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If the HR manager already took down the job posting and has a candidate in mind then there isn't much point in having an interview. You're simply wasting the candidate's time on a fake interview. Why would it be considered bad practice to ask the hiring manager before the interview if the position is already filled? Wouldn't it be more logical for the employer to inform potential candidates ahead of time instead giving them a fake interview?

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  • Are you a candidate or a hiring manager ? (I am not sure which one you are when reading your post). Jan 17 at 8:27
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    What happened to that made you think you had a fake interview? Even if they have someone in mind, it makes sense to see other candidates to see if they are better Jan 17 at 8:34
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    @user142830 You are jumping to conclusions. "Deleting the job [advert]" is not the same as "We have already made a decision on exactly which candidate to hire". Jan 17 at 8:44
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    @user142830 If your email had the same terrible attitude as you're displaying in your interactions on this question, then I wouldn't respond to it either. Jan 17 at 9:27
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    @user142830 “My email had no terrible attitude.” — You may not have intended it, but is it possible you're not the best judge of how it might read to other people?
    – gidds
    Jan 17 at 11:21

2 Answers 2

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Wouldn't it be more logical for the employer to inform potential candidates ahead of time instead giving them a fake interview?

Yes, and they will. Fake interviewing costs money. Since they probably send multiple people to an interview, it costs them even more then it costs you.

Why would it be considered bad practice to ask the hiring manager before the interview if the position is already filled?

Because you are basically asking them whether they are stupid and/or defrauding their company by getting paid for work that wasn't neccessary. Even if they say "no", asking alone might be seen as insulting.


Please note that you can only make an informed choice after you have seen all options. So if you are number 10 to interview, they may already think "number three was really good, we will probably go with number 3". But they still interview you, because that is how making a choice works. You look at all options. Maybe number 10 is even better than number three. You can only know if you check.

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  • "Yes, and they will. Fake interviewing costs money. Since they probably send multiple people to an interview, it costs them even more then it costs you." False. The candidate's time is just as important as the interviewer's time. If the interviewer: 1) doesn't respond to a follow up email for more than one week and 2) brings down the job posting, then they probably already made their choice.
    – user142830
    Jan 17 at 8:57
  • "But they still interview you, because that is how making a choice works. You look at all options. " False. This is not how making a "choice" works if the interviewer: 1) doesn't respond to a follow up email for more than one week and 2) brings down the job posting, then they probably already made their choice.
    – user142830
    Jan 17 at 8:58
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    @user142830 it seems you know the answer to every plausible explanation. so why bother wasting everyone's time by posting a question in the first place?
    – Mari-Lou A
    Jan 17 at 9:22
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    @user142830 Mine is an observation in a comment. I offered no explanation, I posted no answer as to why HR would continue the hiring process despite having already selected a candidate.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Jan 17 at 10:17
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If the HR manager already took down the job posting and has a candidate in mind then there isn't much point in having an interview.

In some cases they will keep job posting open for x days, then they will close down the application process. In other situations they will screen the resumes and once the company has received enough quality applications they close the posting. Then they will start the interview process. This can be done via phone screens, zoom calls, or the like.

Why would it be considered bad practice to ask the hiring manager before the interview if the position is already filled?

If it is filled that means that they have already done interviews, selected a winner, made an offer, received the acceptance, completed all pre-employment processing and the person has started.

Even if they think they know who they want, and they are treating the other interviews as "fake" there is no guarantee that their preferred candidate will accept the offer, and start. They need to have backups just in case their prime candidate rejects the offer, or gets their dream offer the day before they are to start.

Wouldn't it be more logical for the employer to inform potential candidates ahead of time instead giving them a fake interview?

If that person is started companies won't spend money in processing other candidates. So if the position is filled they should notify other candidates. They will not wait until an interview. They should call or email. Some just cancel interviews, or they just stop responding.

In a company I worked for we had to interview at least 5 candidates, before making an offer. In some cases if the number of applications was small it felt like 1 or 2 had no chance at getting the job. In those cases some would classify those as fake interviews, but by no means had the job already been filled. The worst situation as part of the hiring team was to have to reopen a posting because the person we wanted said no, and the other finalists weren't considered good enough.

In your comments you talk about employers not responding to emails. In my experience watching family members search for jobs the last few years, ghosting by both sides is a real problem. Some companies stop responding even though the candidate thought they were making a positive impression, in other cases people never showed for their first day of work.

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