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I currently work as a contractor, but for all intents and purposes I am treated as as if I were a full time employee. A permanent role was advertised for a position with job responsibilities very similar to the role I currently hold. I did not apply for the full time position (for a variety of reasons, I ask you to trust my somewhat twisted logic). Management were rather surprised at my choice.

As the only technical member of my team fit to ask technical interview questions, I assisted my manager in the interviews.

Since then, the position has not been filled, has been re-advertised. Is it poor form to apply now, at this later stage?

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    No, it isn't poor form. Life changes. – Peter - Unban Robert Harvey Feb 15 '16 at 17:55
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    It would only be inappropriate if you had applied and then sat on the interview panel... – HorusKol Feb 15 '16 at 22:12
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It's not poor form.

It seems likely you are worrying about nothing. But why not just ask that management who previously was surprised?

  • "Hey, I know I previously had not wanted to apply for this role. I've been reconsidering and would like to apply for it. I recognize I just served as an interviewer though and want to make sure it's not too awkward if I apply."

You may consider explaining too what about your life changed to make it a different situation now as this will come across as more authentic.

It's likely that if your management was surprised they probably had expected (and perhaps hoped) you were going to apply. You might find them very thankful that you are choosing to apply, especially because the position went unfilled.

Also, without knowing why the position was created, it is possible they created it specifically for you to apply. It might be a huge reassurance for you to apply (or even express interest in it).

From HLGEM:

The only caveat I can see to applying is if you were the only reason why all the other candidates were rejected. That does look somewhat self-serving. I would make sure to tell management before I applied that "Yes I did reject the other candidates but as I was honestly not interested in the position at the time of the interviews, I was genuinely trying to keep you from a bad hire. But I am interested now (and explain what changed to make you interested) and hope that my being on the earlier panel would not be counted against me if I apply.

  • Perhaps my worry is that this 'hold out' may be perceived as somewhat tactical (although it wasn't). – mcd0well Feb 15 '16 at 18:06
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    @mcd0well I think the worst that happens is they say no. If their surprise was because they wanted/expected you to apply, it's probably going to be a relief. – enderland Feb 15 '16 at 18:08
  • The only caveat I can see to applying is if you were the only reason why all the other candidates were rejected. That does look somewhat self-serving. I would make sure to tell management before I applied that "Yes I did reject the other candidates but as I was honestly not interested in the position at the time of the interviews, I was genuinely trying to keep you from a bad hire. But I am interested now (and explain what changed to make you interested) and hope that my being on the earlier panel would not be counted against me if I apply." – HLGEM Feb 16 '16 at 23:00
  • @HLGEM good point. I added that to the answer, too – enderland Feb 16 '16 at 23:04
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I think you are over thinking this

Just apply

If they ask why don't go into your somewhat twisted logic.
Just say "Contract for me seemed like a better option at the time and at this point I seek a permanent position with this company. If I don't get the permanent position then I am happy to continue as contract".

If they press with what changed? Then have have a simple answer like "I was considering moving but have decided to stay here", "I was considering going back to school" or "I was considering a career change". Keep it simple.

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