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The situation is this:

  • The same department and the same hiring committee has posted Position A which will close soon and Position B may be posted later (but do not know when)
  • Position A is a contract position that ends in March next year; Not sure at all if it will be turned into a long-term continuing position.
  • Position B is a 1-year position; Potentially turns into a long-term continuing position afterward. (This position sounds more promising)
  • Learned about Position B through a worker from the department but the worker is not part of the hiring committee.
  • I have the qualifications and experience for both Position A and Position B, but perhaps better suited for Position B.
  • I am currently not working at that company but wish to work there for long-term.

Now here are my concerns:

  • Position B is more promising and better suited for but I am not sure when it will be posted. Should I still apply for Position A and just to get my foot in the door first? In other words, apply to both?
  • If I do land an interview for Position A, should I mention about Position B?
  • How should I go about expressing that I am more interested in Position B than Position A?
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    How did you learn Position B may be posted? – psubsee2003 Sep 21 '16 at 17:29
  • Hi @psubsee2003, one of the workers from the department who is not in the hiring committee. – HuorCulnamo Sep 21 '16 at 17:32
  • How related are the actual responsibilities of A and B? How interchangeable are they? – Lilienthal Sep 21 '16 at 19:34
  • Hi @Lilienthal both require a technical background. A is more of troubleshooting/communicating technical issues whereas B is to educate people how to use the technology. That said, both needs to know the technology well. Could be quite interchangeable in my honest opinion. – HuorCulnamo Sep 21 '16 at 19:46
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    Thanks for clarifying. We've previously had a question about the general topic here. Does that question match what you wanted to ask? If not, can you clarify what sets yours apart? Regardless, I'd recommend having a look through some of the other questions about this topic. – Lilienthal Sep 21 '16 at 19:54
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Position B is more promising and better suited for but I am not sure when it will be posted. Should I still apply for Position A and just to get my foot in the door first? In other words, apply to both?

Yes, apply for both. You don't know how many applicants each position will receive, i.e. what your chances will be for either.

So the best strategy to maximize the probability of being hired for either is to apply for both as soon as you can, once you prepare your application materials.

Note: Make sure to tailor your cv and/or cover letter appropriately to the requirements of each role.

In general, by not applying, you are also deciding not to be hired. It's your job as the applicant to apply for jobs; it is NOT your job to decide whether to hire you -- so leave these decisions to others, and don't worry about it.

If this feels/seems "weird", etc. -- same point applies. Just go for it, and let HR and the hiring manager decide if it's weird, odd, etc. -- your task is to secure a foothold in the organization, and applying for ALL positions for which you feel qualified is the surest way to achieve this goal.

If I do land an interview for Position A, should I mention about Position B?

No, wait for them to mention it, and if they do not, this means it is not relevant to the interview at hand. Focus on answering the interview questions, and not answering questions you are not asked -- and you will do that much better.

If you end up getting both offers, that's what you want -- to be in a position to choose what's best for you. Politely decline one and accept the other. It is business, and it is absolutely acceptable for an applicant to pursue multiple opportunities, whether with the same department, same company, or different employers.

How should I go about expressing that I am more interested in Position B than Position A?

You don't express that you are more interested in either position. Customize your application to each position, and put your best foot forward. It is not up to you to decide what you are better suited for, but the hiring manager's.

Keep in mind, position descriptions often differ from what's in the hiring manager's head. The job they have in mind might not be accurately reflected on paper, and only the manager will know whether you seem a better fit for this or that role.

Let them make that decision, and concentrate on presenting yourself as the best candidate for each position for which you apply. Good luck!

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"Bird in bush is two in hand"- Proverb. Here, you have neither. Apply for both. Many companies allow candidates to choose their interest. If this is a Government job, you can forget the earlier statement. This said, there is no barrier to you in applying for both positions. It is not mutually exclusive, and it does not matter till you get one of the positions. Wish you good luck.

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So.. it sounds to me like there is exactly one position available right now - Position A. You've heard about Position B from an internal connection, but you can't even apply to it at that moment, because it is not available on a job board.

Nothing is really certain until it's posted. Perhaps not even then.

I'd say - apply for position A. If you have the opportunity, state your goals in terms of specifically relevant job elements that Position B has that Position A does not have. Do NOT give away your source and say "hey, I hear about this other Position and that's the one I REALLY want" - it both compromises your friend and it makes an impression that you don't particularly want the job you applied for.

What you CAN do is hint around... for example - "I see from the description that this is actually a short term assignment - I like your company, is there an option to make it a longer term assignment?" or "I have these other skills... I'd love to know if there will be future opportunities where I can grow into a role that uses these skills..."

Showing more interest and more passion to do more is never wrong.

  • Thanks for the tips in the end. Those would be a great questions for "Do you have any questions for us?". – HuorCulnamo Sep 29 '16 at 19:32

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