chalk this up to experience. Best case scenario is that your pro-active attitude will give them leverage to put your forward as the best candidate for the position to the higher-ups who may still be deciding.

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