I recently had an internal interview as part of a restructuring process. One of the panel was the direct line manager of one of the other candidates. Is this a conflict of interest, as it appears they have an unfair advantage?

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    Would that same person also have responsibility over the post that was being interviewed for? – DJClayworth Nov 24 '14 at 0:10
  • So, what's your question. Voting to close because the OP's post lacks a question. – Vietnhi Phuvan Nov 24 '14 at 0:29
  • @keshlam Where in the OP's post is that question? You can't be making up questions on behalf of the OP. – Vietnhi Phuvan Nov 24 '14 at 0:38
  • @VietnhiPhuvan: The phrase I quoted is at the start of the last sentence, and I believe it is the question they wanted to pose (which I take to implicitly include "and is there anything I can/should do about it"). – keshlam Nov 24 '14 at 0:45
  • in my experience with internal job offers, they generally have already decided who they want to hire but are forced by HR to go through the interview process. The person they have in mind might be this guy or it might be someone else entirely - it won't matter if they remove the LM as already mentioned, they've probably already decided who has already got the job. – pi31415 Nov 24 '14 at 7:36

"Is this a conflict of interest [...]"

Unfortunately the answer is "Technically yes, but remember that it may cut either way, or may have no effect at all." That manager doesn't necessarily think their direct report is the right person for the job. And presumably whoever set this up was aware of the possibility and trusts that the panelist will judge fairly.

Odds are that this panel was going to include the manager of at least one of the candidates, simply because those are the people available and qualified to serve on the panel. Perfect impartiality is a myth, but most managers should be able to recognize that they are biased and allow for it. Indeed, the manager may have recused himself/herself from voting on that candidate; you don't know (and have no particular need to know).

In other words, (a) don't worry about it until and unless you have DIRECT EVIDENCE that the candidate got an unreasonable amount of attention, and (b) worrying about it isn't going to do you any good, and is just going to get in the way of doing your job.

It was probably harmless... and remember that since there's a panel, that one manager's opinion doesn't drive the result even if they DO want to push it in a particular direction.

Let it go.

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